Fitting for an artist whose most enduring contribution to history is the nouveau romain, even the title of this BAM retrospectiveThe Immortal Alain Robbe-Grilletis a language game, a play on Robbe-Grillets overdue election to the ranks of the Académie Françaises so-called immortals. As novelist, Robbe-Grillet toyed endlessly with perspective, with surfacesboth of people and of elaborately, repetitively described objectsand with the unreliability of his own medium; in these respects, he was destined to become a filmmaker, and his first script, for Last Year at Marienbad(1961), was a Picasso-sized sensation the year the film was released in France. Essentially a riff on the most ancient and tired of come-ons (Didnt we meet at Marienbad last year?), the resolutely art-house Marienbad is less difficult than dizzying. BAM screens this film and new prints of four of the pictures Robbe-Grillet directed himself (including Trans-Europ Express, 1966, in which he starred) in the wake of the avant-gardists death in February of this year.
July 10-15, 2008