Plot Summary :
This appreciation of Tarkovsky made by his friend Chris Marker for the French television series ‘Cinema du Notre Temps’ is both an illuminating personal portrait and a poetic study of the Russian master’s films. Granted access to the set of ‘The Sacrifice’ Marker captured fascinating and insightful behind-the-scenes footage, including the editing process which the then gravely ill Tarkovsky conducted from his sickbed. Continue reading
Pictures at an Exhibition by Chris Marker. Its title, like Sans Soleil, is taken from a piece by Modest Mussorgsky. Continue reading
Setting out to create an evocative portrait of his beloved hometown of Paris and to “track it like a detective with a telescope and a microphone,” Chris Marker’s astounding and astute film LE JOLI MAI emerges as an early example of Marker’s unique cinema of poetic cultural anthropology. Filmed in May 1962, just as the Algerian war had come to an end, LE JOLI MAI sees a crew of interviewers and cameramen fanning out across Paris interviewing a compelling cross section of city dwellers on life, love, money, happiness, work, war, and peace. From a poverty stricken mother of seven who just received a government-financed flat, to outspoken teenage students at the stock exchange, Marker’s interviewees respond to his deceptively simple questions with statements that encapsulate the complex, troubled, and exciting society of 1962 Paris during a period of psychological and social turmoil. Marker’s highly subjective documentary style matches eloquent narration with illustrative montage. The film’s visual and verbal wit matches the stark reality of its documentary footage with philosophical musings (voiced beautifully by narrator Simone Signoret). LE JOLI MAI faithfully captures Marker’s sociopolitical vision of Paris, and it foreshadows the unrest that would erupt less than a decade later in the revolts of May 1968. Continue reading
Review (taken from Turner Classic Movies)
“This is the story of a man marked by an image of his childhood,” begins La Jetee (1962), one of the most instantly recognizable and acclaimed short films ever made. Using only still photographs, voiceover narration, sound effects and music, it tells the story of a World War III survivor whose vivid memories make him the subject of time travel experiments. In only one shot of the film–that of “the Woman” opening her eyes in the morning–does the image move. Through such deceptively simple means Chris Marker explores the paradoxes of time travel and, on a deeper philosophical level, the relationships between image and memory, and word and image. Continue reading
An unexpected response to Pinochet’s 1973 coup d’etat in Chile. A Super-8 film apparently found in an embassy -as it’s written in the original title-, where political activists had taken refuge after a military coup d’état. But the events -and their setting- are not what they first appear to be. Written by Raphaël Jullien Continue reading
Re-view 1: Memories of a Hyperstitional Practitioner
A review of a Chris Marker ‘event’? One is never enough. Not only because Chris Marker is, as we were told this weekend more than once, more than one. But also because re-viewing, seeing again, looking back is so integral to the Marker experience.
Chris Marker is a systematic con-fuser of fact and fiction, best known for La Jetee (1962) and Sans Soleil (1982), explorations of time, memory, images and revolution (terms whose contiguity – and near synonymy – is a consistent theme of his work). The form that Marker perfected in the rightly celebrated Sans Soleil has been called the ‘film-essay’, though this does little justice to the astonishing singularity of his theory-fictional time-travelogues, which conjoin politics, pop culture and ethnography in a breathtakingly lyrical but intellectually clear-eyed plane of consistency.