All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. 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…
Sans Soleil is awe-inspiring. Japan in the 80s fascinates me; so dated and yet so futuristic, so foreign and yet so familiar. The juxtaposition between Japan and the other countries Chris Marker's intrepid narrator explores (Guinea-Bissau, mainly) is striking. As someone who takes pleasure in reading and writing essays, this essay on film sticks with me.
This avante garde documentary by Chris Marker explores the creation and maintenance of cultural memory with an essay about time and memory set against such diverse footage as a volcano in Iceland, scenes from Vertigo (1958), and the slaughtering of a cow in Guineau-Bissau.
It's an interesting experiment, but I don't think it was successful, and I won't watch it again.
Sans Soleil is narration covered by moving pictures of different cultures and saturated with poetry. Great first half but the second half of the film lacked anything different or climatic from the previous 45 minutes which got boring. Still a great look at Toyko, asian and african cultures and I'll be sure to watch this film while tripping as it would be quite entertaining.
Chris Marker's iconic film is considered to be a masterpiece. The first time I saw it was for a college course in the late 1980's. I've seen it several times since.
I simply to not understand the appeal of this movie. It alludes me. A sort of rambling documentary part travelogue part cultural commentary part something abstract -- the aim of this film just isn't clear to me.
Though, it has been very articulately explained to me more than a few times. I don't think I'm a lazy thinker, but this movie does not satisfy me.
I am unmoved, confused and bored. I just don't care for this film.
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place.
Sans Soleil is essentially an updated version of Dziga Vertov's Man With A Movie Camera: a series of tangentially related images (montage in the purest sense) telling a skeleton story and showing off the power of film as a plastic medium. Chris Marker is the 1983 version of Vertov, and he does a great job. Every individual shot in Soleil is not without meaning, so the final product is dense and runs a bit long. Still, it walks a fine line between documentary and narrative and it does so with a fair amount of grace. Worth a watch, if only once.
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.