Apr 27th 2019

Repetition as Ghost-making


Ritual in Transfigured Time,
Maya Deren, 1946

In Maya Deren’s Ritual in Transfigured Time we have gestures that invite us to move into step with them, abandoning the comfort of the known and giving ourselves over to so many strange partners. This silent short begins in a domestic environment, moves to a party scene, and ends with modern dance performed in an outdoor setting. The film’s continuity is established by an emphasis on gesture and/or dance throughout.

Last Year at Marienbad,
Alain Resnais, 1961

Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal Last Year at Marienbad (L’année dernière à Marienbad) has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades. Written by radical master of the New Novel Alain Robbe-Grillet, this surreal fever dream, or nightmare, gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling its ambiguous tale of a man and a woman (Giorgio Albertazzi and Delphine Seyrig) who may or may not have met a year ago, perhaps at the very same cathedral-like, mirror-filled château they now find themselves wandering. Unforgettable in both its confounding details (gilded ceilings, diabolical parlor games, a loaded gun) and haunting scope, Resnais’ investigation into the nature of memory is disturbing, romantic, and maybe even a ghost story.

The Invention of Morel,
Adolfo Bioy Casares, 1940

Introduction and discussion led by:
Prof. Vu Tran (University of Chicago)
& Prof. Thorsten Trimpop (SAIC)

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