Monday, July 30, 2012

Chris Marker RIP

RIP Chris Marker

Marker - apparently nick-named after the Magic Marker, real name Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve - died yesterday, the day after his 91st birthday.  A Left Bank French film-maker, his most famous works La Jetee and Sans Soleil investigated time and memory through film, examining linearity and non-linearity in the always-strictly-linear format of film.

I saw both of those films in the early eighties, and they made a profound impression on me. I've since seen other French film-makers - Michel Gondry, Alain Resnais, Jean Luc Godard - play similar games. I wonder if it's something in the water? La Jetee is a tale of time travel told entirely through rostrum camera shots of still photos - except for a brief movie moment as the protagonist breaks through to the past and the woman he is with wakes up and opens her eyes. The film was remade by Terry Gilliam in 1995 as 12 Monkeys, but the 27 minute still original packs a greater punch in a much shorter time.

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La Jetee (turn on close captions)
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Sans Soleil (in English)

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