La Jetee (1962)

Memory, Utopia/Dystopia, Past and Future,  Time travels, these are all themes explored by Chris Marker in “La Jetee”

and this is a very bad quality online version of La Jetee

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7 Responses to “La Jetee (1962)”

  1. Sheldon Ludwig Says:

    This is a very interesting piece of work. I find it very well done. The way it is put together, like a photo book, and the use of only still images are flashed through. I like how they only use images and montage them together. Pictures are the ultimate form of memory, and there is a no greater way to tell a story. “Nothing tells memories from ordinary moments, only afterwards do they claim remembrance, on account of there scars.” Pictures capture memories but only call remembrance on account of there scars that they have captured, when looked upon.

    The way in which they linked the whole story together was very intriguing. Having it start off at the pier, then the whole time travel scenes, and eventually leaving off at the pier. The main linking point is the woman`s face at the end of the pier, which in turn, leads to the child seeing the moment of his own death. It is very well planned out.

  2. Andrew Rodo Says:

    After watching the film La Jetee, I can confidently say that it was not at all what I expected. The concept of the film was well thought out, and the ability to make time travel somewhat realistic was impressive. It is a science fiction film without flashy special effects, or even for the most part motion pictures. It was an interesting piece of work and when the stills were frozen on an image of the man in pain, it seemed to affect the audience much more than if it passed by quickly. I feel that the still photographs held a mood for a period of time which also made for extreme changes between shots. Overall an interesting piece of work.

  3. Shimoor Mahajan Says:

    I must say La Jetee is one of my favourite films. It was cleverly made and the entire concept of still imaging, and the plot itself, was stunning, and delivered well. It also went on to inspire the well-made film ‘Twelve Monkeys’ (Terry Gilliam, 1995), and the overall plots were very similar, of the protagonist’s circular time travel.
    What I find most interesting about this piece is the debate of whether only still images were used throughout the film. I did some research and some people claim that one of the images was, in fact, taken with a video camera. (The scene with a woman blinking her eyes). This information was actually mentioned in one of my first year film tutorials. Some believe that it was a video, and others claim that it was just a quick succession of photos. The question remains: if it was a video, what was the message behind having that one moving scene, in an entirely still film.
    Overall, despite any debates, this film was, without a doubt, phenomenal in my opinion. It was one of those films that is buried in your mind the moment it ends. The stillness helped, searing the images into my mind.

  4. Fredd Eyes Says:

    This is going to be an unfortunate post for me because I am going against most people and saying that Twelve Monkeys really WASNT as fantastic a film as most would like to boast it is. La Jetee was amazing, but twelve monkeys made a pivotal mistake in choosing big hollywood stars to portray a very important concept in film. I felt more concentrated on the actors and what they were going to do next rather than what was happening in the storyline. It was not until i looked up information on the film that it really hit me that the idea was brilliant. This is an unfortunate thought and I understand that but you can not disagree with me that if they had of used only one hollywood star and pushed the story a little bit more, that there would have been a greater significance to story, plot, and filmic elements.
    La Jetee blew my mind away. I loved the stillness, the black and white setting, and the one-shot of the girl blinking her eyes. I could not have asked for a better film to come out spanning such a short time length.
    Shimoor, the student who posted above, poses a good question about whether or not the one shot with the motion picture camera actually exists. The answer is quite simple because it is fact that the director used a motion picture camera for this shot. Why? It is in fact the one moment when the ‘man’ experiences life outside of his present state. In all the still shots the ‘man’ does not experience or feel true life but as soon as the woman blinks, it is the moment when the man feels emotion, connection and life in another dimension.

  5. Fredd Eyles Says:

    This is going to be an unfortunate post for me because I am going against most people and saying that Twelve Monkeys really WASNT as fantastic a film as most would like to boast it is. La Jetee was amazing, but twelve monkeys made a pivotal mistake in choosing big hollywood stars to portray a very important concept in film. I felt more concentrated on the actors and what they were going to do next rather than what was happening in the storyline. It was not until i looked up information on the film that it really hit me that the idea was brilliant. This is an unfortunate thought and I understand that but you can not disagree with me that if they had of used only one hollywood star and pushed the story a little bit more, that there would have been a greater significance to story, plot, and filmic elements.
    La Jetee blew my mind away. I loved the stillness, the black and white setting, and the one-shot of the girl blinking her eyes. I could not have asked for a better film to come out spanning such a short time length.
    Shimoor, the student who posted above, poses a good question about whether or not the one shot with the motion picture camera actually exists. The answer is quite simple because it is fact that the director used a motion picture camera for this shot. Why? It is in fact the one moment when the ‘man’ experiences life outside of his present state. In all the still shots the ‘man’ does not experience or feel true life but as soon as the woman blinks, it is the moment when the man feels emotion, connection and life in another dimension.

    (spelt my name wrong in previous submission, woops sorry haha)

  6. Christine Kircos Says:

    This is my second encounter with this film and I have seen the Gilliam film 12 Monkeys. The original is powerful in the way it presents the image in still photographic visuals. It clearly is making a statement about how people remember and the significance of memories is clearly being probed and is intended to be interpreted by the audience, I think. I think the film shows how connections to an emotional experience connect us to a stronger memory, as it is seen with the man’s image of the girl.
    I also appreciate the questions the film raises about a possible dystopia world and other sci fi themes of time travel that it delves into. I think the suggestion that it makes to memory and emotion to the ability to travel back in time is interesting as well. I liked this film very much and it helped me to take a better look at the Gilliam film 12 Monkeys and I think they are both fantastic contributions to the sci fi genre.

  7. a clarification about la Jetee. there are a few hypotheses about the significance of the filmed sequence (the woman opening her eyes). does it represent a moment of “awakening”? is it a way to reveal the function of motion in film as artform and as medium?

    see also next post for some remarks about memory

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