Chris Marker: La Jetée (One Work Series) by Janet Harbord

By Janet Harbord

A reconsideration of Chris Marker's well-known movie, interpreting its remedy of time, its use of sound, the impression of the comedian publication shape, and different topics.

Chris Marker's mythical "ciné roman" ("film novel") La Jetée is taken into account one of many maximum and so much influential experimental motion pictures of all time. This brief film—a postapocalyptic tale composed virtually totally of black-and-white nonetheless photographs—has been praised by means of cultural theorists and Netflix subscribers alike.

In this illustrated learn of La Jetée, Janet Harbord focuses partly at the film's therapy of time—its shifts from a pre-war previous to a projected destiny an extra way forward for the longer term (each with its personal signature pictures and sound)—arguing that during this manner it addresses the character of recognition and the simultaneity of time-frames that we inhabit. Harbord strikes simply from an in depth examining of the movie to discussions of broader cultural matters, lucidly piecing jointly the enigma that's La Jetée.

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Extra info for Chris Marker: La Jetée (One Work Series)

Example text

In this suspended state, where literally the man hangs again in a hammock, the people of the future communicate to him that he may join them in the future. But he asks instead to return to the past, to the world of his childhood and the woman. The wish is granted, and the man returns to the scene at Orly Airport. It is the warm day of the beginning of the film, with parents walking their children onto the observation pier to see the planes. The narrator tells us that the man thinks, in a rather ‘dizzy’ way, that the child he had been is also present.

In a reversal of the first shot of the film, the sequence opens at the beginning of the pier and moves towards the end. The camera moves to the front, to the left and behind the man as he begins to run; close images of the woman’s face intercut his movement. 17 The woman waits at the end of the pier, while to the left of the frame is one of the camp doctors, recognisable by the strange optical device he is wearing. As the man runs he notices the figure turned towards him with what appears to be a gun.

It is as though there are action-images and time-images in the stills. Yet everything is subject to a reversal in Marker’s hands. Just as the portrait of the woman bridles, threatens to break out into other stories, so the dramatic sequences La Jetée | 29 threaten the rules of drama: at certain charged moments they appear to suspend time. This occurs when the shot breaks out of a pattern of exchange and sinks into a circular movement. In the sequence of the first experiment, the camera moves initially from the doctor to the man in the hammock in an expected exchange of looks.

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