‘Sans Soleil’ – Chris Marker

I’m still under a spell of this movie – few days after re-watching it.

Marker’s (born: Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve 1921) vision from 1982 presented here appears as fresh, powerful, genius (I’m not afraid of this word in this case) as it must have been for his contemporaries over twenty years ago. It’s an essay- like fairly convincing cinematic statement on the elusive and transient nature of space, time, memory and culture. The social and, more generally – philosophical- observations and reflections on both Japanese and African way of life presented here are both sublime and strikingly accurate. But this artwork is much more than a clever and sensitive documentary, it’s a masterpiece – a perfectly working wholeness of the thought, emotion, picture and sound.

One cannot help asking himself: why there is so little known about this particular artist? Then I ‘google’ his name – in ‘images’ only one or two believable photographs of him appear, and I read that Chris Marker lives in Paris (or – does he still?) and sends an image of a cat , his favourite animal, when asked for an image of himself. Apparently, he is French – or is he (printed sources give two countries of birth, France and Mongolia) ? Another ‘legend’ claims that being asked of his origin he was quite sure of coming from ‘another planet’. Who can be ever sure about things like that? Watching his famous La Jetée (1962) one can only wonder: how is it possible for a human being – to make a speech-binding movie composed only of B&W stills and virtually each one of those dozens of shots is just perfect – impeccable technically, stylistically, aesthetically and in any other sense imaginable? O’ right – maybe it all sounds too good to be true, maybe I need to calm down a little – yet – it’s a scare occurrence when I don’t really want to ‘calm down’, to find distance or just rethink the whole experience. No, I want to be stupefied, bared of my critical powers and even my self-control.

One has to let oneself, from time to time, to be completely and fully intentionally exposed when approaching an artwork – to make oneself vulnerable and totally open – and just to immerse into, to experience it so deeply that it hurts- to let oneself to be hurt by an artwork – that’s just another step in self-discovery.

Or – just to listen to:

I took the measure for an unbearable vanity of the West, that has never ceased to privilege being over non-being, what is spoken to what is left unsaid.

Legends are born out of the need to decipher the undecipherable. Memories must make do with their delirium, with their drift. A moment stopped would burn like a frame of a film blocked before the furnace of a projector. Madness protects as fever does.

All women have a built-in grain of indestructibility. And men task has always been to make them realize it as late as possible.

Are you tempted to see (re-watch) more ? Then, you must be a quite spiritually healthy and mentally fit individual – and being one – enjoy!

P.S.

It was ‘valecomputadora’ who downloaded the fragment featured to Youtube. Thank you.

About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

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