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.…
There's a great quote from a book I read recently that is a great little companion to the film, so I thought I'd include it.
“What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory--meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion--is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling. Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case,…
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 favourite film of all time. Flawless from start to finish.
I normally watch movies to feel emotions. Joy, sadness, devastation, relief, anger, excitement, whatever they are, emotions are always welcome. I can't say the same for phylosophical talks that only are in the form of film because they are accompanied by images. I can of course appreciate just pure beauty and get emotion from it, but I didn't find any beauty in the footage of San Soleil. I guess I only saw the black. Sans Soleil is sort of a documentary that plays like a journey around the world showing its people, but a documentary that chooses to show the things I'm the least interested in about the world and its people.
Chris Marker's poetic documentary explores the relationship between man and nature. We hear a beautifully written voiceover throughout the film. The fact that it is difficult to follow when presented with the onslaught of images (especially when reading subtitles) makes it even harder for me to recall four days later the specific subject matter, which is wryly ironic given the overarching theme of memory. Sans Soleil shows us a society that has achieved a sense of rhythmic beauty that seems to be lacking in Western culture, and though it is difficult to understand exactly the reason why what we see feels so much more fulfilling than what we might experience in our daily lives, the film presents us with this discrepancy excellently. It establishes a deep link between our species and our environment.
I cannot even dream of giving this film a fair and proper analysis until I watch it again, which I know I will someday.
Third watch. Still consider Sunless to be one of the most intelligent and densest movies ever made.
There's a lesson to be learnt here: simplicity is the key. With some narration and some smart editing, you too can turn your home movies into extraordinary works of art...if your name is Chris Marker. I saw La Jetee a while back and it blew my mind. This did the same. Effortlessly too. The movie doesn't try hard to be this or that. Highly recommended.
Oh, and there are cats in this!
"The tickets from the automatic dispenser grant admission to the show."
Not really sure what I just saw but it was wonderful seeing such a unique vision on film.
A cinematic essay on predominantly Japan, allegorizing life, society, perceptions, and memories.