Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chris Marker Day


'Chris Marker dislikes making personal appearances (at film festivals and such things) and he has a policy about not doing interviews. It's as if, deep down, he felt he had a better chance of being understood or recognised by the cats and the owls. And these days, knowing the kind of inflated public persona that film-makers seem required to absorb along with mother's milk or their first cocaine, you could begin to get the notion that Chris Marker is just some mysterious if ideal figure, a hope or a dream more than an actual person.

'He is often credited with conceiving the cinematic essay form, with which such disparate filmmakers as Jean-Luc Godard, Orson Welles, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jon Jost, Chantal Akerman, Wim Wenders, Harun Farocki, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Jonathan Demme, Abbas Kiarostami, Nanni Moretti, Terry Zwigoff, and Agnès Varda have had varying degrees of success. Film school textbooks and books on film history have arrived at a general agreement to treat any French filmmaker working outside of (or alongside) the French New Wave as secondary: exclusions include Jacques Tati – who, like so many other giants in the medium, worked on a wave of his own design – and the filmmakers who belonged to the Left Bank group. While one normally pictures such Cahiers du Cinéma graduates as Godard, François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette, and Eric Rohmer when discussing the French cinema of the late ‘50s and early-to-mid ‘60s, there also existed the Left Bank directors, who, according to Richard Roud, included three people: Agnès Varda, Alain Resnais, and Chris Marker.

'La Jetée is Marker’s best-known work, thanks to 12 Monkeys (Terry Gilliam, 1995), which adapted its premise to suit a 129-minute movie with high-profile stars (Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe) and a 29 million dollar budget. The original film is much more modest, obviously, but also much more graceful. Clocking in at 28 minutes, La Jetée is one of the strangest movies ever conceived, and also one of the most beautiful and sad. It’s made up almost entirely of black and white still photographs, depicting the events of the narrative. (There is one single, haunting exception – the woman, in repose, fluttering her eyelids open.) These stills are governed by a third-party narration – the only voice we hear – as well as music, and sound effects.

'I’m of the mind that art can make the world a better place, that it can create a fertile environment for the human mind to evolve in its sense of self, its environment, and its place in the global culture, and I don’t think it’s naïve to suggest that there are certain great works of art that should be viewed as tainted goods if they in any way promote destructive ways of thinking and acting, like racism, colonialism, sexism, and the preservation of ignorance. How unusual is it, then, that Chris Marker has that rare quality that doesn’t make him more than a journalist as it makes him more of a journalist than his colleagues – the ability to find, extract, reflect upon, and use as the binding element of his theses, the elusive poetic quality, the vital force, of the persons, places, and things he sees.' -- Jaime N. Christley, Senses of Cinema



Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory: Chris Marker Official Website
image = text: transcriptions of Chris Marker's films
JG Ballard reviews 'La Jetee'
The Wexner Center's Chris Marker Store
Chris Marker Section @ Strictly Film School
Chris Marker Page @ MUBI
Chris Marker @ Peter Blum Gallery, NYC
Chris Marker Pages @ Vertigo
'The Business of Mourning: Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil and Level Five'
'Phenomenon', a text by Chris Marker
Catherine Lupton’s 'Chris Marker: Memories of the Future'


A short documentary about Chris Marker

Tour of a 2007 art exhibition by Chris Marker

Very rare sighting of Chris Marker in a Wim Wenders film

A look through Chris Marker's 'La Jetee' book

Ultra-rare Interview

from 16beaver

Cinema, photo-novels, CD-roms, video installations - is there any medium you haven't tried?

Chris Marker: Yes, gouache.

Does the democratization of the means of filmmaking (DV, digital editing, distribution via the Internet) seduce the socially engaged filmmaker that you are?

CM: A necessary caution: the "democratization of tools" entails many financial and technical constraints, and does not save us from the necessity of work. Owning a DV camera does not magically confer talent on someone who doesn't have any or who is too lazy to ask himself if he has any. You can miniaturize as much as you want, but a film will always require a great deal of work - and a reason to do it. That was the whole story of the Medvedkin groups, the young workers who, in the post-'68 era, tried to make short films about their own lives, and whom we tried to help on the technical level, with the means of the time. How they complained! "We come home from work and you ask us to work some more. . . ." But they stuck with it, and you have to believe that something happened there, because 30 years later we saw them present their films at the Belfort festival, in front of an attentive audience. The means of the time was 16mm silent, which meant three-minute camera rolls, a laboratory, an editing table, some way of adding sound - everything that you have now right inside a little case that fits in your hand. A little lesson in modesty for the spoiled children of today, just like the spoiled children of 1970 got their lesson in modesty by putting themselves under the patronage of Alexander Ivanovitch Medvedkin and his ciné-train. For the benefit of the younger generation, Medvedkin was a Russian filmmaker who, in 1936 and with the means that were proper to his time (35mm film, editing table, and film lab installed in the train), essentially invented television: shoot during the day, print and edit at night, show it the next day to the people you filmed (and who often participated in the editing). I think that it's this fabled and long forgotten bit of history (Medvedkin isn't even mentioned in Georges Sadoul's book, considered in its day the Soviet Cinema bible) that underlies a large part of my work - in the end, perhaps, the only coherent part. To try to give the power of speech to people who don't have it, and, when it's possible, to help them find their own means of expression.

Do you prefer television, movies on a big screen, or surfing the Internet?

CM: I have a completely schizophrenic relationship with television. When I'm feeling lonely, I adore it, particularly since there's been cable. It's curious how cable offers an entire catalog of antidotes to the poisons of standard TV. If one network shows a ridiculous TV movie about Napoleon, you can flip over to the History Channel to hear Henri Guillermin's brilliantly mean commentary on it. If a literary program makes us submit to a parade of currently fashionable female monsters, we can change over to Mezzo to contemplate the luminous face of Hélène Grimaud surrounded by her wolves, and it's as if the others never existed. Now there are moments when I remember I am not alone, and that's when I fall apart. The exponential growth of stupidity and vulgarity is something that everyone has noticed, but it's not just a vague sense of disgust - it's a concrete quantifiable fact (you can measure it by the volume of the cheers that greet the talk-show hosts, which have grown by an alarming number of decibels in the last five years) and a crime against humanity. Not to mention the permanent aggressions against the French language. . . . And since you are exploiting my Russian penchant for confession, I must say the worst: I am allergic to commercials. In the early Sixties, making commercials was perfectly acceptable; now, it's something that no one will own up to. I can do nothing about it. This manner of placing the mechanism of the lie in the service of praise has always irritated me, even if I have to admit that this diabolical patron has occasionally given us some of the most beautiful images you can see on the small screen (have you seen the David Lynch commercial with the blue lips?). But cynics always betray themselves, and there is a small consolation in the industry's own terminology: they stop short of calling themselves "creators," so they call themselves "creatives."

And the movies in all this? For the reasons mentioned above, and under the orders of Jean-Luc, I've said for a long time that films should be seen first in theaters, and that television and video are only there to refresh your memory. Now that I no longer have any time at all to go to the cinema, I've started seeing films by lowering my eyes, with an ever increasing sense of sinfulness (this interview is indeed becoming Dostoevskian). But to tell the truth I no longer watch many films, only those by friends, or curiosities that an American acquaintance tapes for me on TCM. There is too much to see on the news, on the music channels or on the indispensable Animal Channel. And I feed my hunger for fiction with what is by far the most accomplished source: those great American TV series, like The Practice. There is a knowledge in them, a sense of story and economy, of ellipsis, a science of framing and of cutting, a dramaturgy and an acting style that has no equal anywhere, and certainly not in Hollywood.

(read the entirety)

10 of Chris Marker's 37 films

La Jetee
'Viewers emerge from Chris Marker's La Jetée (1962), a film made almost entirely of still photographs, marked for ever by its imagery yet somehow unsure exactly what they have seen. It is a film that mines deep seams of memory, but whose surface, though hardly forgettable, remains enigmatic in retrospect. After almost half a century, it is still hard to say what Marker achieved in his masterpiece. On the face of it, the half-hour film ought to be easy to précis, because its futuristic plot is familiar to the point of banality. (In Twelve Monkeys, Terry Gilliam's hyperactive "remake" of La Jetée, it's only the clichés that remain.) In the aftermath of a nuclear war that has destroyed his native Paris, a prisoner is dispatched across time to secure the resources that the present lacks. Chosen for his attachment to a childhood memory - the image of a man shot dead on the observation pier at Orly airport - he spirals inevitably back to that moment, which is revealed as the scene of his own death.' -- Brian Dillon

A Grin Without a Cat
'One of the most towering and extraordinary films to grace the screen! Staggering in its depth and scope. The subject at hand is how, in the sixties, the 'universal standard of civilization' assumed from the fifties began to collapse. The war in Vietnam - that 'nation placed at the convergence of the world's contradictions' - was the watershed, and Marker skillfully and hauntingly depicts its effect. He goes on to show the many civilian-police battles throughout Europe; the revolution within the revolution in Asia, South America, and Czechoslovakia; the space between the police and union stewards into which the French Left rushed in May '68; the assassination of princes (Che Guevara) and the deposing of kings (Richard Nixon); and those Cheshire Cats commonly known as politicians who cannot explain why what was in the air never quite materialized on the ground.' -- Pacific Film Archives

from Sans Soleil (1983)
'It would take a book to unravel all the strands of Marker's work. He's a master editor, and his images and sequences rush by propulsively, often with playful connections: Japanese girls dancing; rituals for the repose of the souls of broken dolls and later for broken scraps of things; prayers for departed animals at a Tokyo zoo followed by a giraffe being clumsily shot in Africa; Krasna attempting to get women of some African islands to gaze back at his camera as he records them; a sequence of faces that stare out at the viewer from Japanese television. In one spectacular sequence, Marker edits footage of a Japanese train, a cartoon of a train, and video-treated images of samurai, horror, and sex films that isn't just a virtuoso display but a key to perception.' -- Henry Sheehan

'Chris Marker plans the question in the future and imagines a television news of 2084 for the anniversary of the second centenarian and three possible scenarios: the grey hypothesis, that of the "crisis", " a fearful society which hums and gives itself false safeties in the hope of a balance always questioned "; the black hypothesis, " a world where technique took the place of ideologies "; the blue hypothesis, finally, that of the dream and the imagination.' -- Art Torrents

from A.K. (1985)
'A.K. is a French documentary film directed by Chris Marker about the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Though it was filmed while Kurosawa was working on Ran, the film focuses more on Kurosawa's remote but polite personality than on the making of the film. The film is sometimes seen as being reflective of Marker's fascination with Japanese culture, which he also drew on for one of his best-known films, Sans Soleil. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.' -- Wiki

from The Owl’s Legacy (1989)
'Chris Marker’s epic series The Owl’s Legacy is neither a deeply ‘auterist’ work nor a brilliant piece of Cinema. It is, plainly, the documentation of a thirteen-part symposium on Ancient Greece enabled by the Onassis Foundation and conceptualized by Marker. However, the amount of ground it covers and the number of new directions it opens up for us to think about cotemporary politics, science, culture, law, economy and art (specifically, cinema) makes it one of the richest works of criticism that I’ve come across.' -- The Seventh Art

from The Last Bolshevik (1992)
'One of the major essays of Chris Marker--which automatically makes this one of the key works of our time--this remarkable video (1993) is provisionally about his friend and mentor, the late Soviet filmmaker Alexander Medvedkin (1900-1989), in the form of six video "letters" sent to him posthumously. More profoundly, this is about the history of Soviet cinema and the Soviet Union itself, about what it meant to be a communist, about what these things mean now.... Eloquent and mordantly witty in its poetic writing, beautiful and often painterly in its images, this is as moving and as provocative in many respects as Marker's Sans soleil (1982), which places it very high indeed.' -- Jonathan Rosenbaum

from One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevitch (1999)
'Master documentary filmmaker Chris Marker directs this loving tribute to the late great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, who made such classics of art cinema as Andrei Rublev (1966) and The Sacrifice (1986). The film opens with documentary footage of the tearful reunion between the director and his son, after the latter finally got an exit visa from Soviet officials. Though he was ailing from the cancer that would eventually kill him, Tarkovsky cheerfully talks with his family while drinking champagne. Relying on Marker's lyrical commentary, the film juxtaposes sequences of Tarkovsky on his deathbed, footage on the set of The Sacrifice, and material from his many films.' --

from Remembrance of Things to Come (2001)
'Remembrance of Things to Come may sound from its title like a cute turn on Proustian concerns, but it is actually a haunting examination of another photographer's work, a body of pictures that Marker seems to conclude reflect the parallel existence of past and future in much the same way he earlier proposed via sci-fi parable. Marker sees Denise Bellon (whose daughter Yannick Bellon co-directed this film with Marker) not quite as a photojournalist, not quite as a documentarian, not quite as an aesthetician. ellon's work coincided not only with her association with the rise of surrealism, but also the false sense of social and political lull that assuaged Europe between the two World Wars. Marker thoroughly mines her photography for all the ethnographic, artistic, historic and philosophical merit it's worth, and if the sensory results are, typical of Marker, more difficult to explain than most other films, the implications he suggests (without ever actually outright pushing) have an intimidating clarity.' -- Slant Magazine

Pictures at an Exhibition (2008)
'Cinema's best known film essayist is still alive and kicking, at age 88, living quietly in Paris. Chris Marker's Pictures at an Exhibition is a walk through a gallery of his photoshopped détournements commenting on art and world history. This is, of course, poles apart from agitprop. The combination of rich and affectively engaging imagery (with a kind of cross-historical hyperlinked quality), subtle humor and light-footed pacing, sutured together with Pärt's delicately uplifting music, moves me into the kind of heartfelt meditative space the Buddha would approve of -- as if we're walking alongside Paul Klee/Walter Benjamin's angel of history, in a space capsule hovercraft scanning its monuments, but with humor and gentle compassion and curiosity, coming so close to the bodies lying on the battlefield we can touch them, feel their breath, and maybe give them some solace with our touch.' -- Immanence



p.s. Hey. ** Brendan, Hey, man. Saw the email, and I'll dig into it and set the Day up in the next day or so. Thanks a ton. I can't wait to lay my eyes on the new work! ** Wolf, Okay, that kind of wins the DC's Nobel Prize for post-centric comments. Cyber-glory is yours, and, not to mention, ours. This is so 'me', granted, but I'm going to vote for a tie. I know, I know. How are you? ** Bollo, Hey. Oh, yeah, you should come over for the festival. I think it lasts three weeks. It's still very tentative, but, last I heard, two of the three other festival curators are at least likely to be Guy Maddin and Christian Marclay, but don't quote me. Soft Pink Truth, mm, that's a nice idea. Not to mention Matmos. ** David Ehrenstein, Joan Didion's face has become very David Lynch as it has aged. ** Postitbreakup, Bummer posts are okay. No sweat. Yeah, you never know. Times are rough, but things can and do come through. I'll wish very big in that regard to help compensate for your medium dreaming. And I'll preserve some wishing for the fiction contest. Don't count on it, obviously, 'cos contests are crapshoot city, especially when it involves something as subjective as fiction's quality, but, yeah, that would be awesome. The French idea of consumer level, pre-existing pasta sauce is seven or eight slight variations on tomato sauce and one basil-based sauce. Given that France = food, it's weird. ** MANCY, Hey. Gosh, it's none of my business, but you and Mark should hang, no? ** Alan, That Naipaul thing is fascinating. Thanks much for that. If there's a way to pry your you-know-what loose, and there must be, I will. ** Sypha, Oh, $90 for 'Strange Landscape' is about right based on the prices I've seen out there. Hm, I know I've paid heavily for books that I've really wanted in the past, but I'm blanking on what books and for how much. One time when I was really broke and when I still had a handful of copies, I sold a copy of my extremely terrible first poetry book 'The Terror of Earrings' to a guy for about $700. That was trippy. ** Mark Gluth, Yesterday ruled, sir, as the comments and FB 'likes' prove(d). Thank you again so much! ** Bill, When do you head off exactly? And when do you get to Paris again? I think the volcanic cloud is sliding into some fairly non-disruptive place, or it was the last time I checked the news, so you should be okay as long as you're not flying to Iceland. ** Casey McKinney, Yep, way cool that the Paris stuff is all lined up. I'm looking for extracurricular sightseeing suggestions. Yippee! ** Steevee, Oh, cool, I'll go listen to the Pitchfork Weeknd booty. Thanks! Any luck on the music/ computer stuff? I haven't seen 'Midnight in Paris' yet, but I think a viewing is imminent. That's really good to hear. Yeah, over here the response to it has been very positive, and even though I live here, I still love seeing Paris in movies. Anyway, I'll go into it with increased hopes. Thank you a lot for sharing your always great opinion here. ** Jon Reiss, Hi, John. Diddy, ha ha, nice. Yeah, she's something else. Coop's good. I like that one, so thanks. I'm good-ish, doing and/or trying to do things that are not bad things. You've got the 'Swarm'? Yikes, I hope you like it. My editor Michael is a super awesome guy. It's a very 'lucky me' situation. Ultra-best of luck with those two agents. Let me know how it goes. Lovely to see you! ** Schoolboyerrors, All so extremely true and wonderfully said about the great Mark Gluth and his great tome. Thank you for the words, man. ** Andrew, Well, most short lived rock stars seem to disappear until the inevitable reunion gigs wherein they so often spoil their former magic with the cold, hard truths that accompany the aging process. Yeah, I read that Oprah just sat there solo pushing the sentimental angle on her 'last' show, which I guess is what her devoted crew would most have wanted? ** _Black_Acrylic, I liked your grad show piece very much. Kudos. The move is this weekend? Wunderbar! Well, there'll be the moving hassles, but there's nothing like having a new, better apartment surrounding you. Man, that is a busy weekend you've got there. Good luck with that, and enjoy as much of it as you can, and I'll look forward to your mid-weekend update. ** Chilly Jay Chill, Hi, Jeff. I'm glad you finally made it back. David E was having problems posting too, so maybe something was up (or rather down) technically on Blogger's end. That's a lot of home problems. At first I thought maybe one of those vaunted tornado swarms had passed through your hood. Yeah, I sent the 'Jerk/TTT" thing ages ago. You didn't get it?! Jesus Christ, I really don't understand what the problem is with France to US mail. I swear stuff like this happens more often than not. Hunh, well, let me wrangle another copy from DisVoir, which should be easy, and I'll try again, maybe with a tracking option this time. Man, I'm sorry for the hassle. Let me sort that out. ** Chris Cochrane, Hey, C. I sent you an email this morning about all that, so I'll leave it there as far as here goes. We should be able to do the Paris without big problems given the actual situation, but we will see. ** Katalyze, Hey, Kat! Yeah, 'Goblin' is really good, I think. Interesting stuff. Super wonderful if you can be around here more, that's for sure! I too so wish you could be there for the London show, but I'll document it for the blog as thoroughly as I can without boring everyone to death, ha ha. That's great about your new place to live! Forgive me, but where exactly in Canada are you living because I'm blanking out on the location? ** L@rstonovich, That was the first time you and Stamm got together? Wow, I'd had this image in my head of you guys as real world buds, but I guess that was just speculative fiction. Cool. How's writing and music and everything else, man? ** Killer Luka, Hey. Wow, I'm running out of superlatives re: this new work, but I think I love this new one especially much. Incredible, maestro! Everyone, Killer Luka aka the artist's artist CL Martin has another amazing new drawing to show us, and it's here, and it's called 'Boy With Eagle', and it's a stunner, so definitely head over there now or asap. Deep bow. ** Schlix, Hi, Uli! How are you doing, man? What's going on? ** Ken Baumann, Ken! Yes, I got and devoured your Mark Leidner book, and it's fantastic, my friend! A 'books I love' post re: it is in the works. 'A Thousand Plateaus', cool. Gosh, I don't think I've ever read more than an excerpt from that, actually. I'll rectify that. You good, buddy? ** Inthemostpeculiarway, Hey. I didn't get to 'Tourist Trap' yesterday due to impinging life stuff, but I have part 1 bookmarked, and hopefully I'll start that journey today if possible. I get this feeling that making Alfredo sauce is no easy task, but maybe I'm wrong, and I admit I'm a bit of microwave-centric kind of 'cook'. I think I'll try a couple of more supermarkets first then look for recipes if need be. Spiders are so weird. Suddenly they're in your pad or car or whatever, but it's like you never see them enter. It's like they aren't born. It's they're sculpted by the breeze out of dust balls or something. People put no smoking stickers on the backs of their cars? I thought it was sort of assumed that you can't smoke in people's cars without asking their permission, but maybe that's an LA thing. A couple of years ago, I saw an American tourist here in Paris wearing a t-shirt that said 'No Smoking Within 50 Feet', and he must have had to walk down the middle of streets here to pull that off given Parisians' smoking habits. Anyway, he was your classic asshole American tourist type incarnate. I can totally see why you kept that card. How curious. Yeah, I read a wrap up on Oprah's last show, which goes to show you the power of Oprah since I don't think I've ever watched her show in my life other than a few youtube clips of Tom Cruise and James Frey making asses of themselves. I thought your day was kind of nice, actually. Mine: Hm, let's see ... oh, K&O and I decided to go the Musee d'Orsay, which is the big sort of impressionist and post-impressionist themed museum here, and whose building, a former train station, is my favorite building in all of Paris, so it's great to be there whatever they're showing. So, we metroed to the Tuilleries, and walked through it to then over the Seine to get there. The weather was perfect, and that area of Paris is so beautiful and is cure for everything that ails one. At the museum, we saw a show of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and photos, and that was interesting, and a show about Gustav Mahler that was mostly a memorabilia show, but it was good too. We were going to see the big Manet show there as well, but we were short on time and it cost extra, so maybe next time. Then we retraced our steps and returned here. They head off to Italy today for five days of wedding preparations, so we said our temporary farewells. I've mentioned that we're trying to set up a Paris gig for 'Them', and, to do that, we need to keep costs at a minimum, and yesterday I talked to the Recollets about the possibility of housing everyone (11 people) here for the duration of the shows, and they not only agreed but gave us a totally incredible deal on the rate, so that's one more obstacle out of the way, and I was very happy about that. I talked to Gisele who's in Utrecht for the 'TIHYWD' shows there about our festival plans-in-progress. She told me that Jonathan Capdevielle, the star of our work and our buddy, is going to be a star of the new film by Philippe Grandieux, who is one of the most genius French film directors, so that's very exciting, and I guess Grandieux really likes our theater pieces, which is very exciting too. In the evening there was a bunch of emailing back and forth about the 'Them' Paris gig, and that was kind of stressful, but we'll see. I guess I watched some TV, hm, yeah, I did, but just this kind of crappy reality show called 'Peking Express' which is the French version of that American reality show where people race around the world. I forget its name. I listened to some music. I'm kind of obsessed right now with this teenaged experimental hardcore Danish band called Iceage, so I mostly listened to them. Uh, and then sleepiness got me. How the heck was your Thursday, man? ** Misanthrope, Basketball can bring out the best in certain people, it's true. Not out of the Lakers however. Cool, so you take Tom, and I'll take Bill, and then we can compare notes over breakfast. ** Math, Hi, Math! You're back in SF now, no? You good? ** Right. Chris Marker is awesome, and I finally got around to using my blog help prove that fact today, and that's the deal, and enjoy, and I'll see you tomorrow.


Alter Clef Records said...

Hey Dennis Cooper,

How goes my friend?

Fuck-i-bam-boo-boo - a Chris Marker day, so soon after a Donald Cammell day - Monsieur, you are spoiling us. I'm fairly certain that every single frame shot by Chris Marker that I've seen moves me very deeply in some fashion - he's incredible.

I have the Catherine Lipton book on his work - have you read it?

Love how he, Resnais, and the noveau-roman bunch coalesced at various points too.

So, hast thou received CDs from me yet - you should've had two separate parcels - one, 'My Antique Son', sent two weeks ago, the other, 'A Day Without Comfort', sent a little while before. Hope you're enjoying them if so.

Italy tickets ate booked c/o Kiddiepunk, massively excited. I looked into the Guided By Voices song you requested....

Peter Greenaway - spent the last two weeks absorbing myself in his work, lectures, interviews - mindfucked at the ferocity of his vision. Incredible. You dig on The Greenaway?

Hudson sends love at The Cooper,


Oh, and finally, sheesh, wow, womb-breached record slamdunks onto cyber-shelves - 'My Antique Son' CD is available!


DavidEhrenstein said...

Chris Marker ranks among the dizzying heights of cinematic creation. Sans Soleil is my fave. But o one can claim toknowanything about the cinema without intimate prolonged and repeated acquaintance with La Jetee.

Marker does not relase pictures of himself. When asked for one he invariably sends a photo of a cat. Liek all members of the "Lfet Bank Group" (Resnais, Varda, Gatti) Marker is a humungous allurophile.

Several years back someone surreptitously took a picture of him on the set of Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice. I used to have a link to it, but I've lost it. I'll see if it can be scared up on line.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Here he is!

Empty Frame said...

Wow. Just wow. Thanks so much for this, Dennis, I've pretty much cancelled whatever I was gonna be doing to devour this day. " La Jetee" is one of the most incrdible artworks of all-time, imo. And loved " Pictures at an Exhibition", too - what amazing collages, funny and smart and by the end just heartbreaking. Great, great post!
Saw " Of Gods and Men" last night? Have you seen it? I think it v. popular in France. Interesting film, with an incredible Last Supper sequence. On a real film binge at the moment - I'm trying to learn different ways of structuring material, narratology, ways to smuggle or present information. That kind of study can help my writing, right? - or do you think I'm barking up the wrong tree?
Anyway, "Uncle Boonmee Recalls His Past Lives" is on the menu for tonight. I might watch " Accatone" again. And I'm still obsessed with Ulrich Seidl. I know I've asked before, but have you seen his work yet? " Import Export" or "Dog Days"? I'd be really interested in your take on him.
Anyway, back to Chris Marker, coffee at elbow and contented smile on my face!

Bollo said...

Hi Dennis
Chris Marker is great and it time i watch my dvd of his again.
if i can snag travel funding for the festival i'll come over me thinks most of it may be gone on venice for this year though but i'll give it a try. the chistain marclay angle may give me another edge.

really windy here, im looking at some sideways trees right now. but its sunnyish too. back to dublin tomorrow for work, its till 9 for the museums bday so maybe some fun after but not too much as im back in the next morning.

back to messing with some drawings, im trying some things out maybe?

MANCY said...

Hey Dennis, yeah Mark and I have emailed, and hanging out is in the works, I think.
Looking forward to delving into Chris Marker after school/work...

DavidEhrenstein said...

Meanwhile in Moscow. . .

alan said...

I love Chris Marker but I’ve only seen La Jetee, Sans Soleil, and his recent documentary on Paris (which is my favorite of his so far). Actually I was looking for more of his stuff on Netflix just a little while ago, but none available. Never thought of looking on YouTube. Will check these out when I get back from Montreal.

l@rstonovich said...

D- no, that wasn't the first time me and Stamm got together. Probably the the 3rd though, in like 4 years of knowing each other. He hepped me to yr Blog back when he first started at the library and trained at my branch.
Writing, music etc. not really happening too much. Utter lack of discipline. I'm amazed I finished that book of poems, because I haven't really completed a damn thing since.
Putting together a really long playlist for my parents 50th anniversary party, we jet for NJ is a week. Feel slightly unprepared, I have to make a toast too.

Bill said...

Hey Dennis, I fly out today. My ride comes in an hour (yikes), so this will have to be short...

Looks like it's cold and wet (by San Francisco standards!) in Oslo, argh. Perhaps I will stick to conferences in Spain in the future.

La Jetee is simply one of my very, very favorite films. When I think about it, I get the kind of fuzzy feeling I get when thinking of a favorite ex; except I haven't broken up with La Jetee yet. Have you seen Marker's CD-ROM Immemory? Very intriguing, but it's Mac OS 9/classic only, so I'm not sure it will play anymore on recent Macs.

Killer Luka's recent drawings are just amazing. I love the wounding of Nicholas (umm, not literally). Funny, Nicholas' face dissolves in the video I'm sending Marc... wish I could be there for the show.


Wolf said...

Dennis, shit man, i'm so proud of this Nobel Prize. I'd like to thank my mum and dad, my brothers and sisters, my producer Mr Chilli Chocolate, my fucked-up friends and their undead support, and especially GOD, who makes the sun rise each day in my heart and over the mountains. Thank you so much. Now i know what epitaph will be engraved (with a 16th century chisel) on the marble of my repose.
/end sarcastic rant

how iam i? Uuhh, i.., mmhh, well.., let's say i breathe and walk and piss. Pretty good huh ? (I'm really shit actually, but let's pretend i'm not ok? Denial is so underrated man, seriously. Took me so many years to figure that one out.)

Chris Marker. Amazing, i'm off to delve in there. I never actually believed he was french, with a name like that, I mean shit, it's not like i'm called fucking "wolf" or something right?

LUKA, dude, that eagle one... Possibly my favourite of yours, ever. Something to do with my eaglemania, i reckon. And with the fact that i spent fucking years trying to make a Ganymede painting, preparing it, taking pictures, obsessed about the symbolism of it, and then The Great Block hit two years ago and nothing ever came from my hands after that. So, well, i'm glad you made this. You rock.

Posing at the Louvre: said...

Hi Mark Gluth: Sorry I didn't catch the post until today, but very clever and I realy liked it!

Dennis: Great day today!

steevee said...

The iTunes problems are annoying, but I don't have any albums I plan to download now so I don't feel any particular urgency. I don't want to put myself through the major anxiety that calling a repairman and trying to fix them might require, if that makes sense. I'll probably work on it next week.

I'd never heard of the final Chris Marker short in your list.

statictick said...

Chris Marker and his work fascinate me, and I need to have some space and time today to really get into this.

I'm in the annoying and too-busy space of moving out of a place I've lived in for about 6.5 years, so I'm more behind my usual behind trying to focus on the blog and let it work it's magic on me. That said...

David Ehrenstein: The Donald Cammell weekend was awesome.

Mark Gluth: You already know what I think about Lynch vs. Didion if you got my msg. Provocative, rather amusing (to me), and you are the man, man.

Dennis: Yo! Lots to tell. Minimal time. I went to the DIA to see a presentation of Jaap Pieters' films. I went in with a vague notion and appreciation of his work. After the almost three hour presentation, all I can say without having time to really digest / think about all that is: The few comments he made after each film, and during a Q & A session, illuminated what he's doing far more than the films did on their own. I love the experience of experiencing that sort of film making, no matter what I think about the artist or films themselves. It was especially interesting that it was the Geeks, including Brandon Walley, from my beloved, now-defunct Burton Theatre who assembled this. Those people are already on another ball, and it's rolling, and that's great.

Oh, as if you didn't expect me to say this, Costello live was just incredibly fine. He's doing another 'spinning songbook' setup, where a wheel with 40 songs and categories is spun by an audience member, and the setlist of the show is comprised of that and lots of deviations from Costello. Being able to work awkward audience interactions and expectations into excellent performances of songs from his own huge catalog, and nail 90% of it all is a feat. My boyfriend Jimmy, who likes Costello but only knows the hits, just dug it, which surprised me. I thought he'd be waiting in the lobby for me, but he made it all the way through, doing his little Jimmy shouts and claps. Highest point: The category TIME came up at the end of the show proper (before three encores). After some Costello tunes with 'time' in the title or as a theme, he broke out the Stones' Out of Time. That wasn't a hit for them, I don't think, but it's a stellar tune. EC nailed it so well that I was crying. Great show. Can't wait for the Detroit one.

Hope you all are all well.

Best all 'round.

Sypha said...

I was about to say I've never heard of this guy until I scrolled down a bit and realized that I had seen "La Jetée" back in my first semester of college, in film class: that same day we also saw "Un Chien Andalou" and "Meshes of the Afternoon." It was kind of my first exposure to surrealist/avant-garde films, and it had a big impact on me. "La Jetée" was very creepy I thought.

Dennis, well I'm holding on to a few copies of the self-published version of "Grimoire," figuring I can sell them off one day should I ever become a well-known writer. Though like l@arstonovich I haven't been working much recently.

Oh yeah, I never mentioned my thoughts on the new Gaga on here (which some of you are probably grateful for). I enjoyed it. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece by any means, but it's a fun listen. There are a few filler tracks towards the end, but I thought most of the songs were solid.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Thouhh Marker is litersry in a way that Malick is not, Sans Soleil has much in common with The Tree of Life

Ken Baumann said...

Dennis! Ahh, I'll look forward to that Books I Loved, of course. Chris Marker day is wonderful. I've been really good. I'm struck with that particular content quiet. Yeah, very good.

Killer Luka: WOW. That's gorgeous.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Leonora Carrington R.I.P.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Latest FaBlog: Laura Ingraham IS A Right-Wing Slut!

Chilly Jay Chill said...

Hey Dennis,
Great Marker Day. He's one of my absolute favorites, though there's still a few of his big ones I haven't seen, like 2084, Le Joli Mai, and The Koumiko Mystery. Really wonderful to see this.
A tornado didn't hit our house but it felt like, albeit in slow motion, one chunk of bad news after another.
Thanks for sending another copy of TTT/Jerk. I'm really looking forward to checking it out. Though if DisVoir proves a big hassle, I'll totally understand.
Recently saw the final Schroeter flick, This Night, and while fine I'd say it's pretty skippable. He tries to tell the story straight with few embellishments and it doesn't suit him. You can feel his imaginative powers waning.
Hoping to see Tree of Life soon and glad you thought it lived up to expectations. How do you think the film sits alongside Malick's other movies? Is it as major a departure in the editing department as some say?

Chris Cochrane said...

thanks for the Chris Marker post - I knew nothing about him.

on another note, why doesn't he fucking send another email clarifying things, after all isn't he supposed to be representing us - what to do - I know, not here, but...fuck

I've had this completely odd obsession for about three months. I never liked Daryl Hall - hated him even, I'd call him insipid, right, awful to me at best. I think this is what started my Robert Fripp obsession, someone played me Exposure, the Fripp record three months ago and I liked a track or two and sought out the Daryl Hall record he produced, mostly Daryl Hall ordinariness, but there is one song I listen to almost every day - I never tire of it, completely odd, always find something new,sing along scary - frippertronics et el. very strange - completely baffled, but immersed - ever have some thing like that with a song or a thing and it's out of your ordinary scope - anyhow - what the fuck - my question of the day - happy Friday Hall over goblin, you must truly think I'm out of my mind, I know I do

Chris Cochrane said...

last spring / summer it The Action's Brain - let's talk on Monday - pick a time. I sent you and Ish an email just re-iterating and suggesting an action, if you will

Andrew said...

Oh, you're right about reunion tours. Throbbing Gristle were good though, of course that was more of a reformation since they actually did put out new material, and they're old material seemed a little odd. I mean, Genesis has taken on this almost Earth Father/Mother Aura and when something like Slug Bait comes out of h/er mouth it feels odd.
You can't forget Reality Television, washed up musicians love Reality Television.
Yeah, Oprah's finale was basically Oprah talking while wearing this unflattering pink dress.
Did you know Greer Lankton? I mean, I assume you knew of her, but did you know her? I'm kind of interested in making dolls. I don't know though, it could be something interesting and theraputic.


hey Dennis, how are you? Its Alistair here,posting from tim
's account. My comp crashed a while back so i'm using his for the internet.

I just finished the outsiders which i hadn't read in maybe 25 years? It was pretty incredible to revisit it again. The writing and voice is so pure and ponyboy is just adorable. Hintons insight into the world of guys is pretty perceptive. When did you first read it? I played hooky when the movie came out to see it one afternoon. Anyways, hope life is good, Alistairxo

Brendan said...

Sans Soleil will always be one of my favorite films. I first saw it in a class at the SF Art Institute. I will always remember that day.

Thanks, Dennis. I hope you like the new stuff. I do, but I'm not the best judge.

I'm feeling a little better. I played poker and went to the gym last night. Two things to always cheer me up. Tonight I'm going to see a metal show. Another wonderful thing. All Shall Perish and Cattle Decapitation. You can't see but I am flashing the devil horns right now.


inthemostpeculiarway said...

This is a really cool day. I know nothing about Chris Marker, so I'm going to watch some of these. I liked the interview, too.

Sypha, I've been looking for your Lady Gaga review, actually. I agree with you to an extent, except I've already kind of forgotten most of the songs. I feel like she kind of stumbled with this one.

Hey Dennis,

Yeah, I understand on the cooking thing. But I'm kind of put off by food in general. And spiders seem to be following me lately, or I'm noticing them more. Maybe 2011 is the year of the spider or something.

I think it is assumed you can't smoke in people's cars. I always have, anyway, unless I ask/know they already do. That guy with the shirt does sound like an asshole.

I've watched a few Oprah shows. I don't know if I've ever seen any all the way through, though. The last one I saw was when Jonathan Franzen came on, and I thought she was going to say something about his objection to her selection of The Corrections, but she told him she had forgotten about it, which seemed worse than anything else she could've done.

The walk and weather sound really nice. As does the museum. They're getting married in Italy? Wow, that sounds really romantic and wonderful.

That's really good about the Recollets, obviously. And yay! for Jonathan. That is exciting.

I'll listen to Iceage soon. Are you going to do a Day on them?

My Thursday was really awful:


Wake up early because of a nightmare, and all I could remember of it was a certain horrible face, and I was convinced that wherever I looked the face would be there. The memory of the face gradually faded, so after a while I was just looking around and finally awake, so Shower.

Here's where it goes downhill, not that that seems possible right now, because I fell back asleep and slept for a ridiculously long amount of time. The kind that's so long you wake up and think, 'fuck. Well, goodbye day', after staring at the blinds because you're too tired and vaguely pissed off that this happened to get up and open them so you can stare out the window properly.

After it was a lot of stretching and popping things and gently sighing, staring blankly at my phone as it shut itself on and off four times over two hours and petting my cat, after which she'd stalk off and glare at me.

Movie News:

The trailer for The Ward, Carpenter's latest, is out, and it doesn't look great but it looks entertaining. So that's good.

More Dark Tower stuff, mostly that it was pushed back, again. The whole project seems almost too huge to even happen, so we'll see.

Read about a movie called Waldo the Dog, which sounds interesting but like it could go either way. It's about a woman who's being stalked by a man in a leather dog mask and they eventually start a relationship. Maybe.

Yeah, that's about it for today. Damn sleep. Hopefully I won't be too tired tomorrow, or anything. But how was your Thursday, Dennis?

paradigm said...

nice couple of days dennis. the links between joan and david where great to read and reflect and piece together.

as is today's. i remember seeing a Chris Marker interactive CD Rom at ACMI in Melbourne a few years ago and marvelling at the fact that well into his 80's he was still working and marking interesting work. glad to see more of his work and also that interview to give him some context.

hope the approaching summer is good dennis. what are you working on? how's the marbled swarm going? hope alls well


Misanthrope said...

Dennis, I knew DavidE wouldn't know this guy! You finally stumped him!

The Lakers are weird. I've always been a Kobe fan -my dad and I used to watch all the Lakers' games when Shaq and Kobe were together- but it's strange to see the two-time defending champs get swept in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Bynum and Gasol just didn't show up.

I'm a big LeBron James fan, so I'm pushing for the Heat to win it this year.

Well, I wouldn't push Bill out of bed, but yeah, I prefer Tom. So it's a deal. I'll even let you have some of his bones when I'm done.

Bill said...

Hey Dennis, greetings from Foyle's Cafe in London, a brief civilized break before I head back to the airport.

I forgot to mention: I get to Paris July 4. Do they make all the Americans check in that day?