Alain Robbe-Grillet Films to screen at UCLA

Written by Joe D on November 6th, 2008


Mr. Cool -Maestro of the Nouveau Roman

They’re screening two rare Robbe-Grillet films at the Billy Wilder Theater on Friday Nov.7. L’IMMORTELLE and TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS.


Scene From L’Imortelle ( The Immortal Woman)

These films are almost impossible to see so go if you can, I’ll be there. Here’s the details. I’ve been reading a lot of Robbe=Grillet’s novels recently, very inspirational stuff, creatively inspirational. The way he plays with plots making intricate patterns out of genre plot devices. “Generators” he called them, elements of genre storytelling that are now part of our collective unconscious from years of pulp magazine writings, grade B horror films, film noirs, etc. I’ve never seen these films so I can’t write about them. But they are showing Last Year At Marienbad on Sunday Nov. 9th, an influential structural film Robbe-Grillet wrote that was directed by Alain Resnais. I’ve seen that one. I went to see it at the Bleecker Street Cinema back in the late 70’s. There was a sign at the door to the theater, it read something like this.”Dear Patrons, The catalog lists the running time of this film as 107 minutes. We’ve timed the print we have at 93 minutes but we can’t tell what’s missing.” That should give you an idea as to what the film is like. It’s very cool, definitely worth seeing, there’s a famous long shot of a formal garden, people stand here and there in tuxedos and gowns and their shadows were painted in.

A Famous Image That Conveys Robbe-Grillet’s Prismatic Approach To Storytelling