La Jetée, the film

I came by this incredible apocalyptic (chic right now) sci-fi (ditto) film, La Jetée, over at Amy Stein’s blog.

To say this short film is visually remarkable is a remarkable understatement.  And further, the minimal creativity of it will make you long for a time when work like this was conceived, let alone completed.  It’s at once brilliant and beautiful, which are two things not easy to couple.  Needless to say, it got into my head b/c I’ve never really seen anything like it.

But watch it for yourself, here in 3 parts.  It might be one of the best half hours of your week.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

(Amy also mentioned on her blog that there is a book version of La Jetée‘s images with the narrative as text by MIT press (here).  My notion is that it’d be excellent.)

(Also, it occurred to me by the end that this short was the inspiration for 12 Monkeys.)

(And while we’re on the video blitz of gloom.  T.S. Eliot’s great poem “The Hollow Men” as recited by Marlon Brando (playing Kurtz in Apocolypse Now (Redux version), which makes sense, b/c one of Eliot’s main inspirations for “Hollow Men” was Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, which as you know was the basis of Apocalypse Now.  The film does leave out the opening line of Eliot’s poem, “Mistah Kurtz – he dead”):

“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper”
-final stanza of “The Hollow Men”


photo: T.S. Eliot at his desk, Jan 18, 1944. ©Bob Landry/Life Images.

…)

And it comes full circle, B/c the French film maker Chris Marker who did La Jetée also did a multimedia installation on Eliot’s “Hollow Men” titled OWLS AT NOON Prelude: The Hollow Men.  I’ve not seen it nor can I find it.

Comments
7 Responses to “La Jetée, the film”
  1. Ian says:

    What I loved about recently seeing La Jetée for the first time since the 1980s is how direct the homage is to Vertigo. The Criterion DVD bonus features do a nice job documenting Chris Marker’s obsession with that movie.

  2. audra says:

    i just watched La Jetée in my electronic media class because the project assigned for us is to make a movie from 24 photographs. it was beautiful. we also watched a documentary about William Kentridge. he draws using charcoal and makes stop action movies. very powerful. it’s amazing how he works.

  3. admin says:

    @Ian, thank you for mentioning Vertigo. I saw it years and years ago when I was too young to really watch it. I think I’ll have to see it again now that you ponted to this connection.

    @Audra, recently a friend was talking to me about William Kentridge and more generally about what happens to the viewing art experience when the work is overtly political. Anyway, he also wondered about the possible homage to Kentridge in this stop motion video: http://www.vimeo.com/993998.

  4. Brad says:

    Fascinating story and images.

  5. Thanks for posting that.

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