Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Les Films du Jeudi Screens La Jetée in Second Life


Though we missed the party, we did want to let you know about a unique event organized by Les Films du Jeudi, who on the 5th of November held a screening of Chris Marker’s La Jétee simultaneously at the Centre Pompidou and within Second Life.

Marker’s film, whose fame has grown by leaps and bounds worldwide since its 1962 release (one need only search for the title on Twitter to see the many tweets in myriad languages that reference the always-fresh frisson of discovery) and whose impact on viewers and place in film history has only deepened through time, was paired in the dual event with Indira Solovieva’s Childhood Amnesia (L’amnésie infantile) (2009-15mins).

As Marker’s Second Life installation Ouvroir, a virtual gallery of things past, cinematic homage and aleatory encounter, had already realized the dream of architecting a viewing space / screening room online, it is fitting that the distributor of some of his most sought after short films would layer this homage within a Zone of the space he embraced, within the gesture of a ‘farewell to cinema,’ as a destination for those traveling without moving.

We received a nice note, invitation and press release from Les Films du Jeudi, stating:

Even if only for an evening, I wanted to put together Chris Marker’s film-myth La Jetée (1962 -28 mins) with Indira Solovieva’s Childhood Amnesia (L’amnésie infantile) (2009-15mins) at Beaubourg and also on Second Life so that everyone, wherever they may be, may see or rediscover this movie.
Come and join us to find out why…
– Laurence Braunberger

Braunberger is, among other things, the Producer of Marker’s Chats perchés and, according to IMDB, the Manager of Les Films de la Pléiade, Producer and Manager of Les Films du Jeudi and Manager of Les Films du Panthéon.

Solovieva’s film receives the following synopsis in the accompanying press release for this event:

A gas is released making mankind immortal, but also sterile. Despite the infinite opportunities made possible, mankind quickly becomes disillusioned. To prevent widespread depression, a machine is invented to enable people to travel through memory…

The Chris Marker catalog at Les Films du Jeudi includes the following gems, some available as extras on existing DVDs, other still awaiting what one might wish could be a comprehensive DVD collection of the Marker’s wonderful, wide-ranging shorts:

  • Berliner Ballade de Chris MARKER (1990) – 29 mns
  • Casque Bleu de Chris MARKER (1995) – 26 mns
  • Chat écoutant la musique de Chris MARKER (1990) – 2 mns
  • Chats Perchés de Chris Marker (2003) – 59 mns
  • Détour, Ceaucescu de Chris MARKER (1990) – 8 mns
  • E-clip-se de Chris MARKER (1999) – 8 mns
  • From Chris to Christo de Chris MARKER (1985) – 24 mns
  • L’Ambassade de Chris MARKER (1973) – 20 mns
  • Le 20 heures dans les camps de Chris MARKER (1993) – 28 mns
  • Matta ’85 de Chris MARKER (1985) – 14 mns
  • Sixième face du Pentagone (La) de François REICHENBACH & Chris MARKER (1967) – 27 mns
  • Slon Tango de Chris MARKER (1990) – 4 mns
  • Théorie des ensembles de Chris MARKER (1990) – 11 mns
  • Trois vidéos Haïkus de Chris MARKER (1994) – 3 mns

You can view the Jeudi catalog here:

You can view the invitation (again, late, we apologize) here, in pdf format.

I remember fondly a summer of research on Chris Marker in 1991, where I spent the month of July exploring the resources of the Cinématèque in Les Halles with its mezmerizing robotic retrieval system and personal viewing/research stations (at one of which Marker was himself working). I also remember the cassettes that could be checked out in much more manual fashion at the Centre Pompidou—most vivid is my one and to date only viewing at Beaubourg of Si j’avais quatre dromedaires—as well as encountering Marker himself at the Les Halles “Forum des Images” (which did much to ‘quicken the heart’)—a story for another time…


Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
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