Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

You Only Live Twice Set at La Jetée’s Orly Airport


Last Updated on December 1, 2020 by bricoleur

You Only Live Twice: Sex, Death and Transition

By Chase Joynt and Mike Hoolboom

Coach House, 152 pages, $14.95

On the day of French director Chris Marker’s death, two movie artists meet at the Orly Airport. It’s a place of professional interest, since Marker, a favorite New Wave cineaste, set a pivotal scene in his 1962 film, La Jetée, here. The film involves time travel such that in this particular scene the protagonist witnesses his own death, and so for trans writer and media artist Chase Joynt and HIV-positive movie artist Mike Hoolboom, this location is also a place of personal resonance: Both men share a sense of having lived twice. In the series of vignettes that follow, Joynt and Hoolboom enter into a free-flowing correspondence on multifarious topics – love, sex, art, death, the public and the private – that brings to mind Maggie Nelson’s work of autotheory from last year. The reflexive format allows for what John Berger would call a “real likeness”: a portrait from both sides of the camera. An intellectually expansive, emotional gut-punch of a memoir.
Chase Joynt & Mike Hoolboom

Chris Marker died today. Heart failure, the death of kings. People are already gathering at the jetty in the Orly airport, an impromptu memorial for the French filmmaker as renowned for his secrecy as his movies. Half a dozen people, give or take, leaving origami felines to keep a discreet watch over the waiting areas. How did they all know to bring black roses? The news of Marker’s death is not yet public. but somehow word has reached them, though each step they take has a hitch in it, a certain tentativeness, making space for the maestro’s possible reappearance.

You Only Live Twice, 0.0 Orly
Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

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