Matches for: “immemory” …

Immemory by Chris Marker

Immemory Cheval

Liner notes from original English edition of Immemory, 1997.

In our moments of megalomaniacal reverie, we tend to see our memory as a kind of history book: we have won and lost battles, discovered empires and abandoned them. At the very least we are the characters of an epic novel (“Quel roman que ma vie!” said Napoleon). A more modest and perhaps more fruitful approach might be to consider the fragments of memory in terms of geography.1 In every life we would find continents, islands, deserts, swamps, overpopulated territories and terrae incognitae. We could draw the map of such a memory and extract images from it with greater ease (and truthfulness) than from tales and legends. That the subject of this memory should be a photographer and a filmmaker does not mean that his memory is essentially more interesting than that of the next man (or the next woman), but only that he has left traces with which one can work, contours to draw up his maps.

Imagine hundreds of photographs which for the most part have never been shown (William Klein says that, at the speed of 1/50th of a second per shot, the complete work of the most famous photographer lasts less than three minutes). Imagine “cuts” that a film leaves behind like comets’ tails. From every country visited I’ve brought back postcards, newspaper clippings, catalogues, sometimes posters torn off the walls. My idea was to immerse myself in this maelstrom of images to establish its Geography.

My working hunch was that any memory, once it’s fairly long, is more structured than it seems. That after a certain quantity, photos apparently taken by chance, postcards chosen according to a passing mood, begin to trace an itinerary, to map the imaginary country that stretches out before us. By going through it systematically I was sure to discover that the apparent disorder of my imagery concealed a chart, as in the tales of pirates. And the object of this disc would be to present the “guided tour” of a memory, while at the same time offering the visitor a chance for haphazard navigation. So, Welcome to “Memory, Land of Contrasts” – or rather, as I’ve chosen to call it, Immemory.

“But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more insubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the endless edifice of recollection.”

Swann’s Way

To each his madeleine. For Proust it was Aunt Léonie’s, the one that the Védie pastry shop in Illiers still claims to make from the original recipe. (But what then of the other pastry shop, on the other side of the street, which also claims to be the true guardian of “Aunt Léonie’s madeleines”? Memory’s path already branches.) For me, it’s a Hitchcock character. The heroine of Vertigo. And I realize that it may be forcing the note to see a scriptwriter’s intention in this choice of name, at the outset of a story which is essentially that of a man in search of things past, but so what? Coincidences are the pen names of grace for those who wouldn’t recognize it otherwise.

At the time of Remembrance of Things Past, photography was still in its infancy, and people often asked, like in Kipling’s piece, “Is it Art”2 – art itself having for Proust and his generation a much higher function than the humble duty of sentinel: it was to be a link with the other world, that of the little patch of yellow wall. But today, could it paradoxically be the vulgarization, the democratization of the image that allows it to attain the less ambitious status of a memory-bearing sensation, a visible variety of smell and taste? We feel more emotion (in any case, a different emotion) before an amateur photograph linked to our own life history than before the work of a Great Photographer, because his domain partakes of art, and the intent of the souvenir-object remains at the lower level of personal history. Jean Cocteau paraphrased all that quite humorously when he evoked Cosima Wagner more moved in her old age by Offenbach’s Belle Héléne than by her husband’s Ring. “Siegfried, the Rheinegold, these are what protect a man, what keep him from dying. But Offenback was fashion, youth, the memory of Triebschen, the moments of joy, Nietzsche writing to Rée: we’ll go to Paris and watch them dance the cancan… Mme Wagner could have heard the Götterdämmerung without a quiver. She cried at the March of Kings.” (Carte Blanche). I claim for the image the humility and powers of a madeleine.3

About Immemory‘s structure, all I can do is show a few explorer’s tools, my compass, my telescopes, my jug of drinking water. As compasses go, I went looking quite far back in history to take my bearings. Curiously, there is nothing in the recent past that really offers us models of what computer navigation on the theme of memory could be. Everything is dominated by the arrogance of classical narrative and the positivism of biology. “The Art of Memory” on the other hand, is a very ancient discipline, one which – ironically – fell into oblivion as the gap between physiology and psychology widened. Certain ancient authors had a more functional vision of the meanders of the mind: Filipo Gesualdo, in his Plutosofia (1592), proposes an image of Memory in terms of arborescence which is pure computerese. But the best description of the contents of a CD-Rom is the writing of Robert Hooke (the man who intuitively grasped the laws of gravitation before Newton, 1635-1702):

“I will now construct a mechanical model and a sensible representation of Memory. I will suppose that there is a certain place or point in the Brain of Man where the Soul has its principle seat. As to the precise location of this point, I will say nothing presently and today will postulate only one thing, which is that such a place exists where all the impressions made by the senses are conveyed and lodged for contemplation, and more, that the impressions are but Movements of particles and of Bodies.”4

In other words, when I proposed to transfer the regions of Memory into geographical rather than historical zones, I unwittingly linked up to a conception familiar to certain seventeenth-century minds, and totally foreign to the twentieth-century.

From this conception derives the structure of the disc, divided into “zones.” The example cited above, that of the madeleine becomes Madeleine, will allow for a sketch of their topography. The Madeleine “point” (as Hooke would say) is found at the intersection of the Proust and Hitchcock zones. Each of them in its turn intersects with other zones which are so many islands or continents, of which my memory contains the descriptions, and my archives, the illustrations. Of course, this work in no way constitutes an autobiography, and I’ve permitted myself to drift in all directions. Nonetheless, if you’re going to work on memory, you might as well use the one you’ve always got on you.

But my fondest wish is that there might be enough familiar codes here (the travel picture, the family album, the totem animal) that the reader-visitor could imperceptibly come to replace my images with his, my memories with his, and that my Immemory should serve as a springboard for his own pilgrimage in Time Regained.5

1. Henri Langlois, the legendary founder of the French Cinematheque, used to recall that as a child he did not understand time. When he read that “Joan of Arc laid siege to Paris” he thought it was another Paris, and that there must therefore be Joan of Arc’s Paris, his father’s Paris, and so forth, on an unlimited globe.

2. “When the flash of a new-born sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold, / Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould. / And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, / Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves : It’s pretty, but is it Art?'” (“The Conundrum of the Workshops”)

3. This paragraph was already written when the dazzling book by Brassaï, Marcel Proust sous l’emprise de la photographie, was released by Gallimard. Here the answer is given by Proust himself: “Seeing these plates, one can respond that photography is indeed an art” (Essais et articles). And Brassaï writes: “When he is struck by a sound or a flavor having the mysterious power to revive a sensation or an emotion he is irresistibly drawn to liken this phenomenon to the appearance of the latent image in a bath of developing fluid.” But one really should read the entire book, where Remembrance of Things Past is compared to “a gigantic photograph.”

4. I owe this quote, among other things, to the marvelous little book by Jacques Roubaud, L’Invention du fils de Leoprepes.

5. The German linquist Harald Weinrich introduces a subtle idea, that of the “war between memory and reason" in which, he says, Enlightenment philosophy consecrated the triumph of the second. “Emile must know nothing by heart.”

Wexner Offers Immemory

Immemory CD-ROM by Chris MarkerWexner Center for the Arts has added the re-release of Immemory: A CD-Rom by Chris Marker, published by Exact Change, to their online store.

For more information, you can visit their Chris Marker Store.

In Immemory, Chris Marker has used the format of the CD-Rom to create a multi-layered, multimedia memoir. The reader investigates “zones” of travel, war, cinema, and poetry, navigating through photographs, film clips, music, and text, as if physically exploring Marker’s memory itself. The result is a veritable 21st-century Remembrance of Things Past, an exploration of the state of memory in our digital era. With it, Marker has both invented a literary form and perfected it.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: For Macintosh computers only, running OS X version 10.4.11 or later, including 10.5 “Leopard.” Price: $19.95 | Member price: $17.95

Immemory Re-released by Exact Change


Exact Change* has re-released Chris Marker’s CD-ROM Immemory for OS X. This is great news, as the earlier versions (both the French original and the port by Exact Change to English) were unplayable on “modern” Macs and thereby stuck in kind a technological cul-de-sac, languishing. (The background to this lies, at least in part, in the history of Marker’s beloved multimedia authoring tool Hyperstudio, but that’s another story). It sounds as well that we are to be treated to some “extras” on this edition (perhaps some of the images that appear in Pictures at an Exhibition?). Thanks to Michel Hardy-Vallée for bringing our attention to this exciting news for Marker fans.

ImmemoryImmemory: A CD-Rom
by Chris Marker
ISBN 1-878972-39-1
For Macintosh computers only, running OS X version 10.4.11 or later, including 10.5 Leopard

“I claim for the image the humility and powers of a madeleine.”

In Immemory, Chris Marker has used the format of the CD-Rom to create a multi-layered, multimedia memoir. The reader investigates “zones” of travel, war, cinema, and poetry, navigating through photographs, film clips, music, and text, as if physically exploring Marker’s memory itself. The result is a veritable 21st-century Remembrance of Things Past, an exploration of the state of memory in our digital era. With it, Marker has both invented a literary form and perfected it.

This 2008 revised edition features additional “X-Plugs,” and has been updated for OSX.

Exact Change

* “The press was founded in 1990 by Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, known outside publishing as musicians from the bands Damon & Naomi, and Galaxie 500. […] Exact Change authors include Guillaume Apollinaire, Louis Aragon, Antonin Artaud, John Cage, Leonora Carrington, Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, Morton Feldman, Alice James, Alfred Jarry, Franz Kafka, Lautréamont, Gérard de Nerval, Fernando Pessoa, Raymond Roussel, Philippe Soupault, Gertrude Stein, Stefan Themerson, Denton Welch, and Unica Zürn.”

Understanding Immemory with a little help from Raymond Bellour


Title: Immemory
Platform: CD-ROM for MacOS and Windows PC
Production: Coproduction Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne / Les films de l’Astrophore
Edition: Direction des Editions du Centre Pompidou
Date: © 1998
Recommended Price: 295 FF (44,97)
Publisher’s Notes (from website): “Chris Marker organise les fragments marquants de son oeuvre et de sa vie sous forme de “zones” interactives concernant le cinéma, la guerre, les voyages. Il ‘cartographie le pays imaginaire qui s’étend au-dedans de lui.'”

Additional notes: Immemory a été composé avec Hyperstudio […] Traitement d’image: Fractal Design Painter / Adobe Photoshop / Studio 32 / Morph / Kai’s Power Tools.

Selected notes from the CD-ROM booklet by Chris Marker:

“Dans nos moments de rêverie mégalomaniaque, nous avons tendance à voir notre mémoire comme une espèce de livre d’Histoire: nous avons gagné et perdu des batailles, trouvé et perdu des empires. A tout le moins nous sommes les personnages d’un roman classique (‘Quel roman que ma vie!”). Une approche plus modeste et peut-être plus fructueuse serati de considérer les fragments d’une mémoire en terms de géographie. Dans toute vie nous trouverions des continents, des îles, des déserts, des marais, des territoires surpeuplés et des terrae incognitae. De cette mémoire nous pourrions dessiner la carte, extraire des images avec plus de facilité (et de vérité) que des contes et légendes. Que le sujet de cette mémoire se trouve être un photographe et un cinéaste ne veut pas dire que sa mémoire est en soi plus intéressante que celle du monsieur qui passe (et encore moins de la dame), mais simplement qu’il a laissé, lui, des traces sur lesquelles on peut travailler, et des contours pour dresser ses cartes.”

[In our moments of megalomaniacal daydreaming, we tend to view our memory as a kind of History Book: we have won and lost battles, found and lost whole empires. At the very least we are characters from a classic novel (‘My life is such a novel!’). A more modest and perhaps more fruitful approach would be to consider the fragments of memory in terms of geography. In every life, we would find continents, islands, deserts, swamps, overpopulated territories and terrae incognitae. From this memory we can draw the map, extract images with more ease (and truth) than do stories and legends. That the subject of this memory is found to be a photographer or a filmmaker does not imply that his memory is more interesting than that of any passing gentleman (or moreover, than that of the lady), but simply that he has left traces with which one can work, and contours to help draw up the map.]

Immemory“Mon hypothèse de travail était que toute mémoire un peu longue est plus structurée qu’il ne semble. Que des photos prises apparemment par hasard, des cartes postales choisies selon l’humeur du moment, à partir d’une certaine quantité commencent à dessiner un itinéraire, à cartographier le pays imaginaire qui s’étend au dedans de nous.”

[My working thesis was that every somewhat extensive memory is more structured than it seems — that photos taken apparently at random, postcards chosen following momentary whims, begin given a certain accumulation to sketch an itinerary, to map the imaginary land that stretches out inside of us.]

“L’Art de la Mémoire’ est […] une très ancienne discipline, tombée (c’est un comble) dans l’oubli à mesure que le divorce entre physiologie et psychologie se consommait. Certains auteurs anciens avaient des méandres de l’esprit une vision plus fonctioinnelle, et c’est Filippo Gesualdo, dans sa Plutosofia (1592) qui propose une image de la mémoire en termes d’«arborescence» parfaitement logicielle, si j’ose cet adjectif.”

[‘The art of memory’ is a very ancient discipline, fallen (that takes the cake!) into oblivion as the divorce between physiology and psychology came to pass. Certain antique authors had a more functional vision of the twists and turns of the mind, and it is Filippo Gesualdo, in his Plutosofia (1592) who proposes an image of memory in terms of ‘branching’ that is perfectly “softwary”, [softwarian?] if I dare use this adjective.]


aller retourLaurent Roth and Raymond Bellour, Qu’est-ce qu’une madeleine? A propos du CD-ROM Immemory de Chris Marker (Paris: Yves Gevaert Editeur / Centre Georges Pompidou), 1997
Languages: French and English

Avant-propos de Christine van Assche / Forward by Christine van Assche
Laurent Roth, “D’un Yakoute affligé de strabisme” / “A Yakut Afflicted with Strabismus”
Raymond Bellour, “Le livre, aller; retour” / “The Book, Back and Forth”
Filmographie / Filmography


“Since the famous article by Andre Bazin on Lettre de Sibérie, Marker’s cinema has primarily been defined as ‘essay film.’* Adopting Vigo’s phrase about A propos de Nice, Bazin spoke of ‘an essay documented by film.’ He stressed the importance of the word essay, ‘understood in the same way as in literature: both an historical and political essay, though written by a poet.’ In this brief article he did not recall all that the essay form owes to the letter; nor did he recall that Marker had borrowed it from Michaux, whose departures from the deceptively clear definition of poetry had left his critics perplexed. Marker’s essays have since taken many forms: they bear witness as much to a strategy of mood as to variations modulated by his subjects (countries, portraits, problems…), his commissions, and his working rhythms (punctual engagements with ‘hot’ material, long-term projects). One could draw a map of all that, to the point where nothing would be visible for the density of the crisscrossing lines. Still one thing is sure: the subjectivity expressed here with such force and such ease does not only stem from the power to say ‘I,’ of which Marker makes immoderate use. It springs from a more general capacity: the viewer is always taken as a third party to what he sees, through what he hears. Marker’s formula is exchange, in the elective modes of conversation and correspondence. But since he does not believe in the communication under which our epoch agonizes, he knows that the only real exchange resides in the address, the way the person who speaks to us situates himself in what he says, with respect to what he shows. It is not only a question of cinema, or of television. It is not limited to the position of the essay which, in Marker’s employ, encourages this overflow of address. It is a question of writing and of enunciation, in the broad and the restricted senses. One feels this constantly as one moves through Immemory. The hero who says ‘I’ without liking to appear (except behind the shelter of his Rolleiflex) appeals first to the fetish animal, Guillaume-en-Egypte, the ‘silent-movie-cat’ who serves as his double and shifter, his delegated guide and witness. In this way the different persons of the verb can circulate even more fluidly through Immemory and through all his texts, as well as the commentaries and voices of his films: I, you, he, she, one, we, they, returning finally to ‘I.’ This fluidity implies knowing how to address oneself in order to move toward others, and knowing how to touch the other of each one who becomes involved. Beyond humanism, it is a gift of alterity, guaranteed perhaps by an ethis of reserve. This is what links Marker to Michaux. The letter, for Michaux, is only the crystalline form of a larger manner of always addressing the reader, of calling upon hiim with all the means of the language.” [109-111]

“The impression that Marker is speaking to us also derives from the extraordinary mass of people to which, one by one, he has given the chance to speak, the right to the image. He has done so by largely dispappearing as an interviewer (even using footage filmed by others), except in those cases where the dialogue meant too much to him, as with Kumiko and her mystery. No longer in Immemory do we hear all the witnesses of Joli Mai, A Grin Without a Cat, L’Héritage de la chouette, The Last Bolchevik, and Level Five. We don’t hear anyone. But we see an immensity of beings who gaze back at us, whose mute photographic presence becomes a form of address. They speak to us through their image, through what the captions and texts say or let us guess. This force of the gaze, captured in film and photography by the man with the camera and offered to the viewer, was raised by Marker to the status of a kind of ethical and aesthetic law in Sans soleil, through the powerful image of the market woman of Praia. He returns to it in the Museum zone of Immemory, where he lends a voice to the owl Molly in the London Zoo, who stares us straight in the eye the way only an animal or Mabuse can: ‘To hold up under my gaze has never been an easy test. I have made it my criterion in painting…. With his Venus of Urbino, Titian offered me that gift.’ The sublime lying woman who gazes at us with her oblique eyes fulfills the inner design of every image, as Marker experiences them and persuades us to experience them: this inner design is an address. It is the point to which he leads us, just as a letter arrives at its destination. For an address is as much a destination as a mode of discourse, it is a physical or moral quality as much as an informational sign (for instance, the digital or literal expression representing a site of memory in a computer).” [112-113]

“The dialogue to which Marker invites us recalls, in many respects, that of Video Letter, of the rare and beautiful video letters that the poet Tanikawa and the filmmaker-poet Terayama sent to each other. But as in Immemory, the dialogue between sender and addressee remains virtual; and one still has very little understanding of what a CD-ROM may be, somewhere between the withdrawing film and the book of images. One thinks of the book conceived by Tanikawa, on the occasion of a retreat from writing. A screen-book in landscape format, nothing but signs, pages of images and words, alternating, mixing, edited together with an astonishing freedom: a staggering encyclopedia of everyday life and of life in general. A spectography of Time. The author entitled it Solo and the book was published by Daguerreo Press. These are his ‘Bedside Notes,’ like the book by Sei Shônigon which haunts Sans soleil and to which Marker returns in Immemory – since it is still a matter of making lists and of choosing “the list of ‘things that make the heart beat.'” [113-114]

“How does Marker come to Immemory? And what is Immemory? The three French adjectives condensed into this English word of Marker’s fabrication suggest something so familiar and ancient that its memory would be lost. Doesn’t it designate the impossible character of a personal memory which would be Memory itself? A Memory in which, as if in God or the Machine, the world’s entire memory would be complete? This would be the memory of the future, of the year 4001, in the paradox Marker tantalized us with by evoking the viewpoint of the “imaginary film” that he made and yet did not make with Sans soleil. Yet he already made this film once, from the viewpoint of fiction, projecting toward the future that science-fiction hero whose image of childhood coincides with the vision of his own death: La Jetée once again, from which everything begins, to which everything returns. But how to touch oneself more directly, so as to coincide, at last if not with the absolute image of one’s personal memory, at least with a form that allows one to better understand it by keeping it alive up to the last instant?” [114-115]

“The all-terrain “I” at which Marker has excelled was long that of the chronicle and the voyage, of sentiment and conviction, of a sharing of ideas and sensations. It was implicated in an active political and cultural memory, with which it maintained a relation of playfulness and complicity: the world’s memory, of which it became the voice and testimony. But Marker had not yet implicated himself in his own memory, to the point where the essay and the fictionalization of life come to fuse within the same material, through the very means of their formalization: writing, photography, cinema, video. That would come twenty years after La Jetée, with Sans soleil: the play of pseudonyms, letters, and imbricated voices (borrowed from Michaux once again, this time from Voyage en Grande Garabagne), the slippages of identity, the anamnesis experienced in Vertigo, and through it, in La Jetée, “its remake in Paris,” which already bore in memory the “impossible memory” once touched upon by Hitchcock. And to convey all that, the passages between images, all kinds of images, elaborated over such a long time, reaching a point of incandescence in Sans soleil.” [115]

“From this point forth two movements are intertwined, punctuated by the incursions-interventions without which Marker would not be the indispensable witness he has always remained. The first of these movements is local and temporary; the second appears ineluctable. A long cultural anamnesis brought Marker back to the origins of Western culture, in Greece, with L’Héritage de la chouette (thirteen times 26′). A way of regaining his breath, his distance, particularly in relation to political presentism. Marker set up as many imaginary owls as there are interlocutors (forty-four to be exact) for this inquiry that serves to justify the phrase ascribed to Michaux: “The Sorbonne should be razed, and Chris Marker put up in its place.”** In a minor mode, as though withdrawing behind his material, Marker conceives a renovated version of the West’s temptations; with this return to the source he probes the difficult future of the democratic subject, the links between “The Space Within,” “The Empire of the Signs,” and “The Way of the World.” A few years earlier, Michel Foucault had also taken the route to Greece, like so many others before, to shed the self, and to find himself.” [115-116]

“After this, Marker can mostly be seen trying out other approaches to cinema. Already in 1978, for the exhibition Paris-Berlin at the Pompidou Center, he designed a video wall evoking the imbrication of the First World War and the Soviet Revolution through a montage of films: Quand le siécle a pris forme. But in the late eighties, with Zapping Zone for the exhibition Passages de l’image (also at the Pompidou Center), Marker took the step which truly led him outside the screen and projection, to the installation and monitors: then for the first time he found the occasion to deliver the image that he had been seeking to conceive for so many years in front of his computer. In its voluntary disorder, its fractured zones, its ways of relating the different registers of historical and personal experience, and its sketch of interactivity, Zapping Zone is something like a first outline of Immemory. It is a space of subjectivity constituted as a network, opposing its logic to that of the institution which inspires it and which it ransacks: “Proposals for an imaginary television.” On the other side of the divide, The Last Bolchevik brought the film letters to Alexander Medvedkin together for real television, in a sort of adieu to the great utopian forms, perhaps forever linked, of cinema and politics. Silent Movie seized the occasion offered by the Centennial of Cinema to carry out a return to the films which watched over our childhood, through an homage to silent film, once again in the form of an installation. Finally, the slow transformation of a film that had been so long in the making, announced since Sans soleil, the film about Okinawa, the last monstrous blank in the memory of the Second World War. For the first time and with stunning success, Marker included an actress, Catherine Belkhodja, already present in Silent Movie – the real body of a real phantom-woman, drawn no less directly from “The Space of Shadows” than from the memory of film noir. He films her before his own computer, in his own room of working life; through her he concentrates on a new dialogue with the machine-memory henceforth destined to include all words and images, and to renew our view of creativity and its exchanges. Thus Level Five is the film which leads toward Immemory, but which Immemory already transforms.” [116-118]

“It is difficult, then, to say when Marker began devoting himself to Immemory. He has clearly working on it since he defined a production plan with the Musée national d’art moderne in 1993, but also since he began attempting the invention of a kind of personal language on his computer, and since he began confiding ever more of his memory to the machine. Perhaps he started Immemory at the moment when he chose to write and to film; at the time when memory, after the war and the camps, became his problem, almost his sole subject. He entered Immemory as soon as he began to remember, to remember that he remembered, and to accumulate – in the increasingly disproportionate treasure of his archives where he keeps ‘everything’ – the traces of his life refracted in so many others’ lives: private lives, whose least vestige then ‘immediately sends you signs,’ as he says of the Land of Israel at the beginning of Description d’un combat. One meets them as soon as one begins shuffling around almost at random, through the treasure of Immemory …” [118-119]

FOOTNOTES (selected):

* “Chris Marker, Lettre de Siberie,” in Le Cinema francais de la Liberation a la Nouvelle Vague (Paris: Cahiers du cinema, 1985), pp. 179-181.

** Anatole Dauman records this phrase in his book Souvenir-écran (Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1989), p. 149.

Immemory Review Quotes


“Chris Marker has a brilliant mind and heart and appetite for life, and it’s a privilege to travel with him to whatever he chooses to remember and to evoke. He is one of cinema’s all time greats – the most important reflective or non-narrative filmmaker after Dziga Vertov.”
Susan Sontag

“Immemory is a contribution to the ars memoriae that, once experienced, will prove difficult to forget. Yet because of its multiple paths, its forking, hypertextual options, it cannot of course be experienced once, or in one way. It might be construed as a series of homages and constructed memory sites. At a particular level, or portal, it renders a homage to cinema that wonders simultaneously whether it also prefigures the death of cinema. It traces as well a variable journey through the images, the remnants and the revenants, the stillness and the dust. Immemory, finally, offers a tour of the musée imaginaire we inhabit over time, along with an evocative summation of the profoundly human concerns of Marker’s art. Might it not also be seen as a gently ironic reprise and reimag(in)ing of La Jetée? “
Michael Palmer

“Admirers of the great photographer-filmmaker Chris Marker will find this haunting, alluring, sardonic and politically charged cybermuseum of geographical memory invaluable for exploring the threads, relations, transitions, juxtapositions of his life (as he cares to reveal it) and work.”
Susan Howe

Quotes culled from Exact Change English edition

CHRIS MARKER – The Cinémathèque Catalog

Chris Marker - Cinematheque catalogue

Publisher: Cinémathèque française, 2018
ISBN: 978-2-330-01569-5

Direction d’ouvrage: Raymond Bellour, Jean-Michel Frodon et Christine Van Assche
En collaboration avec Florence Tissot

Editeur: David Lestringant

Table of Contents


Florence Tissot


Raymond Bellour, Jean-Michel Frodon et Christine Van Assche

I – Ouverture

Florence Delay — L’invention de Marker

II — Guerre, après-guerre

Jean Michel Frodon — 1939-1946, fragments biographiques et littéraires

Thomas Tode — Un après-guerre promis è l’apocalypse à l’utopie

François Crémieux — Chris Marker, nouvelle plume de la revue Esprit

Raymond Bellour — Le Coeur net

III – Les Statues meurent aussi

Olivier Hadouchi — Les Statues meurent aussi: de l’essai sur l’art africain au réquisitoire anticolonialiste

Christa Blümlinger — Marker/Malraux: ambiguités partagées

Raymond Bellour — L’Archiviste

Monika Dac — À l’affût d’une « clandestinité du bonheur »: Les animaux chez Chris Marker

Christine Van Assche — De l’assemblage surréaliste au dispositif muséal

IV – Grande et «Petite planète»

Bamchade Pourvali — Chris Marker, éditeur-monteur

Filipa Ramos — Les usages de la photographie: il est six heures sur toute la Terre
Joerg Bader — Armé d’un appareil

Arnaud Lambert — L’Usage du monde: voyage et politique

V – La Jetée

Raymond Bellour — Folie de La Jetée

Sam Di Iorio — Troubles saisonniers: Le Joli Mai et Chronique d’un été

Bernard Benoliel — Le fils d’Orphée (Marker cinéphile)

VI – Intermède – Trois pays

Bernard Eisenschitz — Octobre et le regard russe

Nora Alter — Marker America: « vous êtes l’innocence »: « vous êtes la jeunesse »

Chris Fujiwara — Le temps à l’intérieur le temps: Marker et le Japon

VII – Mai 68 – avant, après

Catherine Roudé — Construction collective de l’autonomie

Jean-Michel Frodon — Chris Marker et Jean-Luc Godard, chemins faisant

Jean-Michel Frodon — Le Fond de l’air est rouge, aux tournants du siècle

VIII – Tous les espaces-temps

Paul Sztulman — L’explorateur des techniques

Jacques Rancière — Les métamorphoses de la chouette

Christine Van Assche — Zapping Zone (Proposals for an Imaginary Television), « le métissage des genres »

Thomas Tode — A Crac In Time: le CD-ROM Immemory

Chris Darke — Quelles images reviennent: Owls at Noon Prelude: The Hollow Men

Lambert Doussen — La musique, le bruit des images au travail

IX –

Christophe Chazalon — L’art du bricolage numérique

Judith Revault d’Allonnes, Étienne Sandrin – Nom d’un chat !

Dork Zabunyan — Second Life, et après ?


I would like to thank Christophe Chazalon for arranging to have a copy of the catalog sent to me. My reflections on the catalog, including its remarkable layout and visual content, are to follow. Heartfelt congratulations to all who contributed to this unique publication, in all capacities.
– Daniel

Photo © Cinématheque française, 2018