Alienation: “a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person’s affections from an object or position of former attachment,” as the Merriam Webster dictionary defines it. The same source also defines the term “dream” as: a state of mind marked by abstraction or release from reality. Both terms’ meanings carry an apt description that fits so perfectly well when talking about Alain Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad, for only one viewing can boggle the mind that one won’t even know where to begin when talking about the sort of wonder it creates. But I’ve already watched Last Year at Marienbad numerous times and I’m still left with that befuddling emotion although I know deep down that it truly is one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed to have graced the screen. The term “unique” may already be overused a tad but it’s only fitting when describing this sort of experience.
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With the many magnificent films that I have been able to experience within the short amount of time that I have spent living, there are some that evoke too powerful of a response on the spot on the first go it is hard enough to piece together what they leave upon oneself. When I first watched Chantal Akerman’s second feature, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, I knew on the spot that it was just something that I would never forget in the slightest. And to think, there was a point to which I had been putting it off in fear I would find myself bored by the way it sounded, and when I leave Jeanne Dielman to sink inside my head, my initial expectations are only proven wrong all the more as a specific thought just continues running through my mind. And in the most unexpected way, just like the life depicted here, it just grabs out of nowhere. Continue reading →