Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Spiral Staircase into the Zone

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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 www.stairporn.org/spiral_stairs/

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 spiral of the titles he saw time covering a field ever wider as it moved away, a cyclone whose present moment contains motionless the eye.

He had driven up and down the hills of San Francisco where Jimmy Stewart, Scotty, follows Kim Novak, Madeline. It seems to be a question of trailing, of enigma, of murder, but in truth it’s a question of power and freedom, of melancholy and dazzlement, so carefully coded within the spiral that you could miss it, and not discover immediately that this vertigo of space in reality stands for the vertigo of time.

He had followed all the trails. Even to the cemetery at Mission Dolores where Madeline came to pray at the grave of a woman long since dead, whom she should not have known. He followed Madeline—as Scotty had done—to the Museum at the Legion of Honor, before the portrait of a dead woman she should not have known. And on the portrait, as in Madeline’s hair, the spiral of time.

And then in its turn the journey entered the ‘zone,’ and Hayao showed me my images already affected by the moss of time, freed of the lie that had prolonged the existence of those moments swallowed by the spiral.

PS: Here’s another tidbit on the 50th anniversary celebration of Vertigo held recently last month in San Francisco: sfcitizen.com.

Texts courtesy of markertext.com. Photo of Hotel Josef in Prague courtesy of stairporn.org. Thanks to our photographer and feline-loving friend mica for the spiral staircase link. For more on sacred geometry, here’s a jump start.

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Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

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