I wondered why he decided to tell the story in still photography, and then that sleeping scene where she awakes seemed UNREAL. A touchstone for apocalyptic visions to come (I see much fodder for Snowpiercer now). A puzzling, Twilight Zone-esque elegy for identity, legacy, and love. The German doctors provided some unwillingly comforting ASMR whispers.
Oh, look! A photo-roman about the coexistence of the three dimensions of time within the event itself! And six years before DIFFERENCE AND REPETITION! Deleuze in said text looks back explicitly to the poet Charles Péguy, clearly a precursor for LA JETÉE, and the idea of a "presentiment" wherein the flow of time is precipitated by "the introduction of a fragment of some future event."
Stories like this are a dime a dozen today. So the problem for me, cinematically and apart from the historical value: it's mostly a story, i.e. literature read aloud. The fun to be had is on a meta level: like the protagonist, we pine for sentimental, black & white nostalgia of the past, when we should go forward and leave the whole debacle of the spectacle behind us. But instead we choose the past. Instead we die.
LA JETÉE is one of my favorite short movie. What director Chris Marker did in this movie is a revolutionary work to change the face of world cinema forever. Almost the entire movie using a still photo. But it's still intriguing and entertaining. Well, I know - LA JETÉE using a still photo. But somehow, at some point - the picture feels like it's moving. That's the magical thing of this movie. It's a great experience!
An utterly unique film that is unlike anything else you will ever see. This makes it great, but also bittersweet since it is so short. Its experimental, moving, really everything about cinema most here love. Still feels fresh today over 50 yrs later. If you havent please do yourself a favor and check it out asap. A turning point in cinema imo. 5 easy stars. Completely essential.
Marker's lilliputean masterpiece captures in stills the very cinematographic logic and weaves together with admirable ingenuity a sci fi thriler to a political diatribe, the latter with, albeit oblique, visual references to the victims of French torture during the Algerian war of independence. Simultaneously, it is replete with angst in the nuclear era. A masterpiece of original storytelling with a chilling gaze...
Only time I immediately rewatched a film after the first viewing. Partly from drowsing off in the middle, this film whose rhythms induce sleep, but also from indescribable awe. Hard-edged science fiction is lined with touches of the great fablists (Kafka, Borges) to journey in regions unborn and yet unknown. A tragic, beautiful paean to humanity.