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A close reading of L'Année dernière à Marienbad by Alain Robbe-Grillet Schofer, Drew Christopher 1987

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A CLOSE READING OF L'ANNEE DERNIERE A MARIENBAD BY ALAIN ROBBE-GRILLET By  DREW CHRISTOPHER SCHOFER B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a , 1983  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE  REQUIREMENTS  FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS  in THE  FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f F r e n c h )  We a c c e p t to  THE  this  thesis  the required  standard  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH April,  ®  as conforming  COLUMBIA  1987  Drew C h r i s t o p h e r S c h o f e r ,  1987  3t  In  presenting  degree  at  this  the  thesis  in  partial fulfilment  of  University of  British Columbia,  I agree  freely available for reference copying  of  department publication  this or of  thesis by  this  and study.  or  her  requirements that the  I further agree  for scholarly purposes  his  the  representatives.  may be It  thesis for financial gain shall not  is  for extensive  granted by the  head  that  allowed without  Drew C h r i s t o p h e r  French  The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  nF.tn/dn  A p r i l 22,  1987  advanced  that permission  permission.  Department of  an  Library shall make it  understood be  for  Schofer  of  my  copying  or  my written  ABSTRACT  L'Annee D e r n i e r e plays with  a Marienbad  i s a narrative film  Appearance and R e a l i t y i n a baroque f a s h i o n .  thesis  i s an a t t e m p t  view.  In the i n t r o d u c t i o n are discussed  the  film  style  t o come t o t e r m s w i t h  as expressed  o f my c r i t i c a l In t h e f i r s t  as  by P a u l i n e  world  against  a s w e l l a s t h e commentary  film tour  a nameless n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s  the  audience d i s c u s s i n g t h i s  i s revealed  as h i g h  o f a baroque  the set.  t o be t h a t o f an a c t o r  art,  Eventually  i n a play.  p l a y we meet o u r t h r e e  In  protagonists:  a m y s t e r i o u s woman; M, a man who may be h e r h u s b a n d ; and X,  a man who t r i e s  t o persuade her t o leave with  meaning and s y m b o l i s m a t e v e r y story to unfold.  we a r e p r e s e n t e d  editing  replaces  "shared"  traditional  A p o s s i b l e reason  Marienbad present  i s discovered  i n the film.  We a r e t e a s e d  us t o t h e g a r d e n s where  a s t a t u e o f a man, woman and dog. past.  X evokes  The s t y l e o f M a r i e n b a d ' s  H o l l y w o o d Decoupage w i t h  c r e a t o r s b e l i e v e t o be c l o s e r t o r e a l i t y film.  him.  t u r n a s we a w a i t t h e p l o t o f  C h a p t e r two t a k e s  s c e n e s f r o m A ' s and h i s  on  t h e arguments  us on an a r c h i t e c t u r a l  voice  our  the Marienbad  we a r e f a c e d w i t h  the  by  Kael,  This  approach.  chapter  t h e camera t a k e s  chateau while  A,  which  as i t s h o u l d  a version i t s be  presented  f o r t h e number o f d e t r a c t o r s o f  t o be t h e i n h e r e n t  The f i n a l  chapter ii  passive  aggression  o u t l i n e s X's s e a r c h f o r  an e n d i n g and d i s c u s s e s o u r r e a c t i o n s The c o n c l u s i o n  compares t h e e n d i n g f r o m R e s n a i s s H i r o s h i m a 1  Amour t o t h e end o f M a r i e n b a d of the to  fictitious film. riddle  to these v a r i o u s s o l u t i o n s .  reality  The s e a r c h f o r a c o n c l u s i o n o r answer t o  o f Marienbad  however r e m a i n s  encounter p o s s i b i l i t i e s  L'Annee D e r n i e r e a  p r e s e n t i n g the timeless  Mon  as o f t e n  Marienbad.  iii  elusive.  as we,  We  are  an a u d i e n c e ,  invited encounter  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  i i  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  v  INTRODUCTION  1  NOTES  •  CHAPTER 1  5 6  NOTES  38  CHAPTER 2  39  NOTES  71  CHAPTER 3  .  •  73  NOTES  91  CONCLUSION  92  NOTES  95  BIBLIOGRAPHY  96  iv  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I would Troke I  like  to dedicate this  w i t h whom I f i r s t  experienced  owe so much t o J o a n n e Yamaguchi  winds  f o r my s a i l s ,  the rudder for  thesis  L'Annee D e r n i e r e  S a r k o n a k who  of the rocks.  t h o s e who b e l i e v e !  v  June  a Marienbad.  who p r o v i d e d t h e i n s p i r i n g  as w e l l as t o Ralph  t o s t e e r me c l e a r  t o my f r i e n d  piloted  This thesis i s  1  INTRODUCTION  One need  not search f a r to f i n d  Derniere a Marienbad. by A l a i n either I  to love  prefer  but  Resnais.  arguments  w r i t t e n by A l a i n  Robbe-Grillet  I t i s the type of f i l m  here, not a great  and d i r e c t e d  critic  no one l e f t of French  r a t h e r a famous and v e r y p o w e r f u l c r i t i c  known t o t h e g e n e r a l p u b l i c .  L'Annee  w h i c h moves i t s a u d i e n c e  i t o r h a t e i t ; one c a n f i n d  t o quote  against  unmoved.  Literature,  whose work i s w e l l  P a u l i n e K a e l o f The New  Yorker  writes: The t e r m " s l e e p i n g b e a u t y " p r o v i d e s , I t h i n k , a f a i r l y good t r a n s i t i o n t o L a s t Y e a r a t M a r i e n b a d — o r S l e e p i n g Beauty o f the I n t e r n a t i o n a l S e t , the h i g h - f a s h i o n e x p e r i m e n t a l f i l m , t h e snow j o b i n the i c e p a l a c e . Here we a r e , back a t t h e n o - f u n p a r t y w i t h n o n - p e o p l e , i n what i s d e s c r i b e d t o us as an "enormous, l u x u r i o u s , b a r o q u e , l u g u b r i o u s h o t e l — where c o r r i d o r s s u c c e e d e n d l e s s c o r r i d o r s . " I can s c a r c e l y q u o t e e v e n t h a t much o f t h e t h i c k m a l t e d prose without wanting t o i n t e r j e c t — "Oh, come o f f it." 1  How  someone o f K a e l ' s c a l i b e r  a valiant fathom.  step  can r e j e c t  forward i n cinematic  Especially film  when she r e a c t s  also  advanced  Last  Tango i n P a r i s ,  f o r m as M a r i e n b a d so f a v o u r a b l y  history while s t i r r i n g directed  so w h o l e - h e a r t e d l y s u c h  by B e r n a r d o  i s hard to  to a f i l m  which  up p a s s i o n a t e d e b a t e : Bertolucci.  2  Realism w i t h the t e r r o r of a c t u a l experience s t i l l live on t h e s c r e e n — t h a t ' s what B e r t o l u c c i and B r a n d o achieve... I ' v e t r i e d to d e s c r i b e the impact of a f i l m t h a t h a s made t h e s t r o n g e s t i m p r e s s i o n o n me i n a l m o s t twenty years of r e v i e w i n g . This i s a movie people w i l l be a r g u i n g a b o u t , I t h i n k , f o r as l o n g as t h e r e are m o v i e s . . . I t i s a movie you c a n ' t get out of y o u r s y s t e m , a n d I t h i n k i t w i l l m a k e some p e o p l e v e r y angry and d i s g u s t o t h e r s . . . I t . c o u l d embarrass them, and even f r i g h t e n them. For adults, i t ' s l i k e seeing p i e c e s o f y o u r l i f e , and s o , o f c o u r s e , you c a n ' t r e s o l v e your f e e l i n g s about i t — our f e e l i n g s about l i f e are never resolved.2  The be  a  first  failed  time  mistake,  •to M a r i e n b a d I While  a great  regard film  to  is  deal  more  also  one's  treat  also  others,  for  or I  same  a  amongst  taken  from  to  the  not  of  the  only  the  the  its  film.  Robbe-Grillet  as  Kael  public  form  is  script  a  realism and  a  leave  at  his  in  plot  As one  more  not  "cine-roman,"  whether  I  it!"  of Marienbad  script.  to  reacts  with  Marienbad w i l l  as  to  " O h , come o f f  audience.  film  many c r i t i c s a s  believed i t  problem of  its  as  I  Just  say,  Realism,  Although  a Robbe-Grillet  have  time  of  release film,  time.  M a r i e n b a d by  battle  alone.  of  problem with  a response  the  M a r i e n b a d as  film  the  the  emotions  Resnais  at  in Paris  interject  addressed.  into  an argument  to  waste  of Tango's  was p u b l i s h e d a f t e r I  an u t t e r  demands  problem thrown leave  saw L a s t T a n g o  would want  eroticism,  once  structure  I  that  There  is  it  a  is  argument  word as  he  to  writes:  L a c c o r d n ' a pu se f a i r e , e n t r e A l a i n R e s n a i s e t m o i , que p a r c e que nous avons des l e d e b u t v u l e f i l m de l a meme m a n i e r e ; e t n o n p a s e n g r o s d e l a meme m a n i e r e , mais exactement, dans son a r c h i t e c t u r e d'ensemble comme d a n s l a c o n s t r u c t i o n d u m o i n d r e d e t a i l . Ce que j ' e c r i v a i s , c ' e s t comme s ' i l l ' a v a i t e u d e j a e n t £ t e ; ce q u ' i l a j o u t a i t au t o u r n a g e , c ' 4 t a i t e n c o r e ce que j ' a u r a i s pu i n v e n t e r . 1  x  II si  est important d ' i n s i s t e r la-dessus, car complete est probablement assez r a r e . 3  une  entente  3  Marienbad choose (an  between what M  (a man  unknown s t r a n g e r who  love was  i s a f i l m about d e c i s i o n .  unknown woman A must  i s p e r h a p s h e r husband) and  t r i e s to convince her that  l a s t y e a r a t Marienbad) how  who  The  t o d e c i d e what was  offer  true  her.  and  My  false  X  they f e l l  p r o b l e m as  in  critic  i n t h e movie as i t  is experienced. Fascinated s i x y e a r s ago not  by M a r i e n b a d  I knew t h a t  d e c i d e what was  d e c i d e how  the  when I f i r s t  I wanted t o w r i t e  "truth"  by  the codes.  a hypothetical  i d e a s and  but or  this  i t , but I  T h e r e f o r e I have  o r a l o t about  experience the f i l m .  t h e r e a r e some s c e n e s o r s u b j e c t s w h i c h t o t h e humble  fact  S/Z  as i f i t i s e x p e r i e n c e d  I comment l i t t l e  might  that  one  Some m i g h t  I have o m i t t e d ,  c a n n o t comment  n o t e I would  l i k e t o mention  here i s the  as a s c r i p t and  the  aware f r o m t h e o u t s e t o f t h e e x i s t e n c e o f  i s one  t h r e e main c h a r a c t e r s , A, by  little  t h r e e nameless the  one  X and M.  experience o f . t h i s  who  discovery  as o p p o s e d  O n l y by  While watching  i s made aware o f t h e f a c t  characters  viewing of Marienbad  as a f i l m .  difference  between M a r i e n b a d  little  on  everthing.  A final  script  could  I couldn't  found i n Roland B a r t h e s ' s  super viewer.  i s o n l y due  explain  about  t h e f i l m and  I d i s c u s s Marienbad  s e n s a t i o n s as one  wonder why  about  i t i n France  t o o r d e r i t s themes and p r o b l e m s .  a d a p t e d t h e f o r m o f commentary without  saw  dominate  that  the s t o r y .  reading only  Marienbad there  are  Therefore  i s f a r more d r a m a t i c i n t h e to the reading of the  cine-roman.  J e r e v e d'une c r e a t i o n m o b i l e ou des a r c h i t e c t u r e s f o r t e s , e t ne l a i s s a n t r i e n au h a s a r d , s e r a i e n t  4  p o u r t a n t m i n e e s de l ' i n t e r i e u r , t o u j o u r s en t r a i n de s ' 6 d i f i e r , d e s ' o r g a n i s e r , e t d e s ' e c r o u l e r e n meme t e m p s , p o u r l a i s s e r a u f u r e t a m e s u r e l e champ l i b r e "a d e s c o n s t r u c t i o n s n o u v e l l e s . 4  NOTES Introduction  P a u l i n e K a e l , "The c o m e - d r e s s e d - a s - t h e - s i c k - s o u l - o f - E u r o p e P a r t i e s " i n I L o s t i t at the Movies (Boston: A t l a n t i c M o n t h l y P r e s s , 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 186. Pauline Arealli  K a e l , I n t r o d u c t i o n t o B e r n a r d o B e r t o l u c c i and F r a n c o L a s t Tango i n P a r i s (New Y o r k : D e l a c o r t e P r e s s , 1973)  A l a i n R o b b e - G r i l l e t , L Annee D e r n i e r e E d i t i o n s de M i n u i t , 1 9 6 1 ) , p. 9 .  a Marienbad  (Paris:  A l a i n R o b b e - G r i l l e t as q u o t e d on p . 1 i n Roy Armes' The F i l m s o f A l a i n R o b b e - G r i l l e t (Amsterdam: J o h n B e n j a m i n s B.V., 1981) .  6  1  CHAPTER  The camera pans t h e w a l l s and c e i l i n g s o f a b a r o q u e c h a t e a u a c c o m p a n i e d by e e r i e o r g a n m u s i c and t h e v o i c e o f an u n s e e n n a r r a t o r who r e c i t e s t h e f o l l o w i n g : "Une f o i s de p l u s j e m'avance, une f o i s de p l u s , l e l o n g de c e s c o u l o i r s , ~a t r a v e r s c e s s a l o n s , c e s g a l e r i e s , dans c e t t e c o n s t r u c t i o n — d'un a u t r e s i e c l e , c e t h o t e l immense, l u x u e u x , b a r o q u e , l u g u b r e , ou des c o u l o i r s i n t e r m i n a b l e s s u c c e d e n t aux c o u l o i r s . . . " We f o l l o w t h e c a l m r e p e t i t i o n o f t h i s s p e e c h , w h i l e b e i n g shown t h e empty l u x u r i o u s h a l l s and v a s t rooms of the h o t e l . We f o l l o w t h e camera t o a h a l l where a p l a y i s b e i n g s t a g e d and t h e n a r r a t i n g v o i c e becomes t h a t of the a c t o r . An a c t r e s s s t a r e s a t a clock, and w a i t s w h i l e t h e a c t o r t a l k s o f t h e man she w i l l eventually leave. On s t a g e we f i n d a c l o c k , a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f a F r e n c h g a r d e n , a b a l c o n y and a s t a t u e . The p l a y ends as t h e camera p a s s e s t h r o u g h t h e a u d i e n c e . We h e a r b i t s o f m y s t e r i o u s d i a l o g u e , a b o u t a man named F r a n c k and v a r i o u s i n t r i g u e s . We see a man, i n t e r m i t t e n t l y s e e n b e f o r e , who meets a b e a u t i f u l woman. A f t e r d e s c r i b i n g t h e c h a t e a u and d a n c i n g w i t h h e r , he i s s u r p r i s e d t h a t she d o e s n ' t remember him. The s e q u e n c e ends w i t h t h i s man s h o o t i n g i n a t a r g e t practice gallery.1 v  The  first  s e c t i o n of Marienbad  Meaning i s thrown out as w e l l  as  content  of Marienbad minutes, ambiguity be  are  i t i s not  f o r the i s not  resolved  as we  and  yet  until  too  answered.  o f unanswered i n t r i g u e .  turn every corner.  equally  questions  is full  enigmatic.  much l a t e r  are  great.  too  I f the  after this  intriguing  One  The  and  imagines that  M a r i e n b a d works as  the  film's  spectator initial the  level  form tires twenty of  everything b u i l d i n g up  will of  7  layer  upon l a y e r o f m e a n i n g .  seemingly  irrelevant  be  comment o r s e q u e n c e  g r e a t e r m e a n i n g as we  s e e t h e same t h i n g  f u r t h e r developed l a t e r As we  What may  an  intriguing,  of action,  t a k e s on  r e p e a t e d , added  enter the f i l m ,  a sequence  of t y p i c a l  film-ending  just  to  opening sequences  a passionate love  us t h e h i g h - v a u l t e d chateau.  The  The  of the i n t e r i o r  the  rooms f r o m o u r v i e w .  and d e p t h , as w e l l  i n t o a c h u r c h -- o r i s t h i s  heavily  i s played.  drama w h i c h Marienbad  the o v e r l y  serious  The is  tone of the n a r r a t o r ,  i s about  to unfold  be e q u a l l y here.  o r i s i t somewhere  disembodied n a r r a t i n g voice  We  as t h e images  seems non-human i n t h a t i t It is a reflection  limitless.  to such o v e r f l o w i n g e x c e s s .  documentary  a l s o wonder: i s t h i s  and o r n a t e i n t h e same way  in  parades b e f o r e our  There  that  the  seems t o be  I t i s a l m o s t t o o much f o r  the  human mind t o g r a s p a l l a t o n c e ,  a l l together.  the  s p e e c h w i t h o u t i t s human body, i t p r o v o k e s and  of •  of a  i m p o r t a n t as t h e human  eyes.  no end  the  the r e p e t i t i o n  f e a s t which v i s u a l l y  i s e x a g g e r a t e d and  of  religious-like  language o f the baroque I t i s non-ending  enhances  else?  e m o t i o n l e s s , c a l m , and n e v e r - e n d i n g .  ornamentation  be  g i v e us t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f w a t c h i n g a  a r c h i t e c t u r e may  already  which  entry  i n h i s speech, as w e l l  The  baroque  Could t h i s  architectural  interior  show  ceilings  The  details  about  d e c o r a t e d baroque  world of "high a r t " ?  on a r t .  of a  A r e we  as c u t t i n g o u t e v e r y o t h e r p a r t  These  as e e r i e o r g a n m u s i c  baroque  ended?  a n g l e o f t h e camera i s a h i g h - t i l t ,  height  appear  story?  ceilings  the  to, or  on.  e m o t i o n a l m u s i c i s p l a y e d . Has t h e s t o r y watch  yet  As we seduces  hear us.  8  Who i s t h i s  and t o whom i s he s p e a k i n g ?  d e s s a l l e s s i l e n c i e u s e s o u l e s p a s de c e l u i q u i s ' a v a n c e sont absorbes p a r des t a p i s s i l o u r d s , s i e p a i s , q u ' a u c u n b r u i t de p a s ne p a r v i e n t a s a p r o p r e o r e i l l e , — comme s i l ' o r e i l l e elle-meme e t a i t t r e s l o i n du s o l , d e s t a p i s , t r e s l o i n de c e d e c o r l o u r d e t v i d e , (p. 27) A double-entendre silence,  sound  the v o i c e  i swell  and e a r s .  shaped  by t h e c o n s t a n t r e f e r e n c e t o  F o r throughout t h i s  i s p l a y e d w i t h so t h a t  i t i s sometimes h a r d t o h e a r i t  w e l l o r understand i t .  The r e p e t i t i o n  c h a r a c t e r o f t h e speech  imply i t s importance  and no one  u n d e r s t a n d even full  though  stop t o f i n i s h  long  sentence  j o i n e d by d a s h e s ; Whole p h r a s e s l'oreille," repeated  narration  i n the s c r i p t . eight  narration are is  forced  saying  and t r y t o assemble  Marienbad: It  a n d "comme s i  flow.  t o comprehend  f a s h i o n we  We what  carefully  by t h e c a m e r a ' s  o u r s e n s e s a s we w a t c h  t h e r e i s no room f o r p a s s i v e  i s intriguing  a g a i n and  t o the ongoing  the entire  i shighlighted  We a r e made t o s t r a i n  are s k i l l f u l l y  the setting  carefully  and c o n t a i n  phrases  one p a r a g r a p h !  t h e same t h i n g s  In a s i m i l a r  examine t h e a r c h i t e c t u r e w h i c h  o f long  descriptions,  We l i s t e n  There i s  i t i s p r e s e n t e d as  t o e x e r c i s e o u r e a r s a s we s t r a i n  unfolding before us.  close-ups.  since  the impression of describing  i n a c o n v o l u t e d manner.  we want t o h e a r  I t i s a series  along with a r c h i t e c t u r a l  non-ending  a r e due t o f a i l .  s u c h a s "ou l e s p a s de c e l u i "  to give  —  a r e t o be f o u n d i n t h i s  meaningfully, while actually again  and seemingly  our e f f o r t s  this  s p e e c h , t h e sound o f  observation.  t o p r e s e n t a speech about  silence  i n an  9  almost  silent  silence the  sound.  narrator's  hear The  and  fashion.  There  The  rooms a r e  footsteps  (sometimes b u t  i s c o n f l i c t between t h e  not  s i l e n t and  c a n n o t be  heard.  always) the  voice  itself,  y e t we  t r y t o make s e n s e o f  of  sound  of  same t i m e  we  even the  At as  speech d e l i v e r e d under these c o n d i t i o n s  ideas  the  w e l l as  the  appears to  music.  contradict  i t , both a c o u s t i c a l l y  and  semantically. ' The  narrator  les  pas  de  Who  is this  fashion? as we  a  " c e l u i , " why  sense the  chateau. could  be  presents  the  comme s i l ' o r e i l l e refer  to himself us  set, or  objectifies  and  objectification  o r p e r s o n as  world  eventually the  as  be  that the  w o r l d by  in  screen?  the  people  image and  a few  t o be of  in  the  sound  viewed.  the  In  camera  o f what c i n e m a d o e s .  objects  reveals only they can  are  is objectified.  same way  i n miniature  i n the  selectively  of  oblique  spectators  even f a r from the  i n the  rooms, o b j e c t s  everything  the  "ou  elie-meme..."  in this  c h a t e a u e v e n t h o u g h we  It It  many f a c e t s  seen o r e x p e r i e n c e d  in  of  our  world.  I n a p a s s a g e down a h a l l we g a r d e n and a  s u c h p h r a s e s as  description also mirror  a demonstration  object  with  "non-human" w o r l d where man  voice  This  imposes and  "real"  a  ...  d o e s he  f a r away f r o m t h e  seems t o be  himself  s'avance  "advance" t h r o u g h t h i s  objectifies  an  qui  Does t h i s  a theater It  celui  objectifies  c h a t e a u as  " s i g n " f o r the  w e l l as  f u t u r e of the  see  a p i c t u r e on  a., t h e a t e r film  poster.  t o come.  As  the The we  wall of  a  garden i s enter  the  2 theater,  which the  becomes " p l u s  poster  jouee."  We  has are  hinted  a t , the  relieved,  voice  f o r now  we  of  the  narrator  understand  why  10  the  v o i c e was  can  accept  narrator  so b i z a r r e —  i t was  the  i t s "non-human" q u a l i t i e s  i s "not  I f we  a real  t h o u g h t we  nature  of the  of the  play,  person" but  could  v o i c e , we  as an  artistic  at every  We  expression.  d i s c o v e r i n g the  s o r e l y mistaken a f t e r  out  actor.  The  actor!  relax after  are  which c r i e s  v o i c e o f an  t u r n t o be  true  a few  "new"  lines  interpreted.  e n t r e c e s murs c h a r g e s de b o i s e r i e s , de s t u c , de m o u l u r e s de t a b l e a u x , de g r a v u r e s e n c a d r ^ e s , p a r m i l e s q u e l s je m'avancais, — parmi l e s q u e l s j ' e t a i s d e j a , m o i - m £ m e , en t r a i n de v o u s a t t e n d r e , t r e s l o i n de ce d e c o r ou j e me t r o u v e m a i n t e n a n t , d e v a n t v o u s , en t r a i n d ' a t t e n d r e e n c o r e c e l u i . . . (p. 29) The in  one  well  past  long  as  and  the  present  sentence.  X's  present  The  are  fact  e q u a t e d by  t h a t the  p o s i t i o n are  architectural  terms, allows  "naturally."  "Parmi l e s q u e l s j ' e t a i s  de  vous a t t e n d r e ,  It  appears t h a t a c c o r d i n g  been w a i t i n g unsettling the  our as  i s t h a t we  and  nor the  can  can we  present  minds f o l l o w i n g t h e readily  first  as  the  decor  train  de  For  us who  cues from the  (whatever p l a c e  the  where t h e  vous a t t e n d r e "  train maintenant..."  a c t o r has  always  What i s  between t h e  so  past  decor  past  act  must i m a g i n e  past  and  stage man  evokes not  the  "time"  present.  weight:  they  set represents)  was only  awaiting the  this  present  from  of  speech, i t i s d i f f i c u l t  d e s c r i p t i o n s c a r r y equal  somewhere e l s e w h i c h was "En  one.  change  trouve  n e i t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h the  differentiate  as  i n . vague  j e me  actress.  tenses  past  d e j a moi-meme, en  speech, t h i s  f o r the  from the  t o appear t o  ce d e c o r ou  n a r r a t o r does, the  architectural  of t h i s  de  place  described  tenses  to the  i n such a p l a c e  present,  waiting  tres loin  the  only  changing verb  in to The are  and woman. moment  equate  11  as  t h e s e words a r e u t t e r e d , b u t a l s o  makes us d i z z y similar decor  a t t h e attempt  p l a c e s and t i m e s .  d e s c r i b e d by t h i s Not also as  only  film  r e v e a l e d t o us f r o m t h e  up t o t h i s  a c t o r on t h i s  p o i n t and t h e a r c h i t e c t u r e  stage?  i s an a c t o r w a i t i n g f o r an a c t r e s s ,  "une s i l h o u e t t e  grise"  un t e l mensonge."  man, who  i s referred  b u t she may t o by t h e a c t o r  and by h e r a s p a r t o f "un t e l l i e n , From t h e s e  d e s c r i p t i o n s we g e t a  o f menace and f e a r , w h i c h we may have f i r s t heard  y e t very  What c a n t h e e q u a t i o n be between t h e  be w a i t i n g f o r a n o t h e r  prison,  S u c h an e f f e c t  t o e q u a t e two d i s t i n c t ,  w h i c h t h e camera d e l i b e r a t e l y  very beginning of t h i s  the past.  t h e e e r i e music accompanying  experienced  une  feeling  a s we  the v o i c e a l o n g t h e baroque  corridors. c e t h o t e l lui-meme, a v e c s e s s a l l e s d e s o r m a i s d e s e r t e s , s e s d o m e s t i q u e s i m m o b i l e s , muets, m o r t s d e p u i s longtemps sans d o u t e q u i montent e n c o r e l a g a r d e a l ' a n g l e d e s c o u l o i r s (p. 31) £  T h i s p a r t o f t h e man's s p e e c h time,  equating  silent  the past with the present.  and p r o b a b l y  dead now, y e t t h e y  corners of the corridors. exist  i n t h e same t i m e  encore."  continues  time be  giving  distortions  the impression  a t once l o g i c a l l y  syntactically  The s e r v a n t s a r e b o t h  still  frame as "domestiques  "Desormais" = Present  simple  keep guard  tense  of tense  (morts)  i n the  + encore? grammatical  so e a s i l y ,  of "naturalness."  q u i montent  T h i s may be m i n o r system  while  which  a t t h e same  The s e n t e n c e c a n  i m p o s s i b l e and y e t g r a m m a t i c a l l y  correct.  with  " S a l l e s d e s o r m a i s d e s e r t e s " come t o  p r o o f o f t h e a b s u r d i t y o f an o r d e r e d allows  again the play  and  12  Is t h i s to a l i f e We  —  a s t o r y of death — h i s own  or  t h a t of the  have o n c e more e n t e r e d  uncertain  as  in  both the  We  are  actor  the  t o what i s r e a l past  and  i s the  the  e q u a l l y b a f f l e d when t h e once the  c l o c k has  the  actress decides We  was  waiting? are  where t i m e e x i s t s  where b o t h l i f e  chimed.  back  " u n r e a l " where we  what i s n o t ;  present,  thinking  woman f o r whom he  realm of and  narrator  and  death  t o go  with  coexist. the  await answers from the  movie  t o come. We  f o l l o w the  a u d i e n c e as ourselves are  they watch the  r e f l e c t e d on t h e  i t passes through the  play. screen  w a t c h i n g a movie u n f o l d w i t h  as we the  camera as  find  etched  images o f t h e  again.  We  frozen  v i e w e r s who  a s e r i e s of the  freeze-frames  are  it  i s not  meant t o  bit  of dialogue  the  characters  so t h a t we  may  Different  same faces.  the  film  "be"  the  real  identify groups o f  the  with  thing.  on  the that  focus  see  actions.  clapping  s t o p p e d and  members o f  the  filmic  We  of t h i s  had  sound  u t t e r the  trucage, what  real  life:  not  be  allowed  yet with  every  keep w a i t i n g  story, to  appear  following:  Ca d e v a i t e t r e en '28 ou en '29. V r a i m e n t , Ca semble i n c r o y a b l e . Nous nous sommes rencontre's a u t r e f o i s .  forgotten  of  And  f o l l o w s , we  stops,  audience  them.  spectators  We  started  nature of  will  screen.  the  I f we  i s a representation  lives  be  the  a f t e r experiencing  conversation will  As  they converse.  the  the  seriousness  t a l k i n g are  camera as  This  i n the  and who  the  are  audience,  t h e i r moods and  b r i n g b a c k t o us  attending.  to lose ourselves  the f i l m  groups of  were w a t c h i n g a f i l m  we  by  i n these viewers'  i n a c t i o n by  t h a t we these  see  We,  members o f  for  13  Vous l ' a v e z vu vous-meme? Non, m a i s c e t ami me l ' a r a c o n t e . Oh a l o r s , r a c o n t e . voir With the refer  la-dedans  exception of  un  rapport quelconque...  "rencontre"  to proving or d i s b e l i e v i n g  these  particles  of  certain  events.  One  proposes a c e r t a i n p o i n t o f view, w h i l e or.refuses film,  there  states My  to b e l i e v e i t .  friend  saw  mean t h i s .  Any  is left  p e r s o n a l p o i n t o f v i e w w i t h no think. unreal on  The  fact  seemingly  many d i f f e r e n t  pinpoint  levels  or decide  objectively  or  a r e warned n o t explained "real"!  and  We  understood. can  be  and  real.)  a than  what  "Raconter"  A film  others  the p l a y or  existing  certain  t o us, y e t a t every and  turn  we  readily  i s decidedly a " f i c t i o n "  taken, a t f a c e v a l u e :  to  (What i s  is in a  fixed  some  refusal  what i s f i c t i o n .  i s doing  he  Appearances  however most  deceive.  conversations that these  speeches l i k e  as  more v a l i d i t y  t o b e l i e v e e v e r y t h i n g t o be  wonder i f t h e s e  are these relieved  do  film  this  t h e r e f o r e i t must  i n Marienbad, u n d e r l i n e s the  subjectively  Nothing  definitely  precisely  him  "proof"; i . e .  contradition (life/death),  what i s r e a l  s e n s e e x a c t l y what t h e  person  someone i s i n  t h a t e v e r y t h i n g keeps r e f l e c t i n g impossible  conversation  discredits  conventional  things are r e l a t e d  meaning  34)  r e f u s e s t o b e l i e v e what  i s supplied with  i t ; these  another  However c e r t a i n  i s a l w a y s someone who  e v e n when he  (p.  the  people  referring  people  actor.  are d i s c u s s i n g the to t h e i r  converse  own  play at a l l or  lives?  i n t e a d of g i v i n g  Even i f the  We  are  bizarre  camera does s t o p and  start  14  them  (the f r e e z e  people the  frames),  i n contrast with  principal  After reenter  spectators  a  accept  play.  t o a few  observing  we  t o meet  conversations,  watch a s e r i e s o f as  the  five  e e r i e music  image o f a man  observation.  We  the  spectators  who  i n t u r n are watching each other.  and  attentively  watch these  parodied  meaning.  the  "real"  we  nameless  returns.  observing  a  This  couple  carefully  fact  t h a t the  in a mirror composed  h a v e n ' t y e t met)  could  this  of context reflection a mirror revealed,  of  shot, while  someone o r  truly  we  filmic  while  as  this  as  much i s c o n c e a l e d  the  spectators  with  frame  reflexivity.  In  someone  the  (whom mirror;  reflection or  taking  out  subjective  o b j e c t i v e one?  Surely  even then o n l y  or d i s t o r t e d .  this  i n the  observation  s o m e t h i n g i s as much a  " o b j e c t i v e " and  attach  a filmed physical  "REGARD" j u x t a p o s e d , by  an  i n turn  o v e r l y obsessed  is reflected  t h a t any  we  We  shown i n t h e  see  couple  as  spectators  g r o u p s want t o  observe X observing  the  observer) be  (X)  whom we  i m p r e s s upon us  (of t h e  can  man  obsessed  They a r e w a t c h i n g c u r i o u s l y  ourselves  underlines  importance of  the m i r r o r  are watching  Both of these  as b e i n g  reproduced watches a c o u p l e reflection  t o be  u n d e r s t a n d what e v e r y o n e i s s a y i n g .  i n a way  The  said  p e o p l e a r o u n d them, w h i l e  actors perform.  meaning t o and  of  going  mirror.  with  we  realistic"  movie?  I f M a r i e n b a d were a p e r s o n , i t c o u l d be  are  "living,  when a r e we  abbreviated  each o t h e r i n an  them as  Yet  in this  "unreal" while  sequence c u l m i n a t e s in  the  protagonists  listening  the  we  Are  only  so much i s we  not  seeing  15  a certain either the  p a r t of the  the consciousness  lens of the  This which X but he  o f one  (X o r . . . )  o r even  Femme:  Taisez-vous,  taisez-vous!  i s the c o n v e r s a t i o n of the couple  (and we) be  overhear.  at least  T h i s man  three roles  ordered  (p.  36)  reflected  i s indeed  i n the  playing a  r a t h e r t h a n one  as he  refers  tries  to  to i n t h i s  "be  Yet  dialogue  presence.  I t seems t o b a n i s h  is  and  order  —  —  irrational  h i s world  through  logic  rationality  h a v i n g been r o o t e d out? contain both the  the  and  the  emotions;  irrational,  the  controls  inexplicable  A n a t u r a l garden would then  the r a t i o n a l  i s once  a p l a c e where man or  can  himself"?  more e v o k e d as a s i n i s t e r symbol o f  For  p a r t , as w e l l as t h e c h a r a c t e r i n  of a r o l e - p l a y e r  g a r d e n w h i c h he  mirror  role,  alone.  i s b e i n g o t h e r t h a n what he wants t o b e .  even l e s s  i t the  through  A l o r s e n t e n d e z mes p l a i n t e s . J e ne peux p l u s s u p p o r t e r c e r<3le. J e ne peux p l u s s u p p o r t e r ce s i l e n c e , c e s murs, c e s c h u c h o t e m e n t s ou v o u s m'enfermez...  f i l m who  The  person  through  camera?  i s the a c t o r p l a y i n g t h i s  be  of the Marienbad world  Homme:  i t may  the he  "reality"  presumably  logical  and  emotional. The  situation  t h a t o f the life  d e s c r i b e d by  a c t o r i n t h e p l a y : a man  mixed w i t h death,  the couple  appears  trying  t o be  a p p e a r a g a i n 'they r e p e a t voice  t h e man  i m p l i e s the  a p p e a r t o be  those  who  a  contradicting  silence.  Here  (human enough) y e t when  same d i a l o g u e .  seriousness of t h e i r of  is living  t o speak t h r o u g h  realistic, the  reflects,  "normal" people.  Their sincerity  situation;  their  Y e t when t h e man  they of  movements refers  16  to  "deux c e r c e u i l s e t un  jardin  we  have b e e n t r a n s p o r t e d  back t o the  unsettling  about t h e i r  passionless  the  (p. 36) play.  They have b e e n  audience,  and  we  of  the  man's c o m p l a i n t s  amid l i f e  i n a g a r d e n , as  The  words o f  the  r e p e t i t i o n and  first  this  reaction.  non-actor;  the  w a t c h i n g and  who  fact the  that  t o be  part of  direct  levels the  a film  p e o p l e on  screen,  of  "une reference  to t h i s We  a p p e a r s as  i n the  death play.  e m o t i o n and  both actor  describes,  but  yet our  and  also  expression  of  are d e l i b e r a t e l y f i l m w h i c h we  "real  life."  n a t u r e o f what we  Theatricality.  apparent r e a l i t y  The and  object  We  keep h o p i n g t o  will  however o u r  be  This are of a l l  theatricality  game o f p l a y i n g w i t h  1  are  part of  prospective  our see the  seems  expectations "realistic" story  that  protagonists  somewhat b i z a r r e . femme  line see  a c t o r we  i s a created  p e o p l e who  t o be  tres belle  script.)  actor  people.  emotions.  same p h r a s e s u n d e r m i n e  the  audience.  have come t o w i t n e s s ;  always t u r n out  real  o v e r t o n e s of  heartfelt  theatrical  creators  as members o f the  the  e m o t i o n he  this  I r e f e r t o as  shifting  emotion/  role.  not  these  the  the  of u n d e r l i n i n g the  experiencing  we  a man  the  h i s r o l e echoes t h a t of  reminded of  effect  see  experiencing  merely p l a y i n g a As  man's s p e e c h i m p l y  We  apparent  echo the  e x p r e s s e d by  monotony o f  life/death,  presume them t o be  uncannily  though  presented  They move a r o u n d , d i s c u s s , w h i l e e x p r e s s i n g Yet  I t i s as  There i s something  c o n t r a d i c t i n g signs  devotion.  as members o f  fige"  ...  i s on  the  beaucoup t r o p d ' i m a g i n a t i o n "  page 38,  woman  (A)  but  i t i s more s k e l e t a l  whom X w i l l  pursue to  the  (The in  17  side may  in a  "statuesque"  refer  A and  p o s e as two  men  converse.  t o t h e woman i n t h e p l a y , t h e i r  the f i l m  t o come.  w h i c h s e n t o u t now,  own  What t h e y d i s c u s s  private  I t i s a beacon of enigmatic  will  h a u n t us  stories, meaning  later.  c e s d o i g t s f a i t s p o u r s e r r e r , c e s yeux f a i t s p o u r v o u s v o i r , q u i d o i v e n t se d e t o u r n e r de v o u s — vers c e s murs c h a r g e s d o r n a m e n t s d'un a u t r e s i e c l e , b o i s e r i e s noires, dorures, miroirs t a i l l e s , p o r t r a i t s a n c i e n s , -- g u i r l a n d e s de s t u c aux enlacements baroques, — c h a p i t e a u x en trompe l ' o e i l , f a u s s e s p o r t e s , f a u s s e s c o l o n n e s , p e r s p e c t i v e s truque'es, fausses issues. (p. 39) 1  A g a i n we  hear  is  no  We  are confused  world  play; this  of the  theatrical  the v o i c e of the n a r r a t o r , but  man  i s p a r t of the u n r e a l world  as t h e t h e a t r i c a l  spectators.  presented  o r amongst s e r i o u s d i s c u s s i o n s o f p r e s e n t e d on  the  screen?  o f what i s g o i n g on consciousness  now us  X's  "real"  are not  a r e we  o f someone?  Here b e g i n s finding  —  We  from  through  cannot  a complete  occur  say.  i s a l l of t h i s  No!  divide  c e r t a i n w h e t h e r he f o r both  "real"  as t h e y  c o p y i n g o f what o t h e r p e o p l e  h i s p o i n t of view?  a r e c o p y i n g him,  the  the  everyday, are picture the  X o r A o r who?  t h e camera's eye  be  Marienbad.  i s t h i s where  people  there  l o o k i n g a t t h e world- t h r o u g h  v i e w , an autonomous v i e w , o r e a s i l y We  time  a l o n g s i d e the  getting  a v o i c e i n which t o speak —  seen  of  v o i c e imposes on  What k i n d o f w o r l d  i s quite "naturally"  this  The  scenes  themselves  up  film  up  to  delivered  to  someone  i s copying others or first  is  between h i s  enough t h a t o f  in this  He  else.  i f they  sequence.  18  En r e a l i t e , Ca n ' e t a i t p a s t e l l e m e n t e x t r a o r d i n a i r e . C ' e s t lui-me^me q u i a v a i t monte 1 * a f f a i r e de t o u t e s p i e c e s , s i b i e n , q u ' i l c o n n a i s s a i t d'avance t o u t e s l e s i s s u e s , (pp. 40-41)  This it,  i s u n a c c o m p a n i e d by any m u s i c .  y e t most hoped f o r i t , we a r e o n c e more p l u n g e d  "apparent" yet  this  creators  reality.  could also  The s p e a k e r refer  Jeune Jeune Jeune Jeune  Homme: Femme: Homme: Femme:  simplicity  a real  as w e l l  of their  dialogue as w e l l  this  couple  calculated both  itself.  non-conversation  spontaneous and l i v e l y ,  h e a r i n g X and t h e o t h e r c o u p l e  as t h e i r  manner, u n l i k e t h e  of the other  s p e a k a s t h o u g h t h e y were  and u n r e a l i s t i c "  some be more r e a l i s t i c  couple.  w h i c h r e f r e s h e s us a f t e r  i n a l u g u b r i o u s a n d t h e a t r i c a l manner. i s "bizarre  enthusiasm  i s v e r y normal and r e a l .  conversation i n a l i v e l y  They a p p e a r  should  The  Vous n ' e t e s p a s i c i d e p u i s l o n g t e m p s ? Mais j ' y s u i s d e j a venue, vous savez. C ' e s t un e n d r o i t que v o u s a i m e z ? M o i , non, pas t e l l e m e n t . C ' e s t l e h a s a r d : on r e v i e n t t o u j o u r s i c i . Mori p e r e d e v a i t . . . (p. 41)  sinister,  everyone  intrigue,  of understanding  as t h e f i l m  repetitive,  speeches  into  t o some p r i v a t e  thep o s s i b i l i t y  g i v e us an i m p r e s s i o n t h a t They c o n d u c t  expected  t o t h e f i l m w h i c h we a r e w a t c h i n g .  T h i s may p o s i t  the p l a y w i t h i n t h e f i l m  The  refers  have s e t up an e x t r a o r d i n a r y y e t o b v i o u s l y  creation.  not  J u s t when we l e a s t  than  i nthis  others?)  giving  Apparently, film.  (Why  Even t h e f a c t  that  t h e young woman h a s been h e r e b e f o r e does n o t h a u n t o r s h o c k us in  t h e same way t h a t  actors  the other couple's dialogue m i r r o r i n g the  i n theplay did.  In f r o n t  of a picture  o f a garden  an anonymous woman s 1  19  voice in  asks  echo  t o be this  "dont  somewhat " u n r e a l "  seen?  a p a s moyen de  t h e v o i c e o f X answers  g o i n g on  which  i l n'y  this  film  be no c l e a r n o t be one  someone whom we  from t h i s  upon u s .  o f q u e s t i o n s whose s a t i s f a c t o r y many d i f f e r e n t  X  Is a l l  haven't y e t  endless enigmatic questioning  It is a veritable solutions  labyrinth  elude us.  There  p a t h s t o t h e c e n t e r o f a g a r d e n ' s maze.  answer t o enigmas e v o k e d final  and  appears  as t h e c o p i e r o f o t h e r p e o p l e .  escape  imposes  (p. 42)  w i t h t h e same p h r a s e .  i n someone's mind —  T h e r e i s no  s'echapper?"  by t h i s movie;  are  There  there  may  may  meaning t o i t a l l .  Vous ne c o n n a i s s e z p a s l ' h i s t o i r e ? On ne p a r l a i t que de 9a l ' a n n e e d e r n i e r e . (p. 43, t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g s c e n e i s d e s c r i b e d on pp. 42-44) This  i s uttered  unidentified  t o a g r o u p o f t h r e e o t h e r p e o p l e by  guest.  Could t h i s  " l ' a n n e e d e r n i e r e "a M a r i e n b a d " ? to present a f i l m i c  story  be We  the entry  see t h e b i z a r r e n e s s o f t h i s  film  of  h e a r o f a man  last  year presented?  the f i r s t the  time t h a t  f i l m we  the pretext room. are  As  left  We  of explaining  close  as we  may  be  named F r a n c k . by name.  He,  A l l we  can  It is just  appearances.  to gain entry  will  story  He  like used  t o a woman's  to our expectant story^we  i n d o u b t o f what h a p p e n e d .  o f menace and  and a c l e a r  of f a l s e  a picture  flashbacks  i s t h i s where we  dissolve  someone i s m e n t i o n e d  are watching i s f u l l  i n t o what happened  are used t o s e e i n g  from the p a s t ;  an  sense  still is a  feeling  mystery. 3  The room  camera pans a c r o s s  (picture. B).  this  group  ( i n p i c t u r e A)  A t t h e same moment t h a t  t h e words  to another "surveillance  20  v  A  plutot  bizarre, l e soir  we e n t e r three as  the other  ou i l a v o u l u  men a r e p l a y i n g c a r d s .  of M saying:  "Non p a s m a i n t e n a n t  by  the seemingly  innocent  on  the spectator  of this  credible playing  "invisibly"  on f i l m .  reference  I t i s their  t o "un a u t r e  this  tricks  i s that on u s .  express our " r e a l  jeu."  effect  " r e a l " and and a g r o u p without admit  t h e camera c a n  a level  and f e e l  i n this that  film  they  w h i c h we f l e e t i n g l y h a d realism,  us f r o m one e v e n t t o a n o t h e r , g i v i n g us story taking place  A f i l m cut according  present  A feeling  —  We a r e u s e d t o H o l l y w o o d  o f a complete  to  The  What we must  with  t o reach  the characters  world."  where t h e f i l m g u i d e s  and r e p r e s e n t s  scene i s p l a y e d  with  t h e young c o u p l e .  in  of r e a l i t y .  We k e e p t r y i n g  where we c a n i d e n t i f y  i s underlined  j u x t a p o s i t i o n , which occurs  to  a feeling  t h a t t h e camera  o f a group c o n v e r s i n g  any f e e l i n g  with  The f a c t  both  o b v i o u s TRUCAGE i s one o f d i s o r i e n t a t i o n  warning, t h a t upsets  play  M and X have  seem t o be p l a y i n g t r i c k s  as t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n  ourselves  autre  ( p i c t u r e C ) , X has a l s o  I n and o f t h e m s e l v e s t h e s c e n e s a p p e a r  cards.  room:  a t t h e same  been t r a n s p o r t e d  shock.  the other  b e e n i n two p l a c e s  as w e l l a s t h e sound t r a c k  and  i t , where t h e  ... j e v o u s p r o p o s e un  t h e s e c o n d man a t t h e game t a b l e .  "magically"  dans s a chambre,"  t o t h e c a r d p l a y e r s , we h e a r t h e v o i c e  I n t h e s e c o n d room  replaced  penetrer  We t h e n r e - e n t e r  (p. 4 5 ) . M h a s a p p r e n t l y  time.  y  room, a s t h e camera s u r v e y s  t h e camera r e t u r n s  jeu"  y  i n our world.  t o DECOUPAGE CLASSIQUE r u l e s b e l i e v e s  one r e a l i t y : an o b j e c t i v e o n e .  the viewers with  a s t o r y which p o r t r a y s  The f i l m their  tries  "human,  21  rational only  and  causal" world.  accepted  industry  "realism"  This  formula f o r r e a l i t y  as p r a c t i c e d  from the t h i r t i e s  to this  by  was  the Hollywood  and  i s the  film  day.  The A m e r i c a n f i l m m a k e r s i n t h i s e r a f o u n d t h a t i f s p a c e were b r o k e n up a c c o r d i n g t o t h e l o g i c o f t h e n a r r a t i v e , i t w o u l d p a s s u n n o t i c e d as i n t e g r a l o r r e a l space. E d i t o r s l e a r n e d t o c u t a scene i n t o i t s n a r r a t i v e * components and t h u s f o l l o w t h e l i n e of c u r i o s i t y of the audience. The f i l m t h e r e b y m i r r o r s the p e r c e p t u a l process of the s p e c t a t o r t o s u c h a d e g r e e t h a t he b a r e l y n o t i c e s t h a t t i m e and s p a c e a r e b e i n g f r a g m e n t e d , b e c a u s e he i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between e v e n t s not w i t h the i n t r i n s i c v a l u e of the events themselves.  What i s p r e s e n t e d as by w h i c h  the filmmaker  of r e a l i t y . n e e d s and  This  "realism"  could  style  simplify  of f i l m  (falsify)  i s a c c e p t e d as n o r m a l  to contribute  because  to the s t o r y .  with a causal world with every logical  expression of  the c o m p l e x i t i e s  i t s focus.  cut out, while every shot i s c a r e f u l l y sequence  a c o n v e n t i o n a l means,  e d i t i n g makes t h e  p e r c e p t i o n of the audience  o f an e v e n t  i s merely  image and  The  extraneous  chosen We  psychological  and  fragmentation detail  presented i n  as s p e c t a t o r s sound  is  are  m a k i n g up  faced  a  "reality."  S p e c t a t o r s r a r e l y w a t c h an e v e n t w i t h t h e d i s i n t e r e s t e d n e s s c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o the s i n g l e take, which a f t e r a l l , i s m e r e l y an e f f e c t i v e m e c h a n i c a l mold o f t h e e v e n t . I n s t e a d , t h e y see i t i n terms o f i t s l o g i c a l , d r a m a t i c , or moral r a m i f i c a t i o n s . This psychologizing of events i s t h e v e r y p u r p o s e o f most f i l m s . They hope t o g i v e us t h e i l l u s i o n o f b e i n g a t r e a l e v e n t s u n r a v e l l i n g b e f o r e us as i n e v e r y d a y r e a l i t y . But t h i s i l l u s i o n c o n c e a l s an e s s e n t i a l b i t o f d e c e i t b e c a u s e r e a l i t y e x i s t s i n c o n t i n u o u s s p a c e and t h e s c r e e n p r e s e n t s us i n f a c t w i t h a s u c c e s s i o n of fragments c a l l e d " s h o t s , " t h e c h o i c e , o r d e r , and d u r a t i o n o f w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s e x a c t l y what we c a l l t h e "decoupage" o f t h e f i l m .  22  I f we t r y , by an e f f o r t o f a t t e n t i o n , t o p e r c e i v e t h e b r e a k s imposed by t h e camera on t h e c o n t i n u o u s d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e r e p r e s e n t e d e v e n t , and t r y t o u n d e r s t a n d why we a r e n a t u r a l l y i n s e n s i b l e ( t o t h e s e b r e a k s ) we u n d e r s t a n d w e l l enough t h a t we t o l e r a t e them b e c a u s e t h e y g i v e us t h e i m p r e s s i o n a l l t h e same o f a c o n t i n u o u s homogeneous r e a l i t y . The i n s e r t i o n o f a d o o r b e l l i n c l o s e u p i s a c c e p t e d by t h e mind as i f t h i s were n o t h i n g o t h e r t h a n a c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f o u r v i s i o n and i n t e r e s t on t h e d o o r b e l l , as i f t h e camera m e r e l y a n t i c i p a t e d t h e movement o f o u r eyes.-*  DECOUPAGE CLASSIQUE p a s s e d faithful  duplication  of r e a l  audience  i n t o passive acceptance  off a falsified  life.  This filmic  reality style  of a r h e t o r i c a l  and  as  a  lulled  the  false  expression of r e a l i t y .  By m a k i n g t h e c i n e m a t i c w o r l d  appear  totally  "obvious" r e f l e c t i o n  reality,  natural,  the audience presented. respond their  i s not a l l o w e d t o t h i n k about T h e i r minds and  t o the d i r e c t o r ' s  own  ability  as the  accord.  and  desire  o f human  o r q u e s t i o n what i s  senses b e i n g d u l l e d ,  formulaic stimuli,  o n l y asked  and  n o t work o f  DECOUPAGE CLASSIQUE t a k e s away t h e t o p e r c e i v e on  their  to  audience's  own.  W h i l e p s y c h o l o g i c a l montage may o r g a n i z e o b j e c t s as we a r e i n t h e h a b i t o f o r g a n i z i n g them, i t r u l e s out the freedom which i s a t the base o f our power t o o r g a n i z e and t h e autonomy o f t h e o b j e c t s w h i c h e x i s t f o r o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s as w e l l . " C l a s s i c a l e d i t i n g t o t a l l y suppresses t h i s kind of r e c i p r o c a l f r e e d o m between us and t h e o b j e c t . It substitutes for a free organization, a forced b r e a k i n g down where t h e l o g i c o f t h e s h o t s c o n t r o l l e d by t h e r e p o r t i n g o f t h e a c t i o n a n e s t h e t i z e s o u r f r e e d o m c o m p l e t e l y . " ( O r s o n W e l l e s , p. 58) There i s , then a deeper p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y , w h i c h must be p r e s e r v e d i n r e a l i s t i c c i n e m a : t h e f r e e d o m o f t h e s p e c t a t o r t o c h o o s e h i s own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the o b j e c t or e v e n t . 6  In c r e a t i n g Marienbad,  Robbe-Grillet  and  R e s n a i s wanted  to  23  expose  t h e f i l m medium as a s l a v e  more " r e a l i s t i c " which  t h a n o t h e r p o s s i b l e means.  presents a false  exposes  to a r h e t o r i c  reality  the f a l s e n e s s of  as r e a l ,  i t s reality.  which  Rather  Marienbad Marienbad  than a  discourse.  Instead i t i s linked  rather  disconnectedness,  t o remind  us o f i t s " f i l m i c "  wanted t o c h a l l e n g e t h e a u d i e n c e  to p a r t i c i p a t e  actively;  t o q u e s t i o n t h e medium w h i c h  "reality"  t o them.  had  narrative  haphasard  than h i d e i t s decoupage, h i g h l i g h t s  film  refuses a  according to conventional cinematographic  which  no  u n d e r l i n e s and  progression  i n a seemingly  was  manner  i t s rupturing  nature.  Robbe-Grillet  and p e r c e i v e  hitherto  dictated  I n o r d e r t o p r e v e n t t h e v i e w e r ' s mind f r o m r e l y i n g on i t s n o r m a l mode o f p e r c e p t i o n , R e s n a i s v i o l a t e s a l m o s t e v e r y c o n v e n t i o n o f f i l m - m a k i n g , b u t he does i t so s m o o t h l y t h a t t h e v i e w e r has t h e i l l u s i o n o f f o l l o w i n g c o n v e n t i o n s w h i c h have i n f a c t b e e n completely reversed i n t h e i r function. The s i m p l e s t d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e f i l m i s t o say t h a t i t i s a s u c c e s s i o n o f f a u x - r a c c o r d s , t h a t i s t o say, matches which a r e n o t i n c o n t i n u i t y because they c o n n e c t segments o f s p a c e and t i m e w h i c h c a n n o t l o g i c a l l y be c o n n e c t e d . The p u r p o s e o f t h i s ' s t y l i s t i c d e v i c e i s to a l t e r our normal p e r c e p t i o n o f s p a c e and t i m e and t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e c o n s t a n t s h i f t of the n a r r a t i v e viewpoint i n the f i l m . Except f o r t h r e e sequences of f a s t c u t t i n g , i t c o u l d be d e m o n s t r a t e d t h a t no s u c c e s s i o n o f two o r more s h o t s i s s p a t i a l l y , t e m p o r a l l y o r dramatically linked. Y e t , R e s n a i s has managed t o g i v e an o r g a n i c c o h e r e n c e t o t h e f i l m and y e t each shot remains autonomous.?  In a B r e c h t i a n sense o f t h e a t r i c a l i t y Marienbad  want t h e a u d i e n c e  t o always  be  the c r e a t o r s  of  aware o f t h e medium:  Brecht i n s i s t e d that h i s audience maintain a consciousness of the " v e h i c l e " ( i n h i s case the stage). To t h a t end, he worked o u t t h e t h e o r y  film.  24  o f t h e V e r f r e m d u n g s e f f e k t (the " e s t r a n g e m e n t e f f e c t " ) . "The o b j e c t o f t h i s ' e f f e c t , '" he w r o t e , " i s t o a l l o w the s p e c t a t o r to c r i t i c i z e c o n s t r u c t i v e l y f r o m a s o c i a l p o i n t o f view." C o n s c i o u s n e s s o f t h e v e h i c l e n o t o n l y a l l o w s b u t demands t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the viewer i n a c o n t i n u a l process o f a n a l y s i s o f t h e images, s o u n d s , and o t h e r phenomena w i t h w h i c h he i s c o n f r o n t e d . 8  Robbe-Grillet: Y e s , o f c o u r s e , b u t what d i s t i n g u i s h e s M a r i e n b a d , and may p r o v e r a t h e r d i s c o n c e r t i n g , i s s i m p l y the g e n e r a l use o f t h e s e d e v i c e s . They a r e n o t d i s g u i s e d as e x c e p t i o n s t o a r u l e , b u t as a c o n s i s t e n t s t y l e of t h i n k i n g , completely compatible with r e a l i s m — p e r h a p s more r e a l i s t i c . When we s a y t h a t what g o e s on i n o u r minds i s j u s t as r e a l as what goes on i n f r o n t o f o u r e y e s , we are l a y i n g the foundations f o r a c i n e m a t i c s t y l e w h i c h c a n s w i t c h t o and f r o m between t h e t h i n g s a r o u n d u s , l i k e t h i s t a p e - r e c o r d e r , and t h e s u b j e c t o f o u r c o n v e r s a t i o n , and i n c l u d e images more o r l e s s i n t e r m e d i a r y between t h e s c e n e a r o u n d u s , y o u r t h o u g h t s , my t h o u g h t s , and so on. Such a f i l m s t i l l employs c o n v e n t i o n s , b u t w o u l d be r a t h e r more r e a l i s t i c t h a n t h e c o n v e n t i o n o f s y s t e m a t i c a l l y r e s t r i c t i n g o n e s e l f t o any one category of r e a l i t y . ^  Marienbad presents reality  i t s own  version of r e a l i t y  o f DECOUPAGE CLASSIQUE.  cinematic  I t i s an  attempt  to  renovate  reality.  With t h i s  trucage  i n w h i c h X and  M are  so c l e v e r l y  a r o u n d as t h o u g h t h e y were o b j e c t s r a t h e r t h a n clearly  which c h a l l e n g e s  t h a t the d i r e c t o r  camera w h i c h we sterotypical  expect  i s playing with  filmic  to present r e a l i t y  f a s h i o n , here  r e f u s e s t o do  people,  moved we  space.  see The  in a recognizable, so.  Resnais  and  R o b b e - G r i l l e t want us  t o be  alert  and  watch e v e r y  camera and  make.  Film  can  lie:  i t doesn't  always  i t s s u b j e c t e q u a l l y ; i n f a c t what we  so r e a d i l y  accept  treat as  "real"  soundtrack  i n a H o l l y w o o d m o v i e i s e q u a l l y TRUCAGE.  change  the  I t i s only  the  25  the us  fact  t h a t we have d e c i d e d  to feel  any  its "reality."  school o f "Realism."  present  the world  to accept  I t i s a convention  logical  i s entirely  our  are destroyed.  M:  any o t h e r i n films But  t h e o p p o s i t e : i n c o h e r e n t and  Our hopes t h a t we w i l l  world  like  allows  and u n d e r s t a n d a b l e .  undecipherable. "real"  that  We i n n o c e n t l y assume t h a t  as c o h e r e n t ,  the Marienbad v i s i o n  i t s rules,  find  a story  reflecting  Non p a s m a i n t e n a n t ... J e v o u s p r o p o s e un a u t r e j e u p l u t o t : j e c o n n a i s un j e u a u q u e l j e gagne toujours... S i v o u s ne p o u v e z p a s p e r d r e , c e n ' e s t p a s un jeu! J e peux p e r d r e ... m a i s j e gagne t o u j o u r s . Essayons. (e*talant l e s c a r t e s d e v a n t X) C e l a se j o u e a deux. L e s c a r t e s s o n t d i s p o s e e s comme c e c i . Sept. Cinq. Trois. Une. Chacun d e s j o u e u r s r a m a s s e d e s c a r t e s , a t o u r de r o l e , a u t a n t de c a r t e s q u i l v e u t , a c o n d i t i o n de n'en p r e n d r e que dans une s e u l e r a n g e e a chaque f o i s . C e l u i q u i ramasse l a d e r n i e r e c a r t e a perdu... (p. 45)  X: M: X: M:  K  1  A game i n t r o d u c e d i n t o t h i s l u d i c How c a n a game be a game so s k i l l f u l that the  at this  opposites  when  one p e r s o n  game o r i s he m e r e l y  (life/death,  screen as " n a t u r a l l y "  a more r e a d y ,  yet s t i l l  fitting  unlikely  of this  game r u l e s  The f a c t  us f o r  apparent  and n o t s u r p r i s e d The f a c t  i s t h e one who p i c k s up t h e l a s t  reversal of t y p i c a l usually  impossibility.  Is M  have been p r e s e n t e d on  uneasy, a c c e p t a n c e  to hear  loser  always wins?  t o g e t h e r , has p r e p a r e d  We a r e a t o n c e s h o c k e d  the  tempts o u r c u r i o s i t y .  bragging?  past/present)  contradiction. of this  film  that  card i s also a  a c c o r d i n g t o which t h e winner  i s t h e one who w i n s c a r d s  r a t h e r than  l o s e s them.  Here  26  t h e o b j e c t o f t h e game i s t o t a k e away c a r d s r a t h e r t h a n them. Or  Why' d o e s M want t o p l a y a game a t w h i c h he i s so s k i l l f u l ?  does he r i g i t and t h e r e f o r e know a l l i t s t r i c k s ?  among u s w o u l d g i v e up p l a y i n g become m a s t e r s over is  at i t ?  overwhelmingly  this  to the u n i n i t i a t e d  —  i s some  i f we had h i s superiority  this  ;  I t seems so e a s y  to play —  i n t h e same way t h a t  especially  Tic-tac-toe  e a c h move, p a y i n g c l o s e  thought,  attention  surely  t h i s must be r i g g e d !  other menacingly;  "the s i n i s t e r "  Why  pervade  M appears  As t h e y  i s M the e v i l  a s he s a i d he  finish  one o r X?  about t h e game Evil  t h e Nim game i s b u t a n o t h e r  and t h e power t o i n t e r p r e t  The s e r i o u s n e s s w i t h w h i c h b o t h  close-up of the l a s t  t o be i n  i s M so c e r t a i n  s m a l l p u z z l e t o a n a l y z e , w h i c h we hope w i l l  whole.  just  f o r M,  thea i r .  In t h e c o n t e x t o f Marienbad  understanding  before  The Nim game  interaction  s i n c e he w i n s t h e game e f f o r t l e s s l y ,  t h e y eye each and  social  i s p l a y e d a s a game.  w o u l d , whereas X seems t o s t r u g g l e .  and seems  whereas X p a u s e s  t o t h e game.  may be a s o u r c e o f power o r b i z a r r e  h i s winning;  i s "easy."  thought!  t o p i c k up h i s c a r d s w i t h o u t  control,  What  game, t h e Nim game i s i t s  I n t h e p l a y i n g o f t h e game, M w a t c h e s X c l o s e l y  while to X i t s t i l l  B u t who  game; b u t t o what end?  a p p e a l i n g about  simplicity.  i t takes  any game e s p e c i a l l y  M m i g h t want t o d e m o n s t r a t e  X o r o t h e r s by p l a y i n g  "apparent"  All  t o amass  card remaining  g i v e us g r e a t e r  t h e meaning o f t h e X and M p l a y and t h e  on t h e t a b l e  emanate m e a n i n g .  I I r e s t e l a c a r t e i s o l e e ; comme t o u t e s l e s c a r t e s o n t et4 e t a l e s m o n t r a n t l e u r d o s , on ne v o i t p a s  27  non p l u s q u e l l e e s t c e t t e c a r t e - c i . Pourtant l a camera s ' e s t r a p p r o c h e e de l a t a b l e au c o u r s du j e u comme s i e l l e a v a i t une s i g n i f i c a t i o n . (p. 46) Resnais chose on a t a b l e on  showing  i t f a c e up,  framed  an odd  by t h e t a b l e .  sequence?  really The  we  choose  had  problem  e l u c i d a t e d by  appears by  the s p e c t a t o r  is  that  implies  and  which  films.  action or dialogue.in g r e a t e r meaning.  We  what i s t h e p u r p o s e  With  i t c a n be  until  i f we  an e v e n t  —  no m a t t e r  judged  t o be  I f we a film, must be  cannot we  of  how  the and  small  "unreal"  —  world,  of i t s difference  readily  comprehend  presume t h a t  an  i t must have some  able to i n t e r p r e t  and  explain  i t or  of "Art"?  w o u l d s u r e l y n o t be  m o v i e s u c h as Gone  i n such a quandry O'Hara's  When f a c e d w i t h s u c h an  "unrealistic"  and  Marienbad,  t h e r e must be  great hidden or  feel  in a  meaningful  p r e s e n t s s u c h an  d i s c o v e r t h e meaning o f t h e c o l o u r o f S c a r l e t  we  an  What i s i n t e r e s t i n g  were t o l o o k a t a " r e a l i s t i c "  t h e Wind, we  accept  expect to understand  "critic." now  image i s  i t i s a question of  C o u l d we  demands m e a n i n g s i m p l y b e c a u s e  from Hollywood  But  Once a d e t a i l  i n h i s r o l e as  Marienbad,  Yet  to give i t .  as an a u d i e n c e  unit,  side  focussed through t h i s  (or t h e i s s u e ) i s t h a t b e c a u s e  "Art."  as a f i l m i c  focusing  X on e i t h e r  no m e a n i n g , as m e r e l y  f r a m e o f t h e s c r e e n we be  game as  by  c a r d w i t h f o u r t e e n marks  o f M and  abundant w i t h meaning.  much i m p o r t a n c e  image w h i c h  The  description  unidentifiable  with the r e f l e c t i o n  self-consciously how  to embellish t h i s  that  meaning t o be a t t a c h e d t o p a r t s w h i c h  we  difficult  to hair.  movie  as  implied  do n o t u n d e r s t a n d .  We  28  are a f r a i d  of being f o r c e d  all  do  we  can  into  i s question.  a position  Marienbad  as t o o f f e r  hope o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g ,  frustrating  and  a film,  a d e s i r e which they  What i f t h e Nim on  the  are w e l l  game had  s c r e e n : a game?  Canasta?  Are  see  preceding  itself  t h e n be  a film  a s h o t o f a woman g l i m p s e d  shots of these  first  The  h o l d s h e r head t o one  side  exploit  X appears  here  and  twenty minutes,  camera r e m a i n s  meaning?  there i n the as we  hear  X's  fixed  on h e r  t o be the  a d d r e s s i n g a woman.  pensive  f a s h i o n by w h i c h X makes t h i s  screen or another?  t h i s woman o n c e a g a i n . story  —  de  as  as t h o u g h she were l i s t e n i n g ,  and  b e g i n n i n g o f our  game o r  J ' a i 1'impression  see on  met  scene.  fun o f p l a y i n g ?  playing with  whom we  has  understanding  e x a c t l y what i t i s  sheer  one  he  for  i n every  t h e v o i c e s o f t h e young c o u p l e once more.  hear,  time  A  avoir quittee hier."  we  desire  meaning b u t was  "Vous e t e s t o u j o u r s l a meme.  we- h e a r  same  What i s t h e meaning o f a p o k e r  A  voice.  t e a s e and  c o n s t r u c t e d so  s e a r c h f o r meaning.  aware o f o u r  they not p l a y e d f o r the  Could Marienbad We  no  is carefully  while at the  complicating that very  Resnais/Robbe-Grillet  o f unknowing, where  s u r e l y we  We  will  the  while  same  romantic  declaration,  a r e on  she  From what  I s she  From t h e  vous  the verge  we  suppose  of  the  soon meet t h i s woman;  t h e o b j e c t o f h i s comments. V o i x d'homme: Q u ' e t e s - v o u s devenue d e p u i s t o u t ce temps? V o i x de j e u n e femme: R i e n , vous. v o y e z , p u i s q u e j e s u i s t o u j o u r s l a meme. V o i x d'homme: Vous n'e^tes pas m a r i e e ?  29  We come b a c k t o o u r most echo o f " t o u j o u r s ironic. phrase  sincere, said  l a mtme" between  We c o u l d b e l i e v e just  realistic  either  X's words  t o o r a b o u t anyone  —  agreeing or disagreeing.  statement o f being  I t shows a s u b j e c t i v e  judgement  by t h e e v a l u a t o r ,  to prove. It  "toujours and  Y e t i t i s so o f t e n  a l l depends  less  The p h r a s e c o u l d be  with t h e person thus described  on t h e p a r t o f X, t h e o t h e r on t h e p a r t The  this  makes t h e p h r a s e seem  a p a r o d y o f such words.  The  a n d t h i s man's i s  X o r t h i s man s a y i n g  once b u t t h e d e d o u b l e m e n t  or else  people i n the f i l m .  of this  i m p r e s s i o n , one y o u n g woman.  l a merae" i s a v e r y i sactually  and e a s i l y  either  subjective  a hard statement  s a i d by' many p e o p l e .  on one's p o i n t o f view.  J e u n e Femme: Non, n o n ! Homme: Vous a v e z t o r t , c ' e s t t r e s J e u n e Femme: J'aime l a l i b e r t e .  amusant.  Homme: I c i p a r exemple? J e u n e Femme: Pourquoi pas i c i ? Homme: C ' e s t un d r o l e d ' e n d r o i t . J e u n e Femme: Vous v o u l e z d i r e p o u r £ t r e l i b r e ? Homme: P o u r e t r e l i b r e , o u i , en p a r t i c u l i e r . J e u n e Femme: Vous e t e s t o u j o u r s a u s s i . . . (p. 4 7 ) The  i d e a o f freedom appears e q u a l l y  spectators usual  young woman's c o m p a n i o n .  i n Marienbad, t h e beginning o f t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n  relayed  t o us.  questioned. itself, of  as i t d o e s t o t h i s  absurd t o us,  But t h e i d e a s o f freedom i n t h i s  I f one were t o a p p l y t h i s  c o u l d n ' t one a c c e p t  t h eMarienbad world?  the chateau i s r i g i d ,  the As i s  i s not  hotel i s  p h r a s e t o t h e movie  these c o n t r a d i c t i o n s  On t h e one hand,  a s an i n d e x  thearchitecture of  heavy and o l d , which a l o n g w i t h t h e s t u f f y  30  u p p e r - c l a s s c h a r a c t e r s imply have e x p e r i e n c e d  t h i s world  Tradition. through  t h e duping  e a r s h a s been a n y t h i n g b u t t r a d i t i o n a l yet  t o meet t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s a f t e r  time.  The f i l m  logic  as w e l l  r e a l worlds.  i n interpreting  meanings t o e v e r y this  facet  as one " r i g g e d s c e n e " reveals  We a r e n o t f r e e  and  Resnais  film but by  the f i l m ' s  two  life.  Our s e n s e  have been i n  another  o f shock and m i s a p p r e h e n s i o n  frustrates  and c o n f u s e s u s ,  d e p e n d e n t on t r a d i t i o n a l  film  t o a c c e p t a n o v e l change i n f i l m i c rules.  rhetoric.  form,  since  What R o b b e - G r i l l e t  have done i s t o l o o s e n t h e s e b i n d s and r e t u r n t o creativity,  not only to the story  i t s form  t o be t o l d ,  They have r e c r e a t e d  o f expression i n order t o express  film  better  vision.  Vous 'etes t o u j o u r s a u s s i b e l l e "  (p. 48). We a r e shown  s h o t s o f A: i n one she i s s t a n d i n g s t i l l  manner, i n t h e o t h e r she i s t u r n i n g a r o u n d . between X and A i s a t l a s t this  many  I t i s indeed a "drole  t o t h e manner o f i t s t e l l i n g .  freeing  "X:  film.  bound t o c o n v e n t i o n a l f i l m  i t s radical also  as they  We seem  f o r we a s s o c i a t e f r e e d o m w i t h o u r  after  us t o be o v e r l y  we a r e f i r m l y  an open work w h i c h o f f e r s  non-conventional  and everyday  have c e r t a i n l y d i s c a r d e d  own e x p r e s s i o n on f i l m .  of the f i l m  d ' e n d r o i t p o u r f^tre l i b r e , " r e a l world  o f c a u s a l i t y and  a s we move i n and o u t o f u n r e a l and  "realism" for their  t o be a s f r e e  We have  twenty minutes o f v i e w i n g  keeps p l a y i n g w i t h o u r sense as o u r s e n s e s ,  o f o u r e y e s and  or conventional.  The c r e a t o r s o f M a r i e n b a d  conventional  creating  Y e t t h e way i n w h i c h we  i n a statuesque The c o n n e c t i o n  (yet n o t d e f i n i t i v e l y )  must be t h e woman o f whom he i s t h i n k i n g ,  made.  Surely  i f not lookinga t .  31  Why e l s e w o u l d we keep s e e i n g h e r i n c l o s e - u p ? made t o r e a l i z e  the deliberate  discontinuity  we s e e A f r o m one a n g l e a n d t h e n a n o t h e r . b e l o n g t o two a p p a r e n t l y d i f f e r e n t and  lighting  feeling  have d r a s t i c a l l y  of psychological  o f t e n connected The  continuity.  film:  S i n c e t h e s e two s h o t s (as t h e c l o t h e s  we a r e r o b b e d  In t h i s  film,  n o t by c h r o n o l o g y b u t by r e l a t e d  of a  shots a r e  subject matter.  p i c t u r e s we a r e shown do n o t f i t t o g e t h e r i n t i m e : we a r e  not encouraged reality. might  to believe  that  the f i l m  The f i l m o n c e a g a i n e x p o s e s  imagine  this  i s presenting a continuous  itself  as f i l m .  One  t o be X s e e i n g h e r i n h i s mind's e y e , o r  seeing her there i n front  o f him a t t h i s  how she l o o k e d a t a n o t h e r  time.  is  of this  timeframes  changed),  We a r e a g a i n  hotel  and t h i n k i n g o f  Does she y e t s e e him?  There  no c o n n e c t i o n y e t made w i t h b o t h o f them i n t h e same s h o t . There  follows  a series of five  1-2)Hotel guests staircase.  shots:  s l o w l y a s c e n d i n g and d e s c e n d i n g  (2 s h o t s ) 3) A game o f c h e c k e r s . 4) A B a l u s t r a d e w h i c h  no  garden;  music. 5) E e r i e m u s i c  These p i c t u r e s eeriness is  overlooks a  flash  p l a y s throughout  Marienbad  "decorative."  world.  I t i s as though  O b j e c t s were a l l p a r t o f t h e same d e c o r ; vision:  Marienbad.  d u r i n g s h o t #4.  a t u s , r e t u r n i n g us t o o u r s e n s e  a n d menace o f t h e  particularly  except  We  The game o f c h e s s p e o p l e and  they are part  s e e two a p p a r e n t l y r e a l  of the  o f one  men  playing  c h e c k e r s a g a i n s t an o b v i o u s l y p a i n t e d f a c a d e w h i c h  appears  32  endless.  The  a n i m a t e and  inanimate  complete a e s t h e t i c p i c t u r e . the  facade  c o u l d be  taken  reality/theatricality by  careful  The  w o r l d s combine h e r e  e m p h a s i s on  as a comment on  i n Marienbad.  black  the  and  as  one  white i n  coexistence  of  A l l i s in perfect proportion  design.  Robbe-Grillet expand o u r  had  intended  sense o f the u n r e a l  t o use  sound i n s t e a d o f m u s i c  in this  scene,  as t h e  to  script  indicates.  Au c o u r s de c e s i m a g e s , e t s a n s r a p p o r t a v e c ce q u ' e l l e s r e p r e s e n t e n t , on e n t e n d , d i s s e i M n e s s a n s r a i s o n s c a u s a l e s a p p a r e n t e s , s o i t a un changement de p l a n , s o i t au b e a u m i l i e u d'un p l a n , un c e r t a i n nombre de b r u i t s i r r i t a n t s , t e l s que s o n n e r i e s e l e c t r i q u e s , b r u i t s de p o r t e s m e c a n i q u e s , t i m b r e s d ' a p p e l , e t c . , q u i t o u s d o i v e n t a. l a f o i s re"sonner de f a c o n i n s o l i t e e t p o u v o i r se j u s t i f i e r s u r l e p l a n de l a v r a i s e m b l a n c e : ce s o n t des b r u i t s que l ' o n p e u t en e f f e t e n t e n d r e dans un h o t e l . En o u t r e i l s d o i v e n t "etre a l a f o i s t r e s n e t s e t comme f e u t r e s , a m o r t i s p a r l e s t a p i s , e t c . I l s d o i v e n t e n f i n se d e t a c h e r s u r un f o n d de s i l e n c e , ou i l s n ' o c c u p e n t que des temps t r e s b r e f s . (pp. 48-49)  T h i s m i g h t have b e e n e v e n more e f f e c t i v e of  our  sounded  sense of the strange,  real,  p l a c e would  for this  by  t h a t we  fact  a p p e a r s t o be It out  really  fact  What a t f i r s t  s o o n have b e e n r e a l i z e d  appropriate the  to the  unreal  depends on  to r e v e a l the  place: a hotel.  destabilizer  t h a t n o i s e s which at  w o u l d have b e e n r e v e a l e d t o be  normal n o i s e s i n a h o t e l . of  due  as a  part of  We  us  t o be  very  w o u l d have been u n s e t t l e d  real  one's p o i n t o f view.  unreality  and  apparent  out  precisely  o u r s e l v e s d i s c o v e r e d t h a t what a t is actually  the  w o u l d have seemed by  first  and  first  entirely  Marienbad strangeness  appropriate.  sets of  reality  33  w h i c h we  believe  t o u n d e r s t a n d , know and c o n t r o l  uneasiness p o t e n t i a l l y  awakened by  be n o t so c e r t a i n o f o u r own  unreliable  such a sequence  reality.  u n d e r s t a n d a b l e as t h e r e a l i t y  so w e l l .  which  Our  c o a x e s us t o  What a p p e a r s t o be  s u r r o u n d s u s , may  as o u r s e n s e s p r o v e t o be when  we  be  experience  so as this  movie. A i s presented "Mais v o u s ne  i n an empty h a l l  semblez  guere vous  as we  souvenir."  ambiguity of the phrase i s overwhelming. remember; b u t p e r h a p s she d o e s ; c o u l d which i s obscured?  What s h o u l d  words she seems so h e a r t l e s s ; (How  could  she have  just  hasn't indicated  The  She  of  X:  delightful  d o e s n ' t seem t o  i t be X's  she remember?  and he  forgotten?)  hear the v o i c e  perspective Through these  so d e s e r v i n g o f h e r  attention.  Maybe she d o e s remember —  she  i t yet.  L a camera se r a p r o c h e d'un d e t a i l d e c o r a t i f de l a d e r n i e r e image. A u t a n t que p o s s i b l e un d e t a i l extremement charge' en b a r o q u e e t s i t u e a u - d e s s u s des te'tes de p e r s o n n e s d e b o u t s ... l a v o i x de X e s t t o u j o u r s c e t t e b e l l e v o i x , n e u t r e e t p r e c i s e ... V o i x de X: P o u r t a n t v o u s c o n n a i s s e z d e j a c e s o r n e m e n t s baroques, ces l i n t e a u x decores, ces rinceaux, c e t t e main de s t u c q u i t i e n t une g r a p p e ... L i n d e x t e n d u semble r e t e n i r un r a i s i n pre*t a se d e t a c h e r ... D e r r i e r e l a main, v o u s a p e r c e v e z des f e u i l l a g e s ... comme d e s f e u i l l a g e s v i v a n t s , d'un j a r d i n q u i nous a t t e n d r a i t . (pp. 50-51) 1  Once a g a i n we We  a r e b a c k w a t c h i n g a commentary on an a r t f i l m .  a r e f i r s t , shown t h e c e i l i n g  have  returned  reality holds  and t h e n we  to the beginning of the f i l m .  i s the highest  a life-like  l e a v e s beckon us.  h e a r X's v o i c e ; The  achievement o f baroque a r t .  bunch o f g r a p e s , b e h i n d w h i c h This  illusion  we of  Here a hand  seemingly  living  "us" c o n t a i n s a l l o f t h e s p e c t a t o r s ,  the  34  man  who i s s p e a k i n g  (X) a s w e l l  a s t h e g u e s t s who a r e l i s t e n i n g ^  a l t h o u g h we h a v e n ' t y e t s e e n t h e p e o p l e still  gazing  forth  by t h i s  the un  a t the c e i l i n g .  i n this  The n o t i o n  s i n c e we a r e  o f the garden  brought  d e s c r i p t i o n r e f e r s b a c k i n t i m e t o t h e p l a y and  p i c t u r e o f the garden.  The u s e o f t h e c o n d i t i o n a l : "comme ...  j a r d i n q u i nous a t t e n d r a i t " e m p h a s i z e s t h e t e m p t a t i o n o f  believing  that  art; either film  baroque s c u l p t u r e  i s as r e a l  (DECOUPAGE CLASSIQUE) o r  as o u r r e a l w o r l d .  art  and t h e r e a l w o r l d  the  same t i m e i t p o e t i c a l l y a n d r o m a n t i c a l l y  are equally  A a n d us^ a s a s p e c i a l i n v i t a t i o n of  scene^  art.  I t could  well  as u n f i x e d  to get lost  Or p e r h a p s  and e l u s i v e .  both At  seduces t h e l i s t e n e r s , i n the v e r i s i m i l i t u d e  be t h e m o t t o o f M a r i e n b a d :  "comme un  monde q u i nous a t t e n d r a i t . . . " The that  camera p a n s down f r o m t h e c e i l i n g  X i s t a l k i n g t o A s u r r o u n d e d by a s m a l l  X: " N a v e z - v o u s j a m a i s remarque t o u t 1  j a m a i s eu d ' a u s s i Although t h i s  bon g u i d e . "  a r t commentary  continuous present, flash-back?)  movie  (as a l l movies)  t h e y e v e r met.  at will.  group o f l i s t e n e r s . A: " J e n ' a v a i s  we meet A a n d X  s c e n e h a s been p r e s e n t e d  implies  We must a c c e p t  i s c a r e f u l l y constructed We a r e meant t o n o t i c e  view and t o guide u s . T h i s  O n l y y o u (X) c o u l d its  value.  show me  that  ina (As a  this  the fact  i s the that  this  so as t o r e v e a l  and l o o k  a t a r t , b u t t h e camera a n d t h e s o u n d t r a c k w i l l our  together.  i t i s i n the past.  F o r the idea o f "jamais"  time t h a t  conceal  cela?"/  At last  we wonder i f  first  and  and i t i s r e v e a l e d  closely  continue  i s a l s o an i n t i m a t e / b a n a l  t o mold compliment.  (us) t h e meanings o f a r t and e x p l a i n  35  Someone s a y s  t o A:"Vous c o n n a i s s e z  l e proverbe:  b o u s s o l e au n a v i r e . . .'' (p. 52).  A proverb,  full  guests  of  laugh  " g r e a t " meaning. knowingly  The  at t h i s  saying.  i s a comment a b o u t g u i d i n g s h i p s :  in  the r i g h t  direction.  Is X t h i s  though t h i s  proverb  journey  i t s meaning.  and  may  say what i t means. this and  proverb,  a l s o be  present  i n the  an  Even w i t h i n o u r  guide We  certainty,  you  feel of  we  as  our  could  t h a t he  i n t e r v i e w by  is  mean?  indication  admitted  w h i c h he m e n t i o n s i n t h e  such,  i t  accurate guide?  as c l e a r  la  film a l l  A compass c a n  R o b b e - G r i l l e t has  R i v e t t e i n Cinema  i n t r o d u c e d as  Y e t what d o e s  It  de  not  invented  Labarthe  '61:  Robbe-Grillet: Oui s i vous-voulez. J ' a i invente une m o i t i e de p r o v e r b e . E n c o r e une f o i s on n'a r i e n cache a personne. A q u o i bon i n v e n t e r un p r o v e r b e e n t i e r quand on d o i t n'en c o n s e r v e r que l a premiere p a r t i e ? Evidemment a p a r t i r de c e d e m i - p r o v e r b e on p e u t i m a g i n e r b e a u c o u p de c h o s e s . Resnais: I l n ' e s t pas n e c e s s a i r e d'en c o n n a i t r e plus. D i t e s - c e l a dans un s a l o n , t o u t l e monde connaitra l e proverbe. P e r s o n n e ne demandera l a suite. Je l e s a i s : j'en a i f a i t 1 * experience!10  This  film  imagination of  l e a v e s many r o u t e s open f o r e x p l o r a t i o n .  i s asked  the a r t i s t s  who  to p a r t i c i p a t e  and  c r e a t e d Marienbad.  perform  The  along with  Even'a'small  that  detail  can  open o u r minds t o many h o u r s o f s p e c u l a t i o n . What R e s n a i s ' so o f t e n f i l l t h i n k we  i n t h e gaps between what we  should understand  see w i t h o u r senses  comment p o i n t s t o i s t h e  but  e y e s we  or see.  have t o d e c i p h e r  that  p e r c e i v e and  Even when we reality  according to past experience.  t h e mind i s w i l l i n g  fact  not  judge  we what  we  what  we  through  our  H i s example shows  how  t o i n v e n t i n o r d e r t o c r e a t e what i t t h i n k s i t  36  should  understand.  X:  I l y a, i c i , b e a u c o u p d ' a u t r e s c h o s e s a v o i r , s i vous-voulez. "Changement b r u t a l . . . " [A and X a r e as c l o s e as t h e y were i n t h e p r e v i o u s s c e n e , b u t now t h e y a r e dancing^] L a p r e m i e r e p h r a s e que p r o n o n c e A s ' e n c h a i n e comme s ' i l s ' a g i s s a i t de l a meme c o n v e r s a t i o n que s u r l e p l a n pre'ce'dent. A: Avec p l a i s i r . C e t ft3tel c o n t i e n t - i l t a n t de secrets? X: Enormement1 A: Quel a i r mysterieux! P o u r q u o i me r e g a r d e z - v o u s ainsi? X: Vous semblez g u e r e v o u s s o u v e n i r de moi. (p. 52) Once a g a i n we  have a v i o l e n t  t r u c a g e which  Here i t i s a q u e s t i o n o f e q u a t i n g two i n time as happening this  concurrently.  is one  one  large  thing  f o r too long.  We  h e a r X's  The  their  past.  as w e l l  demand f o r r e c a l l  But why  But  secrets referred  audience  moments  this  i s the  jump. and  The  first film  never i s  to i n t h i s  chateau  as t h o s e p r e s e n t e d t o  i n A's We  us.  have a l r e a d y e x p e r i e n c e d  e v e r y t h i n g appears  t o have t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a s t o r y ! in  We  p l a c e s and  w i t h X and A i n a t i m e  t r u c a g e i n which  a r e enigmas f o r t h e A.  different  i n t h e a c t o r ' s monologue i n t h e p l a y .  t i m e t h a t we- a r e i n v o l v e d  jumps o u t a t  memory.  will  soon  At  last  we  seem  see what happened  i s A so r e t i c e n t ; a v o i d i n g t o  acknowledge  h e r a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h him? pp.  53-57  Although a lengthy d e s c r i p t i o n  scene t a k e s about  two  minutes  on  ticking  of a clock  o f men,  i n a shooting gallery.  t h e men  s h o o t i n g and  We  as f o u r men  t a k e aim  the t a r g e t s  see a c l o s e - u p o f X a b o u t  the screen.  We  follows, We  the  hear the  at targets  in  next  loud  the  shape  see a l t e r n a t i n g c l o s e - u p s o f  as we  hear  t h e sound  t o shoot but the scene  of  bullets.  i s cut before  37  h i s gun  detonates.  This the  scene  guns, t h e  men.  i s haunting  c l o c k and  the  alternating  I t p r o d u c e s a somewhat c a l m i n g  unconnected with  the  very  We  realistic.  reference  to the  Surely and  this  previous  o f the  simply  shooting  does X i n t e n d t o k i l l  to the  one  fact  story  regard  t o X.  including  t o as A and  Who  their  as t o  to  be  i t s overall  however, i t a p p e a r s  less  to i t s compelling  rhythm.  among t h e many r e c r e a t i o n s  as  hotel play.  i s pursuing?  i t a p p e a r s t o me  t h a t X and  o f what d i d happen l a s t  i t seems  Why  Yet do  we  o f h i s gun?"'"''"  the p r o t a g o n i s t s of our  with  puzzle  someone whom he  Here ends c h a p t e r  as  and  as w e l l as a p p e a r i n g  i n h a b i t a n t s of t h i s  hear the d e t o n a t i o n  b r e a k , due  c u r i o u s due  i s o n l y one  games a t w h i c h t h e  not  film;  rhythm,  images o f t a r g e t s  effect  scenes,  cannot h e l p but  rest  t h r e a t e n i n g than  as  because o f i t s constant  s t o r y t o come.  year are  A have b e e n  at Marienbad  these  people?  We and We  p e r s o n a l backgrounds.  X r a t h e r than  by  their  names?  t o be  an  obvious  introduced await  the  why  i s so  A  want a Why  revelation distant  complete  are they  referred  38  NOTES Chapter  1  1.  Summary o f t h e f i r s t 30 m i n u t e s o f L'Annee D e r n i e r e a M a r i e n b a d pp. 23-56. A l l f o l l o w i n g q u o t e s f r o m t^ie t e x t a r e t a k e n f r o m A l a i n R o b b e - G r i l l e t , L'Annee D e r n i e r e a M a r i e n b a d ( P a r i s : L e s E d i t i o n s de M i n u i t , 1 9 6 1 ) .  2.  As v i e w e r s and c r i t i c s g r a p p l e w i t h t h e m e a n i n g o f M a r i e n b a d so much has been w r i t t e n a b o u t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e p l a y ' s t i t l e "Rosmer" and a p l a y by I b s e n "Rosmerholm." The s t a g n a t i o n o f l o v e and d e a t h by s u i c i d e i n I b s e n ' s work has been t a k e n as e v i d e n c e t h a t R e s n a i s i n c l u d e d t h i s o b l i q u e r e f e r e n c e t o a s s o c i a t e I b s e n ' s d r a m a t i c w o r l d and the c i n e m a t i c w o r l d o f Marienbad. However, n o t h i n g c o u l d be f u r t h e r f r o m t h e t r u t h . R e s n a i s c h o s e t h i s name b e c a u s e he wanted " s o m e t h i n g as u n s p e c i f i c as p o s s i b l e and s i m p l y b a s e d on t h e name o f a c h i l d h o o d f r i e n d , Rosmer." What t o many c r i t i c a l v i e w e r s i m p a r t e d a d e e p e r m e a n i n g t o M a r i e n b a d was i n t e n d e d t o be an empty s i g n i f i e r f o r t h e a u d i e n c e . G e o f f r e y Wagner, The N o v e l and t h e Cinema, ( C r a n b u r y , New J e r s e y : A s s o c i a t e d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s e s , 1 9 7 5 ) , p. 283.  3.  Two  4.  James D u d l e y Andrew, The M a j o r F i l m T h e o r i e s : An I n t r o d u c t i o n (London, New Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 7 6 ) , p. 160.  pictures  5. • Andrew, p.  f a c i n g p.  32 i n t h e  script.  161.  6.  What i s q u o t e d by James Andrew comes f r o m A n d r e B e z i n and J e a n C o c t e a u , O r s o n W e l l e s ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s du Chavanne, 1 9 5 0 ) , p. 57.  7.  B e r t r a n d A u g s t , as q u o t e d . f r o m an u n p u b l i s h e d p a p e r q u o t e d i n F r e d d y Sweet, The F i l m N a r r a t i v e s o f A l a i n R e s n a i s , (Ann A r b o r , M i c h i g a n : UMI R e s e a r c h P r e s s , 1981), pp. 50-51.  8.  James Monaco, The New Wave P r e s s , 1976), pp. 129-130.  9.  H a r r y M. G e d u l d , e d . , F i l m Makers on F i l m M a k i n g I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 ) , p . 166.  (New  York: Oxford  University  10. A n d r e S. L a b a r t h e e t J a c q u e s R i v e t t e , . " E n i ^ r e t i e n R e s n a i s e t R o b b e - G r i l l e t , " C a h i e r s du Cinema, No. (September, 1961), pp. 1-8.  (Bloomington: avec 123  11. The p s y c h o a n a l y s t C h a s s e g u e t - S m i r g e l s e e s t h e a b s e n c e o f sound as a s i g n o f X' s i m p o t e n c e . Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, P o u r une P s y c h o a n a l y s e de l ' A r t e t de l a C r ^ a t i v i t e , (Paris: P a y o t , 1971), p. 131.  39  Chapter  2  In t h i s s e c o n d o f f o u r p a r t s t h e p u r s u i t o f A by X begins i n earnest. X evokes the gardens of F r e d e r i c k s b a d where he a s s u r e s h e r t h a t t h e y met f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e . X and M p l a y o n c e more t h e Nim game a t w h i c h X i n e v i t a b l y loses. X m e n t i o n s a n o t h e r t i m e i n t h e same g a r d e n where t h e y d i s c u s s e d a p a i r o f s t a t u e s . To s u p p o r t h i s p o i n t , X shows A an a r t i s t ' s r e n d e r i n g o f t h e g a r d e n c o n t a i n i n g t h e s t a t u e w h i c h M d e c l a r e s t o be a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f C h a r l e s I I I and h i s w i f e a t a t r i a l of treason. X continues to r e l a t e to A t h e i r s h a r e d p a s t as she l i s t e n s a m u s e d l y . Again X reminds h e r o f a n o t h e r t i m e when, amongst a g r o u p o f a c q u a i n t a n c e s , he c l a i m s t h e y e x c h a n g e d w o r d s . He a s s u r e s h e r o f an i n c i d e n t when she b r o k e one o f t h e h e e l s o f h e r s h o e , and she d e c l i n e d h i s o f f e r o f a s s i s t a n c e to r e t u r n to the chateau. The f i n a l s c e n e i s i n a c o r n e r o f a s a l o n where A and X s t a n d b e s i d e a b a r , as X r e c a l l s a n i g h t when he e n t e r e d h e r bedroom. D u r i n g h i s monologue we have a g l i m p s e o f h e r w h i t e room. She c r i e s o u t i n a s h o u t o f h o r r o r o r r e c o g n i t i o n and d r o p s h e r g l a s s t o t h e f l o o r , c a u s i n g a s c a n d a l as s i l e n c e o v e r t a k e s t h e room w h i l e a l l t h e d a n c e r s s t o p and s t a r e a t her., (pp. 57-96)  The X relates  camera shows a d a r k room i n w h i c h o n l y A their  first  encounter the  is visible.  camera s t e a d i l y  approaches  As A.  V o i x de X: L a p r e m i e r e f o i s que j e v o u s a i vue, c ' e t a i t dans l e s j a r d i n s de F r e d e r i k s b a d ... Vous e t i e z s e u l e , un peu a l ' e c a r t des a u t r e s , d e b o u t c o n t r e une b a l u s t r a d e de p i e r r e s u r l a q u e l l e v o t r e m a i n e * t a i t p o s e e , l e b r a s a demi e t e n d u . . . v o u s a v e z t o u r n e la tete. A: J e ne c r o i s p a s vous tromper...  qu'il  s'agisse  de  moi.  Vous  devez  40  l a camera r e c u l e e t l ' o n d e c o u v r e que A n ' e s t pas s e u l e : X se t i e n t "a* c o t e d ' e l l e ; d ' a u t r e s gens se t r o u v e n t a u s s i p r e s d'eux... X: R a p p e l e z - v o u s : i l y a v a i t , t o u t p r ^ s de nous, un g r o u p e de p i e r r e . . . c ' e ' t a i t vous e t moi, a u s s i b i e n . (pp. 57-58)  What i s i n t r i g u i n g a b o u t between t h e o u t s i d e must We  imagine  minor  just  a room w h i c h  l i k e A to imagine  His tone o f v o i c e  detail  as w e l l  adds c r e d i b i l i t y  as h e r p o s e  a r e evoked  i s remarkably  Whenever we  s e e A,  i s often  A r e we the  i n which  X describes  really  only  pp.  h e r as w e l l  which  w a t c h on  i n o u r minds  i n the pose as how  to  screen.  unseen apparently  X r e l a t e s . • The well  of a  of a statue.  statue. This i s  t h e camera p r e s e n t s eyes?  ( F o r t h e most  h e r ; however some  reference  we  the  this  s i m i l a r to that  shown A t h r o u g h X's  141-144] make no  juxtaposition  t h e p o s i t i o n o f h e r hands as  c a m e r a shows A when X d i s c u s s e s  [i.e.  we  t o the episode which  of A  b o t h how  i s the  as h i s a t t e n t i o n t o  description  she  scene  t h e i n s i d e , between a g a r d e n  i n o u r minds and  are forced  garden.  and  the f i r s t  her. part  scenes  X.)  M a i s l e r e g a r d de X n ' e s t n u l l e m e n t e x c l u s i f ou o m n i p r e s e n t : l a camera e n d o s s e s o u v e n t l e p o i n t de vue de A, r e e l ou i m a g i n a i r e , ou d'un personnage a c c e s s o i r e ( v o i r p. 42, p a r e x e m p l e ) , ou meme d'un p e r s o n n a g e i n e x i s t a n t , p l a c e ' a un e n d r o i t impossible ( l o r s q u ' e l l e p l a n e a u - d e s s u s de l a s t a t u e ) Elle, S j ' a s s o c i e s o u v e n t aux p e r s o n n a g e s , r e p l a c e a cSte deux l e u r f a i t v i s - a - v i s , s ' a v a n c e a v e c eux ou r e c u l e d e v a n t eux. L o i n de se l i m i t i r a l a r e g i e s t r i c t e d'une c a m e r a — o b s e r v a t r i c e se s u b s t i t u a n t a l ' o e i l humain R o b b e - G r i l l e t — e t R e s n a i s avec l u i — deplace l ' o b j e c t i f a a v e c une g r a n d e l i b e r t e , m a i s c e t t e l i b e r t e e s t t o u j o u r s en a c c o r d a v e c l a s u b j e c t i v i t e f o n c i e r e de l ' o e u v r e . l > s  41  X's  memory h e r e c o n c e n t r a t e s  arranged  i n space.  s p a t i a l manner and "obviously"  real.  to  us  detail  by  by  i t s reference  and  things  P e r h a p s b e c a u s e when t h i n g s  are  described in a  How  anyone i n v e n t  gravel  a p i c t u r e which they  appearances. i s both  X's  mention of  inconsequential  w h i c h adds a t o u c h  of  in  Marienbad.  to  b e l i e v e , but  about her The It  later  A politely  on  X continues  past?  Who  camera c a n  is lying  and  r e v e a l and  s o u n d t r a c k had  denied.  The  "past"  i n the  tried  seed  i s planted  episode,  the  chateau.  point A  m e e t i n g as he rire."  the says,  X c o u l d be  transposing  laughing  now  her  as  laughter,  you  present  we  the  hesitant  the  truth?  next  image had  where X met found t h e r e .  and  moment w i t h j'aimais  begins  their  to  up  deja  a c t i o n i n t o the  did before.  As  adds a t o u c h  he  to  —  of the  then this  presumably  Throughout d a r k room laugh.  past,  evokes the  A,  about  A and  vous  past.  will.  until  remembered  " i n n o c e n t l y " remembering t h e  this  inclined  so  stay within t h i s  smiles  "J'aime —  present  are  c r e a t i n g space at right  sound  action  for a future conversation  n a r r a t i n g of t h i s  comment u n i t e s  is A  is telling  i s standing  t o e x p l i c a t e a nameless s t a t u e  this  we  sound  episode,  The  moments o f  Why  conceal;  i m p l i e d but  the  o f A's  who  garden of F r e d e r i c k s b a d  At  describe  important.  meeting.  s t o r y and  his story.  moves b a c k t o r e v e a l t h a t X  which the  be  at d i f f e r e n t  r e b u f f s X's  and  the  " t r u t h " to the  b e c a u s e i t a p p e a r s so n a t u r a l a p a r t o f t h e i r of g r a v e l i s repeated  are  S u c h a d e s c r i p t i o n a l s o seems t o be o b j e c t i v e  to outside  i s a minor d e t a i l  how  s u c h a p p a r e n t a s s u r a n c e t h e y a p p e a r t o be  could  detail?  o f h i s f o o t s t e p s on It  people  with  on  of  X's  past  entendre or  I love  he  could  you  general q u a l i t y  " p o e t i c " t o X's  love.  4 2  Laughter It  i s p r e s u m a b l y what anyone m i g h t  s o u n d s as t h o u g h X knows A  luaghter  from  she  who  t h a t X has  being  laughs.  flattered  heard  she  i s indeed  extra verb a  A  tense  l a u g h on more t h a n  d i d indeed  a laugher  by  laugh  l o v i n g her  at t h i s  nature?  (+ d e j a ) j a s i m p l e  " t i m e l e s s " p a r t o f A's  o f k n o w i n g and  A  one  By  action  the  laughter It i s also  occassion. laughter,  how  past meeting,  and  the a d d i t i o n  i n the present  n a t u r e , w h i c h adds p r o o f i n the  her  her  i s charming X with her  i n t h e p r e s e n t moment a b o u t h e r  c o u l d A deny t h a t she that  equates  apparently d i d i n the past at F r e d e r i c k s b a d .  implied By  as he  t h e p r e s e n t moment t o t h e p a s t , g i v i n g  " n a t u r e " o f one as  intimately  o f t e n engage i n .  t o X's  of  an  becomes case  past.  L e s a u t r e s a u t o u r de n o u s , s ' e t a i e n t r a p p r o c h e s . Q u e l q u ' u n a donne l e nom de l a s t a t u e ; c ' e t a i e n t des p e r s o n n a g e s m y t h o l o g i q u e s . . . (p.59) As  these  through  " o t h e r s " are evoked  the dark  room s h o w i n g us  are again f o r c e d to equate t h i s  from  groups of people  group o f people  the p a s t a t F r e d e r i c k s b a d . In f a c t , to the X's  speaker,  t h e p a s t t h e camera talking.  with  t h e o t h e r s do  ( " s ' e t a i e n t r a p p r o c h e s " ) as t h e y do  passes We  t h e one  not  come  in closer  according  to  d i a l o g u e ; r a t h e r i t i s t h e camera w h i c h moves t o w a r d s them.  the c i r c l e displaced  w h i c h t h e camera c o v e r s to a r r i v e  a p p e a r s i n an shot,  from  visually  i n an  "incongruous"  time,  i t p a n s t h e room, X i s  impossible position, p o s i t i o n with  a balustrade facing  this  as  outside.  f o r c e d to equate the  while A  regard to the We  also previous  a r e once more,  though  i n s i d e w i t h the o u t s i d e ;  In  43  for  this  b a l u s t r a d e c o u l d be t h e b a l u s t r a d e  t o have o b s e r v e d  the statue  scene t o t h e next numbers c a l l e d plays  i n the garden.  shot,  outside.  standing played,  out;  then  t h e camera pans t o a n o t h e r  i s c u t t o t h e next  as i n t h e p r e v i o u s  scene.  which i s s p a t i a l l y  looking  X i s looking i n the  I t i s a s t h o u g h he were  i s important  According  of the spectators; the pretence i n Marienbad the shots reality.  defiantly  are linked  (or t h e a r t i s t ' s )  i s one b i g t r u c a g e  connections,  conception  film,  i s never  minds  abandoned.  t o d i s t u r b our sense o f to link i s  i n Marienbad. —  assigned  It isa  i t i s always t r y i n g t o an o r d e r .  I t i s man's  o f o r d e r w h i c h imposes  these  as i n a l l f i l m s .  s i l e n c e which surrounds  r e f r e s h i n g a f t e r we have l o s t  of d i s t o r t e d  i n this  o f thought i n the  impossible  c o n n e c t e d by f i l m  o r d e r what i s o n l y a r b i t r a r i l y  p o s s i b l e on f i l m .  t o H o l l y w o o d DECOUPAGE, e l e m e n t s  of "reality"  What i s l o g i c a l l y  and e a s i l y  reminder that f i l m  is  scene,  impossible, y e t v i s u a l l y  are c u t t o f o l l o w a p s y c h o l o g i c a l t r a i n  The  A t t h e end o f t h e  i n e x a c t l y t h e same room a s t h e one i n w h i c h t h e game was  i t s verisimilitude.  spatial  room where a man  X i s l o o k i n g up a t A who i s on a b a l c o n y  We c a n n o t f o r g e t t h a t t h e t r u c a g e  But  this  i s e q u a l l y a s d i z z y i n g a s we h e a r a s e r i e s o f  As t h e s h o t  same d i r e c t i o n  not  The c u t f r o m  a n d l o s e s t h e Nim game a s X l o o k s o n .  previous  from which A i s s a i d  time  o u r c o n c e n t r a t i o n on t h e game o u r way o n c e a g a i n  by t h e image and t h e n a r r a t i v e .  through  a maze  We w a t c h t h e  game a n d q u e s t i o n o u r s e l v e s : who i s t h i s M and why d o e s he a l w a y s win?  X proposes the next  jouer  l e premier?"  (p. 6 3).  game, s a y i n g  "Et s i c ' e t a i t  a v o u s de  As we w a t c h t h e game p l a y e d  and as X  44  loses  again,  we h e a r :  E t une f o i s de p l u s ge m ' a v a n c a i s , s e u l , l e l o n g de c e s meines c o u l o i r s , a t r a v e r s c e s me^mes s a l l e s d e s e r t e s , j e l o n g e a i s c e s memes c o l o n n a d e s , c e s memes g a l e r i e s s a n s f e n e t r e s , j e f r a n c h i s s a i s c e s meVes p o r t a i l s , c h o i s i s s a n t mon c h e m i n comme a u h a s a r d p a r m i l e dedale des i t i n e r a i r e s semblables. (p. 64)  Robbe-Grillet o f t h e game. Is t h e f i r s t with de  plays  p l a y e r always t h e winner?  X's s e a r c h  f o r t h e woman by t h i s  Losing  mystery i t s rules.  t h e game i s e q u a t e d  r e t u r n t o t h e "une f o i s  her of their  commitment t o l o v e ?  t h i s woman?)  the continuing  I s M h e r h u s b a n d o r p r o t e c t o r who s t a n d s i n  way o f X i n c o n v i n c i n g  implied  with  X a n d we t h e s p e c t a t o r s want t o d i s c o v e r  p l u s " monologue.  the  delicately  shared  past  and t h e i r  (Why e l s e w o u l d he be so o b s e s s e d  The i d e a o f a maze e v o k e s t h e s p a t i a l  with  convolutions  w h i c h t h e camera a n d n a r r a t i v e have d e m o n s t r a t e d , a s w e l l a s t h e p a t h s o f t h o u g h t t h a t o u r minds a r e f o l l o w i n g t o f i n d the  meaning o f Marienbad.  The f i l m  seems t o be p r e c i s e l y p u t t o g e t h e r in  fact,  the  i ti s really  a carefully  appearance o f " l e hasard."  carefully  itself  by i t s  "faux-raccords"  "comme au h a s a r d " ; constructed  Marienbad  t h e key o r  puzzle  however, with  i s constructed  only like a  t h o u g h t o u t l a b y r i n t h f o r t h e mind t o p l a y w i t h .  The  very  e s s e n c e o f a l a b y r i n t h i s t o c a u s e one t o l o s e t h e way;  only  with  well  l i e a t i t s centre,  the  patience  c a n one r e a c h we s t i l l  the centre.  want t o u n r a v e l  maze, b u t do we want t o f r e e t h e m i n o t a u r ?  even c o n t a i n  Though d e a t h may t h e mystery o f Does M a r i e n b a d  a minotaur a t i t s centre?  S u i t e s de p l a n s m o b i l e s m o n t r a n t d e s p e r s o n n a g e s fixes. G r o u p e s de gens "a t r a v e r s 1 ' h o t e l , dans  45  des p o s t u r e s a r r e t e e s , mais sans c a r a c t e r e surnaturel: i l s ne s o n t p a s en t r a i n de b o u g e r , e t c ' e s t t o u t ... l a camera se d e p l a c e a u t o u r d ' e u x , t o u r n e , r e v i e n t en a r r i e r e , comme a u t o u r d e f i g u r e s d e c i r e d a n s u n musee. C ' e s t p e u t - e t r e s e u l e m e n t l e s mouvements de l a c a r a l r a q u i d o n n e n t a l e u r i m m o b i l i t e un a i r b i z a r r e . . . V o i x de X : E t une f o i s de p l u s t o u t e t a i t desert, dans c e t h o t e l immense, t o u t e"tait v i d e . . . S a l o n s vides. Couloirs. Salons. Portes. Portes. Salons. Chaises vides, fauteuils profonds... ( p . 64)  O n c e a g a i n we f i n d the  screen  or  image,  be  the  and the  conflict  words n a r r a t e d  communicates  his  If  he  and the  world,  chateau  in this  in  his  mind  of  objects  as  feels  manner. he  his  and d i s t u r b i n g due  he w e r e  reporting  manner very of  while  act  of  mind.  the  He i s  world  is  part  of The  camera  to  which  a  he  enters  his  another  the  life?  the  main lobby,  subjective  incapable  as  but  o f making any turned  without  being emphasized.  their  A is  his  state this  connection.  into  objects,  human  They are  sitting  though  the  still. room where  both  objective  by A w i t h i n  who a r e  camera,  recitation  is  indication of  and haunted  fiction  They are It  the  vast  a  The  supposedly  the  about  people  of  monologues.  in a  and people  and  from  very banality.  sees  seems  qualities)  lifeless  of  obsessed  thoughts  he w a n d e r s  emptiness  present  through  and v i e w e d by the  decor:  camera  is  of objects  (life-like  the  he  passes  disturbed,  full  being observed qualities  objects  such r e p o r t i n g  Marienbad world The  the  his  Marienbad-world but or  their  as  on  soundtrack  Could  off  on the  past  to  us?  and c u t  this  characteristic  calming  to  i m a g e we s e e  Which,  recites  dwell  Or i s  reviews  by X i s  he  unconnected  he m i g h t w e l l  the  by X .  thoughts  i n t e r i o r monologue which  chateau?  between  alone  just  46  reading. is  X's v o i c e a c c o m p a n i e s t h e camera as i t c i r c l e s  frozen i n a statuesque  A who  position.  Un an d e j a — o u p e u t - e t r e p l u s . — V o u s , du m o i n s , n'avez pas change. Vous a v e z t o u j o u r s l e s memes yeux a b s e n t s , l e meme s o u r i r e , l e meme r i r e t o u t a c o u p , l a meme f a c o n d ' e t e n d r e l e b r a s comme p o u r e c a r t e r q u e l q u e c h o s e , un e n f a n t , une b r a n c h e , e t de ramener l e n t e m e n t l a main v e r s l e c r e u x de v o t r e e p a u l e ... e t v o u s p o r t e z , a u s s i , l e meme p a r f u m . (p.68)  The  close proximity  personal  o f t h e camera t o A a c c o m p a n i e d by t h e  t o n e o f X's v o i c e p r o d u c e s an i l l u s i o n  We b e l i e v e  them t o  be  conversing,  camera a n d X i s no where i n s i g h t . reveals  t o us may be e i t h e r  of intimacy.  y e t A i sobserved  T h i s v i e w w h i c h t h e camera  from X h i m s e l f  at her side,  in  t h e room, o r i t may be a "view" f r o m h i s mind's e y e .  do  not fully  either not  A's r e f u s a l  have s u p p r e s s e d  t o recognize  could is  accept  easily  him.  o f X's s t o r y .  her.  at  smiles this  life  A as i t c i r c l e s An  statuesque  her,  position  i s X's r e c a l l i n g  exterior l i f e - f i l l e d  or a branch.  observed  into  world  intimacy  t o anyone a n d t h e y  A's p h y s i c a l f e a t u r e s , eyes,  and t r a n s p o s e d  to the s t i l l  implies a certain  c o u l d be s a i d  c o u l d have been r e a d i l y  chateau  situations  i f i t i s X who i s t h e d e c e i t f u l o n e .  lines  w o u l d be a s b e l i e v a b l e . and  still  H e r a c t i o n s a n d words i n r e s p o n s e t o X  i n fact  But these  We  t h e i r m e e t i n g , o r s h e c o u l d be p r e t e n d i n g  X by e m p h a s i z i n g h e r " i m m u t a b i l i t y " with  physically  But she c o u l d  be t h e same, r e g a r d l e s s o f w h i c h o f t h e s e  t r u e , o r even  by t h e  upon t h i s  the past  event.  laughter meeting What  i n w h i c h t h e camera  adds holds  t h e movement o f h e r arm.  i s emphasized by m e n t i o n i n g a c h i l d  I t w o u l d seem t h a t X h a s s e e n A i n many  different  47  situations,  where she p e r f o r m e d  " b a n a l " movements.  no  visual  of  h e r arm h e l d upon h e r s h o u l d e r ) , s u c h  deal  r e f e r e n c e t o these  such  of l i f e  movements  (except  i n t o one m i n o r p a r t o f A.  becomes b i z a r r e ,  the s t a t i c  a statement Such a b a n a l  pose  condenses a great description  b e c a u s e i t i m p l i e s an i n t i m a t e knowledge o f  A and h e r p a s t , which X has s c a r c e l y  proven t o us.  The e s s e n c e  of  a woman c o u l d be remembered b y a man as h e r p e r f u m e .  an  emotional  accepted  Having  a n d amorous s i g n a s p e r f u m e i s t o o r e a d i l y  as a p o s s i b l e s i g n o f i n t i m a c y .  m i g h t mean n o t h i n g  i s e q u a l l y apparent.  ambiguous e v o c a t i o n o f A.  She i s s t i l l  V o i x de X: S o u v e n e z - v o u s . de F r e d e r i c k s b a d . . .  Y e t t h a t such X continues  Such socially a  statement  t o weave an  t h e same a n d y e t . . .  C'etait  dans l e s  jardins  L a camera s a r r e t e s u r un p e r s o n n a g e s o l i t a i r e , (A) une femme d e b o u t q u i s ' a p p u i e ^ une b a l u s t r a d e de pierre... 1  Vous e t i e z s e u l e , a 1 e c a r t . Vous v o u s t e n i e z , un peu de b i a i s , c o n t r e une b a l u s t r a d e de p i e r r e , s u r l a q u e l l e v o t r e main £ t a i t p o s e e , l e b r a s "a demi ^ t e n d u . . . 1  La v o i x s ' a r r e t e . A ne s e t r o u v e p a s dans l a p o s e indique'e p a r l e t e x t e que l ' o n e n t e n d . . . E l l e r e c t i f i e ensuite l a posture [slowly] ... A a y a n t c o r r i g e sa p o s i t i o n , l a v o i x de X a u s s i t o t c o n t i n u e , comme s i e l l e n ' a t t e n d a i t que c e l a . (p. 69) What i s so r e m a r k a b l e a b o u t t h i s  scene  i s t h e slow u n f o l d i n g  of  t h e a c t i o n s d e s c r i b e d by t h e n a r r a t i v e , b e f o r e o u r v e r y  in  t h e images.  I t i s n o t a q u e s t i o n o f b e i n g d i s t u r b e d by s i m p l e  c o n t r a d i c t i o n s w i t h i n one shot o r sequence as i n t h e scenes have o b s e r v e d  where t h e p a s t a n d p r e s e n t  enigmatically  coexist.  discordance  eyes  or l i f e  What i s d i s t u r b i n g h e r e  t h a t we  and d e a t h i s the i n i t i a l  between t h e t e x t a n d image, w h i c h i s s l o w l y b u t  48  eventually  corrected.  I t a p p e a r s as t h o u g h A were w i l l f u l l y  f o l l o w i n g X's d e s c r i p t i o n o f h e r o n l y This she  verbal  a c k n o w l e d g i n g any o f X's s t o r y .  reactions  does y i e l d  describes. their  t o X up t o t h i s  t o him  Might t h i s  shared What  for  moment  as  Yet u n l i k e her  i n Marienbad,  a n d becomes t h e  image w h i c h he  i n d i c a t e an e v e n t u a l  a c c e p t a n c e by h e r o f  past?  we  desperately  the discrepancy  want t o know i s t h e b a s i s  or reason  b e t w e e n t h e s o u n d t r a c k and t h e i m a g e s :  w h i c h one i s t e l l i n g in  i n the end.  s e q u e n c e i l l u s t r a t e s on f i l m what A i s d o i n g m e n t a l l y resists  she  to acquiesce  resisting  us t h e " t r u t h " ?  the f i l m creating i t s e l f .  We p a r t i c i p a t e  A i n t h e image f o l l o w s  i n s t r u c t i o n s a s t h o u g h she were  an a c t r e s s  X's  he i s d i r e c t i n g .  He c r e a t e s  t h e s t o r y and she molds h e r s e l f t o f i t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n /  perception  of her.  his  reflected  Could t h i s  i n t h e words, h e r s  image o f A w h i c h she r e f u s e s gives of  in- t o .  this  our  Or does t h i s  itself  i n t h e image?  to the fact  a s an e v o l v i n g  that  o f X, t h e p r o c e s s o f c o n v e y i n g  past,  we o f t e n  i s a film  aesthetic object.  part  When one r e c a l l s  obscured while others  i n X's own  this  s e q u e n c e i s a r e c a l l f r o m memory o r p u r e  re-creation.  X creates  an  creation  c l a s h between sound a n d image draws  this  of  subjectivities:  t o a c c e p t b u t w h i c h she e v e n t u a l l y  disagreement occur  s c e n e ? _ The b l a t a n t  a t t e n t i o n once a g a i n  reveals  be a c l a s h between  Whether o r n o t  invention  on t h e  i t w o u l d be t h e same —  a past  are highlighted.  see, o r describe  which  one  e v e n t , some d e t a i l s a r e When we c o n s t r u c t t h e  as i f we were s e e i n g , an image o f  2 the  past  i n the present.  E v e n i f we d e c i d e t h a t  s o m e t h i n g was  49  wrong w i t h  our  we  at f i r s t  as  valid  not  be  This  "saw"  impression  and  b e c a u s e we  a cinematic  relays, claims  first  described  imagined  " j e ne  ignorance,  sais  nevertheless  i t visually.  As  X continues  pas"  c o u l d be  A as in  the  past;  instead  herself.  His  however, he  to r e f e r  Could  (One  Why  i s as  wouldn't  i s X's  perception  refuses  I f they  of her  to accept  look  b i z a r r e because the of t h i s image by its  (evident)  a living  obvious  yet  subject  This  discordance  often important.  banal  a picture  "suspect.")  obsession  may  w e l l be  present  f o r us A  i s just  an  at a l l .  However, she  the  frozen  self.  pas un g e s t e . vivante. (p.  someone who  comment e v o k e s The  "living"  image, a s t a t u e does a p p e a r as  70)  had  died.  the  simplicity  i t s premise i n t o doubt.  i m p r e s s e s upon us  with  this, preferring  i s over-emphasized.  statement c a l l s  i t s presence  subject;  "alive"?  to or about  had  more  constant  t o a d i s t a n t shadow o f h e r  i f X were t a l k i n g she  this  would e x p e c t a c e r t a i n  Je vous r e g a r d a i s . Vous ne f a i s i e z J e v o u s a i d i t que v o u s a v i e z l ' a i r It  equally  h i s s t o r y , he  s t o r y m i g h t be  image c o n v e y s as w e l l  a statue  appears  that  h i s a t t e m p t a t c r e a t i n g presumed  or actual f o r g e t t i n g .  view o f the past, t h e i r  What t h i s  image  a b o u t c e r t a i n d e t a i l s w h i c h c o u l d be  amount of. f o r g e t t i n g i n a n y o n e ' s memory. perfect  event, the  example o f a f a u l t y memory w h i c h X a c t u a l l y  or else invents? ignorance  of a past  The  q u a l i t y of and  not  i f alive:  V o i x de X: P o u r d i r e q u e l q u e c h o s e , j ' a i p a r l e de la statue. J e v o u s a i r a c o n t e que l'homme v o u l a i t empecher l a j e u n e femme de s ' a v a n c e r p l u s l o i n : i l  50  a v a i t apercu quelque chose — un d a n g e r sdrement — e t i l a r r e t a i t d'un g e s t e s a compagne. Vous m'avez r l p o n d u que c ' e ' t a i t e l l e , p l u t o t , q u i s e m b l a i t a v o i r vu quelque chose — m a i s une c h o s e au c o n t r a i r e - _ merveilleuse — d e v a n t eux , q u ' e l l e d e s i g n e de s a main t e n d u e . Mais n ' e t a i t pas i n c o m p a t i b l e : . . . (p. 71) Here we  have r e a c h e d  one  of the apparent  The  i d e a o f a s t a t u e has b e e n embodied  who  stands  her.  She  entity.  I t would  t o us by  t h e camera and  seem t h a t  X sees her  h i s words.  t h a n what he p e r c e i v e s , b u t we  observe  h e r by  herself,  t h e words o f X.  The  since  actress  p o s e w h i c h g i v e s us t h e that of a l i v i n g  as p.  revient  en a r r i e r e , We  are seldom  i s so o f t e n  a lesser  ( c f . pp.  comme a u t o u r de  a r e reminded  and  after  through  statuesque  In t r y i n g  cire  (or has  tourne, dans  un  of people i n of a r t .  what he wants t o been  to convince her of t h e i r  observed  allows  the p l a y  as t h e o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n s e e s and  than  other  then  d'eux,  i n t h e t e r m s i n w h i c h X has  X r e l a y s what he  to  statuesque  of the o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n  i n t e r m s o f what he  to d e s c r i b e her.  holds a  f i g u r e s de  of  static  allowed  presented  have d i s p l a y e d  33-34 s c e n e s  A  totally  extent the  64: "La camera se d e p l a c e a u t o u r  have o n l y s e e n A  past,  To  as w e l l  t h e mind o f a s u b j e c t as w e l l X defines A  by  which i s t r a n s m i t t e d  w e l l be  as t h e camera f r e e z e s them i n m o t i o n  as w e l l  degree  get a glimpse  i n a way may  Marienbad.  d e s c r i b e d as a  i n the p l a y a l s o  human b e i n g .  them t o move a g a i n .  We  we  of  i m p r e s s i o n o f an a u t o m a t o n , r a t h e r  i n h a b i t a n t s o f Marienbad  rausee.")  she  and  She  "other"  features  to a large  i n a s t a t u e s q u e pose every time i s c o n s t a n t l y being observed  foci  recently  see.  willing shared  observed)  51  of A of  from the  her  interior  would f i n d his in  outside, life.  terms o f  simply  past  Does t h i s  close  i n the  which X d e s c r i b e s In t h i s  that  resolution. M a r i e n b a d and  the  elements t h a t  actions,  imply that  but  the  that  scene of our  Could t h i s  personal  a connection  (Does t h i s  past? or  a r t and  imply  any  imply  that  a relationship  not  share the  connection the  was  was  statue,  are  a l l that  shallow?  l e d back  for i t s understanding  provide  us  intimate  "adventure"  rather  we  w i t h the  key  to  X?  are  of Marienbad  to the  itself.  s c a l e , we  are  of  a work o f  a r t being  open t o many d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s .  t h o u g h t h e y may part  o f one  be  opposing,  scenario.  t h o s e o f A's  they could  What i s a l s o  t o a work o f  w h i c h we  other  reveals  as much i f n o t  interpreted that  he  h i s own a  object.  X's  d e s i r e to protect  optimistic  being  h i s companion, may o r m a n i p u l a t e A. the  The  possibility  concludes coexist i s the  and  or  valid the  male s t a t u e ,  w e l l be His  be  subjective  than about the  that  interpretation  appropriate  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of  p e s s i m i s t i c view of world of  art.  more a b o u t o u r s e l v e s  wants t o p r o t e c t  fearfully  as  easily  emphasized  n a t u r e of one's reponses c h o o s e o v e r any  and  the  a l l the  a smaller  h i s views a l o n g s i d e  to appreciate  add  understand  On  X presents  forced  puzzle  We  to  and  r e l a t i o n s h i p between A and revealed  A  X i s creating  than through  X really  they.did  desire  statue  rather  details  which  that  i t i s e a s i e r to describe  also  close-up  mystery of  new  would  e v e n t s and  secrets?)  the  This  than d e s c r i b e  harder to r e f u t e .  story, or  to A  rather  i.e.  a reflection  explanation  world which opposes  of  presents  A's  "emerveillement."  However d e f i n i t e t h e  statement of  the  statue  may  be  to  either  52  X o r A,  seeing  appreciate It  i s the  their  how  impressions  arbitrary  v i e w e r s who  give  even perhaps c o n t r a r y it.  Or  the  Does X n o t How  often  person  is like,  invents  only  asked to  lives  do  s c a l e t h i s may  looks  two  one  definition,  embellish  this  significant scene,  circles  statue.  the  statue  couple  reaching  a cliff,  we  As  he  see  l'horizon  "  (p. 71).  notion  t h e camera i l l u s t r a t i n g  s t o r y t h a t the  and  c h o s e n by  the  director,  as  are  Marienbad. film  as  a whole fixed  the  to  camera  s t o r y which X  p h y s i c a l l y : the  space  idea of  leurs pieds,  creates  camera  surrounding  r e l a t e s the  "mer,  The  which are fact  advancing the  "comes f r o m  jusqu'a the  e s s e n t i a l to  that they plot  the  the  l e g i t i m a t e TRUCAGE i s  details  is telling.  X  meaning, f o r i t i s a  of the  What i s meant by  film  J u s t as  a body o f w a t e r w h i c h  fill  the  screen:  out  nowhere" t o  of  the  made?  Resnais chose to a l l o w  creates  elements which X d e s c r i b e s .  and  as v i e w e r s  the  another  meanings.  F i g u r a t i v e l y and and  ambiguous.  conclusions  m e a n i n g t o be  some " l e g i t i m a t e " TRUCAGE t o e m p h a s i z e t h e around the  created  significant?  judgements  p o s s i b l e , but  one  who  equally  different  s t a t u e , we  o r t o embody o n l y  be  t o be  a s t o r y t o encompass be  be.  p e o p l e d i s c u s s what  t o o many s i g n s o v e r l y p r e g n a n t w i t h  To  artist  v i e w e r may  has  of  the  t h e m s e l v e s have a l r e a d y  create  v e r i t a b l e multitude  by  to preconceived  i n t e r p r e t the  i n v e n t and  a small  the  a c t i o n s - and  due  which they  a story to  intended by  can  meaning t o a work o f a r t ,  t o come t o e n t i r e l y  individual,  evaluations  c o l o u r and  perceived  everyday  s i d e , we  ambiguous a work o f a r t may  to those  i n t e r p r e t A's i n our  about the  On  reality  and  r e l a t e d s i d e by  and  are  are  selected presented  53  as  being  " n a t u r a l l y " e s s e n t i a l to the  of  a typical  R e s n a i s and  narrative  p l o t , i s an  integral part  ( H o l l y w o o d DECOUPAGE) f i l m .  R o b b e - G r i l l e t , up t o and  this  point,  have  avoided  related.  They have s o u g h t t o e x p o s e s u c h c o n n e c t i o n s as  falsified  and  version  a desire to  return  that  than a d m i t t i n g  reality.  Of  reality,  i n t e r p r e t the  because i t i m p l i e s rather  of  film  t o be  c o u r s e , we a r e  to conventional  one  world.  c o n n e c t i o n s as  Marienbad,  expressly  a  such p s y c h o l o g i c a l  until  In  only  created  This  TRUCAGE i s  quite  false  an  do  not  find  the  brief  sudden  o f t h e s e a as b e i n g a t a l l d i s c o n c e r t i n g , s i n c e we have l o n g ago to the t o be  apparent  of  p e r f e c t l y c a p a b l e and  scenes c r e a t e d highlight the  "reality"  the  by  film. willing  traditional  Resnais also to provide  shows  some  appearance conceded  himself  conventional  DECOUPAGE i n M a r i e n b a d ,  b i z a r r e TRUCAGE w h i c h i s t h e  reality,  ordered  comfortable with t h i s  DECOUPAGE and  tradition  exterior  a r b i t r a r y c r e a t i o n of  is  being  through  i s a d i r e c t window on an  i t s story  s t y l e of  i f only  the  rest  to of  film. E n s u i t e , v o u s m'avez demande l e nom des p e r s o n n a g e s . J ' a i r e p o n d u que c a n ' a v a i t pas d.'.importance. -- Vous n ' e t i e z pas de c e t a v i s , e t v o u s v o u s e t e s m i s e a l e u r d o n n e r des noms, un peu au h a s a r d j e c r o i s . . . P y r r h y s e t Andrpmaque, H e l e n e e t Agamemnon ... A l o r s j ' a i d i t que c ' e t a i t v o u s e t moi, a u s s i b i e n . . . (un s i l e n c e ) ou n ' i m p o r t e q u i . (p. 71) A wants t o name t h e  of  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , while  interpretation. defining of  an  and  The  statues, at  the  w h i c h opens up  e v e n more a v e n u e s  same t i m e n a r r o w i n g t h e s c o p e o f s u c h  power o f naming i s r e a s s u r i n g i n t h e same way  i n t e r p r e t i n g allows  e n i g m a t i c work o f  art.  the  mind t o r e s t a t one  What happens by  naming t h e  that  explanation statue  is  54  that and  its intrinsic  q u a l i t y i s ignored  p h y s i c a l beauty,  couple  gives  work o f  couple  up  the  a r t as  presence  By  naming, one  to a s i m p l i s t i c  Naming i s a n o t h e r way One  since i t i s forced to  i n s t e a d o f many.  imagination  definition  o f d e f i n i n g and  challenge  art.  statue  and  r a t h e r than remaining  The  signify  of  f a c e t s of  a complex work o f a r t .  fully  obvious  X in this  the  appreciate its  subject.  the enigmatic  signifier  of  changing r e p r e s e n t a t i o n  one of  a l l couples.  s c e n e q u i c k l y c h a n g e s , b e c o m i n g an  between A and  one  the  i s named, i t l o s e s  ever  incongruity  represent  therefore limiting  becomes an an  and  subordinates  t o o b s e r v e and  I f the  t o some d e g r e e ,  t h e many d i f f e r e n t  in a l l i t s detail,  active  participation  "remembered" i n s p e c t i o n o f  the  statue.  X: Ne l e u r donnez pas de nom... I l s pourraient avoir eu t a n t d ' a u t r e s aventures. A: Vous o u b l i e z l e c h i e n . P o u r q u o i o n t - i l s un c h i e n a v e c eux? X: Le c h i e n n ' e s t pas a v e c eux. I l p a s s a i t l a par hasard. A: M a i s on v o i t b i e n c j u ' i l se s e r r e c o n t r e sa m a i t r e s s e . X: Ce n ' e s t pas sa m a i t r e s s e . I l se s e r r e c o n t r e e l l e p a r c e que l e s o c l e e s t t r o p e t r o i t . Regardez-les l a - b a s , c e s o n t l e s memes e t i l s n ' o n t p l u s l e c h i e n a v e c eux... M a i s de p l u s p r e s , v o u s v e r r e z q u ' e l l e regarde a i l l e u r s . . . Venez-vous? A: Non... J e n ' a i pas e n v i e . . . C'est trop l o i n . . . X: S u i v e z - m o i , j e v o u s en p r i e . (pp. 72-73) This on  the  i s an  a c t i v e d i a l o g u e i n which  screen, which c o n t r a s t s with  narrated  by  X as A  listened.  We  which i m p l i e s a c e r t a i n v a l i d i t y it,  f o r i t i s presented  "flash-back." lies  and  as  However, we  distorts  the  we  see  previous  have t h e t o X's  as  of a  - He  T h i s may  conversing  p o s s i b l e i n the  simply  be  the  was  flashback  i s not  must remember t h a t M a r i e n b a d  t h e "truth'.'  X  scene t h a t  feeling  story:  realistically  A and  inventing form of  is a film impression  a  which  55  w h i c h X r e c e i v e s a s he c r e a t e s t h e p a s t ; or a c t u a l l y has  inventing i t .  s e e n , X's  alienation  As one c r i t i c ,  interpretation  r e l a t i o n s h i p with  o f the  t h e female statue  from o t h e r s ,  w h e t h e r he i s remembering Chasseguet-Smirgel,  dog h a v i n g  no  i sindicative  and i s a s i g n o f h i s  of his  disconnectedness  w i t h A.^  This This  i sthe f i r s t  i m p l i e s an i n t i m a c y  opposite A  scene  of their  speak i n " l e g a l  Perhaps t h i s  the other  audience statue.  "formalistic"  terms," always t r y i n g  i s precisely  X's p r o b l e m —  with  i steased  conversations.  t o p r o v e what  A which never r e a l l y by A's s t u b b o r n  X presents  regard  this  path  proof  t o Marienbad.  will  Hollywood p l o t  Voix  left  i t as another  We a r e i n v e i g l e d  OFF CAMERA.  refusal  t o look a t  c l u e t o prove  his  e n l i g h t e n us  to believe that t o have t h e  Here a g a i n we a r e  advancement w h i c h m i g h t s a t i s f y  de X:  happened.  was t h e r e .  be t h e k e y we a r e l o o k i n g f o r , o n l y  unrevealed,  X and  t o have s e n s e d a n  h y p o t h e s e s a b o u t t h e s t a t u e , w h i c h we hope w i l l with  together.  and cameraderie which i s t h e v e r y  otherwise  intimate understanding The  one i n w h i c h X a n d A l a u g h  refused a  our c u r i o s i t y .  J e v o u s en p r i e .  A: J e v o u s repute que c ' e s t i m p o s s i b l e . meme j a m a i s e t e a F r e d e r i c k s b a d .  Je n'ai  X: E h b i e n , c ' e t a i t a i l l e u r s p e u t - e ^ t r e . 'a K a r l s t a d t , a M a r i e n b a d , ou a B a d e n - S a l s a — ou meme i c i , dans ce s a l o n . Vous m'avez s u i v i j u s q u ' i c i p o u r que j e v o u s m o n t r e c e t t e image, (p. 74) X continues  d e s c r i b i n g the  s t a t u e as he i n t e r p r e t s i t , as he  56  shows A  an  artist's  conveniently  on  time  A  wherein  being  at  with  list  among  of  entitled  they  certainty  of  where  her  her  as  have  a  this  story  having  A  purported  X. a  Playing story —  i n the past)  and  of  we  return  the  to  our  the  a l l the  apparent  of  apparent  German r e s o r t s , w h i l e  outside  at  a l l extraordinary,  since  in  the  same  styles  contain  a  estates.  something creation. any  for  French But  b i z a r r e and If  four  sense  of  or  the  very  is  "story"  at  this  present  the  evident  places  built of  assurance  in  as  similarity  as  of  to  A's, —  this  statue  of  various  film,  the  is  not  same a r c h i t e c t s Each  well  no  as  doubt  engravings into  convolutions  A  the  convince  a l l "equivalent" ,  "reality".  or  wander  i s twisted  the  any  projecting i t  this  as  of  complete  well  the  these  by  a  they  tries  people.  statues,  are  be  the  lose  because  and  of  that  Marienbad  may  between  confused  a  we  where  place  context  class  with  and  p i c t u r e of  frightening within five  met  place  a  become  evocation  a l l .  (when h e  many w e r e  garden  at  produces  assume  the  more m e n a c i n g  look  same  we  imaginations  similarity  past.  We  other  have  present to  with  happened  with  out  But  The  loses  X's  come t o  Marienbad,  as  the  of  encounter  we  equal  by  past  Since  the  are  a  i n A.  the  of  which  "present"  as  a l l become  and  for  i s examining  would  the  possibility  " l a s t y e a r . "X the  garden,  well  derniere  there  i s nameless Even  places  year.  created  fact. of  and  to  the  last  X  fabrication  which  deny  spectators  L'annee  places,  has  to  statue  return  possibilities.  unfolded  he  the  We  possible  the  meeting  place  wall.  continues  a l l these  movie  the  of  a l l true.  This vertigo  print  of one  is displaced  in  X's  57  her  own mind a s she t r i e s  from another. and  X's d e s c r i p t i o n s a r e so g e n e r a l  h i n t a t any c h a t e a u A may have The  in  t o d e f i n e one c h a t e a u as b e i n g  evidence  having  can  a l s o confuse  i n one p l a c e .  someone who h a s b e e n i n many s i m i l a r  f e a t u r e s c o u l d be t r a n s p o s e d  by  d e s c r i p t i o n f r o m one p l a c e  frightening  a certainty o f place.  refusal  presents  at least  As to  What i s  attack  on A ' s  I t i s a b a t t l e between A ' s and t h e p l a c e s  t h a t she  a n d X's u n r e l e n t i n g p r o j e c t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s .  X explains  inform  by h e r own mind o r  to another.  X's c o n s t a n t  "common s e n s e , " o f k n o w i n g h e r own p a s t visited,  The  a certain "truthfulness " i n that i t  b a s e d on what c a n be s e e n .  has  places.  i s t h e power o f t h e l a n g u a g e o f d e s c r i p t i o n w h i c h  distorts  is  a f f r o n t s A's b e l i e f  T r y i n g t o e v o k e a memory  distinguishing X's p r e s e n t  as t o i n c l u d e  visited.  of the a r c h i t e c t u r e i t s e l f  been o n l y  distinct  the etching  them o f t h e s t a t u e ' s  t o A, M a r r i v e s o u t o f t h e shadows background.  M: Pardonnez-moi, cher Monsieur. J e c r o i s que j e peux v o u s r e n s e i g n e r d' une faqjon p l u s p r e c i s e : c e t t e s t a t u e repre'sente C h a r l e s I I I e t s o n e p o u s e , m a i s e l l e ne d a t e p a s de c e t t e ^poque, n a t u r e l l e m e n t . La s c e n e e s t c e l l e du s e r m e n t d e v a n t l a D i e t e , au moment du proems en t r a h i s o n . L e s costumes a n t i q u e s s o n t de c o n v e n t i o n p u r e . (p. 76) M speaks w i t h as b e i n g  t h e v o i c e o f a u t h o r i t y . Some c r i t i c s  i n t h e " r e a l w o r l d " a s o p p o s e d t o A and X who a r e presumed  to l i v e i n a fantasy world.^  This  e x p l i c a t i o n of the statue  as w e l l a s t h e l u n c h m e e t i n g a l l u d e d t o w i t h end, for  see him  makes M a man.of b u s i n e s s .  Patterson  His explanation  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o r doubt, b e i n g  the opposite  leaves  at the no room  o f X's d e s c r i p t i o n s .  58  M's  explicit  v e r b a l i z a t i o n of t h i s  X's  creation, for precision will  which X continues quality X's  o f M's  to profer.  s t a t e m e n t t h a t names do  little  s i g n s which can  as  the  only  i m p r e s s e d by can  This  frustrate  audience, p u z z l i n g over t h i s  and  agree  are  who  There are  with  truly  itself  keen c r i t i c s ,  film.  proofs  the u n s a t i s f a c t o r y  definitely  explanation  the  to  or negate the  mean a n y t h i n g  importance whatsoever.)  of  are  (Here we not  art i s a threat  corroborate  We  explanation.  work o f  of  is a  jewel  s i t here,  seven  Charles  5 III  i n European h i s t o r y ,  treason, Diet  nor  i n the  f o r g e t t h a t the  does the  idea of  conversant connect  have a c c e s s  one  o f them was  to a D i e t .  prefers  M i d d l e Ages and a c t i o n takes  "Betrayal" or  couple  i t to our  herrings"  X and  t o expose the  t h a t we  a r t t o one  c r e a t i o n not  A?  s t r u g g l e and  only  place  (This  the  trial  tries  experience  in  R e n a i s s a n c e ; we  with  must What  our  t o h i n t a t meaning  these  the  for  signifier  parliaments  leads  of e x p l a n a t i o n s . flow  are  only  A r t f o r him  artist  f o r the  to  "red  Robbe-Grillet and  process  r a t h e r t h a n d e f i n e and  solution. but  on  a t a German c h a t e a u . )  world, but  illustrates,  f o r the  put  " T r e a s o n " have t o do  futility  definitive  during  Marienbad  historical  meaning w h i c h M a r i e n b a d his  not  e v o k e s German h i s t o r y as D i e t s e x i s t e d as  Germany o n l y not  d i d they  but  of limit  i s a question  a u d i e n c e as  of  well.  The e f f o r t o f t h e s p e c t a t o r , l i k e t h a t o f t h e r e a d e r , has become t o an o v e r - i n c r e a s i n g e x t e n t an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f c i n e m a t o g r a p h i c and n o v e l i s t i c c r e a t i o n . "The h o u r o f t h e r e a d e r " t h a t J o s e - M a r i a Castellet has d e c l a r e d f o r t h e new n o v e l has as i t s c o u n t e r p a r t t h e "hour o f t h e s p e c t a t o r " f o r t h e new c i n e m a . T h i s c o l l a b o r a t i v e e f f o r t , w h i c h has n e v e r b e e n w h o l l y a b s e n t i n a r t , becomes more e s s e n t i a l , more c r i t i c a l : n o t i n t h e f o r m e r s e n s e o f t h e " d e c i p h e r i n g " demanded by t h e h e r m e n e u t i c p o e t r y o f a Rimbaud o r a M a l l a r m e — w h e r e i n t h e s e a r c h f o r meaning, f o r m u l t i p l e  59  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , c o n s t i t u t e s a f i r s t requirement f o r t h e c o m p r e h e n s i o n o f a g i v e n work -- b u t i n t h e s e n s e of p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the a e s t h e t i c f u n c t i o n i n g of the novel or f i l m . ^  The  arrival  so o f t e n i g n o r e d  a t an  answer i s a d e n i a l  when c r i t i c s  label,  of the  d e f i n e and  e n r i c h i n g journey destroy  t h e enigma o f a r t .  R e a l a r t has t h e c a p a c i t y t o make us n e r v o u s . By r e d u c i n g t h e work o f a r t t o i t s c o n t e n t and t h e n i n t e r p r e t i n g t h a t , one tames t h e work o f a r t . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n makes a r t m a n a g e a b l e , c o m f o r t a b l e ... What i s i m p o r t a n t now i s t o r e c o v e r o u r s e n s e s . We must l e a r n t o see more, t o h e a r more, t o f e e l m o r e . 8  We call  are  forth  shown a s e r i e s  of q u i e t scenes  the q u i e t , s i n i s t e r  f r a m e s X and b e t w e e n A and  nature  A come i n t o v i e w a g a i n . X,  as t h e  following  i n the chateau  of Marienbad. The  image  dialogue  which  After  a  few  vacillates  i s presented.  X: Vous m ' a t t e n d i e z . A: Non... P o u r q u o i vous a t t e n d r a i s - j e ? X: J e v o u s a i moi-m^me attendue longtemps. A: Dans v o s reVes? . X: E t v o u s e s s a y e z a n o u v e a u de v o u s e c h a p p e r . V o i x de A: M a i s de q u o i p a r l e z - v o u s ? J e ne comprends r i e n a* c e que v o u s d i t e s . X: S i c ' e t a i e n t des r e v e s , p o u r q u o i a u r i e z - v o u s p e u r ? V o i x de A: Eh b i e n , r a c o n t e z - m o i done l a s u i t e de notre h i s t o i r e . (pp. 7 9 - 8 0 ) Waiting A can  indeed  seem t o be  Y e t by  A may  o r may  r a t h e r than  "eternal,"  ambiguous a c t .  waiting without  o b s e r v i n g A from  X arrive. allows,  i s an  t h e o u t s i d e , as not  denies  poetic lover  having  Standing any  such  the  stairs  intent.  s p e c t a t o r s must, we  have b e e n a w a i t i n g X, that p o s s i b i l i t y .  as he  on  since his  X becomes  see arrival  the  s t a t e s " a t t e n d r e longtemps."  But  60  his romantic rebuttal.  allusion  i s humourously d e s t r o y e d  What v e r y  few  critics  by A's  have m e n t i o n e d  quick  i s the  inherent  9 . humour past to  m  this  journey  (to h e r v e r y  s o r t out  into  face!).  ambiguity We  as a man  denies  a woman's  a r e v e r y much i n v o l v e d i n  t h e meaning o f M a r i e n b a d , w h i l e  at the  trying  same  time  f e e l i n g menaced by  i t s m u t a b i l i t y and  impermeability to  "real"  While  s e r i o u s adventure,  is  certainty.  undeniably  tire  being  humourous as  of r e p e t i t i o n ;  umpteenth t i m e , murder, r a p e ,  as we  and  an  a very  Marienbad  equally r i d i c u l o u s quest.  see  We  t h e bedroom a p p e a r f o r t h e  see  t h e o p t i o n s f o r an  we  become e x a s p e r a t e d .  etc.,  concrete,  end  to the  story,  I s t h e r e no  end  to  Marienbad? Why threat  i s A afraid?  to her  sense  o f h e r own  identity  repetitious  by  pp.  of  nightmare of  ongoing  narrative  A,  to  possibly  events  world  i f we  and  83-86.  A back t o t h e i r  these  X's her  confuse she  valid.  X's  g i v e s A a sense  l i k e we  between h i s s t o r y X recalls  her  a  losing  so c l o s e t o what  have e x p e r i e n c e d her.  as  p l a c e i n the  as X c o n t i n u e s  similar  t o what X t e l l s  t o X's  The  i n t h e p a s t as t o be  e v e n t h o u g h she may  must y i e l d  Her  adventure  dreams i s t h r e a t e n e d by  versions of r e a l i t y  recollection  listening  conflict  and  becomes e v e r more r e a l ,  have e x p e r i e n c e d  deja-vu  of r e a l i t y  self-knowledge.  her with d i f f e r e n t may  f e a r s the present  connection with r e a l i t y .  along w i t h her denial  She  events  of only  the s p e c t a t o r s ,  are to r e s o l v e  this  reality. "next"  meeting  which  61  t o o k p l a c e among a s m a l l g r o u p o f monologue by  X not  contours  i m p l i c a t i o n s are  this  and  monologue we  a word o f t h e  guests dialogue  described.  see  A alone  moving  garden i n a s e d u c t i v e  gown o f  light  going  nowhere b u t  around!  the wind g i v e s her while  i n her  She  hand.  A's  course  l o s s of c o n t r o l over  A  o f open t e x t .  i s presented  his  her  (A as  h e r e as  yet b a f f l e s  us  by  given  the  t h r o u g h w h i c h he What t h i s  is and  like  another  tale can  imagining f i l m we  as we  expect  tries  nonchalantly  between t h e  possess  us by  Can  net;  l e d by  the  his  whereas  by  X in  this,  we  He  of  i t s certainty, assume t h a t  in this  i t is  manner,  imagines c o n c r e t e l y into  a  her. t e x t and  image d o e s  s c e n e X d e s c r i b e s as we  the  continuing  abstractly: luring A  between n a r r a t e d  experience  images  t o make s e n s e o u t  labyrinth  see  i n which Marienbad  t o be  directionless  other  in this  i s wearing?  i s doing  t o imagine the  way  us  by  calmly,  X weaves o n c e a g a i n  which assures  t r y t o make s e n s e o f what we  again  walks  correlation  i s caught  around the  dissonance  t o f o r c e us  i s no  costume she  what h i s c o m p l i c a t e d  She  c a r r y i n g the  i t s contradictions.  imagines A running alluring  i t i s blown a r o u n d  moving about w i t h  s t o r y as  She  of  apparently  o b j e c t presumbaly observed  recounting  X who  trap  r o b e as  subject  a  half  t h r o u g h t h e maze i m p l i e s h e r  own  an  subjective vision.)  X' s n e v e r - e n d i n g  there  first  white m a t e r i a l ,  sandal while  Once a g a i n  In  i s uttered, only i t s In t h e  ephemeral q u a l i t y .  wears one  the words.  web  The  hotel.  around the l a b y r i n t h i n e  constantly changing d i r e c t i o n ,  purpose.  and  an  at the  film.  on  the  screen.  f o r c e s us  watch This  to create  N o r m a l l y when we  i s yet by  watch  s e q u e n c e o f r e l e v a n t images  a and  62  dialogue  w h i c h make up  a narrative film.  M a r i e n b a d t r y t o make us our  own  image o f what X d e s c r i b e s  event. like  work a l o n g  I n t h i s way  her,  we  t o o we  are  put  must t r y t o v i s u a l i z e  But  with  as  the  the  film  i n the  the  authors  artists  by  shows us  creating another  same s i t u a t i o n  what he  describes  of  as A  since,  i n words.  X: Je vous r e g a r d a i s . Vous v o u s m e l i e z a l a conversation. Avec un e n t r a i n q u i m'a paru factice. I I me s e m b l a i t que p e r s o n n e ne s a v a i t q u i v o u s e t i e z p a r m i t o u s c e s g e n s , que j ' e t a i s l e seul a l e savoir. E t v o u s ne l e s a v i e z pas non plus... (p. 83)  We  are presented  of persons relates  i n the  t h a t he  by  the  camera w i t h  g a r d e n , among whom we  said  a c r o s s - c u t of f i n d A,  something to a t t r a c t  her  M and  a  group  X.  X  attention.  She  reponded: d une phrase i r o n i q u e sur 1'invraisemblance de propos. Les a u t r e s c o n t i n u a i e n t de se t a i r e .  fsonj  1  V o i x de X: p e r s o n n e ne que j ' e t a i s X a t t a c k s A's disconnection indirectly a facade!)  own  i s able  of being The  in  her  incident  do  says.  not  i n h e r s e l f by the  group.  and  know who  I t i s X who  to understand her.  i n the past  somewhat f a l s e  others  t o undermine her believe  confidence  between h e r s e l f and  u n d e r s t a n d what she he  J ' a i eu de n o u v e a u 1 ' i m p r e s s i o n que^ c o m p r e n a i t vos p a r o l e s , p e u t - ^ t r e meme l e s e u l a l e s a v o i r entendues. (p. 85)  w h i c h he  accuses  fabricated. she  i s , nor  knows h e r  (She do  and  relates.  must do  She.must q u e s t i o n  d i c t a t e s to her.  i s r e l a t e d , i t remains o n l y  impressions  her is  implies  but  her  that  attempt  t o make  However d i r e c t l y the  this  they  T h i s p o i n t o f v i e w i s an  s e l f - h o o d , w h i c h i s what he  s t o r y he  He  suggesting  own  her belief  this  o f X as  he  63  himself reports.  He e g o t i s t i c a l l y emphasizes h i s own i n v a l u a b l e  importance t o A. P. 89.  We watch X and A dancing  i n two s h o t s .  Then we  are shown a game o f poker with M and X among other guests. the l a s t t o accede the v i c t o r y t o M who n o n c h a l a n t l y the cards and the poker c h i p s he has won.  Xis  collects  X calmly adds the  r e q u i r e d c h i p s t o the c e n t e r of the t a b l e but when M r a i s e s the ante, X s m i l i n g l y admits d e f e a t .  M regards him i n d i f f e r e n t l y  while X appears t o a p p r e c i a t e the humour of h i s l o s s . the game we  hear  from A's p a s t .  x's v o i c e as i t d e s c r i b e s another  incident  I t appears t h a t she once broke a h e e l o f her shoe  as she was walking w i t h him i n the garden. music  Throughout  The l u g u b r i o u s  waltz  t h a t we have heard p r e v i o u s l y continues on throughout  this  scene. The j u x t a p o s i t i o n of music, the s e r i o u s n e s s / n o n - s e r i o u s n e s s of the game a l o n g s i d e X's n a r r a t e d  (unrelated t o the images) memory  of A breaking one o f her h e e l s -- a l l of t h i s teases us by i t s incongruity.  I t i s a banal s t o r y presented  imbues i t with a b i z a r r e q u a l i t y . event as he p l a y s poker?  i n an odd f a s h i o n , which  Does X imagine t h i s past  The s t o r y i s d i r e c t e d towards A, and y e t  she i s not present, i t i s we who r e c e i v e the incongruous between poker, the t a b l e , haunting music and humour.  connection  T h i s memory  as i t i s d e s c r i b e d f o r us appears t o come out o f p l a c e , as though it  should have preceded  ( c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y speaking)  A running around the l a b y r i n t h with one shoe on.  the images o f X relates his  memories o f the past i n an a c h r o n o l o g i c a l f a s h i o n , which c o u l d be read d i f f e r e n t l y by us as i m p l y i n g t r u t h or f a l s e h o o d .  I f he  64  relates accept not  the the  past  as  he  truly  d i s t o r t i o n s and  a l s o i n t e r p r e t and  tell  We  should  no  us  t h a t we  remembers i t , one  convolutions.  create  perceived  remember what we  a good example o f  faulty  t e s t s which study  p o l i c e witness  are  t h e i r w a i t i n g , a staged t h e n e x a m i n e d and collected  and  witnesses' stories as  t h a t we We  are  as  their  compared.  testimony  our  involves  as  What i s e x p o s e d  of observed so  crime  are  and  how  e v e n more d i s t o r t e d o u r personally!  be  reality  of  are  idea that  If this  to the  an  memories must be Even the  Their solutions  explained  is  i n w h i c h we  live.  experience.  experiment  subjects  eye  are  eye-  t o g r a s p o r d e f i n e ; we  " o b j e c t i v e " r e p o r t i n g on  i n the  course  subjects  d e f i n i n g what we  i s hard  unrelated  innaccuracy  i t fills  subjects  a myriad of  only  fluid  mutations to b e l i e v e i n .  w h i c h i n v o l v e us  The  But  psychological  the  is reliable.  What c a n  objective entity  of  During  i s the  to provide  i n t e r p r e t the  the  sees:  as  subjects  a c t o r s who  by  Different  out.  should  experience.  provided  reports.  i s played  happened.  own  ourselves  experiment.  "really"  an  "Common s e n s e "  e y e - w i t n e s s a c c o u n t s o f what h a p p e n e d  creating, translating  Reality only  event  usually conflict  t o what  experiences?  memory c o u l d be  a s k e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n an  easily  Whose memory d o e s  d o u b t w i s h t o deny t h i s .  can  could  have  which  demonstrates  event,  imagine  about the  events  i n v e n t s what i t  gaps w h i c h a r e m i s s i n g  according  to past  .  experiences. On his  the  other  hand  i f we  a c h r o n o l o g y w o u l d be  d i s p l a c e A's  mind so as  b e l i e v e X t o be  p a r t of h i s attempt to convince  her  of  inventing his to confuse  the  validity  story,  and of  his  65  claims.  I f s h e c a n n o t c o n t r o l and b e l i e v e i n p a r t o f h e r own  mind, p e r h a p s she w o u l d a c c e p t  one so e m p h a t i c a l l y  d e f e n d e d by  X.  J ' a i d i t , a l o r s , que j e p o u v a i s a u s s i v o u s p o r t e r dans mes b r a s p o u r r e v e n i r . Vous a v e z r i s e u l e m e n t , s a n s r e p o n d r e , comme s i c e t a i t . . . v o u s a v e z d u , c e j o u r - l a r e n t r e r v o s s o u l i e r s a main, s u r l e s g r a v i e r s , jusqu'a 1'hotel. (p. 89) 1  X puts position his he  himself  intuition sees i n t o  i n e x a m i n i n g A and p r o j e c t s t h e p e r s o n a past  event.  She h a s f r a i l  break:  w e l l have h a p p e n e d .  resists  the  whom he t h i n k s shoes  He s e e s h e r a l s o  (as she p r e s e n t l y  him) a s one t o r e f u s e h i s a i d w h e t h e r i t i s a q u e s t i o n  a reflection  protector gallant in  expensive  He u s e s  i n c i d e n t c o u l d have e a s i l y and  o f b r i n g i n g h e r shoe o r c a r r y i n g h e r o f f . easily  t o be i n a g a l l a n t  a s t h e r e s c u e r o f A, "a d a m s e l i n d i s t r e s s . "  which might e a s i l y may  o r remembers h i m s e l f  The  o f X's d e s i r e f o r c o n t r o l o v e r  and h e l p e r .  Robbe-Grillet/Resnais  scene u n f o l d s  as a c h a r a c t e r  i s an a t t e m p t by  t o encompass us i n t h e same f i e l d o f  through which A i s f o r c e d t o pass.  to experience  confusion  upon t o q u e s t i o n The  He d e s c r i b e s h i m s e l f  fiction.  way i n w h i c h t h i s  distortion  A as h e r  How c o u l d A deny t h e a d v a n c e s o f s u c h a  a n d c h i v a l r o u s man?  a romantic  These g a l a n t r i e s a r e  waltz  table  t o a bar.  stand  beside  a s we w a t c h M a r i e n b a d .  our past  histories  music c o n t i n u e s  X talks  as b e i n g  We t o o a r e c a l l e d  anything  but c e r t a i n .  as t h e scene changes from t h e poker  The camera s l o w l y  the bar.  We a r e i n t e n d e d  t r a c k s t o w a r d A a n d X who  o n c e more o f a n o t h e r  encounter  66  from the  past. J e v o u s r e n c o n t r a i s de n o u v e a u . — Vous n ' a v e z j a m a i s l ' a i r de m ' a t t e n d r e , m a i s nous nous r e t r o u v i o n s a chaque d e t o u r d ' a l l e e , d e r r i e r e chaque b u i s s o n — au p i e d de chaque s t a t u e — au b o r d de chaque b a s s i n . C ' e t a i t comme s i l n'y a v a i t eu, dans t o u t c e j ' a r d i n , que v o u s e t moi. (p. 91) 1  These simple quality with  of  two  l o v e r s who  thoughts of the  everywhere. the  words a b o u t a m e e t i n g e v o k e t h e  garden,  Or  beloved could  X could  involved.  of mutual  l o v e , here  limitless  obsession.  w h i c h he  meet e v e r y w h e r e , whose m i n d s a r e and  i m p l i e s they  who  search  one  represent  person again h i s own  in this  one-sided  X is trying  being and  be  filled  other trapped  again.  f e e l i n g s or  What w o u l d o t h e r w i s e  both  f o r each  a l s o evoke p u r s u i t —  forced into seeing  words s p o k e n by both people  they  timeless  in  These  those  of  a positive sign  conversation  to r e k i n d l e the  evokes  mutual  a  love  share.  Nous p a r l i o n s de n ' i m p o r t e q u o i — du nom des s t a t u e s , de l a forme des b u i s s o n s , de 1 e a u des b a s s i n s . — Ou b i e n nous ne p a r l i o n s pas du t o u t . 1  Temps d'arreV. S i l e n c e complet. P e n d a n t que X p a r l e , d'une v o i x t o u j o u r s e g a l e , l e s deux v i s a g e s demeurent impaissibles. X semble en t r a i n de v o i r l e j a r d i n e t l e s s c e n e s q u ' i l evoque; A semble ne r i e n e n t e n d r e du t o u t . . . X: At  this  La  n u i t , s u r t o u t , vous a i m i e z  juncture  a very  brief  denuded bedroom f l a s h e s a c r o s s only for  to  a few  votre the  see  the  We  bedroom b r o u g h t b a c k a g a i n  and  chambre..."  We  longer.  X:  "Un  oscillate  bedroom s c e n e , w h i l e  steadily  scene of A screen.  more s e c o n d s .  the  vous t a i r e .  the  (Here i f we  soir,  (pp.  i n a b r i g h t , white, r e t u r n to the  bar  again  time  —  each  j e s u i s monte' j u s q u ' a  between t h e  bar  scene  and  bedroom s c e n e s become refer  to the  91-92)  editing  chart  in  67  Techniques of all  of  see  new  the  We  same l e n g t h ,  background.  same way We  she  see  that  A  which A  i n the  falls  room, as  i f she  s h o c k on  her  a recognition of 1 1  the  the  but  through  images.  This  noise  of  what X r e l a y s  ensuing  truth in X s 1  bedroom s c e n e  the  shocked  story, or  as  The  calmly  Reisz  in convincing  her  about  has  s t e a d i l y denied.  Resnais  domination not  t h r o u g h words as  dialogue,  X imposes an  image t o w h i c h he  forces A  conjectures,  or  the  be  absolute  manipulation of  bedroom h i n t s a l s o a t a s t r o n g  pile  Did of  t h a n by  sexual  s o m e t h i n g happen l a s t shoes a l s o  "cries  out"  optimistic  X of  desire  been her  on  year which A t o be  to  even  a r e c o g n i t i o n o f what A has  o f X f o r A.  of  imply  fear could  the  and  the  look  glass  Karel  in  gathering  shots of  s h a t t e r i n g of her  mind o v e r A:  We  fear, rather  a l l along  The  horrified.  to her.  as  laughs.  r e t u r n to the bar a w a i t e r pieces  room  i s e x p o s e d by  The  suppressed?  in  the  A a p p e a r s t o a g r e e w i t h X's  memory. part  The  s o m e t h i n g w h i c h she  such agreement  a woman i n t h e . b a r  X entering  shattered  1  approximated t h i s  suppressing  see  chair.  the  with  shoes i n the  bright  has  acceptance.  point  ten  eyes halfway through the  and  we  become a  played  glass.  t r u t h of  if  as we  because  are.  this  a v i c t o r y of X s  Finally  i n what has  senses are  usually-  longer  of  the  comply.  appearing  s u r r o u n d e d by  i s imagining  face  shots are  j u s t a p p e a r t o be  s i n c e when we  A opens her  the  w a l k i n g backwards l o o k i n g  glass  up  that  physical  minds  At  o f f her  picks  describes:  our  bar  c a r r i e d over,  silently  Our  laugh.  hear A drop her  is  they  A eventually  begins to see  we n o t i c e  movements o r o b j e c t s  familiar the  Editing  has  interpreted  68  as  a powerful  and e n i g m a t i c  between A ' s b r e a k i n g  symbol.  What i s t h e c o n n e c t i o n  a shoe, r e f u s i n g h e l p by X and a s u r p l u s o f  12 s h o e s i n h e r bedroom? moment  Perhaps A's f e e l i n g s  i n t h e room make h e r " s e e " many  at this  intense  s h o e s i n p l a c e o f t h e one  shoe w h i c h she needs t o p u t on i n o r d e r  to leave  encountering  answer t o t h e r e a l i t y o r  X.  There  explanation of this Here a g a i n convention violent  and e x p r e s s e d  communication  lighting  aggression  effects  i n a n o v e l way.  i s evidence  inherent i n Marienbad.  by X o f A h a s b e e n m a i n t a i n e d  of episodes  expressed  corner  and r e p e a t e d  of this  chateau  The  i n this  o f the suppressed The a c t i v e  by an u n r e l e n t i n g p r o g r e s s i o n  b y X.  X has f o l l o w e d h e r  i n u n r e l e n t i n g f a s h i o n ; he  a p p e a r s t o be more h a r r a s s i n g t h a n l o v i n g . the  through  o p p o s i t i o n between b l a c k and w h i t e e n h a n c e d  yet powerful  to every  scene.  R e s n a i s / R o b b e - G r i l l e t have b r o k e n  sequence by h a r s h  pursuit  i s no d e f i n i t i v e  without  We c a n n o t f o r g e t  s c e n e where X i s p r a c t i s i n g m a r k s m a n s h i p , s i n c e i t m i g h t  be  an e x p r e s s i o n o f s e x u a l a g g r e s s i o n  to  impose h i s r e a l i t y  root  o f such  aimed a t A.  upon h e r i n o r d e r  aggressive  to possess  d e s i r e not a demonstration  power, w h i c h he a t t e m p t s  t o w i e l d , r a t h e r than  f o r A w h i c h he h a s i m p l i e d a l l a l o n g w i t h  He  attempts  her.  Is the  o f h i s own  limitless  love  h i s "poetic lover's  language"? Agression  i s t h e means o f m a n i p u l a t i o n  by M a r i e n b a d ' s  c r e a t o r s o f A by X a s w e l l a s o f u s , .the s p e c t a t o r s . ;  A's  attachment t o r e a l i t y  and h e r p a s t ,  X questions  i n e x a c t l y t h e same way a s  69  Robbe-Grillet/Resnais have come t o see screen. as  But  a film,  t i m e and  a fiction.  We  Kael  trick,  refers  our  connection  expecting  time a g a i n  have a new  imposed upon u s . unfolded  question  t o see  this  vision  "our  t o i t as  by  "the  o f what f i l m  t h e w r i t e r on snow j o b  reality"  apparent r e a l i t y  F o r many v i e w e r s , M a r i e n b a d played  to r e a l i t y .  can  i s but  up  on  the  i s exposed  do, a  aggressively  carefully  h i s audience.  i n the  We  Pauline  ice palace,"  in  her  13 critique Yet to  Marienbad.  this  r e a c t i o n may  d i s r e g a r d the  them. the  of  effect  N o e l B u r c h who  be  a s a f e t y valve viewers  which Marienbad attempts  w r i t e s about French  v i o l e n c e w h i c h d i r e c t o r s i n f l i c t on  through content form,  (as one  i n a chapter  would n o r m a l l y  entitled  New  used  to create  on  Wave d e l i n e a t e s  their  audiences  expect) but  " S t r u c t u r e s of  have  also  not  only  through  Aggression":  Whatever h i s l e v e l of c r i t i c a l awareness, a v i e w e r s i t t i n g i n t h e d a r k a l o n e and s u d d e n l y f a c e t o f a c e w i t h t h e s c r e e n i s c o m p l e t e l y a t t h e mercy o f t h e f i l m - m a k e r , who may do v i o l e n c e t o him a t any moment and t h r o u g h any means. S h o u l d t h e v i e w e r be f o r c e d b e y o n d t h e p a i n t h r e s h o l d , h i s d e f e n s e mechanisms may w e l l be c a l l e d f o r t h and he may r e m i n d h i m s e l f t h a t " i t ' s o n l y a m o v i e " ( t h a t d i s t a n c i n g phenomenon t o be d e s c r i b e d i n more d e t a i l b e l o w ) , b u t i t w i l l a l w a y s be t o o l a t e . . . t h e harm w i l l a l r e a d y have b e e n done; i n t e n s e d i s c o m f o r t , and p e r h a p s e v e n t e r r o r , w i l l a l r e a d y have c r e p t a c r o s s t h e t h r e s h o l d . I 4  Marienbad to  make us  reality, is  "on  film, alike.  is precisely  question  but  not  s u c h an  only  a l s o the very  the  aggressive  movie which  f i l m medium and  nature  of r e a l i t y  how  itself.  the warpath" a g a i n s t complacent n o n - c r e a t i v e a process We  w h i c h has  enslaved  a r e meant t o p a r t i c i p a t e  both and  director  and  create along  attempts  i t reflects Robbe-Grillet viewing  of  spectator with  the  70  artist, than  to involve ourselves  accepting This  a pre-formulated  scene o n l y  a large rupture  lasts  conflict us  path  the f i n a l  shot  being  A yields  as t h e w a i t e r  considered  The  rather  world. such  ground  silence  p i c k s up t h e p i e c e s o f  t o c a l m us down and r e t u r n us t o y e t Resnais  uses the  a n d s o u n d , as w e l l as r h y t h m t o a f f e c t  i n t h e same manner t h a t m u s i c moves  becomes an e x p r e s s i o n  of our  t h r e e m i n u t e s b u t i t has c a u s e d  of our overwhelming p u z z l e .  between s i l e n c e  emotively  reflection  l a c k o f power, o r f e a r .  b r o k e n g l a s s i s an a t t e m p t another  shallow  i n the flow of o u r . n a r r a t i v e .  t o X, be i t f o r t r u t h , surrounding  i n the questioning of r e a l i t y ,  for itself  important  only  us.  as a emotive p i e c e f o r what i t means.  Film rather  than  71  NOTES Chapter 2  1.  B r u c e M o r r i s s e t t e , L e s Romans de R o b b e - G r i l l e t E d i t i o n s de M i n u i t , 1 9 6 3 ) , p . 207.  2.  I n t h e L a b a r t h e , R i v e t t e i n t e r v i e w , R e s n a i s and R o b b e - G r i l l e t d i s c u s s what i s t h e b e s t way o f p r o d u c i n g r e a l i t y o n f i l m . They a d m i t t h a t s c e n e s i n f i l m no m a t t e r what t i m e frame t h e y o c c u r i n , a r e always p r e s e n t e d i n t h e p r e s e n t t e n s e . L a b a r t h e , R i v e t t e i n t e r v i e w , pp. 10-11.  3.  Chasseguet-Smirgel,  4.  "M, en somme, e s t i n s e r e dans l a r e a l i t e . I l est f a i t des a f f a i r e s ( l e d e j e u n e r avec A n d e r s o n ) . " C h a s s e g u e t - S m i r g e l , p . 73.  5.  T h e r e are" s e v e n r e f e r e n c e s . t o C h a r l e s I I I i n E u r o p e a n h i s t o r y i n L e R o b e r t NOms P r o p r e s , V o l . I , p p . 434-435, 623, 625, 626, 627.  6.  " D i e t e g e r m a n i q u e " i s e x p l a i n e d i n Le R o b e r t Noms P r o p r e s , V o l . 2, p . 891.  7.  B r u c e M o r r i s s e t t e , The N o v e l s o f R o b b e - G r i l l e t , C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1971), p p . 210-211.  8.  Susan Sontag, York: F a r r e r ,  9.  James Monaco i s a n o t e d e x c e p t i o n . He w r i t e s a b o u t t h e humour i n t h e r e p t i l l i a n s t r u c t u r e o f s e n t e n c e s a s w e l l a s t h e humour o f c o n s t a n t l y p o s i n g . W i t h r e g a r d t o M he w r i t e s : "Sacha P i t o e f f c u t s a l u g u b r i o u s f i g u r e w h i c h i s by t u r n s c o m i c a l and v i c i o u s . I t r e m i n d s us t h a t v a m p i r e p s y c h o l o g y u n d e r l i e s the f i l m . " James Monaco, A l a i n R e s n a i s (New Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 7 9 ) , p p . 65-66  10.  K a r e l R e i s z a n d G a v i n M i l l a r , The- T e c h n i q u e o f F i l m E d i t i n g (London: F o c a l P r e s s , 1968, 2nd e n l a r g e d e d i t i o n ) , pp. 365369.  p. 135. "positif,"  (London:  A g a i n s t I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and Other E s s a y s S t r a u s & G i r o u x , 1967), pp. 8, 14.  11. K a r e l R e i s z a n d G a v i n M i l l a r , 12.  (Paris:  (New  p . 369.  C h a s s e g u e t - S m i r g e l d i s c u s s e s t h e shoes i n h e r c h a p t e r on M a r i e n b a d , pp. 64-65. The shoes a r e p a r t o f a p s y c h o - a n a l y t i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n which although very r i c h l y developed I cannot f u l l y accept.  P a u l i n e K a e l , "The C o m e - D r e s s e d - A s - T h e - S i c k - S o u l - O f - E u r o p e P a r t i e s " i n I L o s t i t a t the Movies (Boston: A t l a n t i c Monthly P r e s s , 1965), p. 185. Noel Burch, Theory o f F i l m P r a c t i c e 1 9 7 3 ) , p . 124.  (New Y o r k : P r a e g e r ,  Chapter  3  Part three i s i n t e r s p e r s e d at length with discordant m u s i c w h i c h r e p e a t s as t h e s c e n e s o f X and A d a n c i n g together repeat. The s t o r y o f A's p u r s u i t i s m i n u t e l y e l a b o r a t e d on, g i v i n g us t h e f e e l i n g o f a s t o r y w h i c h w h i l e a p p e a r i n g n o t t o a d v a n c e o r change i s n e v e r t h e l e s s g r o w i n g and d e v e l o p i n g . X d e s c r i b e s A as a s t a t u e , w h i l e he t a l k s a t l e n g t h o f h e r f e a r . . . Of him, o r of M perhaps. They d i s c u s s and p r o j e c t d i f f e r e n t v i e w s o f t h e room where he t o o k h e r by f o r c e o r p e r h a p s d i d not. More p r o o f i s a l l u d e d t o by r e f e r e n c e t o a b r a c e l e t i n t h e t e x t , b u t by a r i n g i n t h e m o v i e . "But i t i s t o o l a t e ! " c r i e s X. A moves a b o u t i n t h e bedroom, r e f u s i n g t o l o o k a t o r a c c e p t what X describes. (pp- 97-172) G r a d u a l l y , A seems t o a c c e p t X's v e r b a l i z e d p a s t b u t n o t h i s i n v i t a t i o n t o go away w i t h him. With the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t A m i g h t be p e r s u a d e d , X seems t o l o s e g r a s p o f h i s a c c o u n t s ; h i s t a l e s have been o f t h e p a s t , o f l a s t y e a r , t o w a r d c o n v i n c i n g A. T h e i r g o i n g away t o g e t h e r p o i n t s now t o w a r d t h e p r e s e n t and f u t u r e , w h i c h l e a v e s X c o n f u s e d and s t r u g g l i n g between p o s s i b l e "endings" to the s t o r y . I n one p o s s i b l e e n d i n g , a j e a l o u s M k i l l s A. X r e j e c t s t h i s , s a y i n g t h a t he must have A a l i v e . ' A n o t h e r e n d i n g i n v o l v e s a r a p e , a l s o r e j e c t e d by X and v i s u a l i z e d i n t h e f i l m by t h e r e p e a t e d o v e r e x p o s e d s h o t s o f A c o m i n g t o meet X w i t h f e a t h e r e d arms o u t s t r e t c h e d . A f t e r a meeting i n the g a r d e n , X h u r d l e s t h e b a l u s t r a d e o f t h e b a l c o n y and i t breaks. A s c r e a m s , and h e r s c r e a m s a r e i d e n t i c a l w i t h t h o s e o f an e a r l i e r s c e n e , t h e v i s u a l s r e t u r n i n g t o t h a t e a r l i e r s c e n e i n t h e b a r when A d r o p p e d h e r glass. M and A meet i n h e r bedroom, and i t i s c l e a r t h a t M knows she w i l l l e a v e him, d e s p i t e h e r p r o t e s t a t i o n s t h a t he k e e p h e r . While everyone e l s e a t t h e c h a t e a u i s a t t e n d i n g t h e p l a y t h a t began t h e f i l m , X and A l e a v e a t m i d n i g h t , as t h e y had p r e v i o u s l y agreed.1  74  Different "C'etait lisses,  s c e n e s o f A and X i n s i d e a n d o u t s i d e . toujours  vernis  d e s murs —  partout,  a u t o u r de moi —  sans l a moindre p r i s e , c ' e t a i t  toujours  unis,  d e s murs..."  (p. 97). This confronted  s i t u a t i o n r e f e r s t o a " h e r o " who i n t h e p a s t with  obstructions.  This  i n which t h e hero X i s powerless: the  infinity  (limitless  time)  was a l w a y s  i s also a hopeless s i t u a t i o n "C'etait toujours"  i n X's s e a r c h  r e m i n d i n g us o f a l a b y r i n t h , which a l l o w s  underlines  f o r A, a s w e l l a s  f o ri n f i n i t e  in  a straightforward  t r a c e l e s s path.  us  a series of halls  and c o r r i d o r s , a l l seeming t o l e a d  and  The f i l m  advancement  c o m p l i e s by s h o w i n g somewhere  nowhere a t t h e same t i m e . V o i x de X: ...et a u s s i l e s i l e n c e . Je n ' a i jamais e n t e n d u p e r s o n n e e l e v e r l a v o i x , dans c e t hostel — personne... Les c o n v e r s a t i o n s se d e r o u l a i e n t a v i d e , comme s i l e s p h r a s e s ne s i g n i f i a i e n t r i e n , ne d e v a i e n t r i e n s i g n i f i e r , de t o u t e m a n i e r e . E t l a p h r a s e commencee r e s t a i t t o u t a coup en s u s p e n s , comme fige*e p a r l e g e l . . . M a i s p o u r r e p r e n d r e e n s u i t e , sans d o u t e , a u meme p o i n t , ou a i l l e u r s . £a n ' a v a i t pas d importance . C "etaient t o u j o u r s l e s memes c o n v e r s a t i o n s q u i r e v e n a i e n t , l e s mimes v o i x a b s e n t e s . L e s s e r v i t e u r s e t a i e n t muets. Les jeux e t a i e n t s i l e n c i e u x , n a t u r e l l e m e n t . C'etait un l i e u de r e p o s , on n'y t r a i t a i t aucune a f f a i r e , on n'y t r a m a i t p a s de c o m p l o t p n n'y p a r l a i t j a m a i s de q u o i que c e f u t q u i p u t e v e i l l e r l e s p a s s i o n s . I I y a v a i t p a r t o u t des e c r i t e a u x : t a i s e z - v o u s , taisez-vous. (pp. 98-99) 1  />(/  This figurative  sequence o f d i a l o g u e meaning t o i t .  Marienbad o r wherever  has both a c o n c r e t e  On t h e one hand, t h i s  "we a r e " )  i sreally  these  l i n e s may r e f e r e q u a l l y  where " l e s c o n v e r s a t i o n s  as w e l l  se d e r o u l e n t  place  "un l i e u  where the. w e a l t h y have come t o g e t b e t t e r .  as w e l l as a  de  repos"  On t h e o t h e r  t o a movie/movie a vide  (chateau  hand experience  comme s i l e s  phrases  75  ne  signifiaient  Et  l a phrase  l e gel..."  and  show l i f e  exactly  o f space  infinitum,  meaning because  a coup en s u s p e n s ,  no b o r i n g c h i t c h a t  a l l we h e a r details  bague...la o f their  m e a n i n g a n d so a v i d l y  ever  —  and t h e i r  to repetition  c o n c r e t e language  The  i s auspiciously  plot to  to stir t o have  "Figee par l e g e l " i s a c r o s s over language.  calm,  i n this  ("Le g e l de '28 o u  sequence  a p l a c e o f calm  tranquility,  up t h e p a s s i o n s o f A p r e c i s e l y A abandon M.  t h e woman t o r e m a i n  quiet.  ces chuchotements p i r e s  i s overwhelming. yet i n  we have a man, X, who i s d e s p e r a t e l y to join  The r e f e r e n c e t o s i l e n c e  t h e s t r a n g e c o u p l e who c o n v e r s e d  Femme:  paragraph  repeated.)  the midst o f t h i s trying  This  i n Marienbad  i n time o f movie d i a l o g u e as i t  figurative  obsession with silence  chateau  v a l u e as  meaning f o r e v e r y t w i s t  of  The  — le  We a s s p e c t a t o r s c r a v e  produce  into  meaning.  a l l t a k e on much more  juxtaposition  p l a y e d o v e r and o v e r a g a i n .  i s often  remains.  a n d o b j e c t s however b a n a l  statue  is  "29"  i n a movie  i s the inconsequential repetition  w h i c h may o r may n o t have any meaning a t a l l . refer  figee  t h a t m o v i e s p u r p o r t t o be r e a l i s t i c  " m e a n i n g f u l " movie d i a l o g u e .  may a c t u a l l y  comme  o r time which i s d e v o i d o f s i g n i f i c a n t  so t h a t  talon brise...la  tout  maniere.  a s i t i s and y e t a l l we e v e r h e a r  dialogue;  However i n M a r i e n b a d , ad  restait  I t i s ironic  "meaningful"  No p a s s a g e  ne d e v a i e n t r i e n s i g n i f i e r de t o u t e  commencee  par  is  rien,  him i n h i s also  i n the midst o f c r i e s  refers from  "Supporter ces s i l e n c e s , cesmurs,  que l e s i l e n c e ,  T a i s e z - v o u s , t a i s e z - v o u s ! " (p.  As w e l l we remember o u r f i r s t  ou v o u s  m enfermez... 1  39)  encounter  with the narrator  76  who  s p o k e o f s i l e n c e and h e a r i n g Three people d i s c u s s  past.  at the very  beginning of Marienbad.  t h e w e a t h e r o f a p a r t i c u l a r day i n t h e  "Mais i l s ' a g i t d'une c h o s e f a c i l e  a controler.  n'importe q u e l l e  collection  bibliotheque...  M a i s c e l a d o i t e t r e une e r r e u r . "  .Marienbad out  often  de j o u r n a l . . .  provides  "realistic sequence. of proof  movie" e v e r y t h i n g  i s explainable  a l l a t t h e same t i m e .  (p. 100)  We  can check  i t a t t h e same t i m e .  • M a r i e n b a d however a l l u d e s  i n one f i x e d r e a l i t y  A l l o n s v o i r a. l a  possible proof.  " o b j e c t i v e l y " while denying  We  Dans  this  L i k e any  following  a  logical  t o and n e g a t e s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y  want d e s p e r a t e l y  o f M a r i e n b a d , b u t we c a n n o t  to believe  find  j u s t one.  2 The  famous shadow s c e n e  f o r Marienbad: the  spectator  why.  Shadows  (p. 106)  which i s t h e b e s t metaphor  what a p p e a r s t o be so n a t u r a l uneasy w i t h o u t h i s b e i n g  able  i s not.  think  and  the other  a r e c a s t by t h e p e o p l e b u t n o t by t h e b u s h e s .  o f two d i f f e r e n t s e t s o f o b j e c t s ,  "trustworthy"  leaves  to explain precisely  Which o f t h e b u s h e s o r t h e p e o p l e a r e more r e a l ? one  This  without?  One  i s true  B u t how c a n  one w i t h  shadows  and one i s f a l s e ?  s e n s e o f v i s i o n i s t r i c k e d by t h e s i m p l e  Our "view" o f  t r e e s w i t h no shadows. This  i s subliminal  The  fact  but  the f a c t  is  that  there that  a r e shadows i s i n i t s e l f  these  more t h a n s l i g h t l y  itself reality  d i s t o r t i o n w h i c h i s so u n s e t t l i n g . not d i s t u r b i n g ,  shadows a p p e a r when t h e r e  disarming.  Once a g a i n ,  i s no sun  Marienbad  f o r what i t i s : t h e d e m a s k i n g o f t h e r e p r o d u c t i o n on  shows of  film.  "Cetait  comme s ' i l n'y a v a i t e u , dans t o u t  c e j a r d i n , que  77  (p. 110)  v o u s e t moi."  such a c r e d i b l e l i n e , p u r s u e d by  X,  this  I f A was but  du  or  not,  One  tout." the  Yet  vaguely  irony  too,  one  at  that A  to  We  so  the  and  ou  flexible  act of  as  same t i m e .  ...  feeling  nous ne  i s that  part  of  that  having  the  forgotten  human someone.  what X  by  its  assures  over-banality.  In  this  a change i s a b o u t t o that  was  evasiveness  t a r d de'ja."  a p p r o a c h and  spoken  together.  t o what o c c u r r e d ,  trop  parlions  speaking with  His^apparent  II est  relentlessly  "spent time"  important  be  obsession.  expression they  is  bien  remember h a v i n g  hope t h a t A w i l l  take  this will  lead  some a c t i o n . s a v e z pas  We  are  of  e n d u r a n c e and  has  "Qui n'a  tout  reminded of other  desired  really  Ca  his  X a c t u a l l y were t o g e t h e r ,  have t h e  "Vous ne  the  same:  could  "Approchez-vous!  place.  this  s p e e c h i s an  In b e i n g  s e q u e n c e we  of  w o u l d remember t h e  b o t h e r s us  implies  n'importe q u o i :  i s the  that  one  discussed. and  result  considers  condition;  The  X i t would  i t appears t h a t A  i s a h o l l o w echo o f  "Nous p a r l i o n s de pas  as  enamoured o f  woman.  d e n i e s not  We  as  spectators  m o v i e we of  h e a r one asking  k n o w i n g X and  we  an  of  s u f f e r i n g and  hero f i n a l l y  Comment v o u s  At the  enough has  this  stage of  obtaining that  X  appelez-vous? been  written  over  halfway  most o b v i o u s q u e s t i o n s  unknown s t r a n g e r .  are  tests  here.  Perhaps not  humour i n t h i s m o v i e .  traverser."  wish to b e l i e v e  Vous l e s a v e z .  d'importance."  would ever t h i n k  a fallu  courage r e s u l t e d i n the  etes-vous?  through the  qu'il  myths where g r e a t  u n d e r g o n e much t o g e t  pas  about the  ce  eager to p i n p o i n t  A  one  constantly him  with  his  78  name and  biography.  assume names as  new  example, X b e i n g or  Illusion.  Not  having  scenes or  assume t h e  nameless a l l o w s  so much more, as w e l l as b e i n g see as  on  the  the  screen  story  and  nothing  fight  already  more.  i s o v e r and by  yet  J e ne  "Vous e t i e z The  killed  A and  past.  Or  she  i n what he  "A:  morte.  The  Ce  reference t h a t the  two  to  be  people  them new  This  we  names  implies  on!  Or  that  is  everything  to death  of her  Therefore no  Oui first  reality  that X i s t e l l i n g  pas  vrai!  the  Vous "etes  i m p l i e s t h a t perhaps  movie i s a r e m i n i s c e n c e  her.  A:  Here i s t h e  perception  n'est  i s "dead" o n c e she  tells  gives she  longer  i s no  longer  e v o l v i n g and  vivante X  of t h e i r  i n t o and  truth.  shared  believes herself  moving  i n time. Pourquoi?  a m'offrir? could  Fate  c'est possible.  were t o a d m i t  i s a dead c h a r a c t e r  forward  of Death,  the  give  movie c a r r i e s  sais plus."  i s uncertain.  w o u l d c o l l a p s e i f she  encore."  For  fate?  m a i s non.  moment t h a t A  but  the  (p. 115)  M a i s v o u s s a v e z b i e n que  peut-^tre,  We  them.  characters  just  can  evolves.  decided  "X:  role  their  exactly  "II est trop tard deja." the  characters  situations describe  nameless can  Being  names, t h e s e  X:  Je  Que  voulez-vous?  n'ai rien  r e f e r both to the  quest  a vous o f f r i r . "  the  implies  final  may  be  no  director.  This  conclusion  d'autre  These  f o r l o v e as w e l l as  c o n t r a c t between v i e w e r s and that there  Qu'avez-vous  lines  the line  to the  story.  "I  79  have n o t h i n g eternal any  present.  you  but  from the  p l a y he  a c h a t e a u where he  them a t t h e flash-back  X and  t o be  the  techniques  though t h e i r  p e r h a p s he  A as  using  dialogue  first  discuss  the  he  hears  time.  or both  of  framing  or  i s thinking  appears behind  b r o u g h t him  of  him.  conventional  e x a c t l y who  When M m y s t e r i o u s l y d i s c u s s i n g him  the  s p a c e o f X o r A,  t o show us  in  i s constructing his  f o r the  they  mental  love,"  randomly chosen A out  Rosmer, and  same t i m e , w i t h o u t  w h i c h moment.  just  and  sees,  p u r s u i t of  encounters A  M appears behind Marienbad t r i e s  the  P e r h a p s X has  number o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s  story at  to o f f e r  at  them, i t i s  physically into  as  their  presence. To  speak i s t o c r e a t e .  In the  first  book o f  the  Bible,  Genesis, 3  it  says:  "And  I n t h i s way  God  A and  said, X's  Let there  words c r e a t e  ominous o b s t a c l e between them. A by  referring  t o her  in  the  game o f Nim  M as w e l l c o n t e s t s they the  discuss  X as  the  a print  of the  M  compete  and  a vision,  being  there  that of  to f r i g h t e n  o f A.  which X d e s c r i b e s  t o A.  (or c o u l d  they  be  another. (When  g a r d e n ; when M  t o have t a k e n l a s t  year.  the  I t i s only  one  i n the  light."  an  M a c t u a l l y confront  statue  was  overpowering, at  would-be s u i t o r  reality  photo which X c l a i m s  B o t h X and  the  t h a t X and  light  Although X t r i e s  f e a r o f M as  same t i m e M t h r e a t e n s  be  [p.  adversaries)  examines  142]) i n the  shooting  gallery? "C'est peut-etre.  de  l u i que  v o u s avez p e u r . . .  I I v o u s c h e r c h a i t , ou  Qui  passait-il  est-il? l a par  Votre  hasard."  mari (p.  118)  80  M  i s the ultimate  sketchily. admitted.  "Nouveau Roman" c h a r a c t e r ,  s i n c e he i s d e f i n e d so  He " c o u l d b e " h e r h u s b a n d b u t n o t h i n g He p l a y s  conceivably  both the r o l e  definite i s  o f husband o r  c h a p e r o n e , a n d e v e n X c o u l d be a c h a p e r o n e a s w e l l Due be  t o the fact with  life  that these  two men a r e c o m p e t i n g t o c o n t r o l A o r  h e r , X and M f u l f i l l  complementary  and M d e a t h o r t h e o p p o s i t e ?  world/the business  ( c f . p. 4 2 ) .  Could  roles.  Could  M be r e a l i t y  w o r l d ) a s o p p o s e d t o X, t h e w o r l d  X be  (the r e a l of the  imagination? X finally the  takes  A o u t o f t h e Marienbad c h a t e a u and i n t o  g a r d e n , b u t t h e g a r d e n seems no l e s s  Does M r e p r e s e n t romantic/physical  enigmatic  p l a t o n i c l o v e v s . X who e v e n t u a l l y love?  Surely  other  variables  that  the chateau.  represents  c o u l d be p o s s i b l e .  T h e r e a r e a l s o t h e m a t h e m a t i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s t h a t A+ X+M=l a n d A+X+M=0, t h a t i s t h a t e a c h o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s i s a f a c e t o f t h e same p e r s o n a l i t y , o r t h a t none o f them e x i s t a t a l l . B u t most o f t h i s s o r t o f a n a l y s i s i s specious. I t f o c u s e s on t h e c h a r a c t e r s , as i f t h e y were c e n t r a l t o t h e f i l m , a n d t h e y a r e n o t . 4  "A —Je  is  toutes  suite."  first  de t o u t e  facon,  i l est a l a salle  v o u s a v a i s p r e v e n u e que j e v i e n d r a i s .  trouve la  cette heure-la,  l e s portes  (p. 120)  proposed v i s i t  the focus  to agree with we, l i k e A, "Non,  This  entr'ouvertes.  Vous c o n n a i s s e z  sequence i s d r a m a t i c  p a r t o f Marienbad.  X, w h i c h b u i l d s up t e n s i o n .  a r e becoming t i r e d  c e t t e cheminee avec  En a r r i v a n t j ' a i  i n that  deja  i t i s the  o± A by X i n h e r bedroom, w h i c h u l t i m a t e l y  of the last  non,non!  de j e u .  of t h i s  A has a l r e a d y  appeared  A t t h e same t i m e ,  game.  ...Jene connais  pas l a s u i t e . . .  ce l i t r i d i c u l e ,  son m i r o i r . . . X :  Quel m i r o i r ? Q u e l l e  cherainee?"  81  These r e f e r a n t s a r e d e l i c i o u s l y believe  that A i s trapped  details. in the  e n t i r e bedroom In t h e s c r i p t  him  a s "un gage."  X takes  returned  after  there  to start  a year  X plays  the role  him, h a v i n g  the beloved's r i n g ,  non p l u s , c e b r a c e l e t ?  ...Mais c ' e s t  Votre  Si...Non...  Et qu'est-il  E t v o u s ne l ' a v e z  l a i s s e ' comme un gage.  nom e s t g r a v e  l e prenom l e p l u s c o u r a n t  e t que j e l ' a i e  " (p. 124). I n t h e f i l m  bit  of proof  was n o t u s e d .  tenuous p r o o f .  w h i c h i s . a common enough name.  This as  item  as t h i s  i l doit  y en  l e vatre,  what seems l i k e  a safe  expounding i s  B u t t h e name A c o u l d be "Anne"  A b r a c e l e t i n o u r modern  common enough a n d mass p r o d u c e d  personal  sur l e  unfortunately  o f t h e t r u t h o f which X i s c o n s t a n t l y  e x p o s e d t o be o n l y  is  Once a g a i n  Vous  ... E t t o u t e s  X: S u p p o s e z done que c e s o i t  trouve  devenu...  pas perdu.  se r e s s e m b l e n t . . . d e s b r a c e l e t s comme ga,  reference  as a  and t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s .  a v o i r des c e n t a i n e s . . .  this  describing  o f the romantic  s e t before  o f absence w i t h  l'annee d e r n i e r e .  perles  these  i s a b r a c e l e t w h i c h X s a y s she gave t o  e u a u t r e f o i s un b r a c e l e t de c e g e n r e .  fermoir. les  a s she "remembers"  details  the challenge  "Ne r e c o n n a i s s e z - v o u s  me l ' a v e z  really  a r e common enough t o any bedroom  these  Once a g a i n  sign of h i s f i d e l i t y  C'etait  I don't  scene.  h e r o who h a s f u l f i l l e d  J'ai  by t h e " T r u t h "  A b e d and a f i r e p l a c e  an o l d c h a t e a u .  ambiguous.  s o t h a t e v e n s u c h an  i s consequently  no p r o o f  world apparently  o f intimacy  at a l l .  i s p r e c i s e l y t h e s u p p o s i t i o n w h i c h X i s demanding t h a t we  spectators  and A as " v i c t i m " s h o u l d  X w o u l d be i m p l y i n g  t h a t he h a d j u s t  w h o l e s t o r y upon d e t a i l s  make.  found  such as t h e s e .  Y e t by s a y i n g  this,  i t and c o n s t r u c t e d h i s  82  "Vous a v e z t o u j o u r s de  force."  (p. 126)  eu p e u r  Here a t l a s t  ( B l u n t as o p p o s e d t o o b l i q u e ) don't f u l l y  or  i s nevertheless  sexual encounter s t i l l  Imagine i n a t r i a l  "  He may  direct  However, we just  be t h e  p r o t e c t i n g her innocence.  Yet  d i d i t occur  event  of rapei  never took p l a c e ?  use!  he t h e a c c u s e d  A:  Un p e u o u i j e c r o i s .  A:  S i vous v o u l e z  ankle  ones here.  "  Ce n ' e s t X:  uncertain.  indicates only  "persuasive"  rien.  X:  that  i f this  phrase  and i s h e l p e d  talon brise"  o u t by X.  i s banal  bracelet blanc.  "C'est  Here A t w i s t s h e r  "une c h a u s s u r e au  c e j o u r - l a que. vous m'avez donne l e  E t vous m'avez demande de vous  ... ou me l a s s e r  ... ou m ' o u b l i e r  a i n s i me  waiting  Of  course  f o r an e n t i r e y e a r t i m e i s no o b j e c t  before  f o r those  mettre  vous me\ne "  130). Here i s t h e e p i c f e a t u r e o f a g a l l a n t  of  voulez.  enough t o f i t  une annee e n t i e r e , p e n s a n t p e u t - e t r e  a l'epreuve  fatiguee.  ( L e t us n o t f o r g e t t h e r e f e r e n c e  from the b e g i n n i n g :  [p. 42])»  Vous e t e s  (p. 128). The s p e c t a t o r s c o u l d be t h e  i n t o X's c o n s t r u c t i o n s o f t h e p a s t .  laisser  vous  Nous a l l o n s r e n t r e r s i v o u s  This conversation  "un t a l o n b r i s e "  petit  i s very  What d o e s she s a y o r t h i n k  What a p o w e r f u l  A:  easily  ... M a i s c ' e s t  O n l y y o u know f o r s u r e .  "X: Qu'y a t - i l ?  tired  p a s de f o r c e  (p. 126). S u b j e c t i v i t y  t h e v i c t i m knows t h e t r u t h .  (p.  t o sex.  a moitie  not?  seulement q u i l e savez  to  reference  r e m a i n s ambiguous:  "Probablement, c a n ' e t a i t  to  we have t h e f i r s t  know t h a t M i s t h e h u s b a n d .  c h a p e r o n e who the  ... j e vous a i p r i s e  hero put t o the t e s t  returning to claim h i s beloved. who t r u l y  love!  D i d she t r y  83  to  f o r g e t him "A:  and  succeed too  Q u ' e s t - c e q u i v o u s donne c e t t e c e r t i t u d e ?  pour a l l e r  ou?  X:  N ' i m p o r t e ou. . . j e ne  It  is ironic  as  t o what happened i n t h e  specifics this  that despite  of  far?  he  be  together.  is  no  goes a l o n g ? But  last  year.  as  Did  implies soon as  t o me.  Let's  You  just  Ce  rejected,  she  waited  harping  n'est  give  pas  have y e t  end  our  vrai  que  l'eternelle  on  provoking "X:  the  so v e r y her  h o u r and  he  130-131)  actual  could  get  inventing their  him  to get  past  i s that  lost  they  i f there  becomes h y s t r i o n i c .  "A:  pour t o u j o u r s . "  t o c o n v i n c e me  of  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p ( p a s t and  nous avons b e s o i n attente."  implying  impression  long.  fear.  But  (p.131)  reality  present)  1'absence, He  h i s s t a t u r e as He  already,  the  wants t o since  afraid  of  great  sound  last  year  m a n i p u l a t e s A o n c e more  W o u l d n ' t anyone be  a h a l f kept  de  (p. 131)  "Romeo."  that  he  he  by  someone who  i n v a l i d a t i n g o n e ' s memory i n t h i s  for  anguish  way? Mais  lost/won?  i l est trop What e x a c t l y  t a r d maintenant." i s too  double e n t e n t r e par e x c e l l e n c e . won.  think  i s just  tells  l o n g - s u f f e r i n g , spurned  wounded and  is  X not  t h a t what i s i m p o r t a n t  over-dramatizes the s i t u a t i o n ,  an  (pp.  i s vague a b o u t t h e  I I v a u t mieux nous s e p a r e r  l a s o l i t u d e , de  has  he  s a i s pas."  here. "X:  de  past,  Partir  man's assumed c e r t a i n t y  f u t u r e d e s t i n a t i o n f o r them, he  mean n o t h i n g  right  this  p r o v e t h a t he  He  Vous v o y e z b i e n .  of  a l l of  a destination.  Does t h i s  as  you  well?  I t i s too  late  f o r me  late?  I t i s too  (A you  (p. 136)  This  game  phrase of course  late  have won)  The  f o r you,  the  I  b a t t l e of  (X)  is a have  Truth,  84  or r e a l i t y , "Je ne instant  or the  game o f  illusion.  s a i s q u e l l e sce*ne v i o l e n t e a v a i t  auparavant."  (p.134) A s s u m i n g t h i s  X i s c l e v e r t o d w e l l upon t h e M does l o o k as  Here o n c e a g a i n and  what A d o e s  their he  wills  took  (pp.  i s played  h e r by  e n t r e vous  un  i s a c r e a t i o n of the  f e e l i n g s o f A toward M —  s i n i s t e r , , e v e n t h o u g h he  t h e camera p r e s e n t s  lieu  past,  Fear.  i s always a p o l i s h e d gentleman  him.  there  is a conflict  133-135). out  between what X  says  I t i s as t h o u g h t h e b a t t l e  between  i n t h e bedroom, where X e v e n t u a l l y  says  force.  V o i x de X: P u i s v o u s eVes r e t o u r n e e v e r s l e l i t . . . J^ndecise d ' a b o r d , ne s a c h a n t d ' a b o r d o u ^ a l l e r . . . v o u s e t e s r e t o u r n e e jyers l e l i t , vous vous y e t e s a s s i s e , apres e t r e r e s t e e quelques secondes, quelques minutes meme p e u t - e t r e , i n d e * c i s e , ne s a c h a n t ou a l l e r ou que f a i r e , r e g a r d a n t d r o i t d e v a n t vous d a n s l e v i d e . Et v o u s e t e s r e t o u r n e e v e r s l e l i t . . . Oh e c o u t e z - m o i . . . r a p p e l e z - v o u s . . . E c o u t e z - m o i , j e v o u s en s u p p l i e . . . Oui... i l y a v a i t . O u i c ' e s t v r a i , i l y a v a i t un g r a n d m i r o i r , j u s t e a u p r e s de l a p o r t e , un m i r o i r immense... M a i s v o u s v o u s e n t e t e z a f a i r e s e m b l a n t de ne pas me croire. Ou e t e s - v o u s ? Ou £*tes-vous p a r t i e ? Pourquoi v o u l o i r t o u j o u r s vous echapper? C'est trop t a r d . C'etait trop tard deja. (p. 134) This s a i d by  i s a r e p e t i t i o n o f the  X and first  what A p e r f o r m s b e f o r e o u r  to  the  in  C h a p t e r Two.)  very  It is  such  very  a dissonance.  startling, We  and  ears.  I t a l s o seems i r o n i c ,  admit the presence towards.  eyes.  (Compare  of a m i r r o r which A  A m i r r o r both  tells  now  69  almost  this  discussed beyond  r e a l l y do n o t want t o b e l i e v e  b u t we c a n n o t deny what i s h a p p e n i n g r i g h t  e y e s and  between what i s  i n s t a n c e o f V i s u a l / T e x t u a l D i s s o n a n c e p.  words, t o see it,  same c o m p e t i t i o n  before  our  t h a t X does n o t want in this  the a b s o l u t e  very to  scene g r a v i t a t e s  truth  (Snow W h i t e  and  85  the  Seven  Dwarves) and y e t t w i s t s  t h e t r u t h by  inverting i t .  The p r e s e n t a t i o n a l immediacy o f f i l m , t h e n , n o t o n l y c a n p r o v i d e us t h e p u r e b l i n d j o y t h a t S a n t a y a n a c a l l e d b e a u t y b u t a l s o c a n open o u r e y e s . Because of i t s p e c u l i a r a b i l i t i e s t o warp t i m e and s p a c e , i t c a n r e s h u f f l e o u r p a s t and c a n renew t h e game o f l i f e . T h i s may be and o f t e n i s p a i n f u l . 4  Throughout which To  remind  this  one  final  part  of the r e s t  of the f i l m  a v o i d monotonous r e p e t i t i o n ,  we  I have l e f t  out or  about  convey  t h e same s c e n e s t h r o u g h words i n a new  not  boring.  are repeated.  many s c e n e s  have a l r e a d y  little  approaches  scenes which  of Marienbad,  The  in a constructive  comment t o t h e c r i t i q u e  commented  problem way.  i s how As  s e n s e t h e y add  (for l i t t l e  has  no  changed).  The  repeated i n Marienbad,  inclined  we  new  are to b e l i e v e  " Q u e l l e preuve vous  fascinating,  They add  of these scenes having taken  see an a c t i o n  to  further  c o n v i c t i o n of the r e a l i t y more we  seen.  t o o l d scenes are p r e s e n t e d , they are i n f a c t But  appear  more  place.  t h e more  in i t s reality.  faudrait-il  encore?"  (pp. 136-137)  Have y o u e v e r s e e n o r h e a r d o f s u c h an ambiguous b i t o f p r o o f ? And  y e t t h e camera i s s u p p o s e d  the  same t i m e we  For  example, p r o f e s s i o n a l m o d e l s do n o t l o o k t h e same on  own, of  know how  outside a studio,  ambiguous p r o o f .  X c o u l d have e v e n s i n c e he  to t e l l  the t r u t h  and y e t a t  much t h e camera d i s t o r t s  o r w e a r i n g no make-up.  This picture  This  and  seems t o have so much knowledge  their  i s the  c o u l d have been t a k e n  f o u n d i t among A o r M's  creates.  belongings.  epitome  anywhere. Especially  (too much knowledge  --  86  he  is like  both  a d e t e c t i v e who  the past  and  the  of  on  t h e bed  f o u r times  m e e t i n g between A and  scene  i s an  example o f how  this  stasis.  g r e a t movement.  We  feel  mirror,  But  in fact this  The  around the  and  here  o f M's  visit  Does he time  screen  with  presented  on  we  can  n e i t h e r what we  g i v e s us  a different  hear her  say  liar  o f one  i t i s only  feeling motion.  repetition.  looks  i s made t o  o b s e s s i v e way  at appear  i n which A  disappear  —  looks  appearing  herself.  been spending  have s a i d .  have t h e  from  mental s t a t e or the p h y s i c a l space  is  to  we  i s repetition  o f o b j e c t s around her  anguished  ambiguity  trust  sequence  presentation  on m e a n i n g b e c a u s e she  ominous, g i v e n the  t o q u e s t i o n A?  has  The  repeated  room a t o b j e c t s w h i c h a p p e a r and  A  This  p r o d u c e s meaning  i s p r o g r e s s i o n , but  proliferation  surrounding  she  A i s l o o k i n g a t t h e most o r d i n a r y t h i n g s , a  grow f r o m A's  The  shot.  M.  Resnais  a c t i o n s are  a comb e t c . , t h e y t a k e  frightening  she  As  as t h o u g h t h e r e  Although  them.  in a theatrical  though  shots  of her walking;  final  of  he  There are three d i f f e r e n t  to the  movement v s .  to  a t v a r i o u s o b j e c t s as  more o b j e c t s , t h r e e v i s u a l . s e q u e n c e s  points of  room, A g l a n c e s  were j u d g i n g them.  falls  rooms,  present.  L o o k i n g around the she  knows t o o much) a b o u t t h e i r  and  i s haunting: know o f h e r him?  their  story.  We  o r t h a t she  lies  is this  from time  take  X?  what we  p l a c e , so hear.  hear h i s knock, but  " E n t r e z ! " which while (Therefore  nor  plans with  And  that  C o n t r a d i c t i o n s between what  dialogue  see,  is.  speaking absolute  to time?)  t o him proof  Each we she  do  sense not  claims  t h a t , she  M questions  that  A  is a about  87  the  p h o t o g r a p h . He p o i n t s o u t t h e f a l l a c y  t o b e l i e v e from t a l k i n g He a n n o u n c e s t h a t t h e y no  other-plans.  and  t o X. will  She s a y s ,  (Franck  o f what A h a s b e e n . l e d  was n o t h e r e  have l u n c h w i t h "of course  Patterson  I have no o t h e r  year.)  i f she has plans,"  y e t a c c o r d i n g t o X, she i s t o l e a v e w i t h h i m t h e f o l l o w i n g d a y . We h e a r t h e s o u n d o f s u s p e n s e f u l b e a t i n g  shots, or c l o c k ) . seductive. There —  last  She i s l i k e  (She g e s t u r e s  t h e camera t o s h h h l product It  t o w a r d s t h e camera  t o her but a l s o ,  Should  i s o n l y now a f t e r  —  yet s t i l l  Because they  were p r e s e n t e d  a l l had e q u a l  validity  though  being  s c e n e t o be t h e  viewed Marienbad a t l e a s t  intensely that I realize  v a r i o u s endings  on f i l m ,  i s hard  they and  to justify  between t h e  t o Marienbad.  t h e r e f o r e t h e y were a l l s e e n ,  i n my m i n d .  a l l took  one s c e n e o v e r  p l a c e a n d none t o o k  t h e r e was no d i s t i n c t i o n  what r e a l l y  Once a g a i n  the very  horses  another.  Ultimately  I t i s as though  p l a c e : t h e y were i n someone's mind  made between what was i m a g i n e d  and  happened.  C l o s e up o f a snowy p i c t u r e . on  twenty  that i n  power o f a p h o t o g r a p h i m p l i e s t h a t what i s shown i s r e a l . it  alive  t h e r e , a s she t e l l s  t h e m o v i e I n e v e r made any d i s t i n c t i o n  varying t r u t h f u l n e s s o f these  shot  drum,  i m a g i n a t i o n o f X?  having  and s t u d y i n g t h e s c r i p t  a heart,  (X) t o be q u i e t . )  lying  we b e l i e v e t h i s  o f the o v e r l y romantic  watching  they  on t h e bed —  i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n h e r g e t t i n g shot  n o t o n l y as X t a l k s  times  a bird  (like  i n t h e snow.  from t h e opening  scenes.  I t i s a p i c t u r e of three  people  We a r e r e m i n d e d o f a s e q u e n c e o f d i a l o g u e "Cetait  une s u r v e i l l a n c e  plutot  88  bizarre,  b i e n entendu.  I l (Franck)  explications  surl e s tableaux  I I n'y a v a i t  p a s un s e u l  pretendait  anciens  l u i donner des  q u i se t r o u v a i e n t chez (p. 4 3 )  t a b l e a u dans l a chambre."  r e f e r e n c e o f a man e x p l a i n i n g a r t t o A c o u l d r e f e r  elle. This  to either X  o r M. The  fact  t h a t X a n d A a r e n e v e r r e f e r r e d t o by name  them more s c o p e w i t h i n w h i c h o u r i m a g i n a t i o n s  By b e i n g  n a m e l e s s , X and A e x i s t  only  screen  R o b b e - G r i l l e t w r o t e a b o u t t h e Nouveau  i n t h i s Movie.  as t h e people  can play.  gives  whom we s e e on t h e  Roman t h a t p e o p l e  whom we s e e r a n d o m l y  real  a r e "Nameless" o r b e c a u s e we do n o t know  because they  personal given  biographies  a million  i n our l i v e s  (cf. ther e a l i s t i c  intimate details  novels  a r e no l e s s their  i n w h i c h we a r e  about c h a r a c t e r s and t h e i r  lives).  I n Madame B o v a r y f o r example, we know t h e b a c k g r o u n d o f Emma a n d h e r h u s b a n d t o o w e l l . emotions, is  explanations  a world  t o us, than t o be r e a l . pole.  people  with  i nour real  In Marienbad  lives.  Little  It  i s left  A a n d X by b e i n g  Emma t h e r e f o r e  a b o u t A a n d X.  We s e e t h e i r  i sexplained.  f o r an h o u r a n d a h a l f  o f many c h a r a c t e r s a s t h e s c r i p t  I t i s as  on a t r a i n and  a c t i o n s and hear t h e i r  nameless can a l s o take  By n o t h a v i n g  appears  t h e a e s t h e t i c i s f r o m an o p p o s i t e  h e a r t h e i r words, b u t n o t h i n g  we d i d was o b s e r v e t h e i r  settings.  details of  Emma m i g h t be b e t t e r known a n d e x p l a i n a b l e  t h o u g h we met s t r a n g e r s all  sense and meaning.  We know a b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g  actions,  with  f o r a c t i o n s , t h e meaning o f c o l o u r s .  overflowing  to t h e imagination,  We a r e p r o v i d e d  words.  on t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s  alludes to classical  a name t o r e f e r  mythical  t o , we a s s p e c t a t o r s  89  a r e c o n s t a n t l y s e e k i n g new names t o a p p l y This an  seems l i k e  romantic/Death)  the  same s c e n e ,  wait  a real  scene  Due t o t h e t r i p l e  158-159).  o f one y e a r .  T h i s scene  A a n d X t h a t she a p p e a r s  repetition  between X and t i m e  convinced  by h i s s t o r y  T h i s scene  time,  and then  t h e mythic  heures"  not  have much c o u r a g e .  X's  mind) t h e r o l e  from  marchant depuis votre  She p l a y s a g a i n  rencontre.  —  i s the f i n a l  (either  o f a "damsel" i n d i s t r e s s  minute  obstacle  before s h e does  "really"  who needs  or i n  .  help  X o r M, t o make a move.  de p l u s j e m ' a v a n ^ a i s l e l o n g d e s me\nes c o u l o i r s ,  des j o u r s ,  depuis  I l n'y a u r a i t  murs, p a s de r e p o s . . . (pp. 164-165).  time  a s k i n g f o r more  A i s q u i t e a l l u r i n g , as she says  t h e d o m i n a n t male, e i t h e r " E t une f o i s  f o r whom  w o u l d be o f l i t t l e  o f suspended w a i t i n g —  "quelques  t o X.  a t t h e end o f  The r e l a t i o n s h i p  lover  between A a n d X w h i c h i s t h r o w n up a t t h e l a s t yields  of this  and w i l l i n g t o  her a l l along.  implies either  consequence.  of v i r t u a l l y  p o i n t i n t h e e x c h a n g e between  no o b j e c t , F a t e o r D e a t h f o r whom t i m e  A finally  here  i s played o u t almost  b e l i e v e what X h a s b e e n t e l l i n g  a year,  ( A t t e n d r e un  we a r e made t o b e l i e v e i n t h e r e a l i t y  the movie because i t i s a t t h i s  is  (pp.  t o them.  pas d a r r e t  Je . p a r t i r a i  The f i n a l i t y  What X s a y s becomes r e a l i t y .  des mois, d e p u i s 1  des annees a  possible.  Entre ces  c e s o i r v o u s emmenant a v e c  moi "  o f t h e s e words b r i n g a b o u t t h e e n d i n g . The power o f words e v o k e s  reality.  X i s t h e w r i t e r o f A's f i c t i o n / r e a l i t y ! How c a n he be so s u r e ? while —  adding  more c r e d i b i l i t y  why t h e c o n d i t i o n a l ?  He i s j u s t  giving  himself  t o t h e whole s t o r y .  This could refer  or s u p p o s i t i o n o f v a r i o u s r e a l i t i e s .  confidence,  "Il.y aurait"  to the p o s s i b i l i t y  I s he i m a g i n i n g what m i g h t  90  have happened b u t  didn't?  I f A were n o t X had The  invented  fact  the  t h a t she  to leave with  X,  s t o r y and  p l a y i n g with  d o e s go w i t h  v e r a c i t y of h i s claims simply  do  herself she as  not  i n the  i s not the  know.  him  ambiguous.  garden with but  where she  X.  m i n u t e , one  m i g h t t h i n k t h a t she  be  faith.  f i n d out  too  question a l l along  the absolute t r u t h  where i t b e g a n , a t t h e p l a y . which r e f l e c t s space. and  The  ending  t h a t one it  itself  past  sequence, both  with  "last  unfold  year"  possibilities.  t o our  But and  at Marienbad.  where b o u n d a r i e s  We  We and  this "this The  by  type  year.  Time has  to  M at the  of ending  last  would  for  Marienbad  no  limit  an  t h e p l a y , we  and  a  fictional  beginning  cannot  Even  world  say  though  with chronological the  same, w h i l e  what has  the year  ends  in this  Even though the  than the other.  is precisely  been  t h a t we  also  performed  have w a t c h e d  i m p o s s i b l e becomes p r o b a b l e  are played with  were  have been e n t e r t a i n e d by  a r e one  year,"  I f she  i t w o u l d be d i s a p p o i n t i n g  minds c o n c e r n e d  times  enigmatic  have b e e n h o p i n g  place with  i s more t r u t h f u l  of these  different.  this  about l a s t  endlessly.  o f the movie t a k e  episode  rescued  resembles the present.  seems i m p o s s i b l e  being  easy.  loses  p l a y i n g t h e M a r i e n b a d game  have b e e n m i s l e d and  u n s a t i s f y i n g as b e i n g  answer t o t h i s to  We  was  the  year?—we  as A  e q u a l l y as  a r r a n g i n g t o be  mind.  into his story,  e n d l e s s l y pursued.  tricked  i n bad  h e r memory and  i s maintained  Even i n g i v i n g  have s i m p l y  believe that  D i d t h e y meet l a s t  enters a world was  X by  could simply  leaves the q u e s t i o n of  T h i s ambiguity  liberated,  chateau  was  we  on  to allow a m u l t i p l i c i t y  film of  91  NOTES Chapter 3  1.  W i l l i a m F. Van Wert, The F i l m C a r e e r o f A l a i n ( B o s t o n : G.K. H a l l and Co., 1 9 7 7 ) , p. 20.  Robbe-Grillet  2.  See t h e s e c o n d p h o t o between p a g e s 96 and G r i l l e t , L'Annee D e r n i e r e a M a r i e n b a d .  3.  A l l r e f e r e n c e s to the B i b l e G e n e s i s 1:3.  a r e t o t h e K i n g James  4.  James Monaco, A l a i n R e s n a i s P r e s s , 1 9 7 9 ) , p. 35.  (New  5.  George W i l l i a m L i n d e n , R e f l e c t i o n s on t h e S c r e e n (Belmont, C a l i f o r n i a : Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1 9 7 0 ) , p. 86.  97, A l a i n  Robbe-  version,  York: Oxford University-  92  CONCLUSION  How  can  one  conclude  ends where i t began w i t h Since  the  entered there  beginning  a loop:  i s only  at the do the  not.  end  i s no  eternity. after  of the  An  performance of  the  the  in a  end?  Marienbad  play  Rosmer.  r e t u r n s at the  end,  time  there  i s no  real  has  end,  whole movie i n a sense i s supposed  p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e p l a y w h i c h comes M attends  chateau  a n a l y s i s o f X's  Marienbad world  no  the  beginning,  The  movie.  They l e a v e  garden.  the  of Marienbad  there  t o have o c c u r r e d  s o m e t h i n g w h i c h has  t h e p l a y , whereas A and  f o r an final  e t e r n a l adventure words t o A c a n  X  in  present  the  nutshell.  V o i x de X: Le p a r e de c e t h o t e l e t a i t une s o r t e de j a r d i n a l a f r a n c a i s e , sans a r b r e , sans f l e u r , sans v e g e t a t i o n aucune... Le g r a v i e r , l a p i e r r e , l e m a r b r e , l a l i g n e d r o i t e , y m a r q u a i e n t des e s p a c e s r i g i d e s , des s u r f a c e s s a n s m y s t e r e . I I s e m b l a i t , au p r e m i e r a b o r d , i m p o s s i b l e de s'y p e r d r e . . . au p r e m i e r a b o r d . . . l e l o n g des a l l e e s r e c t i l i g n e s , e n t r e l e s s t a t u e s aux g e s t e s f i g e s e t l e s d a l l e s de g r a n i t , ou v o u s e t i e z m a i n t e n a n t d e j a en t r a i n de v o u s p e r d r e , p o u r t o u j o u r s , dans l a n u i t t r a n q u i l l e , s e u l e a v e c moi. L a musique p r e n d e n s u i t e Once a g a i n  the  sentence the  present  imperfect  " m a i n t e n a n t " and which t r i e s  t o be  Enigmatically  i s mixed tense  "toujours." and  A was  act  i n with  the  "vous e t i e z " This  i n two  already  l e dessus.  i s the  (p.  past.  act of  In the  i s placed game o f  o r more p l a c e s  i n the  172)  losing  final  alongside  Marienbad  at the  same  herself,  time.  alone  93  (yet)  with X forever.  T h i s i s as i m p o s s i b l e t o imagine  seems i m p o s s i b l e t o i m a g i n e Marienbad  taking place after  b e g i n n i n g a t t h e end. what R e s n a i s  as i t  t h e s t o r y o f L'Annee D e r n i e r e a t h e p l a y which appears  But t h i s  and R o b b e - G r i l l e t  quest  i n the  of the impossible i s p r e c i s e l y  s e t out t o entangle the audience  in. This feature  e s s a y began a s a c o m p a r i s o n  film  Hiroshima  a French actress hotel  between R e s n a i s  1  first  Mon Amour i n w h i c h t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s ,  and a J a p a n e s e  room o f H i r o s h i m a  a r c h i t e c t , endup  forever  in a  a s t h e y name one a n o t h e r .  Elle: Je t ' o u b l i e r a i ! J e t ' o u b l i e deja*. comme j e t ' o u b l i e ! Regarde-moi!  Regarde,  I I l a r e g a r d e , t a n d i s q u ' e l l e l e r e g a r d e comme e l l e r e g a r d e r a i t l a v i l l e e t l ' a p p e l l e t o u t a coup t r e s doucement. Elle Elle Elle  1 ' a j s p e l l e ^ " au l o i n , " dans 1 ' e m e r v e i l l e m e n t . a r e u s s i a l e n o y e r dans l ' o u b l i u n i v e r s e l . en e s t e m e r v e i l l e ' e .  Elle: Hi-ro-shi-ma. l i s se r e g a r d e n t s a n s  Hi-ro-shi-ma. C ' e s t t o n nom. se v o i r . Pour t o u j o u r s .  Lui: C ' e s t mon nom. O u i . [On en e s t l a s e u l e m e n t e n c o r e . E t on r e s t e r a l a p o u r t o u j o u r s . ] Ton nom a t o i e s t N e v e r s . Ne-vers-en-France. FIN Both  1  these  f i l m s have s u c c e e d e d  g i v e n an e t e r n a l moment. woman o f H i r o s h i m a  There  i s no r e a l  neither  endings  Ending.  Mon Amour a r e t r a p p e d f o r e v e r  They do n o t l e a v e i t f o r a b l i s s f u l Likewise  i n their  i n Marienbad  The man and  i n that  room.  existence i n Hiroshima.  A and X a r e f o r e v e r  do t h e y go o f f t o d e a t h ,  t o have  trapped i n the garden;  n o r do t h e y  find  a new  life.  94  Movies but  appear  t o be r e a l .  u l t i m a t e l y they are only  want r e a l  life  They " t a l k  aesthetic  and a l l i t s emotions  H i r o s h i m a Mon Amour e m p h a t i c a l l y One perhaps They  i s tempted around  the statue  are forever  ninety-four exist  to finalize,  and  guess  Marienbad  A and X a r e t r u e conceal  find  only  live  focuses  live for  But t h i s  f o r t h e time  i s just  t o make us  i s true  that  conjecture  o r n o t , o r t o what  How much d o e s  They  one p o s s i b l e  the f i l m  extent  reveal or  a d v e n t u r e o f what happened l a s t  We a r e o n l y puzzle.  game w h i c h M  of  our wishes.  year at  We a r e meant t o be t a k e n i n , t o t r y o u r b e s t t o  conclusion.  often  our f u l f i l l i n g  f o rthe f i l m to elapse.  They  an answer, b u t we a r e t o r e m a i n  as a l u d i c  desperately  b u t M a r i e n b a d and  as A and X o n l y  seductively  X's s t o r y  or false.  from t h e r e a l  Marienbad?  intrigue.  tried  as t o whether  We so  t o say t h a t Marienbad  needed  nowhere e l s e b u t on f i l m .  emphasis.  resist  life,"  i n t h e g a r d e n o f t h e man a n d woman.  the time  t h e y engage us i n t h e i r  creations.  from f i l m  trapped i n A r t , just  minutes,  t o us o f " r e a l  i t s game —  lose ourselves  i n the search  for this  o f f e r e d L'Annee D e r n i e r e a M a r i e n b a d  We a r e g i v e n  (Marienbad?)  a s we w a t c h  lost  the film.  no a n s w e r s ,  always wins. Marienbad  reacting to the teasing  we c a n n o t w i n a  B u t we a r e t o p l a y a s only  e x i s t s i n the playing  o f i t s c o n t o u r s we must  w i t h A and X i n t h e g a r d e n ,  forever.  95  NOTES Conclusion  1.  M a r g u e r i t e D u r a s , H i r o s h i m a Mon Amour ( P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1 9 6 0 ) , p. 101. The p a s s a g e c i t e d i n b r a c k e t s was l e f t out o f t h e a c t u a l f i l m d i a l o g u e .  96  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Andrew, J . D u d l e y . The M a j o r F i l m T h e o r i e s : An New Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1976.  Introduction.  Armes, Roy. The Ambiguous Image: N a r r a t i v e S t y l e i n Modern E u r o p e a n Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1976. The F i l m s o f A l a i n B e n j a m i n s B.V., 1981. Boyum, J a y Allyn  Robbe-Grillet.  G o u l d , and A d r i e n n e S c o t t . & Bacon, 1971.  Burch, Noel.  F i l m as F i l m .  Theory of F i l m P r a c t i c e .  .Casebi-er, A l l a n . Jovanovitch,  Film Appreciation. 1976.  Casares, Adolfo Bioy. Catedra, 1982.  La  Invencion  New  New de  Amsterdam:  York:  Boston:  Praeger,  York: Harcourt  Morel.  Madrid:  " C h a r l e s l e I I I . " Le R o b e r t D i c t i o n n a i r e U n i v e r s e l Des Propres. 1984 ed. Chasseguet-Smirgel, janine. P o u r une P s y c h o a n a l y s e de de l a C r e a t i v i t e . P a r i s : Payot, 1971. Duras, M a r g u e r i t e . Hiroshima Paris: Gallimard, 1960. H a r r i n g t o n , John. The & Winston, 1973.  Mon  Rhetoric  Amour, S c e n a r i o  of F i l m .  G e d u l d , H a r r y M., e d . F i l m M a k e r s on Indiana U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1967. Kael,  New  et  1973.  Brace  Ediciones Noms l'Art  Dialogues.  York: H o l t ,  Film-Making.  John  Rinehart  Bloomington:  Pauline. "The Come-Dressed - a s - t h e - s i c k - s o u l - o f - E u r o p e P a r t i e s . " In I L o s t i t a t t h e M o v i e s . Boston: A t l a n t i c Monthly Press, 1965. and  . I n t r o d u c t i o n t o L a s t Tango i n P a r i s . Bernardo B e r t o l u c c i Franco A r c a l l i . New Y o r k : D e l a c o r t e P r e s s , 1973.  K r e i d l , John F r a n c i s . 1977.  Alain  Resnais.  B o s t o n : Twayne P u b l i s h e r s ,  L a b a r t h e , A n d r e S., and J a c q u e s R i v e t t e . " E n t r e t i e n avec R e s n a i s et Robbe-Grillet." I n C a h i e r s du Cinema, No. 123 (September 1961) .  97  Lawson, J o h n Howard. F i l m : The C r e a t i v e New Y o r k : H i l l and Wang, 1967. Leenhardt, Jacques. Lecture de M i n u i t , 1973.  Process,  p o l i t i q u e du roman.  r e v i s e d ed. Paris: Editions  L i n d e n , George W i l l i a m . R e f l e c t i o n s on t h e S c r e e n . C a l i f o r n i a : Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1970.  Belmont,  M i c h a l c z y k , J o h n J . The F r e n c h L i t e r a r y F i l m m a k e r s . New J e r s e y : A s s o c i a t e d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1980. Monaco, James. 1979.  A l a i n Resnais.  How t o Read a F i l m . P r e s s , 1977.  Rivette. 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N e g a t i v e C a p a b i l i t y : S t u d i e s i n t h e New L i t e r a t u r e and t h e R e l i g i o u s S i t u a t i o n . New Haven a n d L o n d o n : Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1969. S i t w e l l , P a c h e v e r e l l , e d . G r e a t Houses o f E u r o p e . W e i d e n f e l d a n d N i c o l s o n , 1961.  London:  S t o l t z f u s , Ben F. A l a i n R o b b e - G r i l l e t a n d The New F r e n c h C h i c a g o : S o u t h e r n I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1964. Sweet, F r e d d y . The F i l m N a r r a t i v e s o f A l a i n R e s n a i s . M i c h i g a n : UMI R e s e a r c h P r e s s , 1981. T y l e r , Parker. M a g i c and Myth o f t h e M o v i e s . and S c h u s t e r , 1970.  Novel.  Ann A r b o u r ,  New Y o r k :  Simon  98  "The Lady C a l l e d 'A,' Or I f J u l e s and J i m Had O n l y L i v e d a t Marienbad." I n The T h r e e F a c e s o f F i l m . South B r u n s w i c k and New Y o r k : A.S. B a r n e s , 1967. Van  Wert, W i l l i a m F. The F i l m C a r e e r o f A l a i n B o s t o n : G.K. H a l l and Co., 1977.  Wagner, G e o f f r e y . The N o v e l and t h e Cinema. A s s o c i a t e d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1975.  Robbe-Grillet. C r a n b u r y , New  Ward, J o h n . A l a i n R e s n a i s o r The Theme o f Time. Y o r k : D o u b l e d a y & Co., 1968. Weygerans, F r a n z . Comprendre l e Cinema. I n t e r n a t i o n a l de L i b r a i r i e , 1970. Wollen, Peter. S i g n s and M e a n i n g Cinema One S e r i e s , 1969.  Buxelles:  i n t h e Cinema.  Zwemmer, A. F r e n c h Cinema S i n c e 1946. 1970. V o l . 1 & 2.  Garden  Jersey:  City,  Office  London:  L o n d o n : A.S. B a r n e s ,  New  

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