Tuesday, July 13, 2010

La jetée

"This is the story of a man marked by an image of his childhood. The violent scene which upsets him and whose meaning he was only to grasp years later happened on the main pier at Orly, Paris Airport sometime before the outbreak of World War III."

"Nothing tells memories from ordinary moments. Only afterwards do they claim remembrance, on account of their scars."

Chris Marker - La jetée (1962). images from here.

The story is set in Paris post-WWIII and follows the time travel experiments performed on one of its survivors in an attempt to "call past and future to the rescue of the present." The film utilizes voiceover narration layered on top of photographic stills (shot by a Pentax Spotmatic). The gaps between these images is reminiscent of the comic book form in which the audience must imagine the connection/transition between the frames.

Perhaps it may seem like a step backward to utilize what is essentially a slideshow during the time of the proliferation of the medium of film, but I think Marker (who also did Sans Soleil) very effectively and beautifully followed the dictum of letting the message dictate the medium. What this short film accomplishes in 28 minutes is amazingamazingamazing!

If you have netflix, it is currently available on instant play. Watch it!

And while I'm handing out prescriptions on what you should be watching/reading, but on a completely unrelated note, head on over to Style Rookie and read her post on teenage body image as projected by mainstream media. This girl is sharp.

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