“Nothing distinguishes memories from ordinary moments…
Only later do they become memorable by the scars they leave.”
I seem to be late to this particular plane – almost 50 years late…but if it wasn’t for La Jetée appearing in a ‘Best 25 Time Travel Films’ – and being 26 minutes I’d have not checked it out. Partly because his friendship with Alain Resnais and a bad experience with Last Year In Marienbad when I was at art school (yes it is really boring, yes the Blur video is far more entertaining than that mess ever could be) – I kind of took a pass on French New Wave since that.
But Chris Marker has changed all that…sorry the only ones I can find online are French or a really curtailed English Dub, but seek out a subtitled version if you can find one (and like me intentionally forgot most of your French after being force fed it for years at school). But it’s amazing what you can do with just photography, and apparently he produced more documentary films – I will check out Sans Soleil later.
Post-apocalyptic seems to be his thing, if that an this short ‘Junkopia’ is anything to go by?:
And an earlier film is Les Astronautes, an animation with Walerian Borowczyk, a surreal dada style aeons before Monty Python and a certain Terry Gilliam got hold of it – he also later borrowed parts of La Jetée for ‘Twelve Monkeys’…
“When men die, they enter into history. When statues die, they enter into art. This botany of death is what we call culture.”
This film ‘Statues Also Die’ was banned in France by it’s critique of colonialism, and the fetishism of African art* and yes, Chris Marker’s camerawork has gotten me watching an Alain Resnais film (in part!). Click CC/Subtitles for an English translation – something sadly rare with many of Chris Marker’s works on YouTube?
* I need to do a rant post about the love of ‘outsider’/’naive’ art and what it actually reveals about our stance to Western Art training and culture in general…someday.