Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Image Indexing: High Speed Scan of Remembrance of Things to Come – Fandor


Last Updated on December 10, 2020 by bricoleur

It's unfortunate that the video is no longer available. As a grumpy protest, I leave the Sorry notice up. We don't need no stinking privacy settings... There is in partial recompense an excerpt from the film added below.

Warning: Semi-heavy rock & roll soundtrack with crunchy guitars.
Later: Just realized it’s
Wire. I was a fan. Brings me back…

This presentation of post-metabolic image indexing is best viewed by your subliminal senses, or your android enhancements if you have connections at the Tyrell Corporation, where a watchful AI owl presides over the spacious dystopic empire of terraced architecture and vast wealth. We are several years in the future of that future, and Fandor has scanned Chris Marker’s Remembrance of Things to Come for our viewing pleasure. The accompanying article, “Chris Marker’s Image Index: As Europe’s grasp on the early 20th-century globe tightens into a death grip in REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME”, offers a review of his “last work” that is also well worth reading.

This video essay attempts to give a sense of his strategy in organizing hundreds of Bellon’s images into a narrative. As the name most associated with the essay film, Marker is celebrated for having a free-flowing, discursive narration that seems to generate insights on the fly. But by speeding this film up to 14x normal speed and noting the thematic phases that guide his movement through the photographs, one gets a sense of how he pieced together Bellon’s oeuvre to construct both a story of her life and an image collage of modern dystopia.

Kevin B. Lee

On another page at Fandor, we find a cogent summation of the film:

Fascinated with the effect of photography on memory (and on the future), Chris Marker and Yannick Bellon look at the work of Bellon’s mother, photojournalist Denis Bellon in this, one of Marker’s final film essays. With a title reminiscent of Marcel Proust’s tome on memory, REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME uses Bellon’s journalism from 1935-1955, to prove her images of the first post-world-war phase forecast the second. Bellon’s friendship with the Surrealists lends her a unique relationship to the history of recording through images. Despite the paradoxes and puns elegantly expressed by narrator Alexandra Stewart, photography remains prosperous, “used to refresh failing memories or convince nonbelievers.” Some images, this film posits, accomplish more.

Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

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Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
metro laughing woman staring back
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