Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory



Il faudrait raser la Sorbonne, et mettre Marker à la place.

Henri Michaux*

All the world knows me in my book, and my book in me.

Michel de Montaigne

Je pense à un monde ou chaque mémoire pourrait créer sa propre légende.

Chris. Marker
souvenir avenir

About the Site is a randomly-compiled, taxonomically naive and hopefully useful archive of ruminations, bibliographic & filmographic notations, untimely meditations, mnemonic minutiae and other glosses on the cinematic, written, photographic and multimedia work of world-citizen & time-traveler Chris Marker – the “mercurial international man of semiotic mystery.”* (Or, as the endnotes to Abschied vom Kino puts it, Chris Marker is: “Author, activist, filmmaker, photographer, Internaut, critic, media artist, poet, journalist.” We might add: friend to animals). In the end, the working moniker he settled on was simply “bricoleur.”


For me, Marker’s biography, taking the cue from Montaigne, is in his work. It is also, throughout his career, willfully obscured by his playful misdirections, his use of multiple pseudonyms, his anonymous work (esp. film commentaries and editing for other films), and his well-known avoidance of interviews (and, in general, aversion for being in front rather than behind the camera). Rather than a Man Without Qualities, he is a Man Without Biography. Still, there have been attempts, vigorously renewed since his passing.


toujours les chats
Chris’ maneki-neko, the beckoning cat that brings good luck…

We welcome contributions in short article format from the global village that Marker helped to map. We also welcome Chris Marker news, links, memorabilia, aphorisms, quotations, images, and stray insights. Contributions from animals are welcome too, of course, including but not limited to cats, owls, giraffes, emus, and elephants (слоны).


The predecessor of this site was an old and crumbling edifice from the ’90s: silverthreaded presents chris marker, housed at a so-called tilde account in the dial-up days, in and amongst the rubble of a strange research project dubbed Cinema Paranoia. Upon this shaky base we built, quoting & glossing, writing when inspired, ever fascinated by and admiring always the oeuvre of Chris Marker, le plus célèbre des cinéastes inconnus. 


Though things here have been quiet of late, plans for expansion are in the works. I aim to expand the site in several dimensions: (i) adding image galleries; (ii) working toward a more systematic presentation of Marker’s creations in the form of an app; (iii) adding more primary writings by Marker in both French and English; and (iv) reaching out to Chris Marker aficionados, scholars and otaku for more guest articles. We’re off to a good start on this last item with the publication of chapter 1 of Chris Darke’s new book on La Jetée. We also are in the process of upgrading themes to enable truly responsive design, after which we can ditch the buggy plugin used for mobile currently, as well as update the CSS to enable more complex layouts, easier access to subscription and donation, less arbitrary navigation.

A Note on Links

I am amazed, as I review the broken links on this site to external sites, at the ephemeral nature of the URL. So many webmasters leave old links in the dust when in many cases they could provide a 301 redirect so that users are not stuck with the dreaded 404 ‘page not found’ dead end. Currently, I have broken links appearing with a strike-through and am attempting to find updated replacements. Alas, it is a fool’s errand in some cases… If you have link updates, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m also in the process of fixing the 404s, artifacts of a previous permalink structure. On the bright side, there is now a better search plugin now being used as of June 2018; give it a spin. I hope you enjoy its predictive search and nicely styled results pages, which include thumbnail images. Kudos to searchIQ for their great work. With such depth of content, an upgrade in this area of UX was long overdue.

The Estate Awaits!

I will document as best I can the current state of his estate, hoping to glean insights into the materials currently being cataloged by the Cinémathèque française, and looking at others’ takes on the exhibition (I could not attend, une vrai dommage). I am working to gather resources on distribution rights for all extant films, in both French and English, as I get periodic requests for such, or rights for images, etc. Please know that I own only books & CDs as personal possessions, possess no rights other than over my own IP, and that this site is not affiliated with any distribution company nor Marker’s estate.


A more detailed exegesis of new books & articles on Marker is also a primary goal before I get buried beyond recovery… That’s a lot to do, so if you are moved to help support the site, stay tuned for another upgrade on that front – improved donation functionality.

Donations, as a solo, not for profit undertaking, has monthly hosting costs, including increased security, associated with its very existence. If you wish to donate, we do have a PayPal donation capability set up – look to the footer of any page for the PayPal logo and click to continue. In future, we aim to provide a more wide-ranging means of accepting global donations and on-site forms. Times are tough, and patrons are welcome!

Cimitière Montparnasse Chris Marker
Le tombeau de Chris Marker, Cimetière de Montparnasse

* The L Magazine.

Please let us know your thoughts: Contact Form.

Thanks for stopping by!
Daniel L. Potter
Twitter: @llull

* “So legendary that its precise reference is lost” says Raymond Bellour on the Michaux quote…


Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Recent Notes

Core Content

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This