Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Marked by an Image - La Jetée

A rare gem,
a ciné-roman,
a film composed almost entirely of still images (bar a two minute scene that shifts into moving image).

We sense the foreboding from the outset:
A scene the man had seen as a child, this idea of returning to a past moment highlights the cyclical nature of life, we anticipate the course of events...

Of course the genius lies not only in the strength of the images in isolation, but the animation of them Marker achieves through camera technique and editing skills.

I think La Jetée brings to the surface the small and everyday passing scenes we either forget or fail to notice. The viewer cannot help but take away say the still of a headless statue, irrelevant to the progression of the plot, as well as the pain depicted in man's face as he undergoes part of the experiment. Plus we have the play on our own memory; the stills that each viewer will subconsciously take away from this film.

I could go on about the nape of the lady's neck as she pins back her hair contrasting against her crisp white T shirt, but words lack the resonance they fail to even hint at the beauty, the power and the sheer originality this work exudes.

Thank you Chris Marker !

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