By Catherine Lupton
Chris Marker is among the so much amazing and influential film-makers of our time. In landmark movies equivalent to Letter from Siberia (1958), l. a. 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 matters, writing and visible recording, and the nonetheless and relocating photograph. but those works are just the better-known parts of a protean profession that thus far has spanned the second one 1/2 the 20 th 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, while he started to paintings as a poet, novelist and critic for the French magazine Esprit, via to the Nineties, and the discharge of his latest works: the function movie point 5 and the CD–ROM Immemory. She comprises the ancient occasions, shifts and cultural contexts that almost all productively remove darkness from different stages of Marker’s profession. He sticks out as a novel determine whose paintings resists effortless assimilation into the mainstream of cultural and cinematic traits.
Marker’s oeuvre strikes in circles, with each one venture recycling and referring again to previous works and to a bunch of different followed texts, and proceeds when it comes to indirect organization and lateral digression. This round circulate is perfect to shooting and mapping Marker’s abiding and consummate obsession: the kinds and operations of human reminiscence. Chris Marker: stories of the Future itself goals to catch whatever of this flow, in forming a finished research and evaluate of this contemporary master’s prolific and multi-faceted career.
Catherine Lupton is Senior Lecturer in movie experiences at Roehampton University
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Additional resources for Chris Marker: Memories of the Future
39 2. 1 It imagines a map of the world with the North Pole at its centre: an icy crossroads where, aptly enough, the geographical distance between the two great superpowers of the Cold War would appear relatively small. Marker does not mention it, but it is likely that he had somewhere in mind the symbol of the fledgling United Nations organization, which had been adopted at the end of 1946. His article cannily points up the unconscious political underpinnings of a logo designed primarily to suggest global unity, equality and peace, with its foreshortened continents appearing to reach towards each other, and no inhabited territory visually dominating the design.
With all this pulling back on the stick, I ought to be at twelve thousand feet and out of all this filth. She used to look at me and laugh. The roar of charging bulls. 46 This fluid interior narration is familiar territory for the modern novel, but in terms of cinema the closest approximation is perhaps the radical treatment of memory and subjectivity found in the films of Alain Resnais, notably L’Année dernière à Marienbad (1961, Last Year at Marienbad ) and Je t’aime je t’aime (1967). Marker himself would eventually take film as an opportunity to liberate the flux of inner life and memory from the defined states of writing and the limits of individual characters (before eventually turning to multimedia as yet another liberation, this time from the linearity and fixed projection rate of conventional films).
United by friendship and common sensibility rather 42 than forming an official movement, they helped out on each others’ projects and slipped friendly allusions to each other into their works. A photo of the Varda hairdressing salon features in Description of a Struggle; while in Toute la mémoire du monde (‘All the World’s Memory’), Alain Resnais’ documentary of 1956 about the French Bibliothèque Nationale, Gatti and Varda feature as extras and Marker surfaces in the proxy guise of a book. As a cultured and ever-curious traveller setting out from France in the decades after the Second World War, Chris Marker inherited the mantle of a long line of European literary voyagers from Marco Polo to Henri Michaux, whose travel memoirs build up a picture of other lands and cultures through a vivid accumulation of personal impressions and random details of everyday life and customs.
Chris Marker: Memories of the Future by Catherine Lupton