Inventory: Chris Marker

Ever since I first watched Sans Soleil on VHS (probably by recommendation of John at Videodrome) it’s been one of my very favorite movies. I’d previously seen La Jetee on one of those late-90’s shorts DVDs with a commentary track by the writers of Gilliam’s great adaptation 12 Monkeys. For the next decade, these were almost the only available Marker films on video, but IMDB claimed he’d directed fifty more. With help from the mighty Internet, I set out to find and watch as many of these as possible, reading a couple books and following a few sidetracks along the way. As recently stated in my Post-Dissolve write-up, it’s getting kinda old to make endless projects for myself and finish none of them, so ten years after starting the Chris Marker Completism Project it’s time to declare it a success and organize my mess of Marker posts.

Warning: links go to journal posts… sometimes there are multiple short Marker films per post, or one Marker will be lumped in with unrelated shorts, or I’ll watch the same film twice and write about it in two places. Release years may be wrong, and I’ve chosen English or French titles on a whim.

Thirteen Marker-involved Masterpieces:

Sunday in Peking (1956) / Letter From Siberia (1957) / Description of a Struggle (1960)
La Jetée (1962)
A Valparaíso (1963, dir. Joris Ivens)
The Koumiko Mystery (1965)
If I Had Four Dromedaries (1966)
Far From Vietnam / The Sixth Side of the Pentagon (1967)
Sans Soleil (1983)
Immemory (1998)
Remembrance of Things to Come (2001, with Yannick Bellon)
Chats perchés / Case of the Grinning Cat (2004)

Three (point one) great filmmaker documentaries:

A.K. (1985)
The Last Bolshevik (1992) / The Train Rolls On (1971)
One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich (2000)

Three more popular features:

Grin Without a Cat (1977)
Le Joli Mai (1963)
Level Five (1997)

Advanced Studies:

Cinétracts (1968) & Blue Helmet (1995)
The Second Trial of Artur London (1970)
Broadway By Light (1958 William Klein) & Eclipse (1999)
Three Video Haikus (1994)
Cuba Si (1961)
Pictures at an Exhibition (2008) & Silent Movie (1995)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Singer (1974)
The Owl’s Legacy (1989)
Junkopia (1981)
Tokyo Days (1986) & Berlin ’90 & Prime Time in the Camps (1993)
Be Seeing You (1968) & 2084 (1984) & We Maintain It Is Possible (1973) & Set Theory (1985)
Matta (1985)
Embassy (1973) & Viva la baleine (1972) & Petit Bestiare (1990)

Also of interest:

The Confession (1970, Costa-Gavras)
It For Others (2013, Duncan Campbell)
Description of a Memory (2007 Dan Geva)
America as Seen by a Frenchman (1960, Francois Reichenbach)
Agnès de ci de là Varda (2011, Agnès Varda)
The Marker Variations (2007, Isaki Lacuesta)
The Battle of Chile (1975-78, Patricio Guzmán)
Happiness (1934, Alexander Medvedkin)
Les Astronautes (1959, Walerian Borowczyk)


There are still some I haven’t found, but none that I’m killing myself to acquire. In this post I looked at some missing films from 1967-1977. I’m also missing subtitles for his Simone Signoret doc from 1986 and La Spirale from 1976, and haven’t bothered with the appalling-looking and untranslated youtube copy of his debut Olympia ’52. I haven’t forgotten the Alain Resnais collaborations, but will get to them in a later post.

Olympia ’52:

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