” La jetée “, between photographs and video by Chris Marker , 1962

Written by D. M


“This is the story of a man marked by an image from his childhood. The violent scene which upset him and whose meaning he was to grasp only years later happened on the main pier at Orly Paris airport, sometime before the outbreak of World War III.”

Chris Marker

It’s been a month now that we didn’t share any “Art crush” in this website. A long month, in which freetime was unfortunately not in our hands. However, what those 30 days of absence showed us, are these unexpected reactions from readers. So, all a way down from Paris, France, I would like to say thank you for your support and the love, truly appreciated!

Thus, I had to find something consistent and more than sensational to celebrate this new post on ArteVideo : “La Jetée” !

Some of you may be familiar with this experimental 28 minutes photo-roman , said fotonovela in English. “La jetée” is 1962 sci-fi masterpiece from French photographer Chris Marker, affiliated with the Nouvelle vague movement.
Chris Marker used photomontage, sounds effects and voice over narration, creating this original storyline put into a black and white video.
As a consequence, the video is the form making all those singular elements, able to gather as one body, one entity with one aim.

Set in a post-nuclear futur, “La jetée” tells about a man chose by scientists, for his extraordinary memory, to be an experiment of time travelling. The goal was to send him back to the future, in order to get supplies,food,and information that might help them return to the surface.

Check out the link below “On La Jetée” by Jean-Louis Schefer, translated by Paul Smith .

Chris Marker is also known for his contribution to Frenh documentary history. Five years after “La jetée”, he produced and directed along with Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Agnès Varda,Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais “Far from Vietnam “, a cinematographic response to the Vietnam War. He directed as well “A bientot j’espère” about issues arising in a french textile factory during social movements of the 60’s.

An English-narrated version does exists, although, for artistic purposes, only will be displayed the French original one with english subtitles. The magic created by “La jetée” is not only about the edit of the photographs and sound effects . It’s also how this french narrator dresses up the whole motion with his voice, transforming the whole into an imaginary voyage for the ears and the eyes.

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