Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

CategoryTime Travel

Cuba Si! by Chris Marker (1961)


Cuba Si!, Chris Marker’s 1961 film about the late Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution, was produced by Pierre Braunberger and banned in France. It contains much original footage of Castro speaking, and is one of a handful of films not available, to my knowledge, on DVD. It is rarely shown and was not considered by Marker himself as part of his oeuvre that he wished to have projected. He talked about his early films as ‘sketches’ of what was to...

Time Travel Specialist

m chat sarajevo

Update The translation by Dorna Khazeni is here: The Encounter of M. Chat & Chris Marker as Told By Louise Traon. Original Post I’m working – and reaching out once again to a friend better qualified – on translating a fine story involving the encounter of Chris Marker and Thoma Vuille, awesome street artist and creator of M. CHAT. The story, “Chats percheurs – La rencontre entre Chris Marker et M. CHAT racontée par Louise...



As many, I am speechless to learn of the passing of Chris Marker. He lives on in our hearts and minds, in his incomparable work, in the inner sanctum of eternity—”au lieu d’un mort, on fait un éternel.” Much will be written; for now we feel.

Guillaume’s Adieu & the Disorder of Time


Prompted out of a kind of suspended time of my own by several emails from Christophe Payet, “journaliste pigiste,”  I found my one-d and zeroed way to the above image on poptronics’  site, and thought about the strange swirling of time, the wounds of time as they might possibly exist in the New Year within the being named Chris Marker. I wandered simultaneously upon a passage in Roberto Bolano’s 2066, which has been keeping me company late...

Reeling in the Years


We are so accustomed to viewing all films over and over again, the fictitious ones as well as those pertaining to our lives; we have been so thoroughly contaminated by a retrospective technique that we are quite capable, under the blow of contemporary vertigo, to rethread history as one threads a film wrong side up.
Jean Baudrillard, Reversion of History

Wexner offers Chris Marker’s History of Art Postcards

chris marker history of art arnolfini postcard

Chris Marker, History of Art – 10 postcard set (OOP) While browsing the Wexner Center Chris Marker Store of late, along with the recent release of the English text of Coréennes with a letterpress cover, we came upon an additional collector’s item created by Chris Marker—a set of 10 postcards re-visiting, from a cat’s perspective, the History of Art. The set is published by Peter Blum, curator of the recent extensive gallery show of Marker’s...

2058 at the Tate


Strange days have found us. The Tate Modern has published an article from the future (about a current exhibit) called “TH.2058” by Dominique Gonzales-Foerster,* dated October 2058. We like the choice of films and novels offered to the soaked inhabitants of this London to come. We are reminded even of a haunting song: “Lost Rivers of London,” by the late great COIL. In any case, here is an excerpt: A giant screen shows a strange film, which...



Memory of the Future
Thank you to DT for bringing this prescient Guillaume moment from 6 November 2004 (!) to our attention. [See comments on post “Guillaume Sends a Message“]. This collage was originally published in Un Regard Moderne.

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...

Within these few inches…

Within these few inches, 40 years of my life - Chris Marker

Back to that balcony at the Place de la République where all huge demonstrations have always started or ended. I manage to frame again the top portion of my old photograph. In between I have been in Japan, Korea, Bolivia, Chile. I have filmed students in Guinea-Bisseau, medics in Kosovo, Bosnian refugees, Brazilian activists, animals everywhere. I covered the first free elections in East Germany after the fall of the Wall, and I sniffed the first moments of...

Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

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