The premiere of ‘Last year in Marienbad’ is the first collaboration of Dmitry Volkostrelov and Ksenia Peretrukhina, considered the gurus of the new Russian theatre, with Alexandrinsky Theatre’s New Stage.
When you turn to one of European cinematic modernism’s masterpieces it is your challenge to find an appropriate theatrical equivalent to the fascinating movie language.
This is what one of the leading Russian’s movie critics Mikhail Trofimenkov wrote on the movie: ‘This is probably the most obscure and at the same time the most mesmerizing motion picture of all times. The action – to an extent this could possibly be called ‘an action’- is developing within somewhat airless castle area and surrounding premises of an ideal park, stuffed with mysterious statues. This could well be an Underworld or a Purgatory, since past, present and future are optional here and fates are intertwined like trails in the forest. Painful attempts to recollect what happened last year in Marienbad come to naught.
…Multiple interpretations of the movie exist, including drastically idiotic, like the one that implies that the story takes place in an asylum where psychiatrists try to cure their patients through role games. In fact, no interpretation is needed to this deathly beautiful motion picture, to its film camera’s intriguing short and protracted cuts through galleries, rooms and alleys. ‘Last year in Marienbad’ is a bright example of a pure hypnotic cinema, of a formal experiment with its however specific moral implication: human memory and human relationships are relative, any human individuality is relative after all.’
Premiered April 25, 2017
Media about the performance
While Resnais’ film is a hymn to twenties (especially to ‘Pandora's Box’ by Georg Pabst), this production by Volkostrelov is homage to the dominant styles of fifties and sixties: Scandinavian interior, simple fashion, laconic palette of British ladies’ dress.
It turns out that the Director’s formative mentality is experimenting with the consciousness of a recipient, hiding the clues behind stylization. Resnais conceals the present day problems with escape to the bright past of twenties, a time when all experimental cinematography was born. Volkostrelov appeals to contemporaries of the movie itself, and his search of time becomes the predominant enigma of the performance.
Ksenia Zubarskaya. ‘A time that does not exist’