Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Short Cinema Journal Vol 2|
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Director Chris Marker was a determined experimentalist who still sought to entertain, so it's no surprise that his most famous film, La Jetée, is both bizarre and compelling. Shot as a collage of still images, it tells t... more »
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Open your eyes.
darragh o'donoghue | 04/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'La Jetee' is a pier in Orly airport on the eve of World War 3 and the destruction of Paris; a barely distinguishable harbour in a concrete sea. Despite the title, the only mention of water in Chris Marker's film is to the waves of memory that carry the hero back to his past. He is now a prisoner in an underground labyrinth undergoing experiments by scientists who, space having been made redundant, hope to puncture a hole in time, through which men can be sent to bring back desperately-needed supplies. After many failures resulting in death or madness, they have chosen the hero because of his singular imaginative life, fixated on one moment in his childhood on the pier, the face of the woman who haunts him, staring at an unknown man rushing through the crowd. Meeting her in the past, they go for walks, visit museums, sunbathe, sleep. The journey to the past being so successful, they try to send him to the future.Marker calls 'La Jetee' a photo-novel, and it is composed entirely of photographical stills, except for one montage that secretes a surprise that is one of the most unexpected, literally eye-opening joys of the cinema, all the more precious considering the general gloom of the work, the foreboding atmosphere of death, the images of destruction, the frozen tableaux of torture and sufering. The term 'photo-novel' however, implies that the film could just as easily be enjoyed as a book, and Marker has released 'La Jetee' in such a format. But the film doesn't work this way - not only is the editing and the variation of pacing the images crucial to how we receive them, long-held compositions alternating with abrupt montages; but these sets of images interplay with a typically layered Marker soundtrack. This soundtrack itself has at least three components - the narrating voice, authorial yet phantasmal; the (often sacred) music; and the manipulated ambient sound, whether it is the conspiratorial whispers that accompany the underground experimental sessions, or the sinister, pumping beat that segues imperceptibly into Herrman's score for 'Vertigo' for the sequoia sequence.Like Hitchcock's film, Marker's ur-text, 'La Jetee' is a bleak study in memory, in the tricks it plays, in its fusions with fantasies, desires, lies and repression, in its importance for defining the self or its dissolution. For Marker, this interest has always been political, revealing the fragility of the subject caught in the annihilating marches of history, a history it tries to transcend or evade, but which eventually swallows it up and spits it out. 'La Jetee' is also an early cinematic classic of post-modernity, a vision of a future Paris that, like Godard's 'Alphaville', is a diagnosis of the present. Marker's fearless command of the abstract rooted in the particular gives his films, and 'La Jetee' especially, a heady charge that could be mistaken for the spiritual (some of the scenes of torture are like religious ecstasies sculpted by Bernini), and which is all his own."
Don't waste your money
tierneyfan | New York, NY United States | 06/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The film was excellent, don't get me wrong. It was the quality of the video that ruined my enjoyment of it. I first saw the film in college during a film studies class, and it remains to be one of the coolest films ever. However, the video was grainy and sometimes it was hard to make out the subtitles. If you've never seen Le Jetee before, don't buy this video. See it on the big screen when it'll be shown with good quality film. Otherwise, you'll end up thinking that this film is lesser than it actually is. It's surprising that with the popularity of this film and the technologies available presently that the subtitles weren't in yellow or another more visible color, and the transcription of video was so poor. I know there is a DVD version, but it's dubbed and what made Le Jetee special was its quiet Frenchness."
THE GREATEST FILM EVER MADE
kasperbauer | Lam Tin,, Kowloon, Hong Kong | 01/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...and I do mean that! I saw this originaly in 1979, in England, and, was surprised to see it as the support feature for teh 1980's release of Vertigo. I was even more surprised to fidn a 16mm print at my local library in Canada, and, then to see it here in Hong Kong last year.The best quality copy is on DVD ("Short" magazine). The U.K. (pal video) is expensive but good quality. The u.S. video is not good...but better than nothing! The english narration version is very different to the french subtitles (changes meaning of sections). DO SEE AND HEAR THIS MOVIE! Love, Kasperbauer"
La jettee dubbed in english, unfortunate
kasperbauer | 09/23/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"i got this for la jettee. and although they cram these dvds with all kinds of junk they didn't bother including the original language track which is in my opinion much more true to the atmosphere of the film. so although imdb lists this great short film as being available on dvd, as far as i am concerned it still does not have a decent release."