Chris Marker: Memories of the Future by Catherine Lupton

By Catherine Lupton

Chris Marker is without doubt one of the so much awesome and influential film-makers of our time. In landmark movies equivalent to Letter from Siberia (1958), los angeles Jetée (1962), Sans Soleil (1982) and point 5 (1996), he overturned the conventions of the cinema, confounding basic differences among documentary and fiction, inner most and public matters, 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 improvement 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 Nineties, and the discharge of his newest works: the characteristic movie point 5 and the CD–ROM Immemory. She contains the historic occasions, shifts and cultural contexts that almost all productively remove darkness from the several stages of Marker’s occupation. He sticks out as a unique determine whose paintings resists effortless assimilation into the mainstream of cultural and cinematic tendencies.

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 in terms of indirect organization and lateral digression. This round move is best to taking pictures and mapping Marker’s abiding and consummate obsession: the types and operations of human reminiscence. Chris Marker: thoughts of the Future itself goals to catch anything of this circulation, in forming a complete research and assessment 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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His award-winning film of 1948, Van Gogh, used the Dutch artist’s paintings as material to narrate the story of his life, employing montage to link different paintings together, and fades, zooms and steady pans to lend the static objects a dynamic narrative force. The method proved so successful that Resnais would use it again for Gauguin (1950) and Guernica (1950–51). In Les Statues, this lucid editing style goes on to relay the vision expressed in the commentary of the organic integration of African art with everyday life, as it rediscovers boundless affinities between the forms of woodwork, tree bark, woven cloth, pottery and the textures of earth and black skin.

In 1957 a truncated version of the film, missing the last reel, was authorized, but Marker and Resnais would not permit it to be distributed. 60 A magisterial example of the film essay, Les Statues shapes powerful arguments about its subject through the distinctive sensibilities and styles of its two directors. The film offers prescient insights into the damaging cultural impact of colonialism and the consequences of imposing a white imperial gaze upon African art and culture. Marker and Resnais explicitly challenge the white colonizers’ appropriation of African art as a diverting novelty, by insisting that African artefacts do not exist solely for the entertainment of white viewers, and will have an entirely different meaning for people of African origin.

Marker even confesses to having achieved a modest political coup with the montage, by using a stock shot of an 57 Example: Yakutsk, capital of the autonomous Soviet socialistic republic, is a modern city, in which comfortable buses made available to the population share the streets with powerful Zims, the pride of the Soviet automobile industry. In the joyful spirit of socialist emulation, happy Soviet workers, among them this picturesque denizen of the Arctic reaches, apply themselves to making Yakutsk an even better place to live!

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