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Chanel Gives a Second Life to the French Film Last Year in Marienbad

The Chanel house has always dabbled in various art projects, from Coco Chanel designing the costumes for the Ballets Russes to Karl Lagerfeld directing films. Even still, the French house’s latest move is a surprising one: Chanel will be supporting the restoration of the French new wave film, Last Year at Marienbad. They are collaborating with Studiocanal, who will be restoring the original negatives of the 1960 film to digitize the movie. 

Last Year at Marienbad,  directed by Alain Resnais, is considered one of the most important works to emerge from the French New Wave movement. It tells the story of a man trying to convince a woman of a previous relationship they shared; an affair that the woman doesn’t seem to remember. Its mysterious narrative disrupts the traditional cinematic chronological constraints to make way for an avant-garde blend between reality and fiction. The film was awarded the Golden Lion — the highest honour a film can receive — at the Venice Film Festival in 1961.

Resnais’ obsession with details was transposed to the costumes, which were designed by Coco Chanel. Chanel’s timeless elegance meshed perfectly with the mood of the film and the costumes play a substantial role in the movie, dropping hints about the story’s chronology.  The black chiffon dress worn by Delphine Seyrig even became known as the “dress à la Marienbad.”

On September 5th, 2018 the restored version of the film will premiere, once again, at the Venice Film Festival.


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