Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

CategorySans Soleil



For this encounter between thought and image, as staged throughout all films explored by these pages, also discovers particular significance via Sans Soleil. Unlike the films of this book’s earlier chapters that each emerge from a certain definitive horror – the Holocaust, Hiroshima, an atomic apocalypse – Sans Soleil marks a shift towards a more comprehensive, layered interrogation of both strangely familiar and indecipherable aspects of life that exist in...

80:81 Chris Marker in Conversation


I’ve added a rare Chris Marker interview with Colin Maccabe to the site. You can find it under pages as 80:81 Chris Marker Speaks with Colin Maccabe. In this talk, Marker discusses his travels to Japan and Guinea-Bissau, his filming of what would become Sans Soleil, the transition of eras from Le fond de l’air est rouge to Sans Soleil, and the four language versions of the latter. We get a glimpse of the four year time-frame that encompasses the work on...

Ça fait longtemps


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...

Criterion Releases La Jetée & Sans Soleil on Blu-Ray


As you probably know by now, swimming as we are in era of no news is new news, Chris Marker’s incomparable masterworks La Jetée and Sans Soleil have been released again, this time on Blu-Ray by Criterion. Originally paired on DVD in a French edition by Arte Video in 2003, the films came to Criterion DVD in 2007. I believe some of the extras on the Blu-Ray edition, released last week on February 7, 2012, are new, others appearing already on the earlier release...

Take Two


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...

Krasna Detective


Remember the borgesian-style story ‘Ate onde le sabe’ from Brazil (featuring Sandor Krasna, the dreamer)? Well, here comes another lusophonic snippet. Lead, garden path, dead end? Who cares. Alas, the smooth, sensual quality … of the Portuguese ‘nos gusta’ is lost in the translation that follows. q-significa-krasna 1st message (request): > necesito saber e significado del nombre krasna lo q si se es > q es de origen checo...

Untergang des Abendlandes


New Yorker Video – Sans Soleil (VHS) We thought Chris Marker fans would like to know. Many of us learned the text of Sans Soleil forwards, backwards and sideways – down to identifying the lone still self-portrait frame in a Tokyo television monitor – by playing the New Yorker Video release of Sans Soleil on VHS over and over (and over) again, until it was as worn out as, say, Katy Lied. New Yorker Films, the distributor that helped introduce American...

Spiral Staircase into the Zone


It’s an off week in the waning era of imperfect memory. So in weak association to the spiral trope in Chris Marker’s vision of time, we offer you a link to spiral images on a site dedicated exclusively to . . . stairs: Justin Anthony’s Hotel Josef in Prague Sans Soleil Spirals He wrote me that only one film had been capable of portraying impossible memory—insane memory: Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. In the...



We received a thoughtful note from Don Livoni @ fogblog regarding his recent discovery of Chris Marker. Crafting a haunting film from stills is a discovery that evidently can be made without prior knowledge of La Jetée. It’s a bit like Leibniz and Newton, albeit with a time “differential,” if you like ;). While Mr. Livoni’s films (for example, “Rosie’s Girls” and “DNYK Dreamer”) evoke La Jetée by the skillful...

4001 is the new 2012, or vice versa


I found a poetic evocation of Chris Marker and his trans-temporal take on earth history, memory and compassion in Sans Soleil on a blog today called simply politics. The entry starts out by making an auspicious connection between the Zapatistas of Chiapas, who “call their gatherings to build international solidarity ‘Intergalactic,'” and the spirit of Marker’s films. It goes on to point out that Marker is known to film buffs much more widely...

Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

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