Another Deleuzian Resnais: L'Anne dernire Marienbad (1961) as conflict between sadism and masochism

The Deleuzian reading of L'Anne dernire 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 Mbius strip linking the sadistic and the masochistic world not only with each other, but with the crystalline universe of the time-image.

Author Name: 
Reader, Keith
Journal: 
Studies in French Cinema
Citation: 
Reader, Keith. "Another Deleuzian Resnais: L'Anne Dernire Marienbad (1961) as Conflict between Sadism and Masochism." Studies in French Cinema 8.2 (2008): 149-58. Print.