Cinémathèque française Unveils Encyclopedic Chris Marker Retrospective Program

Cinémathèque Chris Marker Exposition Poster

Dans les Salles | Films, Rencontres, Conférences, Spectacles

Du 3 au 27 Mai 2018

Source: Exposition Chris Marker, les 7 vies d’un cinéaste – La Cinémathèque française

SÉANCE D’OUVERTURE

Ambassade (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1975 CM Je 3 mai 20h00
Jetée (La) Chris Marker / France / 1962 CM Je 3 mai 20h00
Statues meurent aussi (Les) Alain Resnais, Chris Marker / France / 1953 CM Je 3 mai 20h00

LES FILMS

Amérique insolite (L’) François Reichenbach / France / 1958 Lu 21 mai 14h30
Chris Marker : Never Explain, Never Complain Jean-Marie Barbe, Arnaud Lambert / France / 2016 Lu 21 mai 20h00
Cinétracts Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Chris Marker / France / 1968 Me 23 mai 19h00
Description d’un souvenir Dan Geva / Israël / 2005 Sa 26 mai 21h00
Deux mémoires (Les) Jorge Semprún / France-Espagne / 1972 Lu 21 mai 17h00
Fond de l’air est rouge (Le) Chris Marker / France / 1977 Sa 5 mai 20h15
Jetée (La) Chris Marker / France / 1962 CM Je 24 mai 19h30
Joli mai (Le) Chris Marker, Pierre Lhomme / France / 1962 Ve 4 mai 21h00
Kashima Paradise Yann Le Masson, Benie Deswarte / France / 1973 Lu 28 mai 15h00
Level Five Chris Marker / France / 1996 Lu 7 mai 19h00
Loin du Vietnam Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Alain Resnais / France / 1967 Di 27 mai 21h30
Mémoires pour Simone Chris Marker / France / 1986 Sa 26 mai 15h00
Moindre geste (Le) Jean-Pierre Daniel, Fernand Deligny / France / 1970 Ve 18 mai 17h15
Olympia 52 Chris Marker / France / 1952 Ve 4 mai 17h00
On vous parle de Prague : Le Deuxième procès d’Artur London Chris Marker / France / 1969 CM Sa 26 mai 15h00
Owl Gets in Your Eyes Chris Marker / France / 1994 CM Lu 7 mai 19h00
Première année (La) Patricio Guzmán / Chili / 1971 Lu 28 mai 17h15
Regard neuf sur Olympia 52 Julien Faraut / France / 2013 Ve 4 mai 19h00
Sans soleil Chris Marker / France / 1982 Sa 5 mai 14h30 Me 9 mai 16h30
Souvenir d’un avenir (Le) Yannick Bellon, Chris Marker / France / 2001 CM Je 24 mai 19h30
Spirale (La) Armand Mattelart, Jacqueline Meppiel, Valérie Mayoux / France / 1975 Lu 28 mai 19h15
Statues meurent aussi (Les) Alain Resnais, Chris Marker / France / 1953 CM Lu 14 mai 19h00
Tombeau d’Alexandre (Le) Chris Marker / France / 1992 Di 6 mai 18h30
Toute la mémoire du monde Alain Resnais / France / 1956 CM Lu 14 mai 19h00
Un an de télé vu par Guillaume Chris Marker / France / 2007 Di 27 mai 17h30
Volcan interdit (Le) Haroun Tazieff / France / 1948 Me 16 mai 14h15

COURTS MÉTRAGES

La Charnière (enregistrement audio) Sa 5 mai 18h15
20 heures dans les camps (Le) Chris Marker / France / 1993 CM Di 27 mai 19h45
2084 Chris Marker / France / 1984 CM Je 24 mai 15h45
À bientôt, j’espère Chris Marker, Mario Marret / France / 1967 CM Sa 5 mai 18h15
…À Valparaiso Joris Ivens / Pays-Bas, Chili / 1962 CM Ve 11 mai 19h30 Di 13 mai 19h45
A. K. Chris Marker / France / 1984 Di 13 mai 17h30
Agnès de-ci de-là Varda Agnès Varda / France / 2008 Di 20 mai 19h30
Astronautes (Les) Walerian Borowczyk / France / 1959 CM Sa 26 mai 18h30
Bataille des dix millions (La) Chris Marker / France-Belgique / 1970 Di 13 mai 21h45
Berlin 90 Chris Marker / France / 1990 Sa 19 mai 17h15
Berliner Ballade Chris Marker / France / 1990 CM Sa 19 mai 17h15
Brûlure de mille soleils (La) Pierre Kast / France / 1965 CM Sa 19 mai 15h00
Casque bleu Chris Marker / France / 1995 CM Di 27 mai 19h45
Chat écoutant la musique Chris Marker / France / 1990 CM Ve 25 mai 19h30
Chats perchés Chris Marker / France / 2004 Je 10 mai 21h30
Classe de lutte René Vautier, Pierre Lhomme, Joris Ivens, Jean-Luc Godard / France / 1969 CM Sa 5 mai 18h15
Description d’un combat Chris Marker / France-Israël / 1960 Sa 26 mai 18h30
Détour Ceausescu Chris Marker / France / 1990 CM Sa 19 mai 17h15
Dimanche à Pékin Chris Marker / France / 1956 CM Je 17 mai 17h30
Django Reinhardt Paul Paviot / France / 1958 CM Je 17 mai 17h30
E-CLIP-SE Chris Marker / France / 1999 CM Sa 19 mai 17h15
From Chris to Christo Chris Marker / France / 1985 CM Ve 25 mai 19h30
Guillaume Movie Chris Marker / France / 2007 Di 20 mai 19h30
Hommes de la baleine (Les) Mario Ruspoli / France / 1956 CM Je 17 mai 17h30
Jouer à Paris Catherine Varlin / France / 1962 CM Sa 19 mai 15h00
Jour de tournage Chris Marker / France / 1969 CM Di 20 mai 17h30
Junkopia Chris Marker / France / 1981 CM Je 24 mai 15h45
Kino Chris Marker / France / 2011 CM Je 10 mai 21h30
Leila Attacks Chris Marker / France / 2006 CM Di 20 mai 19h30
Lettre de Sibérie Chris Marker / France / 1957 Di 20 mai 21h45
Matta ’85 Chris Marker / France / 1985 CM Di 13 mai 17h30
Mer et les jours (La) Raymond Vogel, Alain Kaminker / France / 1958 CM Ve 11 mai 21h30
Metrotopia Chris Marker / France / 2008 Di 20 mai 19h30
Morning After (The) Chris Marker / France / 2008 Di 20 mai 19h30
Mystère de l’atelier 15 (Le) Alain Resnais, André Heinrich / France / 1957 CM Di 20 mai 21h45
Mystère Koumiko (Le) Chris Marker / France / 1965 Ve 11 mai 19h30 Di 13 mai 19h45
Narita : le printemps de la grande offensive Chris Marker / France-Japon / 1978 CM Ve 25 mai 19h30
Ni pour ni contre, bien au contraire Anne Papillault, Jean-François Dars / France / 1981 CM Je 24 mai 15h45
On vous parle d’Amérique Latine : Le Message du Che Paul Bourron / France / 1968 CM Di 20 mai 17h30
On vous parle de Flins Guy Devart / France / 1970 CM Ve 25 mai 21h15
On vous parle de Paris : Maspero, les mots ont un sens Chris Marker / France / 1970 CM Ve 25 mai 21h15
On vous parle du Brésil : Carlos Marighela Chris Marker / France / 1970 CM Ve 25 mai 21h15
On vous parle du Brésil : Tortures Chris Marker / France / 1969 CM Ve 25 mai 21h15
On vous parle du Chili Chris Marker / France / 1973 CM Ve 25 mai 21h15
Overnight Chris Marker / France / 2011 CM Je 10 mai 21h30
Petite ceinture Chris Marker / France / 1994 CM Sa 19 mai 17h15
Puisqu’on vous dit que c’est possible Chris Marker / France / 1973 CM Je 24 mai 15h45
Regard du bourreau (Le) Chris Marker, Leo Hurwitz / France / 2008 Di 20 mai 19h30
Rotterdam-Europort Joris Ivens / Pays-Bas / 1966 CM Ve 11 mai 19h30 Di 13 mai 19h45
Septembre chilien Bruno Muel, Théo Robichet / France / 1973 CM Sa 19 mai 19h30
Si j’avais quatre dromadaires Chris Marker / France-République fédérale d’Allemagne / 1966 Di 13 mai 21h45
Siècle a soif (Le) Raymond Vogel / France / 1958 CM Ve 11 mai 21h30
Sixième face du Pentagone (La) Chris Marker, François Reichenbach / France / 1967 CM Di 20 mai 17h30
Slon Tango Chris Marker / France / 1990 CM Ve 25 mai 19h30
Solitude du chanteur de fond (La) Chris Marker / France / 1974 Ve 11 mai 21h30
Stephan Hermlin Chris Marker / France / 1997 CM Sa 19 mai 17h15
Stopover in Dubai Chris Marker / France / 2011 CM Je 10 mai 21h30
Surface perdue (La) Dolorès Grassian / France / 1965 CM Sa 19 mai 15h00
Tchaïka Chris Marker / France / 1994 CM Sa 19 mai 17h15
Tempo risoluto Chris Marker / France / 2011 CM Je 10 mai 21h30
Théorie des ensembles (La) Chris Marker / France / 1991 CM Ve 25 mai 19h30
Train en marche (Le) Chris Marker / France / 1971 CM Sa 19 mai 19h30
Un maire au Kosovo Chris Marker / France / 1999 CM Di 27 mai 19h45
Une journée d’Andreï Arsenevitch Chris Marker / France / 1999 Di 20 mai 19h30
Vivarium (Le) Gérald Calderon / France / 1958 CM Je 17 mai 17h30
Vive la baleine Chris Marker, Mario Ruspoli / France / 1972 CM Sa 19 mai 19h30

L’HÉRITAGE DE LA CHOUETTE

L’Héritage de la chouette est une série documentaire en treize épisodes : treize mots de racine grecque que Chris Marker décortique pour connaître l’héritage de la Grèce antique sur le monde moderne. Des États-Unis au Japon, il a baladé sa caméra là où tout mot prend sens, il a rencontré des hellénistes, des philosophes, des logiciens, des hommes politiques, des artistes et a confronté leurs discours aux mémoires des cinémathèques.
« Par le détour de la Grèce antique, L’Héritage de la chouette se propose de jeter un peu de lumière sur les sources de notre civilisation, et du même coup sur sa mortalité. On peut y trouver plusieurs choses : un projet de ce qu’aurait pu être une télévision portée par le même esprit d’innovation que le cinéma à ses débuts, un programme d’enseignement socratique, un serial (chaque chapitre se terminant sur une question laissée en suspens), un lexique markérien, la suite d’une conversation, à deux ou à plusieurs (parfois même un monologue), menée au fil des années, une énumération comme celles de Sei Shônagon (« Choses qui ne font que passer : le printemps, l’été, l’automne et l’hiver »), ou encore une autre manière d’aborder une filmographie difficilement organisable, tant les catégories sont dans les films dé- ou retournées. » (Bernard Eisenschitz)

Héritage de la chouette, épisode 01 : Symposium ou les idées reçues (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 15h00
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 02 : Olympisme ou la Grèce imaginaire (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 15h00
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 03 : Démocratie ou la cité des songes (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 15h00
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 04 : Nostalgie ou le retour impossible (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 15h00
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 05 : Amnésie ou le sens de l’histoire (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 17h30
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 06 : Mathématique ou l’empire des signes (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 17h30
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 07 : Logomachie ou les mots de la tribu (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 17h30
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 08 : Musique ou l’espace de dedans (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 19h45
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 09 : Cosmogonie ou l’usage du monde (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 19h45
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 10 : Mythologie ou la vérité du mensonge (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 19h45
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 11 : Misogynie ou les pièges du désir (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 22h15
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 12 : Tragédie ou l’illusion de la mort (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 22h15
Héritage de la chouette, épisode 13 : Philosophie ou le triomphe de la chouette (L’) Chris Marker / France / 1989 CM Sa 12 mai 22h15

LES FILMS DE SA VIE

Ailes (Les) William A. Wellman / Etats-Unis / 1926 Je 17 mai 14h30
Annonce faite à Marie (L’) Alain Cuny / France-Canada / 1990 Me 16 mai 16h00
Aveu (L’) Costa-Gavras / France, Italie / 1969 Me 23 mai 21h00
Bonheur (Le) Alexandre Medvedkine / URSS / 1934 Di 6 mai 21h00
Cuirassé Potemkine (Le) Sergueï M. Eisenstein / URSS / 1925 Ve 4 mai 15h00
Espoir (L’) André Malraux / France, Espagne / 1938 Me 9 mai 17h15
Fusils (Les) Ruy Guerra / Brésil / 1964 Sa 26 mai 14h30
Henry V Laurence Olivier / Grande-Bretagne / 1944 Me 23 mai 14h00
Hiroshima, mon amour Alain Resnais / France, Japon / 1958 Ve 25 mai 14h30
Maison est noire (La) Forough Farrokhzad / Iran / 1962 CM Ve 4 mai 15h00
Merveilleuse vie de Jeanne d’Arc, fille de Lorraine (La) Marco de Gastyne / France / 1927 Lu 28 mai 14h30
Moranbong, aventure coréenne Claude-Jean Bonnardot / France-Corée / 1958 Me 9 mai 14h30
Mortu nega Flora Gomes / Guinée-Bissau / 1988 Ve 25 mai 17h00
Orphée Jean Cocteau / France / 1949 Ve 18 mai 14h30
Paris 1900 Nicole Védrès / France / 1946 Lu 14 mai 14h30
Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (La) Carl Theodor Dreyer / France / 1927 Ve 11 mai 14h30
Prince Bayaya Jiří Trnka / Tchécoslovaquie / 1950 Sa 19 mai 14h30
Ran Akira Kurosawa / France, Japon / 1985 Di 13 mai 14h30
Seuls les anges ont des ailes Howard Hawks, Charles Vidor, Norman Deming / Etats-Unis / 1938 Sa 12 mai 14h30
Sixième partie du monde (La) Dziga Vertov / URSS / 1926 Lu 7 mai 14h30
Strada (La) Federico Fellini / Italie / 1954 Di 20 mai 14h30
Vertigo (Sueurs froides) Alfred Hitchcock / Etats-Unis / 1957 Di 27 mai 14h30

RENCONTRES ET CONFÉRENCES

Chris Marker, les 7 vies d’un cinéaste. Table ronde Sa 5 mai 14h30
Qui êtes-vous Chris Marker ? Conférence de Bamchade Pourvali Je 10 mai 19h00

Cinematheque francaise

Robert Kramer, Point de départ / Starting Place

Robert Kramer tribute to Chris Marker - citation - memory

Take a look at the Marker-inspired Robert Kramer film, Point de départ, from 1993.

“One day or other all these films that I’m making will make up a single long film, a story that is always developing.”
Robert Kramer

The Man with the Movie Camera

Starting Place | Point de Départ
Directed by Robert Kramer
France 1993, 35mm, color, 83 min.
English, French, and Vietnamese with English subtitles

In this film from late in his career, Kramer returns to Hanoi after nearly 25 years to re-envision the city’s struggle through an uncertain and daunting past, present, and future. The Vietnamese characters in the film are diverse: Kramer’s former guide from an earlier visit in 1969; a tight-rope walker in the national circus; a man who took photos of B-52s and another who lost his fingers shooting them down.

[…]

Robert Kramer—who, according to Vincent Canby of the New York Times, “seems incapable of shooting a scene, framing a shot or catching a line of dialogue that isn’t loaded with levels of information one usually finds only in the best, most spare poetry”—died unexpectedly in France this past November at the age of sixty.

He left a singular body of work—as far from Hollywood as it was from underground or experimental films—that eventually, he felt, would “make up one long film . . . one ‘story’ in a continual process of becoming.” A committed leftist who emerged radicalized from his studies in philosophy and Western European history at Swarthmore and Stanford, he worked as a reporter in Latin America and organized a community project in a black neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, before founding the Newsreel movement, an underground media collective which made some sixty documentaries and short films about radical political subjects and the antiwar movement between 1967 and 1971. Kramer made his mark in the 1960s as the great filmmaker of the American radical left with films like The Edge and Ice.

Embraced by the European intelligentsia, he eventually moved to Paris in the early 1980s, where he continued to produce fictionalized and documentary films on a range of subjects from Portugal’s April Revolution and post-independence Angola to the Tour de France—all the while maintaining his “uninterrupted dialogue with America.” Our series offers the opportunity to sample a range of Kramer’s rarely screened work and to pay tribute to this unique cinematic personality.
Harvard Film Archive

Although Mr. Kramer was best known in the United States for his radical early movies, notably The Edge, Ice and Milestones, he remained a prolific filmmaker after he moved to Paris in 1980. Doc’s Kingdom and Route 1/U.S.A. were among his later films that were also released in the United States. At the time of his death, he had just completed a new movie, Cities of the Plains.
New York Times, “Robert Kramer, 60, a Director Of Films With a Political Edge

One of the most insightful essays on Point de départ that I’ve encountered is by Adrian Martin in Rouge, where he discusses orientation and disorientation as a challenge to the spectator. As Adorno reminds us in The Essay as Form, essays start in media res. “It starts not with Adam and Eve but with what it wants to talk about; it says what occurs to it in that context and stops when it feels finished rather than when there is nothing to say.” In Montaigne, there is rarely any beginning, middle and end; the form is more spiral. The point of departure is the crux – it can be anywhere (and any-when), and serves as an initial break from the blank canvas, parchment or page. Its asymmetry and a-systematicity are its strengths, its tactical counter moves to monolithic works of art or philosophy that are enveloped in the mist of completeness, the encyclopedia, the Enlightenment dream. It is, or can be, molecular rather than molar, and to boot in both spatial and temporal dimensions. That may be why space and time often become its internal obsessions, the medium mixing with the message.

From: Adrian Martin, “Robert Kramer Films the Event”, Rouge

We are on the continent of Robert Kramer’s essay-films. What country is this, what year, what time? There are no establishing shots, no introductions to ease us in. Everything is in medias res. Kramer never gives us a superimposed title telling us we are watching ‘Vietnam’ or ‘Paris’ or ‘USA’; he never includes the identifying names of people, typewritten on screen, the first time we see them (and indeed, if we ever do learn this, it is often indirectly, by accident); he rarely introduces a radically different piece of footage into the montage with a reassuring title saying ‘ten years ago’, or a voice-off saying ‘I remember …’.

The challenge thrown out to the spectator is: orient yourself. Just in the same way that Kramer, the man with the movie camera, is forced to orient himself: he looks around, gets his bearings, follows something interesting down the street (a face, a bicycle, a line of tombstones in the cemetery) …

‘Whenever I start something, I always feel like I’m at a point of departure.’ But Kramer is always starting his essay-films, over and over, re-starting them at every new scene, each new plateau, so there is no single starting place (his English title for Point de départ, 1994). When it comes to the ‘problem’ or topic addressed by each Kramer film, there are a hundred places or points to start from; but there is no single origin to that problem. It is like what Barthes wrote: it is a question of ‘pursuing’ the problem, chasing it in flight, and thus ‘”uncoating” it of the finality in which it locks up its point of departure.’

And, just as there is no single origin, there is no single destination, either: Kramer’s essay-films map, all at once, a hundred directions, thoughts and associations that cluster around a central idea. But is there one, central idea – and can we tell what it is? It is impossible, for example, to cleanly segment the montage of his essay-films in the way that one can slice up the scenes of a conventional, narrative film. Where does one path start, and where does it end?
Adrian Martin, “Robert Kramer Films the Event”, Rouge

No Complaints, More Explanations on Chris Marker: Never Explain, Never Complain

Chris Marker Never Explain Never Complain

Chris Marker, Never Explain, Never Complain
Un film documentaire de Jean-Marie Barbe et Arnaud Lambert

146 MIN | 16/9 | COULEUR | FRANÇAIS, ANGLAIS | SOUS_TITRES FRANÇAIS

The French film about Chris Marker, realized in 2016, has been released on DVD (docnet.fr), in docnet films’ “Collection Lumière de Notre Temps” series.

It will be shown, among other venues, at the Cinémathèque française during their comprehensive exhibtion–retrospective Chris Marker: Les 7 vies d’un cinéaste, opening in May. The auteurs will present the film there on May 21st, 2018 in the Salle Georges Franju. A previous post here discusses last year’s screening at DOXA.

Résumé

Écrivain, cinéaste, essayiste, grand voyageur, photographe, un peu pianiste, un peu peintre, ami des bêtes, intellectuel engagé et chantre de l’imaginaire, Chris Marker a, soixante ans durant, exploré la plupart des moyens d’expression.

Mêlant les témoignages de certains de ses plus proches compagnons à de nombreux extraits de ses films, Chris Marker, Never Explain, Never Complain retrace les grands temps de cette cinématographie unique, épousant à travers elle, les formes et les questionnements de l’engagement cinématographique et politique de la seconde moitié du vingtième siècle.

Marker on the monitors

Summary

Writer, cineaste, essayist, great traveler, photographer, a bit of a pianist, a bit of a painter, friend to animals, an engaged intellectual and bard of the imaginary, Chris Marker has, for sixty years, explored almost all means of artistic expression.

Mixing the testimonies of a number of his closest companions with numerous extracts from his films, Chris Marker, Never Explain, Never Complain retraces the high points of this unique cinematography, marrying through it the forms and the questioning of cinematic and political engagement in the second half of the twentieth century.

The Motto

According to a Quora answer, the motto in its reverse form, “Never complain; never explain” comes Benjamin Disraeli: “This pithy little maxim was first coined by the British politician and prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, and adopted as a motto by many other high-ranking Brits — from members of royalty, to navy admirals, to fellow prime ministers Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill.” One can only imagine the degree of irony impressed in Marker’s own use of this maxim. Consider the following.*

In the book Imagining Reality, Kevin Macdonald and Mark Cousins pose two questions to documentarists: 1. What in the most general terms do you try to achieve in your documentaries? 2. What is the future of the documentary?

Chris Marker’s answer – as often – questions the questions, evades while diving into the heart of the matter, mercilessly… including the détournement of the book title itself:

Writing is always a nightmare for me. Writing about my difficulty to write doubles the nightmare, especially when I’m supposed to express it in a polite way. So I warmly thank you for making matters easier for me by asking questions I simply can’t answer (frankly, I doubt that anyone could answer the first question sincerely). I practised cinema just as I practised other, less visible, things, and I never thought it necessary to brood over them. Never explain, never complain

Besides, I don’t feel I belong to the realm of documentaries.

Sorry to disappoint you… But I’m sure you’ll understand. My best wishes for your book: rarely has Reality needed so much to be imagined.

Biographical

Jean-Marie Barbe is the president of Tënk, the first online platform dedicated solely to auteur documentary. The goal is to provide access to the very best in nonfiction cinema to the widest possible audience. Tënk’s curatorial team of discerning documentary professionals selects films, drawn from festivals, and organizes them thematically.
(Source: doxafestival.ca)

Arnaud Lambert is the author of the book Also Known as Chris Marker (Le point du jour, 2013). He earned a Masters degree in Art History, writing on Chris Marker. Lambert is both cineaste and critic. Member of the collective simple appareil that unites writers, artists, videographers, he has published in the reviews Éclipse, Images de la Culture, and Vertigo.
(Source: back cover of Also Known As Chris Marker)

* For a dialectical wrangling with the antinomy of irony, see Adorno’s “Juvenal’s error”, aphorism 134 in Minima Moralia. Writing is a nightmare? Difficile est satyras non scribere.

Si j’avais quatre dromadaires Coming to DVD + Publications Galore

“The photo is the hunt, it’s the instinct of hunting without the desire to kill. It’s the hunt of angels. You trail, you aim, you fire and — clic! — instead of a dead man, you make him everlasting.”
Chris Marker, Commentaires 2, 87

Thanks to Christophe Chazalon (CH2) of chrismarker.ch for breaking the news on several upcoming exciting re-releases and re-publications in Chris Marker land, all dovetailing on the temporal horizon with the Cinémathèque française exhibition + retrospective, itself publishing a two-volume catalogue.

PUBLICATIONS

First off, Commentaires I and Commentaires II are to be combined and republished in an expanded new edition, due out April 18, 2018 by Editions Actes Sud.  Marker’s novel Le coeur net, long out of print, is set to be republished by Seuil (his old employer where he worked on the Petite Planète books) on April 26, 2018.  Update: News of re-issues of both Coréennes and Le Fond de l’air est rouge, announced in the original post, turn out to be premature, but we will of course stay tuned. Thanks for keeping us apprised, CH2.

SI J’AVAIS QUATRE DROMEDAIRES

Si j'avais quatre dromedaires DVD boitier

One of the films that always seemed to escape the great anthologies that we do have, in French and in English, was always Si j’avais quatre dromedaires (1966).

The film is summarized as “a succession of 800 still images taken in 26 countries between 1955 and 1965, from Tokyo to Havanna, in passing through Peking, Moscow, Stockholm, Rome and Paris… commented by Chris Marker and his friends in voice-off.” [« Une succession de 800 images fixes prises dans 26 pays entre 1955 et 1965, de Tokyo à La Havane, en passant par Pékin, Moscou, Stockholm, Rome et Paris… commentées par Chris Marker et ses amis en voix off. »]

For a non-native French speaker, the soundtrack is so hard to decipher as to present a kind of audio puzzle that must be assembled over time, over many times of rewatching. I did this first in the summer of 1991 at the Beaubourg on a VHS copy they had, and my notes from that frantic session are lost. Not a big loss. But I suspect that even for some native French speakers, it’s a bit difficult, and intentionally so, to navigate the density of what you are hearing (a conversation among friends, with overlaps and interruptions, as with many conversations) with the density and flow of what you are seeing, a series of photographs that the off-screen interlocutors comment upon. You have to keep up; like Sans Soleil, the film tests the metabolic threshold to the subliminal. Consciously or not, Marker assumed a particular type of viewer, one who would stay rather intensely focused. This unstated precondition of spectation is one of the reasons to take any chance to see his work in a real live film theatre.

The flow of the editing shows Marker as master editor, with visual and thematic patterns emerging and submerging, recalling Marker and Resnais’ Les Statues meurent ausssi. The black and white tone of the film, along with the use of ‘photograms’, recalls La Jetée. The photographs selected for the accordion insert are some of the best.

Despite its obscurity, the film is famous for two of its quotes, both reproduced on this page announcing the new DVD (lesmutins.org).

Avec ses quatre dromadaires
Don Pedro d’Alfaroubeira
Courut le monde et l’admira.
Il fit ce que je voudrais faire
Si j’avais quatre dromadaires.

Guillaume Apollinaire,
Le Bestiaire, ou Cortège d’Orphée, 1911

“La photo c’est la chasse.
C’est l’instinct de la chasse sans l’envie de tuer.
C’est la chasse des anges…
On traque, on vise, on tire et clac !
Au lieu d’un mort, on fait un éternel.”
Chris Marker

The DVD looks to be a collector’s dream, carefully assembled by someone with an eye for design, with a unique accordion insert and gorgeous, minimal black and white cover and back cover. The release date is set for April 2018.

Boite Si j'avais 4 dromedaires - Chris Marker - Les Mutins DVD

Cinemathèque française Announces Chris Marker Exhibition + Retrospective

Les Sept Vies d'un Cineaste Chris Marker Exhibition Cinematheque francaise

Exciting news from the Cinémathèque française announcing dates for the much-anticipated Chris Marker exhibition has been posted on www.cinematheque.fr.

Here’s the intro and several citations for now. English translations have been added at the end of the post.

For background on the acquisition of Marker’s estate, see State of the Estate and State of the Estate II: The Glorious Shambles, as well as Fonds Chris Marker – 550 Grands Cartons chez Cinémathèque française here at chrismarker.org.

CHRIS MARKER LES 7 VIES D’UN CINÉASTE
EXPOSITION – RETROSPECTIVE DU 3 MAI AU 29 JUILLET 2018

L’exposition Chris Marker est un voyage. Un voyage dans l’espace et le temps, un voyage qui accompagne, de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale et la Résistance jusqu’à sa mort en 2012, le parcours exceptionnel d’un cinéaste et d’un homme hors du commun. Ce voyage est à la fois la chronique d’une existence longue et très remplie, et une libre circulation dans les différentes couches du temps aux côtés d’un explorateur inventif de possibles déplacements entre présent, passé et avenir, déplacements dont La Jetée a offert le modèle le plus connu. Cette exposition est en même temps un voyage dans l’espace, à la surface de la planète, aux côtés d’un infatigable globe-trotter, curieux du monde et de ses habitants : la Californie, l’Islande, la Corée, la Guinée-Bissau, la Sibérie, la Chine, l’Amérique latine de Mexico à Valparaíso en passant par La Havane, jalonnent ces trajets où l’amour du Japon occupe une place singulière. Les parcours de Chris Marker, à l’occasion, l’auront même mené sur Mars ou sur la planète virtuelle de Second Life…

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La Cinémathèque française a recueilli les immenses archives de toute nature et sur tout support laissées par Marker à sa mort. C’est à partir de ce trésor aussi riche qu’hétérogène qu’a été conçue l’exposition, à la fois chronologique et thématique. La matière de ce legs est si riche et si complexe que l’inventaire de celui qui fut aussi un archiviste passionné n’est pas encore achevé au moment d’ouvrir l’exposition. On y découvre en particulier les œuvres originales qui lui avaient été offertes par de grands artistes, ses propres créations plastiques jusque-là inconnues, ainsi que ses deux grandes installations, Zapping Zone (Proposals for an Imaginary Television) et Owls at Noon Prelude: The Hollow Men, ainsi que le programme de discussion avec un ordinateur qu’il avait conçu, Dialector.

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L’exposition est accompagnée, dans les salles de la Cinémathèque, par l’intégrale des films, vidéos et programmes télévisés (les treize épisodes de L’Héritage de la chouette) réalisés par Chris Marker. Seront également projetés les films auxquels il a collaboré, et le documentaire récent que lui ont consacré Jean-Marie Barbe et Arnaud Lambert, Never Explain, Never Complain. Et encore un programme particulier de grands films classiques particulièrement aimés de Marker et avec lesquels ses propres réalisations dialoguent.

Text by: Christine Van Assche (commissaire générale), Raymond Bellour et Jean-Michel Frodon (commissaires associés)

Find out more at: www.cinematheque.fr

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For those who wish in advance to dig a bit deeper into a philosophical exploration of Chris Marker and the archive, I recommend reading “Marker’s Archive”, the second Essay of Gavin Keeney’s recent book Knowledge, Spirit, Law: Book 2: The Anti-Capitalist Sublime. The sections of this wide-ranging reflection – within an even wider-ranging, fascinating book – comprise: I. Cultural Patrimony; II. Futural Intensity; III. Belated Assimilations; IV. Editioned Works; V. Pre-1962 Marker; and VI. Postscript. It is available through Punctum Books (‘earth, milky way’) in a limited edition. See punctumbooks.com.

Keeney is no stranger to Marker. In 2012, he published Dossier Chris Marker: The Suffering Image. The publisher Cambridge Scholars offers this sample online: Download PDF: Dossier Chris Marker.

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CHRIS MARKER THE 7 LIVES OF A CINEASTE
EXPOSITION – RETROSPECTIVE FROM MAY 3 TO JULY 29, 2018

The exhibition Chris Marker is a journey. A journey in space and time, a journey that accompanies, from the Second World War and the Resistance until his death in 2012, the exceptional journey of a filmmaker and a man out of the ordinary. This trip is at the same time the chronicle of a long and very full existence, and a free movement in the different layers of time alongside an inventive explorer of possible displacements between present, past and future, displacements of which La Jetée offered the best known model. This exhibition is at the same time a journey into space, on the surface of the planet, alongside a tireless globe-trotter, curious about the world and its inhabitants: California, Iceland, Korea, Guinea Bissau, Siberia, China, Latin America from Mexico City to Valparaíso via Havana, mark out those journeys where the love of Japan occupies a singular place. The courses of Chris Marker, on occasion, will have even led him to Mars or to the virtual planet of Second Life …

[…]

The Cinémathèque française has collected the immense archives of all kinds and on any medium [format, device] left by Marker at his death. It is from this rich and heterogeneous treasure – both chronological and thematic – that the exhibition was conceived. The material of this legacy is so rich and so complex that the inventory of the one who was also a passionate archivist is not yet complete when opening the exhibition. In particular, we discover the original works that had been offered to him by great artists, his own previously unknown plastic [fine art] creations, as well as his two great installations, Zapping Zone (Proposals for an Imaginary Television) and Owls at Noon Prelude: The Hollow Men, as well as the discussion program with a computer he had designed, Dialector.

[…]

The exhibition is accompanied, in theaters of the Cinémathèque, by the complete movies, videos and television programs (the thirteen episodes of The Owl’s Legacy) directed by Chris Marker. Also to be screened are the films he collaborated on, and the recent documentary directed by Jean-Marie Barbe and Arnaud Lambert, Never Explain, Never Complain. And as well a particular program of great classic films particularly loved by Marker and with which his own realizations dialogue.

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Update I: Assembling Marker with Jean-Michel Frodon

I just noticed news of an event, “Assembling Marker”, which will put Marker curator Jean-Michel Frodon in conversation with Nora Alter at Slought | Assembling Marker in Philadelphia, on March 12, 2018. It has been organized with Film and Media Arts at Temple University and Cinema & Media Studies and French & Francophone Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Of course the mention of a “double volume publication” by the Cinémathèque definitely caught my attention. Here an excerpt from the announcement:

Upon Marker’s death, there were no direct heirs nor designees to manage his estate, preserve his legacy, and archive his materials. That task was taken up by the archives experts from Cinémathèque française, with the help and guidelines of a few devoted individuals including Jean-Michel Frodon and Raymond Bellour. The result of their tireless efforts and commitment is a double volume publication forthcoming this May, the most comprehensive exhibition ever dedicated to Marker’s multifacted work, and a vast retrospective including all his films and many of those he was inspired by or that were inspired by him, opening at the Cinémathèque Française on May 2. In conversation with Alter, Frodon will discuss the experience and process of archiving Marker, editing his writings and preparing an exhibition—all part of the process of making accessible the work of a deeply private person who vehemently disliked public life.
slought.org

Where do people get the idea that being a “deeply private person” translates automatically into “vehemently disliked public life”? Sure, if we define public life as non-stop interviews and being stalked by paparazzi, that might hold true, but Marker welcomed strangers into his atelier, offered them vodka, made friends across the world, and in many ways made public life – the commons and the global village – the vast palette from which he assembled his creations, even though he no doubt needed long stretches of private, focused time to bring them to life.

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Update II: CHRIS MARKER L’HOMME MONDE

The current presentation on the Actes Sud site gives the title of the catalog (and the exhibition) as Chris Marker: l’homme monde:

L’exposition “Chris Marker, l’homme monde”, organisée l’année des célébrations du cinquantième anniversaire de Mai 68, s’accompagne de l’édition d’un ouvrage de référence, pour lequel ont été conviés les plus grands spécialistes de l’œuvre de l’artiste. Les trente essais qui composent cet imposant volume dévoilent les différentes facettes de la personnalité de cet homme qui fut tour à tour résistant, écrivain, cinéaste, amateur d’art, voyageur, photographe, éditeur, monteur… Répartie en neuf chapitres, l’iconographie riche et dense fait la part belle aux archives des collections de la Cinémathèque française, dont certaines inédites. L’ouvrage se donne ainsi l’ambition de plonger dans l’intimité de Marker pour permettre d’en saisir toute la contemporanéité du projet intellectuel et artistique, la curiosité et l’acuité du regard sur la situation de notre monde actuel, la générosité politique et l’exigence éthique. En outre, l’œuvre de Chris Marker a eu un impact considérable et fut une source d’inspiration pour nombre d’intellectuels, de créateurs, de réalisateurs et de passionnés du cinéma.
Actes Sud

Chris Marker L'Homme Monde catalog Actes Sud

The exhibition “Chris Marker, the world man”, organized the year of the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of May 68, is accompanied by the edition of a reference work, for which were invited the greatest specialists on the work of the artist. The thirty essays that compose this imposing volume unveil the various facets of the personality of this man who was in turn ‘resistant’, writer, filmmaker, amateur artist, traveler, photographer, book editor, film editor… Distributed in nine chapters, the rich, dense iconography is the pride of the archives in the collections of the Cinémathèque française, some unpublished. The book thus aims to plunge into the intimacy of Marker, in order to fully grasp the contemporaneity of his intellectual and artistic project, the curiosity and acuteness of his view of the situation of our current world, his poetic generosity and ethical imperative. In addition, the work of Chris Marker has had a considerable impact and was a source of inspiration for many intellectuals, creators, directors and film enthusiasts.
Actes Sud

CinémAction n°165 – Chris Marker : pionnier et novateur

CinemAction 165 Chris MarkerThanks to Chris Darke for alerting us to this new publication with some familiar names contributing articles to CinémAction 165: Chris Marker: pionnier et novateure.

L’interactivité filmique, initiée de manière radicale dès 1950, permet d’appréhender une démarche polyphonique qui n’a cessé de montrer et commenter l’histoire du XXe siècle. Ciné-voyageur, Chris Marker reste, de fait, pionnier et novateur dans toute une série de domaines ici explorés. L’originalité de ce numéro s’est construite autour de ces pistes et de ces regards pluriels.

Sommaire

Préambule : Chris Marker, pionnier et novateur, Kristian Feigelson

I. Pionnier

  • Magicien du flou, Christophe Chazalon
  • Le fond de l’air est rouge : Le NU et les morts. Et l’espoir, Jean-Michel Frodon
  • Un producteur franc-tireur : l’expérience coopérative SLON (1968-1973), Catherine Roudé
  • Du temps des images à l’écriture mémorielle, André Habib

II. Filiations

  • Marker et le revue Esprit. A l’origine du film-essai, Sylvain Dreyer
  • Rive droite, rive gauche : face à la « Nouvelle Vague », Vincent Lowy
  • Du chat percheur aux chats marqueurs, Louise Traon
  • Les villes, itinéraires de chiffonnier : De Chats perchés à L’OuvroirShiho Azuma
  • La voix des autres, Johanne Villeneuve

III. Ciné-voyageur

  • Lettre de SibérieKristian Feigelson
  • Description d’un combatRégine-Mihal Friedman
  • Les filiations à l’Amérique latine, Maria Luisa Ortega
  • On vous parle de Tchécoslovaquie, David Cenek
  • Le tombeau d’Alexandre : la fin du cinéaste rouge, François Lecointe
  • Les images fantômes du Japon, Emi Koide

IV. Novateur

  • Sans soleil : une phénoménologie des apparences, Jarmo Valkola
  • L’héritage de la chouette : une matrice sérielle, Barbara Laborde
  • Story tellings : cinq installations, Etienne Sandrin
  • L’utopie électronique : une nouvelle mobilisation, Bamchade Pourvali

Post-scriptum

  • Anagramme, Catherine Belkhodja

Bibliographie sélectiveKristian Feigelson et Bamchade Pourvali
FilmographieChristophe Chazalon et Kristian Feigelson

For more information, go to cinemaction-collection.com.

On CinémAction

CinémAction : une collection thématique de parution trimestrielle

Défrichant de manière le plus souvent collective de nombreux thèmes, la collection CinémAction explore les liens du cinéma avec la société et les évènements historique. Elle fournit une véritable boite à outils pour l’étude du cinéma : histoire, théories, scénario, décors, genres, enseignement, liens avec les autres arts. Elle dresse le portrait de nombreux cinéastes et explore la production mondiale.