Chic & You : The Film Series

Chic & You : The Film Series

L’année dernière à Marienbad • Last Year in Marienbad


Thursday, November 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Free for members and students* • $15 non-members
In Person • French with English subtitles

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*Students with IDs on-site / .edu addresses online. High school, college, and universities

 

Put your best foot forward when we roll out the red carpet for you with the chic-est film series in Chic-ago! A flute of bubbles included. Enter a chance to win a getaway one-night stay at the Sofitel at each screening!

 

L'année dernière à Marienbad / Last Year in Marienbad (1961, Alain Resnais, French with English Subtitles)

Sweeping staircases, picture-perfect gardens, hallways lined with mirrors, and classic costumes designed by Coco Chanel. Here in the baroque ballrooms, we meet a man and a woman whose cryptic relationship will have you guessing if they were strangers, lovers, or just a strange dream to begin with.

Delphine Seyrig stars as our unnamed woman with a mysterious past, a performance that brought her international recognition. During her career, Seyrig worked with directors such as François Truffaut, Marguerite Duras, and Fred Zinnemann. Perhaps Seyrig’s most demanding work was her role in Chantal Ackerman’s 1975 film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, where she adopted a rigorous, monotonous routine as the title character. In addition to Seyrig’s impressive stage and film career, she was also a major feminist figure. In 1973 she directed Sois belle et tais-toi which spoke about the level of sexism women face in the film industry. 

Based on a "nouveau roman" by Alian Robbe-Grillet, L’année dernière à Marienbad tells the story of a man trying to convince a woman of a previous relationship they shared; an affair that the woman doesn’t seem to remember. Its mysterious narrative disrupts the traditional cinematic chronological constraints to make way for an avant-garde blend between reality and fiction. Regarded as one of the most important works to come out of the French New Wave movement, L’année dernière à Marienbad won the Golden Lion at the 1961 Venice Film Festival and inspired famous directors such as  Agnès Varda, Marguerite Duras, and Stanley Kubrick.

Although not credited in the film, Coco Chanel herself created Delphine Seyrig's costumes in L’année dernière à Marienbad. The film's baroque and epic decors are a perfect match for the elegance and sophistication of Chanel's couture, with a mixture of the twenties and the sixties fashion, such as a metallic suit with three-quarter sleeves and shimmering outfits. Coco Chanel’s timeless elegance meshed perfectly with the mood of a film where costumes play a substantial role, dropping hints about the story’s chronology.  The black chiffon dress worn by Delphine Seyrig even became known as the “dress à la Marienbad”. As to the “Marienbad hairstyle” it was copied by women all over Europe and America! The fashion and cinematography of Last Year in Marienbad continue to be a reference to photographers, designers and filmmakers today.