For our group screening today we watched ‘La Jetée’ by Chris Marker, from 1962. The film is shot in black and white, with a running time of 28 minutes. Rather than using a fast frame rate in order to give the illusion of movement, as with most films, Marker assembles this film from still images, which linger on the screen and tell the narrative in an interestingly paced way. ‘La Jetée’ is set in the aftermath of World War III, where survivors live underground in a ruined Paris. In order to sustain their survival, scientists have begun to experiment with time travel, in the hope of asking the past and the future to come to their aid. They need a person with a very strong mental image of the past in order to project his consciousness into the past, and so they select ‘the Man’, as he has clear image of a man being killed on an airplane pier from his childhood. The cyclical nature of the narrative means that this very image is in fact the scene of his own death, and the Man occupies two times within the same moment.
Research into Chris Marker
Research into French New Wave
Critique of Hollywood
Research into French Historical Memory
Thoughts on the role of memory and the form of the film
Personal Thoughts and Opinions