Time travel, still images, a past, present and future and the aftermath of World War III. The tale of a man, a slave, sent back and forth, in and out of time, to find a solution to the ...
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"He wrote me...." A woman narrates the thoughts of a world traveler, meditations on time and memory expressed in words and images from places as far-flung as Japan, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, ... See full summary »
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
Time travel, still images, a past, present and future and the aftermath of World War III. The tale of a man, a slave, sent back and forth, in and out of time, to find a solution to the world's fate. To replenish its decreasing stocks of food, medicine and energies, and in doing so, resulting in a perpetual memory of a lone female, life, death and past events that are recreated on an airports jetée. Written by
When the man is holding the arm of the woman in the park near the middle of the movie, his hand is visible between her arm and her body, but his arm is not visible. Only the background can be seen between them. See more »
This time he is close to her, he speaks to her. She welcomes him without surprise. They are without memories, without plans. Time builds itself painlessly around them. Their only landmarks are the flavour of the moment they are living and the markings on the walls.
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The opening credits do not describe it as a film, but "un photo-roman." See more »
La Jettée (1962) is not only the most important work of science-fiction cinema since Fritz Lang's masterwork Metropolis (1927), but is also one of the most staggering achievements in the entire history of film. Here, filmmaker Chris Marker presents the audience with the ultimate cinematic dystopia; a futuristic, industrialised landscape of underground tunnels, colourless streets and jarring 60's architecture. The results are beautiful yet somewhat anachronistic, as the filmmaker employs a similar approach to that of Godard in Alphaville (1965) - or more recently, Winterbottom's Code 46 (2003) - albeit, with a less straightforward attitude to plot and ideology.
The basic narrative outline of the film is built around various reflective layers - similar to what Tarkovsky would use in his later film, Mirror (1975) - which allow Marker to create a certain feeling of mirroring between the notions of fact and fiction, life and death, reality and fantasy and so on. This, in turn, further develops the characters and the world of which they inhabit. The reason the film works without becoming a cold, lifeless lecture is because it anchors the images of nuclear holocaust and scientific exploration within humanistic characters and a sense of unashamed romanticism. But this is only one part of an elaborate puzzle; lest we forget that we are dealing with certain narrative paradoxes, not to mention an assortment of linear and non-linear story elements each unfolding simultaneously. Just when we think we've got the whole film worked out, our perspectives immediately change, and our ideas are lost in the blink of an eye.
However, aside from thematic visual palindromes, what is most remarkable about La Jettée - and the reason it has retained its reputation as a work of genius - is the way in which Marker manages to relate his story of travel and movement through the use of still images. By presenting these pictures to us in a sort of photo-montage - complete with brooding voice-over and various sound effects - the director somehow manages to bring the stillness of his film miraculously to life. It is, without question, a work of pure, unadulterated imagination, and a staggering testament to Marker's genius ability to convey a multitude of feelings, ideas and emotions, through a series of simple, static, though nonetheless, deeply evocative images.
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