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…
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.
#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…
My pal Hayao Yamaneko has found a solution: if the images of the present don't change, then change the images of the past.
He showed me the clashes of the sixties treated by his synthesizer: pictures that are less deceptive he says—with the conviction of a fanatic—than those you see on television. At least they proclaim themselves to be what they are: images, not the portable and compact form of an already inaccessible reality. Hayao calls his machine's world the 'zone,' an homage to Tarkovsky.
This movie IS the ZONE. Just as the kamikazes pilots ARE the PLANE.
So Vertigo entered the Sight and Sound list of best movies of all time in 1982.
This movie was made the…
I couldn't possibly digest it all in one viewing. For now, what I got out of it was to at least temporarily feel what it might be like to have been everywhere and seen everything. That, and a few moments of beauty, simply beauty without adjectives, of a calibre so rare you'd be lucky to come across one such gem in a hundred great films. Here they're scattered about almost carelessly, in a prayer for a lost cat, dogs playing on a beach, or a woman's split-second glance, her face frozen in time by the camera.
One thing I know is this film isn't about memory, not entirely. That's certainly a hugely important part of what's going on, but it…
La referencia mainstream más cercana a Chris Marker es, sin duda, Doce monos (Terry Gilliam, 1995). La idea de realizar este cuento distópico y determinista de viajes en el tiempo no vino del miembro más creativo de los Monty Python, sino que fue un proyecto de estudio. Universal Studios habían comprado los derechos para hacer un remake del cortometraje (¿o mediometraje?) de Marker titulado La Jetée (1962), un poema visual en blanco y negro construido a través de instantáneas, fundidos y voz en off. La Jetée nos contaba la trágica historia de un viajero en el tiempo, obligado por los últimos supervivientes de una Tierra post-apocalíptica a viajar una y otra vez al pasado en busca de una forma de…
"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?"
Although all travelogue films are inherently about the "other," moments of Sans Soleil challenge the exploitative nature of the genre. Concepts of the gaze and the "other" are explicitly addressed in many scenes. The most effective example includes a group of local Japanese people studying the foreign religious artifacts of Western Catholicism. In this moment the "other" is inverted. Western audiences are challenged to see themselves through the same lens that the film uses to present 1980s Japan.
The most radically politicized techniques employed are related to editing. The simple juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated images…
He wrote to me about a time travel film he had seen years before, only somehow all films, like memories, travel through time. The doubled transience of this memory of a film intrigued him, in a way that rewatching it could never satisfy. In the story of a cameraman drawn to Japanese and African traditions he found the answer for why he saw those science fiction films so worthy of study. It was the possibility of Hollywood cinema rebelling against its own tyranny of time.
Chris Marker’s feature length experimental documentary put me into an associative daze. The density makes it almost too much to absorb at once, but it’s reliably broken up into chunks that you can get lost in to your taste.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a giraffe symmetrically gush blood from its neck with the pressure of a garden hose, ‘Sans Soleil’ is your jam. Experience it sometime.
At its best, Sans Soleil packs powerful images with interesting narration. These images range from the socially casual exploration of Japanese girls turning 20, to the more nightmare-inducing flickering of images from Japanese horror cinema. Which points to the biggest weakness Sans Soleil faces: so much of the film is devoted to Japan that the random excursions to other countries is jarring and alters the flow of the film.
It is hard to criticize too much, since these random diversions showcase some of the strongest scenes in the film.
An extraordinarily beautiful film. This is probably what Terrence Malick film would look like without any form of narrative. Technically, it's a documentary but it's so much more than that. Footage taken from all over the world are assembled (primarily Japanese) and this beautiful narration read over it which is said to be a letter from the cameraman which makes it deeper, thought-provoking, personal and frankly, poetic. There's some really jaw-dropping imagery here that is simply mesmerizing (as well as some shocking, grotesque ones). I expected nothing less from the same man who managed to create a science-fiction film almost completely from still photographs. I'm gonna be thinking about this film a lot.
Cool musings and some great footage but a little too unfocused to be totally captivating
Criterion Blu-Ray #24. It's essentially a love letter to Tokyo so there's no way this isn't getting five stars. Also feel like Marker's style suits the travelogue much more than sci-fi. Absolutely mesmerising.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
most recent update - Friday, November 22, 2014
The letterboxd crew has unveiled a new feature that allows users to…
- Citizen Kane
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- Tokyo Story
- The Rules of the Game