Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog

La Jetee

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on September 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM

LA JETÉE   ****

Chris Marker


IDEA:  In the aftermath of World War III, scientists experiment on sending people back in time to gather resources in the hopes of rejuvenating society. Their prime guinea pig is a man with a very vivid recollection of his life before the war.

BLURB:  The most basic unit of film is the still frame, a split second of bottled time, 24 of which flash by within a second to trick our eyes into seeing continuous motion. By constructing his 28 minute short film (almost) entirely out of still photographs, Chris Marker reminds us how the building blocks of our memory, of our perceptions of time, image, and history, are really stray fragments strung together by our consciousnesses to mimic a feeling of continuity. He shows us how our memories compress time, how our personal narratives are dictated by an elliptical fusion of past, present and future, and how, most tragically, the current moment too often seems to exist only in the fleeting rearview. In many ways this is cinema distilled, stripped down to what it does better than anything else: involve our own individual reminiscences and implicate them in an archive of the universe.

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