Chris Marker's La Jetée

"Rien ne distingue les souvenirs des autres moments: ce n'est que plus tard qu'ils se font reconnaître, à leurs cicatrices."

Chris Marker, La Jetée
("Nothing distinguishes memories from ordinary moments; it's only later that they make themselves known on account of their scars.")

For some reason tonight, I find myself thinking about Chris Marker's haunting film La Jetée. It was shot on a Pentax 35 mm still camera and includes 1 single moving shot because Marker only managed to get hold of an Arriflex movie camera for one afternoon. It's a classic that has inspired David Bowie and Elliot Smith videos as well as Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys and Mamoru Oshii's The Red Spectacle. Vincent Gallo also paid homage to La Jetée in his first film, Buffalo 66. I love this film because it encapsulates so many of my obsessions: the nature of memory, photography, history, love and nature. The evocative black and white images, like the childhood memory that obsesses the protagonist in the film, are unforgettable. In a simple construction of still images and a voice-over soundtrack, Marker created a beautiful and memorable film, the likes of which had never been done before or since. 

1 comment:

  1. Such an amazing film, one I saw almost 10 years ago and have never and would never want to forget.