La Jetée

La Jetée ★★★★★

I have never understood the fascination with the nostalgic power of photographs. I encounter so many people who have an obsession with documenting every banal moment of their lives with pictures, stopping in their tracks to pose outside a frozen yogurt shop or while they are eating a slice of pizza. The worst part is that they think I care, but I don't. Don't show me 150 still images of the same seven people smiling at a camera from different angles. Don't even show me one of those images. Being totally honest, zero percent of me cares to see the picture and zero percent of me cares to be in such a picture. All I need is my memories, whether they be of the most mundane, seemingly insignificant segments of my life or of a monumental moment that changed everything.

I had absolutely no idea what style of storytelling would be portrayed during the much lauded 1962 science fiction masterpiece La Jetee, and I was surprised to find that essentially it is my worst social nightmare presented cinematically. For a brief 28 minutes, an entire narrative is presented almost exclusively through a series of still images and a voice-over, and my goodness is it incredible. Telling the story of an attempt to time travel after the ramifications of nuclear war left Paris devastated, I was completely captivated by the format of the film and floored by the results.

The most fascinating and important slide show of photographs I have ever witnessed. If only my family and friends could present their weekend getaway in such an inspired fashion.