Posted by: Tony – Jul 30, 2012
The influence of French director Chris Marker resonates throughout cinema. His passing made me pause today, and I wanted to share the full version of La Jette in the hopes that maybe a few more people could appreciate his genius and understand why it bothered me to see him go.
"The essay film, a form pitched between documentary and personal reflection, exploring the subjectivity of the cinematic perspective, has now become an accepted genre. Jean-Marie Straub, Danielle Huillet, Jean-Luc Godard, Errol Morris and Michael Moore are among its main recent proponents, but Chris Marker, who has died aged 91, was credited with inventing the form.
Marker's creative use of sound, images and text in his poetic, political and philosophical documentaries made him one of the most inventive of film-makers. They looked forward to what is called "the new documentary", but also looked back to the literary essay in the tradition of Michel de Montaigne. Marker's interests lay in transitional societies – "life in the process of becoming history," as he put it. How do various cultures perceive and sustain themselves and each other in the increasingly intermingled modern world?" The Guardian July 30th, 2012
"Marker became known internationally for the short film La jetée (The Pier) in 1962. It tells of a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel by using a series of filmed photographs developed as a photomontage of varying pace, with limited narration and sound effects. In the film, a survivor of a futuristic third World War is obsessed with a distant and disconnected memories of a pier at the Orly Airport, the image of a mysterious woman, and a man's death. Scientists experimenting in time travel choose him for their studies, and the man travels back in time to contact the mysterious woman, and discovers that the man's death at the Orly Airport was his own. Except for one shot of the woman mentioned above sleeping and suddenly waking up, the film is composed entirely of photographs by Jean Chiabaud and stars Davos Hanich as the man, Hélène Chatelain as the woman and filmmaker William Klein as a man from the future.
La Jetée was the inspiration for Mamoru Oshii's 1987 debut live action feature The Red Spectacles (and, later for, parts of Oshii's 2001 film Avalon as well) and also inspired Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys (1995). It also inspired many of director Mira Nair's shots for the 2003 film The Namesake." - wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Marker
More at www.chrismarker.org