MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,769 this week

Sans Soleil (1983)
"Sans soleil" (original title)

8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 5,419 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 47 critic

"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 »

Director:

(as Chris. Marker)

Writer:

(as Chris. Marker)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 28 titles
created 17 May 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 21 Aug 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 11 Nov 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Sans Soleil" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Sans Soleil (1983)

Sans Soleil (1983) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Sans Soleil.
4 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

La Jetée (1962)
Short | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Marker
Stars: Étienne Becker, Jean Négroni, Hélène Chatelain
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Director: Chris Marker
Stars: Laurence Guvillier, Davos Hanich, François Maspero
Night and Fog (1955)
Documentary | Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov
Stars: Mikhail Kaufman
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Paris 2002. Yellow cats appears on the walls. Chris Marker is looking for these mysterious cats and captures with his camera the political and international events of these last two years (war in Iraq...).

Director: Chris Marker
Stars: Bertrand Cantat, Dieudonné, Léon Schwartzenberg
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Through photos made by the French photographer Denise Bellon, a personnal history of France.

Directors: Yannick Bellon, Chris Marker
Stars: Pierre Arditi
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

This documentary tells the story of film director Aleksandr Medvedkin, throughout his life a sincere believer in communism, whose films were repeatedly banned in the Soviet Union. Modern ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Marker
Stars: Léonor Graser, Nikolai Izvolov, Kira Paramonova
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An intimate, picaresque inquiry into French life as lived by the country's poor and its provident, as well as by the film's own director, Agnes Varda. The aesthetic, political and moral ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: François Wertheimer, Agnès Varda, Bodan Litnanski
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Real-life individuals discuss topics on society, happiness in the working class among others and with those testimonies the filmmakers create fictional moments based on their interviews. ... See full summary »

Directors: Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
Stars: Angelo, Régis Debray, Jacques
Kino I (2012)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 2012 the Vienna International Film Festival invited french filmmaker Chris Marker to direct the annual festival trailer

Director: Chris Marker
Junkopia (1981)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A short film that shows Boundless, Surreal objects that are juxtaposed with our present World. Cars, Motorways, noise of our modern society; A giant city in the distance - all that shrouds ... See full summary »

Directors: John Chapman, Chris Marker, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Arielle Dombasle
Leila Attacks (2007)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Director: Chris Marker
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Florence Delay ...
Narrator (French version) (voice)
...
Herself
Riyoko Ikeda ...
Narrator (Japanese version) (voice)
Charlotte Kerr ...
Narrator (German version) (voice)
...
Herself / Madeleine Elster / Judy Burton (archive footage)
Alexandra Stewart ...
Narrator (English version) (voice)
...
Himself / John 'Scottie' Ferguson (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

"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, and San Francisco. Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

2 March 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bez slonca  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,899 (USA) (5 December 2003)

Gross:

$30,878 (USA) (5 December 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The narration refers to the Japanese word "Tora" as the name of an individual pet cat. The literal translation of the word "Tora" in English is "Tiger". See more »

Quotes

Narrator: He liked the fragility of those moments suspended in time. Those memories whose only function had been to leave behind nothing but memories. He wrote: I've been round the world several times and now only banality still interests me. On this trip I've tracked it with the relentlessness of a bounty hunter. At dawn we'll be in Tokyo.
See more »

Connections

Features Vertigo (1958) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
In the entire history of cinema, there have been only two truly important, indispensible, founding films - this is one of them.
31 October 2000 | by (dublin, ireland) – See all my reviews

'Sans Soleil' opens with a ferry trip to Japan, with the camera peering at sleeping passengers. This is a perfect encapsulation of the film as a whole, a beautiful mixture of journey and dream. The film is ostensibly a documentary, that holier-than-thou genre convinced of its own superior truthfulness. And the film is full of documentary images, snapshots from the faraway places Marker visits, Japan, Africa, South America, San Francisco, Iceland, Paris. The film is full of the observations of the filmmaker about the cultures he observes.

But 'Sans Soleil' couldn't soar further from the prosaic ambitions of the documentary. Like the film it most resembles, Marker's own 'La Jetee', it is in fact a work of science fiction, as much about time travel as literal travel. Each place Marker visits is stripped of its familiarity, and made eerie, alien. Concrete images become springboards for dizzy philosophical speculations. The film moves with ease from the court of 11th century Imperial Japan to the revolutionary struggles in 1960s Africa to emus on the Ile de France to an interpretation of Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' to astrological rumination on a desert beach, and still remains thematically coherent and full of the most startling connections.

It is this structure that creates the feel of science fiction, the linking of seemingly disparate images, symbols, stories, experiences, places to create a strange pattern which emanates something spiritual, that seems to make sense of increasing chaos, dislocation, displacement. But we are constantly reminded that these are secular, man-made, ad-hoc, arbitrary constructions, as phantom as the relationship in 'La Jetee', but, similarly, a necessary construction to cover the abyss.

The distortion of the soundtrack, the mixture of silence and mooged classics; the computer visuals of Marker's friend, known as The Zone, which seep conventional, representational images and turn them into ghosts, traces, stripped of history, recognisability, humanity; the film's fictional framework (the narrative comprises letters to the narrator by the filmmaker, Sandor Krasna) all add to this unsettling science fiction appropriation of the documentary genre.

When the history of cinema comes to be written in centuries to come, there will really only be two films that will survive from its first century, films dense, supple, playful, renewable enough, and full of enough possibilities for future direction, to transcend the local, the generic, the pretentious, the narrative. One is that final gasp of modernist cinema, 'Vertigo'; the other is this epitome of post-modernity. in many ways, 'Sans Soleil' is a stunning exegisis on Hitchcock's masterpiece (which had only just been re-released after two-decades withdrawel), echoing its circular structure, its concern with time, memory, the elusiveness of history.

'Soleil' locates the crisis of post-modernity in Japan, that most modern of modern capitalist societies. With the curiosity of an anthropologist, the good humour of an essayist, and the eye for the unusual of a rare filmmaker, Marker gives us a Japan we rarely see, even in the country's own cinema; on the one hand a culture of startling modernity, leading the way in computers, technology, department stores etc., on the other full of residual traditions, rituals, superstitions, ceremonies, going back centuries. The co-existence of these two time-scales has resulted in a kind of blur, a temporal vacuum, whereby all sense of time and perspective is lost, where religious ceremonies for the souls of stray pets co-exist with state-of-the-art video games.

Japan is like a ship that has lost its anchor, where all time is the same, and therefore irrelevant, just as Scottie Ferguson wanders around dazed, in a loop of fantasy and distorted memory. Without history, memory, a culture ceases to be a culture and lays itself open to all sorts of vulnerability. But this lack of foundation ironically leads to a greater freedom, particularly of the mind, and the film, as it reaches its conclusion, becomes visionary and hallucinatory.

'Soleil' is anything but bleak - its stories, myths, cultural tidbits, observations are unfailingly entertaining and full of good humour. Krasna compares the overcultured, saturated Japan to the timeless emptiness of Africa, to the spooky otherworldliness of Iceland, as his 'objective' narrative becomes increasingly a personal odyssey that must be teased out from hints and ellipses. In its focusing on the minutae, the forgotten, the arcane, the ephemeral, the back alleys, the garbage, but suggesting that 'Soleil' is ultimately only one film out of a possible multitude made possible by new technologies, Marker's film is at once profoundly democratic yet exhilaratingly idiosyncratic; an apocalyptic vision teeming with life.


81 of 106 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
others Solus_Crynin
What did you find most striking/confusing/ fascinating? ashwin_2606
Overwhelming film experience... eutopic01
Criterion? RemixTheCat
availability.... akermitj
Here's the script david-1056
Discuss Sans Soleil (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?