sad to hear of the death, at 85, of Alain Robbe-Grillet, his contribution to cinema, my personal history of cinema, is paramount.
The challenge of his work is still evident in the discussions he promotes amongst my film students. And Marienbad has become a
touchstone for many of us over the years. My favourite memory , if you will indulge me, was at the Sussex University Film Society
circa 1977 when my friend Nigel Floyd and I decided on a screening of Marienbad, I dutifully introduced the film to about, if
memory serves, 100 members and then our 16 mil. copy began to roll, no subtitles, Nigel and I exchanged glances and shrugged
shoulders and sat back to enjoy its hypnotic, some might say soporific powers. The film ended, we smiled at each other with
undergraduate satisfaction, turned around (we sat at the front..there is a debate, where do we sit?) to gauge the impact on our
fellow viewers, the auditorium was empty, we had lost our audience, a wonderful, almost hilarious moment, yes Robbe-Grillet and
all his pals will long have a glorious role in cinema history.
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