Palaces of the Dream

Story offer: words & pictures

Location: Munich

Subject: the palaces of Munich, settings of an iconic film

Title: Palaces of the Dream

Synopsis (short):

Recalling and reflecting on the classic arthouse film Last Year At Marienbad while visiting its opulent shooting locations at Schloss Nymphenburg and Schloss Schleissheim, two great palaces surrounded by vast gardens located just outside Munich.

Synopsis (long):

Last Year At Marienbad is a classic arthouse film that was released in 1961, a film on whose meaning no two people can agree, yet a film which many critics consider one of the best in the history of the cinema. Made by the French New Wave director, Alain Resnais, its dreamlike story plays out in a grand palace and its vast gardens in an unidentified place, where a man and a woman endlessly discuss whether they have met before. If you don’t reflect on it, you’re inclined to think the place is Marienbad, the spa town in the Czech Republic. In fact, the film was made at two palaces near Munich, Schloss Nymphenburg and Schloss Schleissheim. On the fiftieth anniversary of L’Année Dernière à Marienbad (its original French title), it is a rivetting experience to visit these two grand houses and their great parks, recalling the hallucinatory atmosphere created by the film in these same salons, corridors and gravel paths. Restored to peak condition, the palaces show the immense wealth and opulence of the former Kingdom of Bavaria, including excellent art collections and exquisite park pavilions. And they are the ideal setting to broach that eternal enigma: What the hell is Last Year At Marienbad actually about?

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