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"La Jetée": The Story of a Man Marked By An Image of His Childhood

"La Jetée belongs to a genre that breeds opportunity for elaborate vision and little thought; the film is responsibly contrary to both assessments," writes Rumsey Taylor at Not Coming to a Theater Near You. "Its strength is its simplification."

"Lasting 29 minutes, shot in black and white and consisting almost entirely of still photographs - imaginatively blended with dissolves, wipes and fades - this is the bare bones of science fiction." Simon Sellars at Ballardian: "It highlights why we are attracted to SF in the first place: not for bug-eyed aliens or galaxy-hopping spaceships, but for the way in which the form can twist our most cherished versions of reality inside out.... La Jetée's influence is palpable. In a 1966 review for New Worlds magazine, JG Ballard considered it to be one of the few convincing acts of SF cinema, while a scene from Ridley Scott's Blade Runner - in which a photo of Rachel's 'mother' animates for a second - is a direct homage to the truth and beauty at the core of this film (Blade Runner was co-scripted by David Peoples, and is famously about the unreliability of memory)."

And of course, Peoples co-wrote Twelve Monkeys, Terry Gilliam's adaptation of La Jetée, today's feature in the Recyclage de luxe Online Film Festival. For more on Chris Marker's landmark work, see, for example, Nathan Lee in the Voice and Catherine Lupton at Criterion's Current.

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