A mysterious homage to Chris Marker, listed on the Cinémathèque française‘ tumblr site chrismarker.tumblr.com in the ‘Les Homages’ section, with these words:
A l’aube du 22ème siècle, un homme, C711, est surveillé de près par les agents du gouvernement. Il détient en effet des informations classées TOP SECRET. Il se fait suivre et les agents maitrisent la situation. Quand un violent séisme survient, C711 en profite pour disparaître. Un plan de capture est alors organisé pour ne pas le laisser s’échapper. Un journaliste reporter alors dépéché sur place a filmé l’opération pour nom de code: C711. Voici les images du reportage. Ce qu’est ensuite devenu C711 est classé TOP SECRET…
Film hommage à Chris Marker, mort récemment, ce film s’inscrit dans la logique du cycle de science-fiction expérimentale. Le travail de recherche sur la musique, ici encore très développée, appuit d’une manière très efficace l’atmosphère de ce film. Le travail graphique de l’image appuit une intention forte de voir la science-fiction d’une manière différente et accentue le côté oppressant et mystérieux de l’histoire. En espérant que vous serez sensible à ce film, que nous espérons accessible autant qu’il puisse.
At the dawn of the 22nd century, a man, C711, is closely monitored by government agents. He has indeed classified TOP SECRET information. He followed and agents have mastered the situation. When an earthquake occurs, C711 took the opportunity to disappear. A catch plan is then held to not let it escape. A then despatched a reporter on the spot filmed the operation codenamed: C711. Here are the pictures of the story. What later became C711 is classified TOP SECRET …
Film tribute to Chris Marker, died recently, this film is part of the logic of the experimental cycle of science fiction. The research on music, again highly developed appuit a very effective way the atmosphere of this film. The graphic work of the image appuit a strong intention to see science fiction in a different way and highlights the oppressive and mysterious side of the story. Hoping that you will be sensitive to this film, we hope to reach as much as he can.
Here is the opening statement from the Cinémathèque française:
La Cinémathèque française invite tous ceux qui le désirent, amis, correspondants à l’étranger, curieux et cinéphiles, à envoyer messages ou témoignages, films, photographies ou collages, pour rendre compte de l’importance que l’œuvre et la personnalité de Chris Marker revêtaient pour eux. Ce tumblr leur est ouvert.
The Cinémathèque française invites all those – friends here and abroad, films enthusiasts and cinephiles – who so wish to give their testomonial, in the form of texts, films, photographs or collages, on what the work and personality of Chris Marker have meant to them. This tumblr is open to you.
January 28, 2014 5:27 pm No Comments
16 April – 22 June 2014, Galleries 1, 8 & Victor Petitgas Gallery (Gallery 9)
The Whitechapel Gallery presents the first UK retrospective of visionary French filmmaker, photographer, writer and multimedia artist Chris Marker (1921 – 2012).
Marker is widely acknowledged as the finest exponent of the ‘essay film’ and is best known as the director of over 60 films including Sans soleil (Sunless, 1983) and A Grin Without a Cat (Le Fond de l’air est rouge, 1977). His most celebrated work La Jetée (The Pier, 1962) imagines a Paris devastated by nuclear catastrophe and is composed almost entirely of black-and-white still photographs, which informed the narrative of Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (1995) and influenced James Cameron’s Terminator (1984).
The Whitechapel Gallery will be filled with Chris Marker’s extraordinary films and photographs. Highlights include all five of Marker’s multi-media installations shown together for the first time, rarely seen photographs, and a newly re-mastered edition of Le Joli Mai (1963), which romantically describes Paris via interviews with people in the street, interspersed with a commentary ranging from the number of hours of sunshine in May to the amount of meat and potatoes eaten by the city’s population each month.
The exhibition follows key themes in Marker’s work: the Museum, Travel, Image & Text, and War & Revolution. The first space will be saturated with colour and dominated by two huge screens, cinema spaces and photographs. Visitors entering the Gallery will see a large projection of Ouvroir: the Movie (2010), Marker’s guided tour of the virtual museum he created on the website Second Life via his online avatar, a cat called Guillame-en-Eqypte, along with films and multi-media installations.
The next section presents the people and places Chris Marker encountered on his lifetime of travels, with an extract from the iconic film Sans soleil (1983), which reflects on memory, images and technology and is told via letters from an anonymous woman to a cameraman, with shots flitting back and forth across the world from Japan to Guinea-Bissau in Africa. This part of the display also includes Petite Planète (1954 – 58), a series of books by Marker with texts, illustrations, graphics and photographs of countries which inspired his first ‘photo essays’, plus the UK premiere of multi-media installation Zapping Zone (Proposal for an Imaginary Television, 1990 – 94).
A rare version of Chris Marker’s masterpiece La Jetée (1962) with an alternative opening sequence is shown in a dedicated gallery. The exhibition continues with a section looking at the theme of war and revolution, engaging with anti-war movements from the Vietnam War in the 1960s to the Iraq War in 2003. It includes extracts from two films shot in Paris, Le Joli Mai (1963), relating to the Algerian War of Independence in the 1950s and 60s and Chats Perchés (The Case of the Grinning Cat, 2004), where Marker interviews anonymous passersby to record their everyday life. Other works are the photographic series Staring back (1952 – 2006) and installation OWLS AT NOON Prelude: The Hollow Men (2005) which is based on a T.S. Eliot poem. The exhibition ends with one of Marker’s most political films about the failure of idealistic social movements and revolutions in the 1960s, Le fond de l’air est rouge (1977) which was reedited and released as A Grin without a Cat in 1993.
This important exhibition looks at Marker’s prolific career and considers his influence on contemporary British art and artists. Alongside the show, film screenings will take place at the Gallery, with work by filmmakers Duncan Campbell, Filipa Cesar and Manu Luksch, the Barbican and Ciné Lumière at the Institut Français. Talks addressing the themes of the exhibition are made in collaboration with Roehampton University and the AHRC-funded research project The Memory Network.
- Chris Marker (1921 – 2012), born Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve in Paris, was a prescient multi-media filmmaker, exploring the future through both digital art and via his numerous online avatars on websites such as Second Life. He was also a writer, editor, poet, cartoonist, and activist. Marker completed his first feature film Olympia 52 in 1952 and went on to direct over 60 films. Notoriously reclusive, he rarely gave interviews and refused to be photographed. A friend recalled that his Paris apartment had several televisions switched on, one with a direct satellite feed from Russia, and late in life he had glasses with a miniature camera so he could ride the Metro and photograph people. A great lover of cats, when asked for a photograph of himself he would send a picture of a cat. In his later life he adopted the online persona of an orange-and-black cartoon cat named ‘Guillaume-en-Egypte’. Chris Marker has been the subject of many solo exhibitions around the world, including Chris Marker: Retrospective at the Rencontres d’Arles de la Photographie, France (2011), Planète Marker, Centre Pompidou (2013), and Chris Marker: Guillaume-en-Egypte, MIT/Harvard (2013). The Whitechapel Gallery presentation is the first retrospective of his work in the UK.
- Chris Marker is co-curated by Christine van Assche, Chief Curator, Centre Pompidou, Paris, writer and film critic Chris Darke, and Whitechapel Gallery Chief Curator Magnus Af Petersens.
- Chris Marker will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. It includes key essays by the curators; texts by critics Raymond Bellour and Arnaud Lambert; plus the first English translations of two key early writings by Marker, an essay on Jean Cocteau’s film Orphée (1950) and his short story Till the End of Time (1947), which takes place the day after VJ day amidst a torrential rainstorm and features a demobilised soldier subject to apocalyptic visions, anticipating Marker’s most famous film, La Jetée (1962).
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, Thursdays, 11am – 9pm. Free.
Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX. Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway
DLR. T + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888
For further press information and images please contact:
Rachel Mapplebeck, Head of Communications, on 0207 522 7880 or email Alex O’Neill, Press Officer, on 020 7539 3360 or email
January 22, 2014 11:15 am No Comments
The Whitechapel Gallery on High Street in London has announced the following Chris Marker retrospective:
Chris Marker 16 April – 22 June 2014, Galleries 1, 8 & Victor Petitgas Gallery (Gallery 9) Visionary French filmmaker, photographer, writer and artist Chris Marker (1921 – 2012) is widely acknowledged as the finest exponent of the ‘essay film’. He is best known as the director of over 50 films including Sans soleil (Sunless , 1983), A Grin Without a Cat (1977) and for his most influential work La Jetée (The Pier, 1962), imagining a Paris devastated by nuclear catastrophe and composed almost entirely of black-and-white still photographs, which later informed the narrative of Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (1995). He was a prescient multi-media maker, exploring the future through both digital art and via his numerous online avatars. This important exhibition – his first UK retrospective – looks at Marker’s prolific career and considers his influence on contemporary British art and artists. Organised in collaboration with Chris Darke and the Centre Pompidou. Free.
Thanks to Chris Darke, I now have a pdf focused on the retrospective that goes into a lot more detail. So I’ll be updating this post again to reflect that; in the meantime, here’s a link:
The Press Release PDF is here.
About Whitechapel Gallery
Designed in a distinctive Arts and Crafts architecture style by Charles Harrison Townsend, the Whitechapel, Britain’s first purpose-built arts gallery, is renowned both for the beauty of its light, airy space and for embracing the local community in its work. Founded in 1901, extensive refurbishment saw the gallery, reopened in April 2009, double in size.
January 20, 2014 9:50 pm No Comments
There’s an homage video up on Vimeo that might interest Chris Marker fans. Take a look here:
The Protest of the Grinning Cat – In honor of “The Case of the Grinning Cat”The Protest of the Grinning Cat – In honor of “The Case of the Grinning Cat” by M.Chat.Veuille
Here’s a summary of the video:
In 2006, May 1 was chosen by mostly Latino immigrant groups in the United States as the day for the Great American Boycott , a general strike of undocumented immigrant workers and supporters to protest HR 4437, immigration reform legislation which they felt was draconian. From April 10 to May 1 of that year, millions of immigrant families in the US called for immigrant rights, workers rights and amnesty for undocumented workers.
Peter & Nazzy Scarlet, Seifollah Samadian, Sara Zandieh & Monsieur Chat
A film by S.Samadian
Dedicated to Chris Marker
remixed by Collectif CHAT
May 2006 / New York
M.CHAT.VEUILLE has 30+ other videos online at Vimeo. You can view his archive here.
Thanks to Lo Chien on Facebook’s Chris Marker page for the heads-up.
January 4, 2014 11:13 am No Comments
Arte’s new DVD collection of Chris Marker films includes the following titles:
- La Jetée – restored version
- Sans Soleil – restored version
- Le Joli mai - restored version
- Loin du Vietnam – restored version
- Le fond de l’air est rouge – restored version
- Mémoires pour Simone – restored version
- La solitude du chanteur de fond
- Le tombeau d’Alexandre
- Chats perchés
Technical information from Arte’s web page for the collection states: PAL – Zone 2; Dolby Digital 2.0; Audio languages: English, audiovision, French; Total duration of DVD: 1200 minutes.
They list as supplements to the collection a 120 page booklet, 3 post cards and 4 shorts: (1) La Jetée supplement – 30 minutes; (2) ‘Autour du Joli Mai‘ – 62 minutes; (3) Loin de Vietnam supplement – 30 minutes; (4) Chats perchés supplement – 20 minutes. All these are new—or at least new to us—and definitely peak our curiosity.
The word they use ‘compléments’ (a guess, as the browser is rendering it as ComplÃ©ments) could mean outtakes, as it has the connotation of ‘remainders’, so that is one possibility. The chance to see outtakes of La Jetée is doubtless for many especially interesting. It remains to be seen how well the English subtitles work for this edition; we hope to report on that down the road.
The contents of Sixties is not familiar – perhaps our readers could shed some light on that in the comments…
November 13, 2013 2:19 pm 3 Comments
ça fait longtemps
que l’on a visité
le salle Roxie
à San Francisco
et s’est trouvé
sous le charme
ça fait longtemps
trente ans aujourd’hui
que le temps
ça fait longtemps
comme le bon vin
qui chaque année
Here is the full commentary in the original French for Chris Marker, Sans Soleil:
For English and Japanese versions, please visit markertext.com, where you can also find commentary/voice-over texts for À Valpariso, Description of a Struggle, La Jetée and Letter from Siberia, as well as the English version of the text for Marker’s book Coréennes.
Thanks to CMontel & ac-nancy-metz-fr’s servers & the Pacific Film Archive
November 12, 2013 6:59 pm No Comments