Those colors! Marker stablishes a cut in time that survives time itself. Watching this today, a feeling of nostalgia remains: there's no space in contemporary life for this slow pace living. It's subtle and naive, as if we - the viewers - could not stop time from the edge of our seats. This film may seem a bubbly portrait of China, but it's more than dreamy scenes. It's a kind of reality none of us can alter anymore.
Do we say: he wryly portrayed China as spectacle, as a subtle comment on the impossibility of his ever achieving anything but an outside-in perspective? Because it's Chris Marker? I dunno. It felt like exoticism and exploitation... I wish the audio had been in French; that didn't help. This strange American; part mid-Atlantic radio narrator, part auctioneer - probably trying to sell me something. But the Kodachrome!
Déjà intellectuel et poétique, le cinéma de Chris Marker n'était pas encore entré dans son ère expérimentale. Il ne s'agit pourtant pas d'un documentaire "classique", tant le discours reste volontairement subjectif et littéraire. Le découpage mêlant la vie quotidienne et la grande Histoire chinoise reflète aussi les états d'âme de l'auteur. Evidemment, la naïveté des propos laisse maintenant assez songeur. (3,5 / 5)
Un documentaire léger, au ton original, marqué par la subjectivité d'un narrateur omniprésent, au phrasé quasi-proustien aussi hypnotisant et (parfois) tortueux que les rues de la vieille ville de Pékin. Chris Marker nous délivre une "carte postale" idyllique et fantasmée (et donc aussi très naïve...) d'un pays qui s' enfoncera 2 ans plus tard dans l'horreur du "grand bond en avant" maoïste.
Charming, warm, and personal. Shot on 16mm Kodachrome film, now restored, looks absolutely stunning; and literally transports us back in time to the mid 1950s China. The footage itself is a treat, but I especially loved how it was enchanted with warmth and hope for the future. I think the commentary wasn't necessary though, and the experience would have had more impact if the images were left to speak for themselves.
Having Marker's name attached to this short documentary piqued my interest however, aside from the glorious colors and occasional wry commentary it was all a little bombastic and high tension. The footage was fairly nondescript and the editing a little too frenetic for me..
Chris Marker carries the audience in wonderland: this is a dream! His subtle and delicate storytelling makes Běijīng looking like the best place to be on a spring, sunny and relaxed day. Just for one day. Nevertheless, « La Jetée» still remains the film I love the most – and I've probably seen them all. Honorable mention goes to the opening credits and to Agnes Varda, 'consultant in Sinology'. ❤ #ChrisCats
I have seen a great many of Chris Marker's films and videos (even owned that CD-ROM he did), but this was nonetheless as bracing as a face-full of ice water. That's too gentle. This went off in my life like so much ordnance. A truly disarming machine gun loquacity at play here. It comes flying at you, and this is stuff as brilliant and profound as anything to come out of France post-Montaigne.