|Index||2 reviews in total|
Marker begins Sunday In Peking by recounting his childhood dream of visiting the city he was once only able to admire in books. We are taken on a journey through this city, as if experiencing it from the mind and through the eyes of Marker. His thoughts and observations about the traditions, history, and banalities of everyday life in Peking are woven together so elegantly that it leaves you intellectually satisfied with a smile on your face. The film is shot, appropriately, in a reddish and yellowish hue, structured in Marker's cinematic essay format and orated beautifully by the narrator. As always Marker never fails to add his trademark features such as the wonderful animations of his collaborators, toys, a focus on banalities, and of course the inclusion of his favourite animals (even if it is in the opening credits hehe). 10 out of 10, as always, Marker's poeticism never ceases to amaze!
Chris Marker's travel documentary on Peking is gorgeous. The colors are
bright and evocative. The narration describes the city as a "feast of
color" and Marker's camera is determined to film all of it.
As a Marker documentary, "Sunday in Peking" is not as a good as Letter from Siberia, made the following year, although as in that film Marker's initial connection to his subject was through memories of childhood stories and pictures in books. I am not sure of what Marker feels about Peking. It is a more ambiguous portrait than his one for Siberia. Marker clearly loves the people he sees (and the colors of course), but China is described as a "triumphant arch leading nowhere." I am not sure what to make of Marker's conclusion that Peking is the "Sabbath of the whole world." Regardless, "Sunday in Peking" is well worth watching. Marker's visuals are stunning.
Coincidentally, I have been reading Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi as I have been watching the recent region 2 set of Marker movies. So far the movies in the set and the Miller book have complimented each other well. Both Marker and Miller are travelers giving a personalized account of their subjects. These accounts are unique, and as Miller writes: "Nobody can explain anything which is unique. One can describe, worship and adore."
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