All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
"He wrote me..." A woman narrates the thoughts of a world traveler, meditations on time and memory expressed in words and images from places as far-flung as Japan, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, and San Francisco.
The first image he told me about was of three children on a road in Iceland, in 1965.
On my imaginary shelf of favorites Sans Soleil had always sat slightly out of view, clandestinely lingering in the shadows behind the other cinematic behemoths that had crafted the loftiest statures in my mind. It sat in an indeterminable repose as I time and time again avoided re-watching it, every time hesitating, wondering if this was truly the film I once had thought it to be. Being intimidated by my own inner-circle is just the kind of business I'm in, and baby, business is a-boomin'. Now, after a multitude of revisits, looking back on my imaginary shelf there are still those that…
When it comes to movies these days I really am spoiled by so little want. I mean, it's just so easy to get hold of most things, even if one has to resort to torrent sites like karagarga or other more obscure avenues. Rewatching Sans Soleil reminded me of when I would make almost daily trips to the library in downtown San Francisco and bring home anything on DVD or VHS that looked interesting or that I'd heard about from friends on livejournal or whatever, often browsing a selection of the same old titles, yet anxious to see if perhaps anything new had been returned and not already picked out by another in the constantly ravenous swarm of movie fiends.…
Like any decently-educated cinephile, I was saddened at the passing of filmmaker Chris Marker in 2012. Having only seen La jetee by that time, I grieved based on how insanely original I found that film to be, and it further inspired me to seek out his other work to pay tribute. Well, as all of us cinephiles who vow to watch a canonical filmmaker's filmography can most likely sympathize, things in my life got in the way and that idea was derailed, replaced by other distractions or duties.
It wasn't until I purchased the discounted Criterion Blu-ray containing Marker's two greatest works that my goal was reinstated. I watched La jetee again, loving it even more, and then I moved…
"History throws its empty bottles out the window."
There are few if any avant garde films out there that are as funny and beautiful as this one. This is simply put one of the best film ever made. A fascinating study of memory, life and beauty. The scenes from Iceland were filmed in my hometown, Vestmannaeyjar (Heimaey), and stand here as the image of beauty. Japan is the place of future, the sci fi part of it. Africa is our origin. The world is a timeline, an emotional map and it's on display in this masterpiece.
There is no way I can write a review of this film. Any attempt is futile so these words will have to stand as an invitation to an experience. They in no way reflect the sun. They are in fact Sans Soleil - sunless. The film however is not.
"Who remembers all that? History throws its empty bottles out the window." ~ Narrator
This Chris Marker documentary has been called an "experimental essay-film." It takes the form of a personal travelogue, bringing together images from Japan and Guinea-Bissau, "two extreme poles of survival," along with scenes from Iceland, Cape Verde, Paris and San Francisco. The only discernible thread linking such diverse places is the mind and memory of the writer-director.
An ongoing narration gives meaning to the visual presentation in the form of supposed letters written by a male traveler -- a fictitious cameraman named Sandor Krasna. The letters are read by a female narrator -- Florence Delay in French or Alexandra Stewart in English -- and they address…
#69 — Sight & Sound's 2012 Critics Poll
From my ongoing quest to see all the Sight & Sound films...
Chris Marker's Sans Soleil is a strange and strangely satisfying documentary (of sorts) that focuses much of its attention on the minutiae of life in Japan as described in letters (of unknown provenance) read aloud by a woman with scrupulous diction. (Perhaps the one and only change I'd make in this curiosity of a film is replacing that narrator, as she tends to inflect even the most neutral-seeming ruminations with a smidgeon of haughtiness.)
The literal subjects (Japan and Africa and—to a lesser extent—San Francisco, Iceland, and elsewhere) are ostensible; Marker merely prefers these experiential data as a means of discussing memory…
It doesn't have the effectiveness of La Jette, but it's still a fascinating meditation piece that creates a better sense of a location than most narrative filmmaking.
Probably not the best film to see a bit tipsy, and to make matters worse some dickhead was at times filming the screen.
A fascinating stream-of-consciousness, philosophical and possibly fictional travelogue. The film is ostensibly about the cultural differences between Japan and the west, but Africa and Iceland are involved in key ways. It's largely a flow of images with an unnamed woman narrator telling the viewer what another individual told her about places he traveled ... and sometimes observations about a film he wanted to make, which appears to be this film. It's mesmerizing.
"[Hayao Yamaneko] showed me some 60's clashes after treatment by his synthetizer. The images are less deceptive than what you see on TV, he maintains. At least they profess to be what they are: images, not a compact, transportable form of an already inacessible reality."
"Frankly, have you ever heard of anything stupider than to say to people, as they teach in film schools, not to look at the camera?"
How can we see the world as more than mere image, an endless parade of misperceptions and fabrications that can never truly capture reality?
And how can we not see the world as more than that?
A compelling meditation on the nature of memory vs. experience, Sans Soleil will confuse some audiences with its stream-of-consciousness style, but others will find its great imagery and editing great aids to a rewarding experience.
Hey, French lady reading pretentious, disruptive travel letters! SHUT UP!!!
The constant jabbering is just as annoying as Herzog's voiceovers. There is some gorgeous imagery here, too bad Marker won't let us enjoy it. I usually stick to original language versions, but in this case I think I should have opted for the English one.
I've made myself write a few thoughts on every film I've seen for the last month. So far, this is the one that I'm finding hardest to write about.
It's like nothing I've ever seen before, kind of like Mirror meets F for Fake meets Koyaanisqatsi, but to enforce that comparison would really dilute what makes this film so good. It's the entire world, reflected back on one man and his experiences. It's thoughtful, profound, and wholly unpretentious. It's a film I'm going to enjoy coming back to again and again.
The least I can say is that this film immensely moved me and I really enjoyed it. It's almost too much.
There are just so many things I could say about Sans Soleil, thoughts and feelings which are all jumbled together much like the loosely connected sequences of the film itself.
Going into the film, I was afraid of a culturally imperialistic tone a Westerner might have toward Japanese culture, but Marker pulls off a remarkably nuanced understanding of Japan which he then molds into a deeper quest for the portrayal of memory.
What could I say about this film, seemingly so meandering and unfocused on any single subject? Sans Soleil drifts across the world, from Tokyo to Iceland to Guinea-Bissau, in a seemingly fruitless quest to reach out and grasp some insight into human memory. Memory itself is a strange…
A beautiful film.
Annoyingly I was drifting off at a few points during the movie. Which I'm not sure was down to my tiredness or the dreamlike nature of the film.