Sans Soleil (1983, Chris Marker)

MAR 20, 2008
Saw on 35mm for the first time. I do not know this movie as well as I think I do… lots of forgotten parts (the town in Iceland buried in ash) and mis-remembered bits. I was grateful to see it projected, but don’t feel that it loses too much on television – gonna keep happily watching the DVD for years to come. If I have a favorite movie right now, this is it.

A new favorite line: “At nightfall the megalopolis breaks down into villages, with its country cemeteries in the shadow of banks, with its stations and temples. Each district of Tokyo once again becomes a tidy ingenuous little town, nestling amongst the skyscrapers.” This is the impression I got from some Japanese movies.

Checked out the DVD again and watched some of the extras. The Chris Darke short didn’t teach me much, just strengthened my belief that nearly all video-art installations consist of too-small TV screens in too-large white rooms full of uncomfortable folding chairs.

DEC 30, 2006
A reminder of the attempted Chris Marker Marathon begun in late August. Showed it off to Jimmy & Dawn.

A movie about memory, images, directing and editing, making pictures, turning life into art and vice versa.

“I will have spent my life trying to understand the function of remembering, which is not the opposite of forgetting, but rather its lining. We do not remember, we rewrite memory much as history is rewritten.”

Explanation for the electronically processed images: “He showed me the clashes of the sixties treated by his synthesizer: pictures that are less deceptive he says—with the conviction of a fanatic—than those you see on television. At least they proclaim themselves to be what they are: images, not the portable and compact form of an already inaccessible reality.”

Owls and cats! Digitally processed images. Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Three children on a road in Iceland. Apocalypse Now. Sacred symbols at Macy’s. Teens dancing in the streets. The same scene in Vertigo that Marker references in La Jetee. Kamikaze. An image. A memory. A glance.

Even better than I remembered, and I remembered it as a masterpiece. Such a good documentary that it may not be a documentary at all. The best travelogue ever.

If this site didn’t already exist, I may have felt compelled to create it myself.

Dawn loved it. Jimmy too, I hope?

The Chris Marker Marathon will continue someday. Got some Rivette to watch first, I think.