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La jetée (The Pier) 1962


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Links to our threads on 'Chris Marker's films (and more) are on their way to Chicago.' (Oct 2003) and 'Avant Garde/Experimental Film Influences?' (Feb 2007 - Aug 2009), where this film has come up.

Curiously, we don't seem to have a thread on Terry Gilliam's remake, Twelve Monkeys (1995).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Subtitled:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezkAeQuUqCg

Dubbed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHtaYoCB0L4

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I never knew it meant, "The Pier." Now that I know that, I have no idea what the title has to do with the film. Maybe it has been too many years since I've seen it? (No excuse, I've got it on DVD somewhere...)

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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BTW, I've seen this film four times in the last week, and I think it will be very difficult for me to enjoy Twelve Monkeys like I once did. That film had faded in my estimation over time anyway, but now realizing that pretty much all of its best ideas come from this, I think Gilliam demonstrated the brilliance of Marker's decisions by choosing otherwise with less effective results.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I was most struck by the technique of rendering the film (mostly) as a series of still photos. I think this, combined with the stark black-and-white cinematography, give the film the feel of journalism from a war zone, and drive home that this is a human story, and that the decisions made by the humans have real consequences. It reminds us that science fiction, in the classical sense, is about the exploration of ideas rather than fancy special effects. This is something that has gotten lost in the age of CGI.

And it's an impressive achievement for Marker to explore such ideas about power, memory, and emotion, and to create a sensible time-travel narrative in a twenty-minute short.

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"The Pier" sounds strange to me, because I've always associated piers with water and beaches and the like. But a quick scan of the 'net indicates that the word does come up in connection with airports sometimes, so... add this to the learn-something-new-every-day file.

Incidentally, Mike D'Angelo recently devoted a string of tweets to the proposition that cinephiles who use the original French title rather than its English equivalent are being pretentious. Whatever. I still prefer "La Jetee".

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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BTW, I've seen this film four times in the last week, and I think it will be very difficult for me to enjoy Twelve Monkeys like I once did. That film had faded in my estimation over time anyway, but now realizing that pretty much all of its best ideas come from this, I think Gilliam demonstrated the brilliance of Marker's decisions by choosing otherwise with less effective results.

I've never been able to really enjoy Twelve Monkeys precisely because of this. La Jetée is such an elegant, subtle-yet-overwhelming film that Twelve Monkeys has always felt crude and ugly to me.

FWIW, here's my review of La Jetée.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 1 year later...

Why couldn't that have been my school?

I can't wait to get my hands on this set, as LA JETÉE is definitely one of my most treasured filmic discoveries of the past couple years.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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Turns out that the images were also recently released as a coffee table book.

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  • 5 months later...

May he rest in peace. What little I've seen of his work was remarkable. LA JETÉE remains a favourite film of mine.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

Twitter.
Letterboxd.

Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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A post to talk more about Chris marker [Click Here]

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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  • 1 year later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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