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…
"I will have spent my life trying to understand the function of remembering, which is not the opposite of forgetting, but rather its lining. We do not remember, we rewrite memory much as history is rewritten. How can one remember thirst?"
"Sandor Krasna" early on refers to Japan and Africa as "two extreme points of survival," and such gaps comprise the structure of SANS SOLEIL--the gap between Japan and Africa, between Delay and Sandor Krasna, between the living and the non-living, between image and sound. Regarding the latter point, I must rather blasphemously confess that the script of this film alone I found nearly perfect, overwhelming with a constant barrage of ideas (though in the manner of something like SLACKER, not necessarily always valid ones--e.g. "history only tastes bitter to those who expect it to taste sugar-coated.") that the images can't quite match the power and intensity of; the images alone would be compelling alone, I believe, though not nearly to…
las pelis de Chris Marker no es que se adelanten a nada, es que habitan en otro plano dimensional
The dog waits for his master, but does the master wait for his dog?
Can it be possible to make a documentary virtually about nothing and yet, somehow, make it come off being about everything? The late Chris Marker was a master at the techniques of film editing and it just may be "Sans Soleil" that comes off as the extremely reserved filmmaker’s finest piece of work. The skill in his cuts and use of stock footage makes for extreme flamboyancy in style - meshing elements of fiction and reality (and homage to films of yore) to such a degree that Marker’s feelings for the world seem to fall directly out from the screen.
it's always been difficult to express what I like about this film. it wasn't like anything else I'd seen, and it still isn't. I don't remember what led me to Sunless. it seems miraculous that this one obscure film would come to me and change the way I think about media, about film, about memory. it's like visual poetry. it creates a dense atmosphere of philosophy and imagery. visuals and narrative are perfectly, bizarrely interwoven. it's like a thick and busy dreamscape. it's like the film's description of Tokyo shopping malls as subterranean labyrinths between dreams and reality. it's like staring into another mind. every time I see Sans Soleil it burrows its way into my consciousness just as deeply as before. all I search for in film are 'things that quicken the heart,' and this does, powerfully.
Sans Soleil is magical, both in content and in execution, a snapshot of the world that sums up the human experience and contextualizes it within the unknowability that comes with strict rules of perception. Marker avoids mere exoticism by questioning the nature of this perception, a subject that not only accommodates his foreignness but makes it entirely appropriate, adding a layer to the obscurity (obscurity which itself offers further truth through its universality). He looks at time and how it shapes humanity, voyeurism and how it plays a role in both the ways different cultures perceive each other and how it unites them, the idea of universal connection through an overarching narrative of shared feelings and gestures, modernity and how…
Sans Soleil defies easy summary - it is a documentary, a travelogue, a stream-of-consciousness rumination on film. A female voice narrates fragments of letters from a filmmaker, about the differences between places and cultures of the world (Guinea-Bisseau and Japan especially), about memory, about the meaning of filmed images.
Truthfully, much of the narration bored me, or drove me a bit batty. This is no small problem, considering that it rarely pauses throughout the film. Certain observations intrigued me, but most did not, and their monotonous insistence quickly grew tiring - the narration was less often an enriching accompaniment to the visuals than a lingering gnat that I wished to flick away.
No doubt, my reaction speaks more to my…
I'll start off this review with the fact that I thought I'd be bored out of my mind slogging through it. But the vibrancy and engrossing nature of the images and their accompanying narration, usually passages of dialogue of a woman recalling letters she recieved from the film maker kept me glued to my seat.
This film is apparently some sort of "film essay" or that's what the director and film historians want me to believe. But I see it as a breathtaking series of moving images of Japan and other countries. Are not many films the same?
I was often transfixed on what I was watching. Seeing the people walking around in department stores and listening to the narrator…