This smooth male voice

L’année dernière à Marienbad by Alain Resnais , 1961

“I was walking towards you along these endless corridors, along these too wide stairs, on carpets that absorb the sounds of footsteps …”

A man insinuatingly says something to a woman, a little secluded together with her from the rest of the respectable audience with their measured respectable amusements, and the woman, first with amazement, and then with polite interest, listens to his words, either smiling slyly, or in a flirtatious fright, a little picturesquely moving away from him while asking him to stop talking and leave her.

The words are repeated endlessly, each time from a slightly different angle, from a slightly different point, just as the camera is capturing the hotel’s interior, overloaded with the ponderous decoration of the “other century”, from a slightly changed angle, just as is capturing views of a formal, usually deserted park with frozen sculptures .. And as a result of these repetitions, a moment comes when the viewer seems to dissolve in this incessant sound of the organ – so solemnly cold and so detached, adding to everything that happens some otherworldly note and making the heroes themselves – man and woman – look like forever frozen statues in the park.

And now, towards the end, the whole situation with unswerving impetuosity turns out at first to be something that is sometimes called “adultery”, and then, after a few moments, it is “irrigated” by the presence of a pistol, after which the quiet words of a woman lying on the bed in a white peignoir , trimmed with feathers, that she felt cold and therefore would not go to the evening performance, no longer seem so unambiguously coquettish and intended only for a quick meeting with her lover.

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