Chris Marker: Memories of the Future by Catherine Lupton

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By Catherine Lupton

Chris Marker is among the so much awesome and influential film-makers of our time. In landmark motion pictures comparable to Letter from Siberia (1958), l. a. Jetée (1962), Sans Soleil (1982) and point 5 (1996), he overturned the conventions of the cinema, confounding common differences among documentary and fiction, inner most and public matters, writing and visible recording, and the nonetheless and relocating snapshot. 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 Nineteen Forties, whilst he started to paintings as a poet, novelist and critic for the French magazine Esprit, via to the Nineties, and the discharge of his newest works: the function movie point 5 and the CD–ROM Immemory. She contains the ancient occasions, shifts and cultural contexts that almost all productively light up different stages of Marker’s occupation. He sticks out as a novel determine whose paintings resists effortless assimilation into the mainstream of cultural and cinematic developments.

Marker’s oeuvre strikes in circles, with every one undertaking recycling and referring again to previous works and to a number of alternative followed texts, and proceeds when it comes to indirect organization and lateral digression. This round stream is splendid to shooting 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 evaluate of this contemporary master’s prolific and multi-faceted career.

Catherine Lupton is Senior Lecturer in movie stories at Roehampton University

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The commentary parallels this visual heterogeneity by blending factual reportage and incisive analysis with humour, poetic reverie and musical interludes. Beginning with the line ‘I am writing to you from a far country’ – adopted from Henri Michaux25 – it uses the intimate and seductive address of the personal letter to draw the viewer directly into the scene, inviting them to find out more about ‘the biggest wasteland in the world’ through the lively curiosity and pertinent observations relayed by the writer as he sets out on his voyage of discovery.

The conservative, wellmannered and hermetically sealed worlds of Giraudoux’s novels and plays become secular paradises of human freedom, innocence and the impulse of self-realization. 50 By refusing to compromise the joy of their existence in the face of established authority, they are harbingers of a better world in which human potential is realized, and the whole of creation, even its most humble and mundane elements, is redeemed. 51 Such litanies of the trivial and ephemeral abound in Marker’s own works: assembled photographs, the clamorous signs of urban popular culture, museum exhibits, passing 31 Sans soleil (1982).

He heralds the impending era of the global village already embodied in the UN logo by approaching distant and mysterious lands as familiar places that the viewer-reader is invited to imagine as home. Yet as ‘Pôles’ demonstrates, this impulse to domesticate the exotic, in the interests of greater understanding among the peoples of the world, is tempered by a keen awareness of the political and ideological faultlines that channel how it is received and understood. While the 1950s saw Marker emerge decisively as a filmmaker and photographer, he remained involved in other spheres of activity.

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