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La Jetée

Chris Marker, 1962

Chris Marker’s 1962 short La Jetée wonderfully reimagines possibilities for film in its themes of time travel and the future, as well as its technical triumphs. A man captured in a post-apocalyptic war-torn future is forced to travel in time to unlock secrets that will restore harmony for humanity. The time-loop and so-called ghostliness of the protagonist casts a mystical veil over what appear to be ordinary compositions, removing them from banality and instead placing them in the realm of science fiction. A blur between imagery that is from memory and that which is fantastical is felt, and creates a stimulating  tension throughout and proposes that new discoveries be made on each viewing.

Due to time and budget constraints, the film contains only one shot of motion footage, but this necessity for still imagery enabled perhaps greater creativity in the editing and construction of the film. The collation of images follows a process of animation, and the selective minimalist nature draws attention to sound and timing. While narration effectively evokes imagery complementing the blend of photography, the well-placed silences and moments of darkness punctuate the adventure. 


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