Chris Marker: Memories of the Future by Catherine Lupton

By Catherine Lupton

Chris Marker is likely one of the such a lot notable and influential film-makers of our time. In landmark movies akin to Letter from Siberia (1958), los angeles Jetée (1962), Sans Soleil (1982) and point 5 (1996), he overturned the conventions of the cinema, confounding general differences among documentary and fiction, deepest and public issues, writing and visible recording, and the nonetheless and relocating picture. but those works are just the better-known components of a protean profession that thus far has spanned the second one half the 20th century and encompassed writing, images, film-making, video, tv and the increasing box of electronic multimedia.

Catherine Lupton strains the advance and transformation of Marker’s paintings from the overdue Forties, while he started to paintings as a poet, novelist and critic for the French magazine Esprit, via to the Nineteen Nineties, and the discharge of his most up-to-date works: the characteristic movie point 5 and the CD–ROM Immemory. She comprises the ancient occasions, shifts and cultural contexts that the majority productively remove darkness from the several stages of Marker’s profession. He stands proud as a unique determine whose paintings resists effortless assimilation into the mainstream of cultural and cinematic tendencies.

Marker’s oeuvre strikes in circles, with each one venture recycling and referring again to prior works and to a bunch of different followed texts, and proceeds when it comes to indirect organization and lateral digression. This round flow is preferrred to taking pictures and mapping Marker’s abiding and consummate obsession: the types and operations of human reminiscence. Chris Marker: stories of the Future itself goals to seize whatever of this move, in forming a complete research and review of this contemporary master’s prolific and multi-faceted career.

Catherine Lupton is Senior Lecturer in movie reviews at Roehampton University

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Extra resources for Chris Marker: Memories of the Future

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13 The immediate purpose of the declaration was to protest the threat to French short filmmaking posed by the planned restoration of two-feature cinema programmes. During the war the Vichy government had abolished the two-feature programme and required cinema owners to screen accompanying shorts, with a view to encouraging the production of documentaries that would promote Vichy’s own ideological vision of French national identity. In the event, these support structures fostered a culture of short filmmaking that maintained a distance from the political ambitions of Vichy, and survived and expanded after the Liberation.

59 Both directors clearly conceived Les Statues as a film with an opinion: the equal of a literary pamphlet or essay that would have been honourably accepted as a work of literature, but, by daring to exist as a film (medium of mass entertainment and persuasion), brought down the wrath of government censorship. When in 1953 the film was submitted to the censorship commission of the Centre Nationale de la Cinématographie (CNC), it was banned outright, with no indication of what should be cut or altered, the authorities inscrutably claiming that they did not wish to take the place of the directors.

30 By adopting the term ‘essay’, Bazin registered the extent to which he saw Marker retaining a firm grasp on the capacities of the written word, even as he ventured deeper into film. Bazin felt that intelligence, expressed in the commentary, was the primary matter of Letter from Siberia, and he famously characterized its innovative structure as ‘horizontal’ montage, in which meanings and associations develop less from shot to shot than via the lateral relay of commentary to images: ‘from the ear to the eye’.

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