Last Year at Marienbad

I don’t know where to begin. Normally in my opening paragraph I give a brief synopsis of the film, y’know, “an eccentric old man invites his grandchildren, some paleontologists, a chaotician and a lawyer to try out his new dinosaur-filled theme park” that kind of thing, but the trouble with Last Year at Marienbad is that there is nowhere near enough plot to even begin a paragraph. Essentially, there’s some kind of swanky soiree at a swish estate that I think is somewhere in the Czech Republic. At said event, there is a man (Giorgio Albertazzi) who is resolute that he met a woman (Delphine Seyrig) attending the party a year ago at Marienbad. Meanwhile the woman’s male friend (Sacha Pitoeff) plays a game with cards, matchsticks and dominos called Nim, at which he seems unbeatable. This plays out for 90-odd minutes, until the film ends, with no foreseeable additions to anything approaching a story.
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Night and Fog

Why are so many of these films so goddamned depressing? And why are there two Holocaust documentaries on the same list? Surely Shoah covered enough in over 9 hours that a poxy little 30 minute doc isn’t going to add any more? Why is nobody satisfied until I see so many horrific images I can’t sleep at night? There is no possible situation where I could want to watch Nazis cramming 100 people to a train carriage, depriving them of water and light for days before bringing them to concentration camps where they are tortured and executed via experimental methods. I don’t want to see the skeletal role calls, or the results of eating the diuretic soup provided, the fingernail scratches in the solid concrete walls and ceilings of the gas chambers, meaning people were clamouring over the bodies of their friends to find a way out. Mountains of dead bodies, retained glasses and hair woven into cloth and sold by the kilo. I cannot possibly recommend watching a film that explains how they tried to make fertiliser from the skeletons and stretched out skin to draw pictures on. The image of baskets full of severed heads will stay with me for a long time, as will bulldozing the corpses into a pit. I implore you; do not watch this film unless you believe the Holocaust to be a myth. If you ever want to sleep again, do not watch this film.

Choose life 1/10