8.3/10
25,156
120 user 114 critic

La Jetée (1962)

La jetée (original title)
The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.

Director:

Chris Marker
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sans Soleil (1983)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A woman narrates the contemplative writings of a seasoned world traveler, focusing on contemporary Japan.

Director: Chris Marker
Stars: Florence Delay, Arielle Dombasle, Riyoko Ikeda
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Directors: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid
Stars: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid
Night and Fog (1956)
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
Short | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present 17 minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel
La Jetée (2016)
Short | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In a post-apocalyptic world, a man is forced to be a guinea pig in experiments that send him back in time to a moment in time to which he has a strong emotional bond.

Director: Sam Brooks
Stars: Jacob Baldy, Gabriel Herz-Kahn, Zach Hill
Documentary | Music
    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
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Négroni Jean Négroni ... Narrator (voice) (as Jean Negroni)
Hélène Chatelain Hélène Chatelain ... The Woman
Davos Hanich Davos Hanich ... The Man
Jacques Ledoux Jacques Ledoux ... The Experimenter
André Heinrich André Heinrich
Jacques Branchu Jacques Branchu
Pierre Joffroy Pierre Joffroy
Étienne Becker Étienne Becker ... (as Etienne Becker)
Philbert von Lifchitz Philbert von Lifchitz
Ligia Branice ... A woman from the future (as Ligia Borowcyk)
Janine Klein Janine Klein ... A woman from the future
William Klein William Klein ... A man from the future (as Bill Klein)
Germano Facetti Germano Facetti ... (as Germano Faccetti)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Kirk James Kirk ... Narrator (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Time travel, still images, 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 airport jetty. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

16 February 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

La Jetée See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Around the 8:40 marker, when two scientists in the background are speaking German, if you listen carefully, you can hear one of them slightly laugh after almost mispronouncing the word 'muscular contraction'. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [English version] This is the story of a man marked by an image of his childhood. The violent scene which upset him, and whose meaning he was to grasp only years later, happened on the main pier at Orly, Paris Airport, sometime before the outbreak of World War Three.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits do not describe it as a film, but "un photo-roman." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Primer (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl (Theme)
(uncredited)
Music by Trevor Duncan
Plays during the museum scene
Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The most heartbreakingly despairingly romantic science fiction film ever made.
31 October 2000 | by Alice LiddelSee all my reviews

'La Jetee' is a film about movement made up entirely of photographic stills. Well, not entirely. For one transcendent moment the photo moves, ironically at the film's stillest moment, as a woman we have starred at sleeping in the sunny dawn wakes up. It is typical of Marker that a film spanning centuries, millenia, war, torture, experimentation, murder, dreams, time travel, destruction, love, joy, should have as its epiphanical moment an elusive, delusive moment of utter calm, that of a sleeping woman opening her eyes. In a film whose body is the stuff dreams are made on, such a moment is truly cataclysmic.

Like all Marker's masterpieces, 'Jetee', ostensibly a work of science-fiction, is profoundly concerned with Time, Memory and History. Such abstracts treated in lesser hands have a tendency to become vague, airy, removed from life; but Marker, the old leftist, always grounds his philosophy, humanisises and politicises it.

'Jetee', though a short, is rich with ambiguity and irony - the freedom of dreams, to reinvent the past, to escape from circumstances, is exploited by a totalitarian oligarchy, and ultimately fatal for the dreamer. Such is our desperate need to dream, to escape, forget/reinvent, that it is easy to forget that the Man's relationship with the Woman is a phantom, an entire history blown out of a brief glimpse, like that Baudelaire poem where he is stunned by a brief glimpse of a woman he never sees again.

It is this act the tyrants need, this gesture of recreation - by embodying what never happened, by making real or factual what is ultimately desire, he has destroyed history; this paves the way for the vision of 3000, where history is destroyed, and along with it humanity; a Houhnyhm-land of disembodied intelligence. This idea of the death of history, of the victory of post-modernity, would be most eloquently in Marker's chef d'oeuvre, 'Sans Soleil', which was shown with this film at the screening I attended.

But Marker's great achievement here is his creation of the future as a regression, as a descent into medievalism, part-Les Miserables, part-Occupation, with all the signs of French progress and pretension destroyed, with all Haussman's modernity and prosperity run to earth by nuclear contamination, the survivors living in sewers with rats, as their ancestors once did.

Marker's vision is terrifying in its mixture of ruined symmetry and a sickening moral blackness, the general silence punctuated by impenetrable whispers and noises - this is one of the most frightening soundtracks I've ever heard. This medievalism also means a bypassing of the intellect, of literal Enlightenment, and back to a kind of spiritual murk, with pastiche sacred music flooding the film, and parodies of religious kitsch obtruding (the godlike light seeping into dense interiors; religious slogans; the compositions of survivors like beatified saints) on the relics of civilisation, the graffiti, the now-impenetrable codes.

This chaos is contrasted with the Paris of the dream, especially in the museum scene, even more chilling with its statues looking like petrified relics from a volcanic disaster; the mute, stuffed animals warning humans of their fate; the exquisite composition of architecture, trapping the couple in a web of order, boxes, classification, obsolescence, the doomed attempts by mankind to order the universe.

yet this dream is so moving because it offers love, connection, gardens, talk, dreams, Paris, even if they are illusory. because, although this is a dense, difficult, allusive, modern film, it also illuminates a simple, ancient truth 'In the midst of life, we are in death'. As Morrissey once responded, 'Etcetera'.


106 of 134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 120 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed