Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

December Seeds

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When our dreams are intersected we are one. The amateur and as required by the movie itself, Chris Marker. While we were searching for December’s language, the wizard loped and stepped into Utopia.

December Seeds

December Seeds is a disorienting, convulsive audio-visual dive into street violence and guerilla filmmaking, It also happens to have several things to do with Chris Marker. He is evoked, an imaginary film of his is conjured up amidst the anti-narrative, and he may have contributed in some way to the production (a poster circulated that put his name in large type, as if he were the auteur, which is most likely misleading). Still, you can see typography of French phrases scattered about that could well be the work of Marker; you can feel if not prove his signature here.

We just don’t know, even 10 years later (see our call for help at the bottom). Non-knowing can be healthy, no doubt… Marker’s presence, at the very least, haunts this unforgiving, explosive video. I was not sure where to find it again, after having given up on a draft post years ago. But while exploring the Alexandrian Library of Babel @ archive.org to fix a Second Life video flagged by Analytics, I found this and indeed other objects of intense curiosity for the Marker researcher.

In a way, this film is the antithesis of the erudite The Owl’s Legacy, its dark alter ego, its Jungian shadow. There’s nothing classical here, rather plenty of rage, which fills a contemporary moment that seems to erase Greece’s past in its velocity, its dromology, its chaos, its emotional desperation, its austerity backlash, its streets that have become battlegrounds.

Please see bottom of post for updates.

Background Information

According to Paper Revolution: “December seeds” is a hybrid documentary about the December 2008 revolt in Greece. It consists of images that were shot in the streets as well as material from the Greek media. A strange story about Chris Marker and “The Seeds”, a film that has never been shot, unravels as the movie goes on.”

Duration: 29 min.
Year: 2010
Director: Panagiotis Karagiorgas

Another source gives this information (updated):

Original title: Δεκεμβριανοι Σποροι (Dekemvriana Spora), December Seeds, (Semillas de Diciembre)
Director: Panagiotis Karagiorgas [additional editing presumed Chris Marker]
Language: Greek with subtitles in Castilian Spanish
Year: 2010, possibly 2009
Duration: 29 min.
Initial screening: Festival de Cinema Anarquista de Barcelona, 2011

The 2008 Greek riots started on 6 December 2008, when Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old student, was killed by two policemen in the Exarcheia district of central Athens. The murder of a young student by police resulted in large protests and demonstrations, which escalated to widespread rioting, with hundreds of rioters damaging property and engaging riot police with Molotov cocktails, stones, and other objects. Demonstrations and rioting soon spread to several other cities, including Thessaloniki, the country’s second-largest city.

[Wikipedia, 2008 Greek riots]

Now here’s some barely-edited stream of consciousness from narangasdehiroshima.com in February 2012. What it lacks in comprehensibility it makes up for in expressionistic, emotive delivery.

This short documentary part on the premise of witnessing one of the last works of the master of cinema documentary, experimental and underground, is Chris Marker, all those who follow the work of the Frenchman, who has published in DVD or half of his films, it makes us salivate knowing that flowing through the network his last documentary, as well as some of his latest video experiences, have jumped directly to the network in the last decade, as the Pictures at an Exhibition, the man who already has 91 years it behaves more like a twentysomething lover of new technologies and cautious not to let too many tracks passing through the network to one of the most important and enigmatic directors century XX. However, Marker has always belonged more to the underground that the film star system. And this work flows with the interesting question, is it a work of Chris Marker or is the work of Panagiotis Karagiorga?, a filmmaker friend of the murdered Alexis Grigoropoulos, who is dedicated in honor of this work, him and all the seeds rebels incendiary and revolutionary Greece in recent years, of course, it could also be a tribute to Marker, whether or not for him, is full of references to the French film, an experimental political manifesto, a Molotov cocktail audiovisual different from what we have accustomed the militant cinema. No doubt the work is in itself interesting, but also is added the controversial or may not be a work of Marker, because if it were not, of course, the merit of using his name as part of the bomb-throwing to call attention and reach more audience gets their purposes, and to sites of movie information as FilmAffinity have chopped and referred to as his last film.

It only remains to be seen and draw their own conclusions, because the importance of this work lies in its message and its forms, of both implementation and dissemination.

And no matter whose it is, you can only add CHRIS MARKER LIVE! LIVE THE SEEDS OF RESISTANCE AND THE GREEK REVOLUTION!

Exhibited in 2011 in the Anarchist Film Festival of Barcelona, this piece is in the context of the riots of December 2008, the so-called Greek Insurrection of December.

Through the first-person account of a young man looking for seeds to germinate which a revolution has yet to come, and using literary tropes and part documentary tries to evoke in the viewer to illusions and anger overwhelmed that flooded the hearts of the tens of thousands of people took to the streets to avenge the death of Alexis becoming both the most exclusive shopping districts like the grim suburbs of little more than tear gas and ash.

The film (made with images obtained in the network file or taken directly from television news) operates in a style that is set in the middle between documentary of author / s (approaching works as Level 5), and dissident film, given its early realization and the few resources dedicated to it, and its distribution, which took and takes place mainly through channels militancy and anti-authoritarian.

In these incendiary documents, the police murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos serves as the cornerstone around which is a series of dialogues that the ghost story set with certain figures of speech such as Freedom, in search of a film’s own unrealized Marker symbolizing the seeds spread and restoring hope to the still life, as the harbinger of the inevitable, ie, a new way of thinking about revolution based on the destruction of the relations of domination and critical understanding and subsequent transformation of our reality surrounding recovering hope for a gradual change with the construction of such change on our present and not future hypothetical and never get complacent, far from cutting discourses and practices mesíaco contextualized in the future there will be no [,,,] until we begin to create it.

Alexis, do not forget.

http://www.naranjasdehiroshima.com/2012/02/seeds-of-december.html

Call for Information

Apart from these fragments from my archives, plenty of mysteries remain, some even expressed in the quotes above. Let us know if you can supply the backstory, the mystery of The Seeds, or anything else that can serve to supplement our scant information on this strange audio-visual object.

December Seeds
December Seeds Poster — attribution to Chris Marker (disputed)
Memorial image for Alexis Grigoropoulos

Update

Thanks go out to George for relaying additional information, including the URL of the film with English subtitles at Vimeo (see below). He also points to information on the movie in Greek, an article in Greek presenting some info and analysis (“Full of cinephile references, especially on Chris Marker”), and the link for the version of the video with Spanish subtitles.

I’ve used a translation program and copied the antipera-oxthi-culture.blogspot article into a text file that can be easily viewed in the browser.

December Seeds (2009) – Vimeo

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