The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
"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…
this movie spoiled vertigo for me and that's why I hate it
Borderline pedantic but ultimately a riveting piece of film whose age coincides with its narrative of the nature of memories -- all was once something but now it all lives eternally in remembrance, trapped in our screens.
Also, probably one of the best-edited film of all-time. There's no doubting that.
After trying and failing to make it through once, I tried again and pushed to the end, but goddamn this really didn't do much for me. I feel almost bad saying that, especially knowing how much so many of my friends adore this film and how much is should be up my alley. Maybe I should give it one more shot when I'm not hungover or tired. Sorry everyone. Gorgeously made though, I can't fault it for that one bit.
SANS SOLEIL washes over you in an awesome way. A hypnotic, impossible to classify travelogue through time and memory. The opening sequence ("...if they don't see happiness in the picture, at least they'll see the black...") might just be the greatest way a film has started. Ever.
Beautiful and genuine. A real work of art.
I want to write forever about this film.
But it's one of those times when you watch a film and think: "That's a kind of film I wish I would make."
There is no doubt that Sans Soleil is a unique experience, but it wasn’t an experience that I was in any way in the mood for. Basically, I spent the last hour(!) of the film going: “aaaaaaaarrrrggghhh, isn’t this over soon?”, and I don’t think I will get the yapping voice of the narrator out of my head any time soon.
Had I been in another mood, I might have like it more, but right now have to admit that it is beyond my comprehension why Sans Soleil is considered one of the best documentaries in film history.
Sans Soleil takes fleeting glances at lives of people in places around the world, while cataloging the thoughts of one watching all of this occur. It's like watching life happen, with persistent narration describing the scene, and providing commentary. Though it strives to provide some profound philosophical queries, the impact of the endless string of words strikes with a dull thud, and I can't help but feel rather apathetic towards the whole ordeal.
This is certainly one for individuals who fancy themselves intellectuals, and like to position themselves so as to appear superior to those around them. I won't go so far as to denounce Sans Soleil as pretentious drivel, but the consistent monotony…
He wrote me...
An alien race had been studying the planet and the people. Attempts at understanding what information was gleaned over the centuries were met only by more questions. The only medium capable of beginning to translate what was learned was film.
I have watched the film.
More Info to come
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…