Matches for: “sans soleil” …

Stranger Than Fiction Screens Sans Soleil

As a friend of a friend used to say of the voices in his head: “THIS JUST IN!”

Stranger Than Fiction (STF)Stranger than Fiction, an exclusive documentary film series followed by live discussions with filmmakers, has just announced its 2014 Spring / Summer lineup. The series begins tonight (May 6) at 8pm, with a screening of Chris Marker’s 1983 classic SANS SOLEIL, followed by a discussion with filmmaker Jem Cohen (MUSEUM HOURS), who cites Marker as a key influence in his own work. Stranger than Fiction takes places every Tuesday night at the IFC Center in Manhattan.

I’m reaching out as you are the best person and place to share Marker screenings. I would appreciate you sharing our screening with your followers who may be in NYC.

May 6: SANS SOLEIL (1983) by Chris Marker
Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum describes Marker’s 1983 masterpiece as “a film about subjectivity, death, photography, social custom, and consciousness itself.”
Tickets here:
Jasmin Chang

Letter to Theresa by Chris Marker – Behind the Veils of Sans Soleil

August 19 – Year: Unknown
Original: Fax

Dear Theresa (and all the gang),

Don’t apologize: perhaps one thousand people wished to ask me these questions, but I never gave them a chance to ask. In fact, the only opportunity where I was in a position to talk about Sans Soleil (I note that, in spite of me putting in the film itself the three titles of the Mussorgsky songs cycle, in Russian Без Солнца, in English SUNLESS and in French, people in US always preferred to use the latest [Sans Soleil] – so in turn one question from me: how come? does it sound that exotic? I was at the San Francisco Festival, after the screening, but I managed to brush aside too direct questions. Nothing nasty, just the deliberate intention to leave the film in a mist, in order that viewers let “their imaginary forces work” as the Chorus says in Henry V. Now perhaps it’s about time to bring some clues, and anyway all this will remain between us, won’t it?

The. only question I confess being unable to cope with is your last: “Why?” If I knew (if we knew) why things are done, this world would look quite different. I’ll just try to deal with the “How?” And for that, the best is perhaps to give you an account of events, starting with the film’s release. First, the text I distributed to the press and professionals :



An unknown woman reads and comments upon the letters she receives from a friend – a free-lance cameraman who travels around the world and is particularly attached to those “two extreme poles of survival”, Japan and Africa (represented here by two of its poorest and most forgotten countries, even though they played a historical role : Guinea Bissau and the Cape-Verde Islands). The cameraman wonders (as cameramen do, at least those you see in movies) about the meaning of this representation of the world of which he is the instrument, and about the role of the memory he helps create; A Japanese pal of his, who clearly has some bats in the belfry (japanese bats, in the form of ‘electrons) gives his answer by attacking the images of memory, by breaking them up on the synthesizer. A filmmaker grabs hold of this situation and makes a film of it, but rather than present the characters and show their relationships, real or supposed, he prefers to put forward the elements of the dossier in the fashion of a musical composition, with recurrent themes, counterpoints and mirror-like fugues: the letters, the comments, the images gathered, the images created, together with some images borrowed, In this way, out of these juxtaposed memories is born a fictional memory, and in the same way as Lucy puts up a sign to indicate that “the Doctor is in”, we’d like to preface this film with a placard: “Fiction is out” – somewhere.

Then followed detailed biographies of the protagonists -Sandor Krasna, cameraman, born in Kolozsvar, Hungary, in 1932, doing his first short film (Erdélyi Táncok) at the Budapest Film School, fleeing Hungary in 1956 for Vienna first, then Paris and USA, and finally settling in Japan. Michel Krasna, his younger brother (Budapest, 1946), studying music at the Kodaly schools, joining Sandor in California but finally choosing Paris to compose film music – Hayao Yamaneko, the video-artist (born Nagoya, 1948), art activist during the Sixties, learning film and electronics at the Nihon Taigaku in Tokyo, artist in residence in Berkeley after his short Boku no shi wo kimeta noha dareka? -and Chris Marker, amateur filmmaker. “It was in Berkeley – at PFA, to be precise – that Krasna, Yamaneko and Marker met” (said the blurb) “and from then on the Sans Soleil project originated.”

So the scene was set to create. confusion, and reactions were interestingly chaotic. I knew some people wouldn’t pay attention : they see a movie, they don’t care about who did what. Others, more familiar with my works, would identify my style in the letters and assume I had done the principal photography (you girls shouldn’t ask if I shot “all of the footage” : the final credits are quite clear for attributing at least what I didn’t shoot…). But I was aiming at the center of the target : people unfamiliar enough not to take for granted that I was the unique author, and yet clever and curious enough to raise questions about letters and shooting. You proved you belong to that category. So I guess it’s only fair to give you a honest answer : yes, all four “characters”, even the fourth, amount to be just one, namely your humble servant. But you shouldn’t think all that was just a game, or a series of private jokes. I had good reasons – or so I thought – to devise that crooked set-up. Here they are :

For Michel Krasna “the musician”, a simple case of good manners. I hate seeing one name more than once on the credits (you know “a picture by Jonathan, after an idea by Jonathan Rumblefish, scenario and dialog by Jonathan Rumblefish, edited by Jonathan Rumblefish, etc”, I see it as extremely pedestrian. So even if I frequently do my own music, I would have felt preposterous to sign it along my director’s credits. So I invented Michel, and I established a parental link with Sandor in order to give more flesh to the “parallel” story.

Hayao Yamaneko was more meaningful. I was very conscious of the limitations that plagued the first image synthesizers, and inserting these images in the editing, like that, could create some misunderstanding, as if I boasted “this is modernity” when those were the first stumbling steps on the long road that would lead to the computerized and virtual world. I just wanted to stress the point that such images were possible, and would change our perception of the visual – in which I wasn’t totally wrong. So I thought of a fictional character, Hayao Yamaneko, technaholic and treated with some irony, to deliver the message. without solemnity. Naturally again those who knew something about Japan and myself, as “yamaneko” means “wildcat”, could have suspected something, er… fishy, but most people didn’t. I even had some small gratifications about both my characters, when folks congratulated me for using Michel Krasna’s music – someone they had spotted since long – and some others remembering clearly having seen Hayao’s works in Japan. Such anecdotes make my week.

As for Sandor Krasna, I suppose you caught the idea, which was to use some degree of fiction to add a layer of poetry to the “factuality” of the so-called documentary. From the start I had always refused the omniscient, anonymous “voice” of the classical travelogue, and I had bluntly used the first-person. For that I was sometimes reproached, accused of pretension. I sincerely think that’s wrong. If you allow me to quote myself, this is how I put it (in Level Five’s pressbook) in an interview with Dolores Walfisch for the Berkeley Lantern (the what ? Come on, now I guess you’re familiar with my fantasies) “I use what I have got. Contrarily to what people say, the use of the first person in films tends to be a sign of humility: all I have to offer is myself”. Also I loved the form of the “letter”, for the freedom and flexibility it allows. Letter from Siberia was a real letter, addressed to a real person. But I didn’t wish to lock myself in such a system, and I came to consider that a fictional character could bring a more interesting dimension. Then the idea of having another voice, that of the addressee, establishing a new distance. The audience would be free to imagine whatever they wanted between those two, in a more creative way than if I had told their story myself. And funnily the real starter was grammatical, when I realized that I would rather use the past tense instead of the present. “He writes me… He writes me…” didn’t give me the rhythm I longed for. When I phrased for the first time “He wrote me…” the last obstacle fell, and the text came fluently, leaving me the luxury to turn back to the present tense at the very last paragraph of the film, thus establishing a new frontier in time, and the possibility for the viewer (or rather then for the listener) to identify differently with the Voice, itself from then on provided with a future : “Will there be a last letter?” (With Level Five, I went one. step further, by establishing the physical presence of one of the correspondents, the woman, but this time she’s the one who “writes” – and myself as the exterior witness. I’m not sure that I was fully understood.)

I don’t know if this answers really your questions, but at least you have an idea of the process. On a more matter-of-fact level, I could tell you that the film intended to be, and is nothing more than a home movie. I really think that my main talent has been to find people to pay for my home movies. Were I born rich, I guess I would have made more or less the same films, at least the traveling kind, but nobody would have heard of them except my friends and visitors. Camera was a little 16mm Beaulieu with 100 feet reels, silent (which means noisy) – the sound was made separately on one of the first small cassette recorders (not yet the Walkman), there isn’t one synch take in Sans Soleil. I was naturally alone from beginning to end, but with some exceptions that’s my usual way to work. I couldn’t find the words to “explain” to an editor, for instance, operations that come instinctively to my mind when I’m at the editing table. The 16mm editing was transferred on 35mil for theater release. The shooting extended from 1978 to 1981, following haphazardly my alternate trips to Japan and Bissau (where I helped to build a cinema/video training center whose results were utterly destroyed this year by the civil war there, but that’s another story…) and I couldn’t tell at what moment these bits and pieces started to shape up into a real movie, that also belongs to the mysteries of existence.

Oh, and did the film change me? Well, perhaps you remember the moment when I mention the Year of the Dog. I was just sixty then, which means that the different combinations between the twelve animals of the year and the four elements have been exhausted, and you’re in for a brand new life. I didn’t realize that when I began, but at that moment I understood that the whole film was a kind of exorcism for sixty years on this dubious planet, and a way to take leave of them. You could call that a change.

Chris Marker c/o KMS 5 rue Courat 75020 PARlS Fax (331) 4009 9525 [email address redacted – ed]

Thanks to Emiko Omori for sending this wonderful document. Though it pulls back the curtain on some of the mysteries of Sans Soleil, I felt it ultimately too compelling and could not refrain from reproducing it here, for which I take the blame. – blind librarian

Purchase Sans Soleil & La Jetée DVD in the Criterion Collection via Amazon

Criterion Releases La Jetée & Sans Soleil on Blu-Ray

Criterion Collection La Jetee + Sans SoleilAs you probably know by now, swimming as we are in era of no news is new news, Chris Marker’s incomparable masterworks La Jetée and Sans Soleil have been released again, this time on Blu-Ray by Criterion. Originally paired on DVD in a French edition by Arte Video in 2003, the films came to Criterion DVD in 2007.

I believe some of the extras on the Blu-Ray edition, released last week on February 7, 2012, are new, others appearing already on the earlier release (and, indeed, some already on the Arte DVD). Junkopia‘s inclusion is, I believe, new. I’m going to have to spend some money to find out for sure. A partial list of extras is presented by Criterion for the GUILLAUME-APPROVED EDITION:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfers, approved by director Chris Marker, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
  • Two interviews with filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin
  • Chris on Chris, a video piece on Marker by filmmaker and critic Chris Darke
  • Two excerpts from the French television series Court-circuit (le magazine): a look at David Bowie’s music video for the song “Jump They Say,” inspired by La Jetée, and an analysis of Hitchcock’s Vertigo and its influence on Marker
  • Junkopia, a six-minute film by Marker, Frank Simone, and John Chapman about the Emeryville Mudflats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by Marker scholar Catherine Lupton, an interview with Marker, notes on the films and filmmaking by Marker, and more

For a (technical) review of the Blu-Ray with some nice screen captures, see: This reviewer, Chris Galloway, is most impressed by the high-definition transfer of La Jetée: “contrast is perfect with rich blacks and distinct gray levels…” He is, however, left wanting to know more about Marker himself. Clearly, that’s going to take more work than viewing the extras. As Montaigne said, “All the world knows me in my book, and my book in me.”  The work is the life-mirror. Convex or concave, this mirror is the gateway to the man, biographies be damned.

Speaking of biography, Marker fans will perhaps know of the far-ranging new website on Marker located at (sub-titled “On a Quest from Switzerland”). It’s quite an experience—full of arcane research, humour and crazy little graphics, hard on the eye and surely subject for a different post—but en bref, directly on the home page we’re presented with a wild ride of phantasmagorical biography, that goes from Mongolia to Chinese pirates to the Himalaya, then Argentina (“pour ses études, en échange Nostradamus des écoles primaires”), before arriving in Paris. If you read French, definitely take this new site for a weekend Harley (or Ducati) ride through the Alps. Don’t miss the great page on censorship and the fascinating one on music in Marker’s films.

But back to the Blu-Ray. You can get a look at the packaging on a different page of the Criterion Forum. Guillaume holds a sign above the Blu-Ray mark on the sticker, partially obscuring a revered Japanese cat (the nerve).

The Criterion Collection is known to cinéphiles throughout the world. I was curious how they summarized their work, and found this passage on their site,

Each film is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, as its maker intended it to be seen. Every time we start work on a film, we track down the best available film elements in the world, use state-of-the-art telecine equipment and a select few colorists capable of meeting our rigorous standards, then take time during the film-to-video digital transfer to create the most pristine possible image and sound. Whenever possible, we work with directors and cinematographers to ensure that the look of our releases does justice to their intentions. Our supplements enable viewers to appreciate Criterion films in context, through audio commentaries by filmmakers and scholars, restored director’s cuts, deleted scenes, documentaries, shooting scripts, early shorts, and storyboards.

So, what exactly is Blu-Ray? Guillaume may know more than we do, but maybe it’s worth defining a term once in a while. So off to Wikipedia:

Blu-ray Disc (official abbreviation BD) is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs (50 GB) being the norm for feature-length video discs. Triple layer discs (100 GB) and quadruple layers (128 GB) are available for BD-XL re-writer drives.

The name Blu-ray Disc refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs.

So now you know nothing new about the films themselves, but suffice to say they will look as good as it gets outside of real screenings (real reels, real projectors, real audience, fake popcorn). Enjoy, and let us know what you think. O, and one more thing: have you noticed how Chat écoutant la musique has begun to go viral? 44,272 views (and counting) on YouTube in this upload. If you search twitter for Chris Marker, you’ll see what I mean. Even Criterion tweeted about it recently. Maybe this short, exquisite rêverie is on its way to becoming the 3rd most famous film by the most famous of unknown filmmakers.

Sans Soleil Geo-temporal Map

Sans Soleil Geo-temporal Map

This enigmatic diagram was found at the Pacific Film Archive in 1990. It seems to provide a kind of map for the locations and temporal flow of Sans Soleil. We welcome your interpretations. Click the image for a larger view.

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


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


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


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 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


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


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

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 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.


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 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 (

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