Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Movies I've Walked Out Of, No. 5: Last Year at Marienbad

So, I finally really and truly got to writing my communications/social nets book, when bad news arrived yesterday:
the publisher's giving me a little more time.

This is bad because I work best under pressure.
I'm trying to convince my internal procrastination apparatus that the original due date must hold. And it really must, because I have to get other things done before I leave for 7 weeks in Spain in May.

I'm on the lookout for blog topics that don't distract my brain too much. Normally it gets pretty churned up, thinking about movies I left, trying to analyze why.
But it simply slumps over when I call up the first movie I ever walked out of (when I was fifteen): Last Year at Marienbad (France, 1961, dir. Alain Resnais).

It was part of a French film fest the U Film Society was putting on, and I was in a Frenchy mood---fifteen is a prime age for existentialism--but as with much conceptual art, I found this movie far more interesting to think or read about than to view.

Here's what I remember, from before I got up and walked out:
endless loops of hallways and gardens, with people wandering about. In a voice-over, a man says, "I saw you here last year," and a woman responds, "Oh, really? I don't recall."

Turns out I didn't miss much, leaving.
Reading reviews, I gather it just goes on like that.

This movie poster makes it look a ton more exciting than it is. Concentrate on one of those still figures in the background and mutter meaningfully, "I don't know if I saw you here, or what," * for a few minutes and you get the feel.

* POP QUIZ: "I don't know if I saw you here, or what" is a line from Moonstruck. Anyone remember you says it to whom, and why?

[Other movies I've walked out of.]


femminismo said...

Does Cher say it to her father when they accidentally meet at the opera? Does her father say it to her? That movie, oh, that movie! I would never walk out of that movie!

Fresca said...

FISMO: You got it! Cher says it to her father when they run into each other at the Met, each with a date who is not their official partner...
I think I've seen that movie a dozen times, at least.

ArtSparker said...

Mais les filmes Franceuse sont trés,tré know, DEEP.

Dania said...

I'm glad it wasn't just me. I'd been wanting to see this film for years, having heard it was such a classic. I made it through, but was bored to tears.

Of course some of the same people who talked this film up also loved "Grey Gardens," which I really didn't like (too many mother issues for me).

bink said...

I watched it all... it was sooo boring. But not awful to sit through as Woody Allen's Interiors... which I remember being the worse I sat through.

Thank God I no longer feel the need the need to see "art films" (unless the reviews are actually good).

Manfred Allseasons said...

I...quite like Last Year at it me then?

I like your film critic Roger Ebert..and he says he only ever walked out of one film, and thats because he was so bored...but its one of my favourites, Mediterraneo...

Its.... me, isnt it? Am I pretentious beyond all understanding??

Moi?? Sûrement Non!