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Chris Marker Frankreich, 1962
There is the film that gets my vote for the greatest short film ever made, and which for some reason is never discussed as a horror film. La Jetée, Chris Marker's structurally adventurous, aesthetically sublime 1962 dispatch from the margins of the French New Wave is often referred to as science fiction, and it has all the hallmarks. Yet for this viewer at least, those generic touchstones—time travel, post-apocalypse, fiendish experiments, existential terror—read just as easily as horrific.
Oktober 25, 2016
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It's somewhere in between the photographic and the cinematic that the singular effect of La Jetée is crafted. Marker's subtraction of cinema's ostensibly essential kernel, the moving image, has the effect of making the film's viewer uncannily sensible to the fact of watching a film, of getting marked by it, and moving with it.
August 3, 2016
This half-hour-long stunner still haunts us as a marvel of deceptive simplicity. Which isn't to say it's deceitful. But, to quote the narrator, "images begin to ooze like confessions." Here again is Marker the cunning self-abstractionist. Yes, this is a movie full of great sci-fi stuff—time-travel, apocalypse, cosmic desire—but at its core is a delicious and doomed romance.
Mai 3, 2016
No less than its inspiration, Hitchcock's Vertigo, La Jetée demands equal attention to the elusive image and to the dilemmas and rewards of its pursuit—dilemmas and rewards that circle the stubborn problem of authorship and the limits of narrative surprise. La Jetée's great theme of the transporting power of images finds striking form in the film's concatenation of still shots, but the voice-over narration never fully prepares for these shots, which therefore always verge on surprise encounters.
September 15, 2015
Simply unlike any other film in the history of cinema. It is certainly not the only film to be composed out of still images, but its triumph is to harness them, using the classic grammar of the narrative fiction film, to the ultimate spare, stripped-down storyline (a mere twenty-seven minutes in length): a postapocalyptic science-fiction tale of tragic heroism and lost love, which turns on the fatal attraction of images and the price paid for that desire.
Februar 7, 2012
Ferdy on Films
The horrible sense of déjà vu that must have enveloped Marker and his peers must have heightened his existing interest in memory and time. La Jetée uses a straightforward science-fiction device—time travel—to explore the paradoxes of the human mind that allow us to experience simultaneously the past, present, and future.
Februar 3, 2008
Through an assemblage of gorgeous black-and-white stills, Marker shows a devastated Paris in the aftermath of World War III, where the few survivors are scurrying underground due to radiation levels on the surface... With its brilliant conceit, which tightens the narrative and offers a lesson on editing fundamentals, the film reaches a conclusion common to a lot of time-travel stories, which is that knowledge of the future doesn't necessarily empower people to change it.
Juli 18, 2007
If you've seen "La Jetée" or Terry Gilliam's 1996 remake, Twelve Monkeys, you know the film's final, devastating twist. If not, I won't spoil it here, except to say that the story ends where it begins and that its plot is a pretext for Marker to examine the impermanence of experience and the fragility—sometimes falsity—of remembered images, the shards we cling to as we journey from abyss to abyss.
Juni 28, 2007
The film's parable-like concision derives not only from the elegantly lucid text but also from the evocative precision of the images, and from the spareness of the montage. La Jetéefeels not only like a photo-roman but also like a photographed storyboard for a science-fiction film yet to be made... The peculiar, indeed exceptional, formal qualities of La Jetée lead viewers, consciously or otherwise, to reappraise their conceptions of the nature of cinema and its relation to time and to motion.
Juni 25, 2007
The Cinematheque Ontario
Deeply influenced by Alain Resnais and his themes of time, memory and death, LA JETÉE examines the status of the (mostly still and, in the film's most famous moment, moving) image.
November 29, 2002
One of the best of all SF films is this haunting, apocalyptic 27-minute French short by the great Chris Marker (1962) about a man sent into the future—a story that is told almost exclusvely in still frames.
Oktober 1, 1989
The Art of Moving Shadows (book)
The reinsertion of the still image within European cinema was heralded in magisterial fashion by the production of Chris Marker's La Jetée (1961). This remarkable instantiation of the catastrophic imagination projects in still images the posterity of nuclear destruction, a world in which the memory of the past is, with difficulty and in pain, by strenuous effort, only partially retrievable.
Januar 1, 1988