Chris Marker

Chris Marker – Chris Marker-Cornelius Castoriadis : une leçon de démocratie (1989)

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This interview with Castoriadis was conducted in 1989 by famed filmmaker Chris Marker for Marker’s own television series L’héritage de la chouette (“The Owl’s Legacy”). Eighty-one minutes long, the raw footage originally recorded in French has been translated into English (via easy-to-read subtitles) and edited anonymously as a public service. Here, Castoriadis lays out and examines the contributions of ancient Greece to questions of contemporary relevance relating to democracy, politics, philosophy, art, poetry, economic and social reorganization, and the creative chaos that underlies all existence. Read More »

    Chris Marker – Si j’avais quatre dromadaires AKA If I Had Four Dromedaries (1966) (HD)

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    Composed entirely of still photographs shot by Marker himself over the course of his restless travel through twenty-six countries, If I Had Four Dromedaries stages a probing, at times agitated, search for the meanings of the photographic image. Read More »

      Pierre Kast & Chris Marker – La Brûlure de mille soleils AKA The Heat of a Thousand Suns (1965)

      This ultimate masterpiece is set in the far future where a young man, bored by his surroundings, blasts off into space with only his cat and some robots for company. On a distant planet he discovers a serene, tranquil culture and falls in love with a girl. The story follows his problems adjusting to their sociological standards and customs where family units are comprised of sexual groups of eight people. Read More »

        Chris Marker – Le mystère Koumiko AKA The Koumiko Mystery (1967)

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        A personal study of Japan at the time of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as seen through the eyes of a Japanese girl. Read More »

          Chris Marker & Pierre Lhomme – Le joli mai AKA The Lovely Month of May (1963) (HD)

          Filmed just after the March ceasefire between France and Algeria, LE JOLI MAI documents Paris during a turning point in French history: the first time since 1939 that France was not involved in any war.

          Part I, “A Prayer from the Eiffel Tower,” documents personal attitudes and feelings around Paris. A salesman feels free only when he is driving his car, and then only if there is not too much traffic. A working-class mother of eight has just gotten the larger apartment that she had been wanting for years. The space capsule of American astronaut John Glenn is examined by a group of admiring children. Two investors talk about their careers and adventures. A couple in love since their teens discuss the possibility of eternal happiness. At a middle class wedding banquet, the guests are raucous while the bride is quiet, dignified and reserved. Read More »

            Chris Marker – Lettre de Sibérie (1957)

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            Chris Marker’s ethnographic essay-documentary on Siberia, made in 1957, remains fresh and relevant today. Combining fantasy animation (of woolly mammoths and mammoth buildings) and documentary photography shot by Sacha Vierny, Marker displays above all his amazement at the diversity of Siberia, at once almost pre-historic and post-revolutionary. On the film’s revival at the 1982 New York Film Festival, Village Voice critic Carrie Rickey called it “compassionately detached, playful and eclectic…. What still thrills about Letter from Siberia 25 years after it was made is Marker’s sympathetic ethnography, so much against the grain of the partisan American documentaries of the ’50s where the omniscient voice told you how to read each image.” In one hilarious segment, Marker does include that voice – repeating a scene with a Capitalist-propaganda voice-over and then with a Soviet one. Read More »

              Chris Marker – ¡Cuba Sí! (1961)

              Documentarists tend to be an eccentric breed. They need to be, since none of the main film festivals allow their films into competition (an incomprehensible decision), and to get a documentary into a cinema these days is a fraught process. But there is no more highly personal yet elusive film-maker than Chris Marker. His importance lies not in how many audiences have been affected by his films, but in how many of his fellow film-makers regard him as something of a genius. Read More »