Sunday, 13 February 2011

La Jetée 1968 | Chris Marker (review)
Fig 1 | 'La Jetee' Film Poster
Chris Maker’s 28 minute film ‘La Jetée’ is a photo-roman piece. The film consists of multiple photos that depict the life of ‘The Man’ as he is experimented on post- WWIII. Nevertheless the imagery that is put in front of the viewer ultimately draws us into the story and points out that a film doesn’t have to be completely motional for it to grip the viewer.
Fig 2 | The Man Lying Whilst Time Travelling
The synopsis of the film follows ‘A Man’ who after the aftermath of WWIII is used in experiments of Time Travel.  He goes to the past looking for supplies and other luxury to bring to the present only to fall in love with a familiar face. Only on the last trip does he recognise the woman as he is brought back to that fateful day of his childhood and his death.
Fig 3 | The Woman

Marker’s usage of still photography works well to describe the film generally. Nevertheless to a viewer the film doesn’t portray itself as most features do. The reason being is that the images are too separated and whereas if we turned off the sound to a film which consists of motion. We still can connect with the story; whereas ‘La Jetée’ if we seclude the stills from the narration we find ourselves lost to the plot and story. However, the success of the film comes from it narration as we are able to justify the images we are viewing. To the viewer the story in compelling and appears to be more of an audio book with pictures than a film with narration. Still the shots as a single image bring more effect to the narration. In turn Marker has made a bold statement in some senses that a film doesn’t necessary need motion to be a good film. As long as the basis is strong, people can engross themselves in it.
Fig 4 | The Experimenter
As a viewer the natural impact of the film makes us looks are different areas of our life, past, present and future. In turn it makes us look at the life cycle and speaks almost metaphorical about the life for a single human being. In example the use of the child at the beginning, The man being present and the four from the future suggesting the acceptance of ‘The Man Time Travelling’ suggest the stages of life in a way the peace and beauty of childhood and how we’re secluded from any dangers that present themselves but as we get older we face destruction (not literally but life becomes more harmful – i.e. Bills to pay, Inflation, Dangers of crime.) Moreover the finally the future isn’t the man as an O.A.P but in his death as accepted into the peace and is able to revisit his life from different eras. The final moment ‘was a good idea to use an image from the protagonist’s childhood and weave it into his present life. It gives the movie a haunting tone.’ – Tricia Saiki and also implies the thought of life after death. In turn as the man dies the boys lives suggesting that as we die in one reality we will live within another i.e. Living an eternity in a vicious cycle which we most likely live before.  In conclusion, making Markers’ film more of an opinion on life and re-incarnation.
Fig 5 | The Man's Fate

 As for the attraction with the woman; we can find it strengthen the argument as well as it possibility to flaw it. Nevertheless posing us with the topic of ‘One’. The nature of the man’s attraction appears immediate and the same with the Woman. For this reason in beckons us as the viewer to think of the attraction on the pier ‘the man had as a child. Moreover that no matter what era or location there is one person meant for someone in this life and the next. In result the final image as the body is lay on the follow and the boys seeing the woman suggest an inevitable fat e once more suggesting that no matter what happens in the boy’s life he’ll always fall in love with this woman. Yet Marker’s use of the woman sparks the argument of whether ‘The Man actually time travels and in turn get the woman’ or  ‘Expectedly, the face of a woman he saw briefly in his childhood — an image he obsesses — becomes manifested in this biased past. In the film, travelling to the past is more an act of remembering it, fashioning a scenario out of incidental, remembered ephemera. Memory is not constant; it is necessarily fragmented. This concept is invariably mended to the manner in which it is used in the film.’ - Rumsey Taylor. Marker in this opens us up to the idea that we could miss that chance with the ‘One’, moreover that ‘The Man’ is simply reminiscing on the woman and what could have been. This is more obvious in a sense as the extremes of the story depict the end on society due to war. Needless to say from this aspect it simply identifies with miss opportunity in with lover.
Fig 6 | Woman Lay In The Bed
All though Marker’s feature present itself a sci-fi, there multiple ways to look at it and interpret his ideologies with the piece. In this instance there is a strong sense of life, death and love throughout as marker’s imagery depict the extremity of his theories. Nevertheless the film as a whole has big advantages in it techniques. Moreover, in turnThe soundtrack's texture is similarly sparse, and the fluid montage leads the viewer into the sensation of watching moving images.’ – DT. For this reason allowing the viewers gather their unique opinion on the messages portrayed  in this feature which will be different to that of the another person values. This is therefore distinctive of the technique used as still lack information that you would get as standard from motion pictures.  It allows the mind to wander to the thought of what does image portray? Or is this still like that of a family portrait...faked and showing only wanted emotion. Nevertheless making the film a must watch as it gives a basis for individual interpretation on its meaning.
Fig 7 | Apocolyptic Paris

List Of Illustrations

Fig 1 Marker Chris(1968) 'La Jetee' Film Poster
[Film Poster] From: La Jetee

Fig 2 Marker Chris (1968) The Man Lying Whilst Time Travelling
[Film Still] From: La Jetee

Fig 3 Marker Chris (1968) The Woman
[Film Still] From: La Jetee

Fig 4 Marker Chris (1968) The Experimenter
[Film Still] From: La Jetee

Fig 5 Marker Chris (1968) The Man's Fate
[Film Still] From: La Jetee

Fig 6 Marker Chris (1968) Woman Lay In The Bed
[Film Still] From: La Jetee

Fig 7 Marker Chris (1968) Apocolyptic Paris
[Film Still] From: La Jetee

 (Accessed on 13.02.11)
Taylor, Rumsey. La Jetée
 (Accessed on13.02.11)

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