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  • Beate Gillson

Chris Marker

Today I would like to talk/write about one amazing French film maker: Chris Marker (29.7.1921-29.7.1012).And one of his most iconic films' La Jetee'(1962). a landmark of science-fiction film making.

Chris Marker worked as journalist, author, film maker.

La Jetee was made entirely of still photography, with the exception of a brief film shot; the 'plot', that served later as inspiration for his cryptic-time travel drama"Twelve Monkeys", or Lettre de Siberie, or ' Sans Soleil'. It is the tale of a man, sent forth and back to past, present, future in the aftermath of WW III, to find a solution to worlds fate.

The photo-montage 'La Jetee' relies on the unreliability of .the human perception,it is an existentialist tale of doomed existence,the inevitability of same. It is an experimental film, that emphasizes the illusion of time-lapse and seems trapped in the stillness of the images.The hauntingly beautiful stills are taken with a Pentax Spotmatic, and the short movie with a 35mm Ariflex, due to the fact, that Marker only could afford the hire of the camera for 1 afternoon. Movement is enhanced through realistic sounds of the airport, or destroyed building, which again turn out to be an illusion. The story moves from the past to the present. Attention is paid to editing through fade in's, and fade out's, dissolves, long time lapses, gradual transition, and he references one of his most favorite films from Alfred Hitchcock 'Vertigo', adds intensity to the film. The sound is the only continuous element and the main source of temporality and gives a rhythm to the film. The other sound is a narrated voice over, partially in different languages, and is lacking a direct dialogue, vague and inaudible. No names are given to the characters, they are voiceless and lifeless, that is enhanced through the black and white images. Stuffed animals capture death and a lack of movement signifies their mortality. 28 min of watching that will enrich your life and have an impact on your next creations, like it had influenced once David Bowie in 1989- to produce the video"Jump They Say".


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