Another Deleuzian Resnais: l'année dernière à Marienbad as conflict between sadism and masochism

Reader, K. (2008) Another Deleuzian Resnais: l'année dernière à Marienbad as conflict between sadism and masochism. Studies in French Cinema, 8(2), pp. 149-158. (doi: 10.1386/sfc.8.2.149_1)

[img] Text


Publisher's URL:


The Deleuzian reading of L'Année dernière à Marienbad proposed here draws less on what has become a virtually canonical concept in film studies – Deleuze's time-image – than on a much earlier work by the same author, Masochism, which treats sadism and masochism as qualitatively different symbolic universes. Resnais's film, with its deployment of mirrors and statuary and its suggestion of a contract between the characters A and X, presents striking resemblances to the world of masochism as described by Deleuze (drawing on the work of Theodor Reik). At the same time, the role of the third protagonist, M, like that of Robbe-Grillet who wrote the screenplay, has Sadean overtones, suggesting that it might be possible to read the film with its diegetic ambiguities as a Möbius strip linking the sadistic and the masochistic world not only with each other, but with the crystalline universe of the time-image.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reader, Professor Keith
Authors: Reader, K.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Journal Name:Studies in French Cinema
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 Intellect Publishing
First Published:First published in Studies in French Cinema 8(2):149-158
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record