Alain Resnais

Last Year at Marienbad

Last Year at Marienbad

Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal Last Year at Marienbad (L’année dernière à Marienbad) has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades. Written by radical master of the New Novel Alain Robbe-Grillet, this surreal fever dream, or nightmare, gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling its ambiguous tale of a man and a woman (Giorgio Albertazzi and Delphine Seyrig) who may or may not have met a year ago, perhaps at the very same cathedral-like, mirror-filled château they now find themselves wandering. Unforgettable in both its confounding details (gilded ceilings, diabolical parlor games, a loaded gun) and haunting scope, Resnais’ investigation into the nature of memory is disturbing, romantic, and maybe even a ghost story.

Film Info

  • Alain Resnais
  • France
  • 1961
  • 94 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • French
  • Spine #478

Director-Approved Special Edition Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Alain Resnais, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio interview with Resnais, recorded exclusively for this release
  • New documentary on the making of Last Year at Marienbad, featuring interviews with many of Resnais’ collaborators
  • New video interview with film scholar Ginette Vincendeau on the history of the film and its many mysteries
  • Two short documentaries by Resnais: Toute la mémoire du monde (1956) and Le chant du styrène (1958)
  • Original theatrical trailer and Rialto's rerelease trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Mark Polizzotti and a section on Alain Robbe-Grillet's evolving attitude toward the film, including the author's introduction to the published screenplay and comments by film scholar François Thomas

New cover by Rodrigo Corral and Ben Wiseman

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Alain Resnais, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio interview with Resnais, recorded exclusively for this release
  • New documentary on the making of Last Year at Marienbad, featuring interviews with many of Resnais’ collaborators
  • New video interview with film scholar Ginette Vincendeau on the history of the film and its many mysteries
  • Two short documentaries by Resnais: Toute la mémoire du monde (1956) and Le chant du styrène (1958)
  • Original theatrical trailer and Rialto's rerelease trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Mark Polizzotti and a section on Alain Robbe-Grillet's evolving attitude toward the film, including the author's introduction to the published screenplay and comments by film scholar François Thomas

New cover by Rodrigo Corral and Ben Wiseman

Last Year at Marienbad
Cast
Delphine Seyrig
A
Giorgio Albertazzi
X
Sacha Pitoëff
M
Credits
Director
Alain Resnais
Screenplay
Alain Robbe-Grillet
Producer
Pierre Courau
Producer
Raymond Froment
Music
Francis Seyrig
Cinematography
Sacha Vierny
Editing
Jasmine Chasney
Editing
Henri Colpi
Production design
Jacques Saulnier
Costumes
Coco Chanel
Costumes
Bernard Evein
Set decoration
Jean-Jacques Fabre
Set decoration
Georges Glon
Set decoration
André Piltant

From The Current

Last Year at Marienbad: Which Year at Where?
Last Year at Marienbad: Which Year at Where?
So much critical ink has been shed over Last Year at Marienbad that one might wonder if the flood of commentary, once receded, would take the film along with it. Alain Resnais’ second feature has been lavishly praised and royally slammed; awarded t…

By Mark Polizzotti

Remembering Alain Resnais
Remembering Alain Resnais
A few years ago, as I was collaborating on the Criterion release of Last Year at Marienbad, I had the chance to meet Alain Resnais. We had released Hiroshima mon amour and Night and Fog a few years earlier, and the director had not been available to…

By Alexandre Mabilon

April in Tativille
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By Alexandre Mabilon

Anna Sui’s Top 10
The Art Form of Memory: A Conversation with Joachim Trier
The Art Form of Memory: A Conversation with Joachim Trier

Ten years ago, with the release of his debut film Reprise, a spirited drama about two young aspiring novelists, Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier emerged as one of the most interesting new voices in European cinema.

By Hillary Weston

Alain Resnais’ Toute la mémoire du monde
Alain Resnais’ Toute la mémoire du monde
Before he radically transformed narrative cinema with such nonlinear masterpieces as Hiroshima mon amour and Last Year at Marienbad, the French New Wave icon Alain Resnais, who turns ninety-one today, began his career experimenting with cinematic for…

Explore

Delphine Seyrig

Actor

Delphine Seyrig
Delphine Seyrig

Thanks to the two most famous roles of her career—the enigmatic woman referred to only as A in Alain Resnais’ _Last Year at Marienbad_ and the middle-aged widow stuck in domestic routine in Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles—Delphine Seyrig is often thought of as an inscrutable performer. But this versatile French actress was also capable of great emotional immediacy and openness in her roles. The daughter of an archaeologist, Seyrig was a cosmopolite at a young age, having already lived in Lebanon, New York, and the south of France by the time she was twenty. She then studied acting in both France and the United States (at the Actors Studio). Her first screen performance was in the 1958 beat generation short Pull My Daisy, also featuring Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsberg, shot in New York. A few years later, Last Year at Marienbad—in which Seyrig plays a woman wandering the fever-dream-like interior of a château, where she may or may not have been before—made her an icon of the French New Wave. She would go on appear in films by François Truffaut (Stolen Kisses, one of her most romantic parts), William Klein (she was never more delightfully off-kilter than in the satiric Mr. Freedom), Luis Buñuel (as the ever-gracious hostess in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), Joseph Losey, Jacques Demy, Akerman, and other important film directors of the sixties and seventies. She died in 1990, at fifty-eight.