Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

CategoryMemory

Lettre de Sibérie and Dimanche à Pékin Coming Soon to DVD

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As twilight passes into night on the left coast of an increasingly hysterical nation, I find somehow my browser has arrived, as if of its own volition, at amazon.fr. I had received an odd email re. a company trying to brand the word “chrismarker” and my thoughts turned toward the still very much missed bricoleur. I was wondering if someday some entity would trademark everything or if it might be a new line of perfume. A visitor had commented on...

L’entretien infini

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An hour-long entretien has been published on France Culture: “Chris Marker (1921-2012),” in the collection “Une vie, un oeuvre” curated by Matthieu Garrigou-Lagrange. This eloquent, personal and erudite conversation is hosted by Virginie Bloch-Lainé; participants include Claude Lanzmann, Régis Debray, Raymond Bellour, Arnaud Lambert, Bruno Muel, Eric Marty and Edourd Waintrop. You can listen to the conversation embedded below or go to www...

Agnès Varda in the Atelier

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« Le désordre de son atelier est magnifique. » Episode 1 of “Agnès de ci de là Varda” on arte.tv gives viewers a rare glimpse into Chris Marker’s atelier, replete with audio-visual & computer equipment, books, clippings, cats & owls, totemic miscellanea, and a bit of the voice-off of Marker himself. Here is an endless sprawl of creation out of the personal archive, the living space of the magnetic bible continuously remembering...

Eclipse

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Thus, every self-portrait (unlike autobiography which even when it resorts to a myth such as that of the four ages, is limited to an individual’s memory and to the places where he lived) ceases to be essentially individual except, of course, in a purely anecdotal sense. The writing machine, the system of places, the figures used – everything in it tends towards generalization, whereas the intra-textual memory, that is, the system of cross-references...

L’Archipel Fantôme: An Appreciation

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Thanks to Quentin D. for alerting us to a fascinating poem-image collage narrative entitled L’Archipel Fantôme, set in the virtual space of Second Life, one of many lives known to the transmigrating cat. Though veiled with  elegant self-effacement, this rêverie bears the signature, to our senses, of the master’s hand, mind and spirit (though it is not his own, as we have learned post-post). The story presents a kind of back and forth play of images and...

Chris Marker’s Gifts to Patricio Guzmán

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With the recent release of Patricio Guzmán’s epic documentary The Battle of Chile on DVD, a moving tale has come to light: of solidarity among filmmakers; of Marker’s focus on giving without need of thanks; of this nearly inexpressible thank you coming nonetheless years later in a revelatory interview; of collaboration and friendship; and of the redistribution of the means of reproduction that made the impossible film possible. In the ongoing list of...

Take Two

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We received this thoughtful reprise of the “moment of happiness” in Sans Soleil via email today: Cet été en Islande j’ai vu sur les îles vestmann une image qui m’a fait penser au premier plan de Sans Soleil. C’était un groupe de jeunes filles blondes + un petit garçon. J’ai pensé “c’est la même image”. Je viens de revisionner votre film et découvre que vous aviez tourné ce plan sur la même île, je ne me...

antimemoirs

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Warranting special attention among the typical texts of the sixteenth century are those that, not classified under any recognized genre, overflow the bounds of literary art: the miscellanea and diverse and motley compilations share at least one feature: they gather fragments under more or less traditional headings. All these texts are premature products: they give the public raw or barely processed materials. Their role is to mediate between a producer –...

Cinéaste du je{u}

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By the good graces of M. Bookmite, we have received scans of an article that emerged around the time of the release of Immemory in the journal artpress. So here we offer a first on the site—a pdf. No big deal, really, but perhaps the beginning of an archive within an archive, built the way bees would build—hexagonally. We’ll see. In any case, we offer you Louis-José Lestocart, “CHRIS MARKER cinéaste du je et de la vérité / Truth, First...

All the Fragments

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“Astrophysics, physiology, theology, taxonomy, philology, cosmology, mechanics, logic, poetics, technology. Here we catch a glimpse of a future in which all mysteries are resolved. A time when we are handed the keys to this and other universes. And this will come about because these readers, each working on his slice of universal memory, will lay the fragments of a single secret end to end, a secret with a beautiful name, a secret called happiness.”Alain Resnais...

Oubliance

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A shift in paradigms occurred: Nietzsche and Ebbinghaus presupposed forgetfulness, rather than memory and its capacity, in order to place the medium of the soul against a background of emptiness or erosion. A zero value is required before acts of memory can be quantified. Ebbinghaus banned introspection and thus restored the primacy of forgetting on a theoretical level. On the one hand, there was Nietzsche’s delirious joy at forgetting even his forgetfulness;...

Immemory Re-released by Exact Change

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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...

Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

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