Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

CategoryMemory

Rare Chris Marker Post-War Memory Published

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I just published a text sent by Chris Darke, who has seen to its translation and encouraged its publication here, for which I am profoundly grateful. The text is one Marker wrote at the request of Jean-Jacques Birgé, answering the question Images gravitate around music. Which has marked you the most? You can find the text as An Image Just Appeared by Chris Marker. The text shows the remarkable blend of keen memory, eye for emblematic images, and historical...

Ça fait longtemps

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Fronticepiece, Modest Mussorgsky’s Без солнца [‘Sans Soleil’], as printed in Sans Soleil original brochure, 1982 ça fait longtemps que l’on a visité le salle Roxie à San Francisco et s’est trouvé tombé sous le charme d’un film qui s’intitule simplement Sans Soleil ça fait longtemps trente ans aujourd’hui ou pas peu importe parce que la mémoire vaut mieux que le temps ça fait longtemps comme le bon vin qui chaque année...

Lettre de Sibérie and Dimanche à Pékin Coming Soon to DVD

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As 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 amazon.fr. 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...

L’entretien infini

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An hour-long entretien has been published on France Culture: “Chris Marker (1921-2012),” in the collection “Une vie, un oeuvre” curated by Matthieu Garrigou-Lagrange. This eloquent, personal and erudite conversation is hosted by Virginie Bloch-Lainé; participants include Claude Lanzmann, Régis Debray, Raymond Bellour, Arnaud Lambert, Bruno Muel, Eric Marty and Edourd Waintrop. You can listen to the conversation embedded below or go to www...

Agnès Varda in the Atelier

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« Le désordre de son atelier est magnifique. » Episode 1 of “Agnès de ci de là Varda” on arte.tv gives viewers a rare glimpse into Chris Marker’s atelier, replete with audio-visual & computer equipment, books, clippings, cats & owls, totemic miscellanea, and a bit of the voice-off of Marker himself. Here is an endless sprawl of creation out of the personal archive, the living space of the magnetic bible continuously remembering...

Eclipse

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Thus, every self-portrait (unlike autobiography which even when it resorts to a myth such as that of the four ages, is limited to an individual’s memory and to the places where he lived) ceases to be essentially individual except, of course, in a purely anecdotal sense. The writing machine, the system of places, the figures used – everything in it tends towards generalization, whereas the intra-textual memory, that is, the system of cross-references...

L’Archipel Fantôme: An Appreciation

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Thanks to Quentin D. for alerting us to a fascinating poem-image collage narrative entitled L’Archipel Fantôme, set in the virtual space of Second Life, one of many lives known to the transmigrating cat. Though veiled with  elegant self-effacement, this rêverie bears the signature, to our senses, of the master’s hand, mind and spirit (though it is not his own, as we have learned post-post). The story presents a kind of back and forth play of images and...

Chris Marker’s Gifts to Patricio Guzmán

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With the recent release of Patricio Guzmán’s epic documentary The Battle of Chile on DVD, a moving tale has come to light: of solidarity among filmmakers; of Marker’s focus on giving without need of thanks; of this nearly inexpressible thank you coming nonetheless years later in a revelatory interview; of collaboration and friendship; and of the redistribution of the means of reproduction that made the impossible film possible. In the ongoing list of...

Take Two

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We received this thoughtful reprise of the “moment of happiness” in Sans Soleil via email today: Cet été en Islande j’ai vu sur les îles vestmann une image qui m’a fait penser au premier plan de Sans Soleil. C’était un groupe de jeunes filles blondes + un petit garçon. J’ai pensé “c’est la même image”. Je viens de revisionner votre film et découvre que vous aviez tourné ce plan sur la même île, je ne me...

antimemoirs

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Warranting special attention among the typical texts of the sixteenth century are those that, not classified under any recognized genre, overflow the bounds of literary art: the miscellanea and diverse and motley compilations share at least one feature: they gather fragments under more or less traditional headings. All these texts are premature products: they give the public raw or barely processed materials. Their role is to mediate between a producer –...

Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

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