Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Lettre de Sibérie and Dimanche à Pékin Coming Soon to DVD


lettredesiberie-dvdAs 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 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 Marker’s Bestiary and I found that these short films had been assembled on a DVD by Icarus Films. Thanks John. I wondered what else might be happening in markerland. I reset my password to, as my login management machine seemed to have let it fall into the moss of time.

Coffret Planète Chris MarkerMy search revealed some soon to be released products. First, a mysterious “coffret” of 8 Marker films: “Coffret Planète Chris Marker” with this meager summary: “Retrouvez une grande partie de l’oeuvre de Chris Marker en 8 films.” If you use the zoom tool on, there actually seem to be 10 total films included: La jetée, Le joli mai, Loin du Vietnam, La solitude du chanteurd du fond,  Le fond de l’air est rouge, Sans soleil, A.K., Mémoires pour Simone, Le tombeau d’Alexandr et Chats perchés.”

1200 minutes of Chris Marker. Wow! Thanks, ARTE. Release date: November 19, 2013. Bear in mind that when I first saw it and drafted this post, there was no branding, no image, now it looks elegant, like an auteur’s Oeuvres, and resonates in title with the exhibition upcoming at the Centre Pompidou. Reality is shifting daily in front of my eyes – same for you? OK then.

Second, a DVD that brings together two crucial films: Lettre de Sibérie bundled with Dimanche à Pékin. Exciting and only in the original French. Hopefully, this pairing will find its way to an English release before too long. Details list Studio as Tamasa Distribution and release data as October 15, 2013. Here’s the description:

Ce DVD contient 2 films :
– Lettre de Sibérie :
Je vous écris d’un pays lointain. On l’ appelle la Sibérie. A la plupart d’entre nous, il n’évoque rien d’autre qu’une Guyane gelée, et pour le général tsariste Andréiévitch, c’était “le plus grand terrain vague du monde”. Il y a heureusement plus de chose sur la terre et sous le ciel, fusssent-ils sibériens, que n’en ont rêvées tous les généraux…
– Dimanche à Pékin :
“Rien n’est plus beau que Paris, sinon le souvenir de Paris. Et rien n’est plus beau que Pékin, sinon le souvenir de Pékin. Et moi, à Paris, je me souviens de Pekin et je compte mes trésors” Chris Marker.

I found myself finally on a page called “Les Zones”, which conveyed information about the encoding of DVDs by geographical zone (Pal vs. NTSC). Again, misty hints of Marker. These how did I get here moments are re-traceable, but only to a degree—which is good, as we don’t want to know what I had for dinner. Maybe Proust wants to know that. The moss of time is a preservation zone too. I don’t want Total Recall, just the soft covering of old stones that stay out of the sun. Room for new things. Room for some new DVDs of old movies that are precious.


Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
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