OK: I'm kidding. OK: They don't eat flesh (but, then, neither did those in the classic from Tourneur & Lewton). Yet the charac-
ters in the landmark movie from Alain Resnais (shown below), LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, bear more than a passing resemblance to the living dead, though more in the old-fashioned zombie mode than what we get these days: Nazis, or those virally-infected by language, or even a
soon-to-be-seen young lady who provides surprisingly good sex in the basement of a shuttered mental hospital. No, the characters created by Resnais (and writer Alain Robbe-Grillet) simply move slowly and glide quietly over the landscape as if hypnotized or otherworldly. While they cast shadows, oddly enough, some of the objects around them do not (a fact I realized from reading Greencine's Aaron Hillis in his interesting take on the film).
It has been 47 years since I first saw Resnais' oddity (I only saw it once, with such mixed feelings -- accompanied by a shrug or two -- that I never sought it out again). Afterward, I remember many of us arguing deep into the night: "What was the meaning of the card game? And how can you make sure you don't lose? Did the characters played by Albertazzi and Seyrig previously meet? Did it matter? And where did they shoot this film? Someday, we've got to go there. But, really, what does it all mean?"
Last Year at Marienbad has just come out on DVD in a fine transfer from The Criterion Collection. Revel in it -- or not -- but do see it.