Overwhelming. Often opaque, but necessarily and compellingly so; it makes you feel like a tourist among your own species. The futility of film: we're desperate to capture and preserve emotions, images, times, places, people, but all we can do is filter and repackage experiences. We toil for imitations that will never fully satisfy.
how people who don´t make photos and films remember, he wonders. and i´ve been wondering throughout the film, how much the atmosphere and entire film at that matter, would be different if only narration was different. what is the filmed image without our relation to that image? and our relation can´t be digitized and stored in some archives where no one even wipes the dust. if image is a symbol, a code, a language
About halfway in I realized I had seen this movie before, but never knew what it was. I caught dribs and drabs and thought it a documentary on Japan. It's way more than that. It's a cultural comparison and spoken meditations on what we can and cannot know or understand. It bewilders me a bit how Japan went from Samurai swords to 'Hello Kitty'.
Influential essay film from director Chris Marker that represented the closest to the mainstream he wandered since 'La Jetee' in '62. Mainstream in the sense that it actually found an audience internationally. 30 plus years later still an engaging, interesting and thoughtful work full of memorable images both shot and appropriated.
Sans Soleil eludes traditional categorization, but this is an astounding work of mixed-media art. Chris Marker weaves an intimate personal essay linking human experience across many places and various understandings of time. Themes of memory and the banality of life are especially prominent, and the juxtaposition of images is just remarkable. "I spent the day in front of the tv - that memory box."
See this masterpiece by Chris Marker and it will completely change what you ever thought a documentary can be. Don't even ask me what this is a documentary about. To say that it is about "memory" is too vague, it is so much more than that. Perhaps it is about how our culture allows us to process memories that people have in common. I don't really know. Just watch, it's incredibly eloquent without being too specific
"The process of making films in communion with oneself, the way a painter works or a writer, need not now be solely experimental. Contrary to what people say, using the first-person in films tends to be a sign of humility: 'All I have to offer is myself'."
Chris Marker, 1997.
Part documentary, part travelogue, part found footage essay, Chris Marker's free form meditation on time and memory is at turns frustrating fascinating, seemingly aimless and yet endlessly engrossing. A kind of experimental form of cinematic poetry, SANS SOLEIL is a wholly unique experience.