Blu-ray, DVD Release: Last Year in Marienbad

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 20, 2019
Price: DVD $13.29, Blu-ray $19.89
Studio: ??

Alan Resnais’s (Night and FogMéloWild GrassJe t’aime, Je t’aimeMuriel, or The Time of Return) landmark 1961 drama Last Year in Marienbad is a hypnotically beautiful puzzle box of a film, and one of the more influential ones in international cinema history.

Resnais’s sensuous tracking shots and Delphine Seyrig’s iconic Chanel gowns have become part of the cinematic lexicon, and can now be seen in Kino Lorber’s new editions, featuring a gorgeous 4K restoration from StudioCanal.

In a large international hotel in the European resort town of Marienbad, with a sumptuous but austere décor-a marble universe with gold paneling, statues, and stuff servants-the rich, anonymous, idle clientele circulates. A man (Giorgio Albertazzi) is convinced he met an enigmatic woman (Seyrig, Jeanne Dielman) the previous year at the same location, and perhaps had a flirtation. A second man (Sacha Pitoëff, Inferno), possibly the woman’s lover or husband, repeatedly intimidates the first man. Their relations unfold through flashback shards that never quite fit into place, their lives a hall of mirrors that never reveal a true self.

Nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards and Best Film at the BAFTA Awards, Marienbad won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. But to hell with the awards, this one is simply required viewing for any self-described cinephile.

The Blu-ray edition includes the following extras:

-Audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
-Booklet essay by Vanity Fair film critic K. Austin Collins
-Interview with filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff
-Last Year at Marienbad A to Z, a visual essay by James Quandt, programmer for the TIFF Cinematheque
-Memories of Last Year at Marienbad, a making-of doc using Super-8 footage shot on set
-Toute la mémoire du monde (1957), a short film by Alain Resnais

Buy or Rent Last Year in Marienbad

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.