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La Jetée (1962)

La Jetée (1962)

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Published by kinblob
Film Review
Film Review

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Categories:Types, Reviews
Published by: kinblob on Jan 14, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/01/2014

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La Jetée (1962)
Chris Marker
 
Cast
Jean Négroni ... Narrator (voice)Hélène Chatelain ... The WomanDavos Hanich ... The ManJacques Ledoux ... The Experimenter
Figure 1. Film Poster
 
A new take on the much explored idea of time travel in cinema. La Jetée uses photography as a medium to create story
, it’s a
short film which runs for approximately 28 minutes; the award winning film uses images to successfully create an eerie suspensewhere nothing has actually happened but is about to, the viewers are forced to wait, this together with audio made La Jetée thefilm it is today.The Third World War has happened and scientists are experimenting with time traveling, sending subject to the past and the futuret
o save the present, they’re drawn to a particular
man who has a very vivid memory from his past of a man being shot, and a face
of a woman, though he’d previously
been unsure of what happened he later understands the significance of this moment. He getssent into the past, and he meets the woman of his memory, he forms a romantic relationship with her, because of his success
with time travelling into the past, he’s then sent t
o the future, he obtains something which is able to save his present. His missionwas complete and he was to be executed, he is then contacted by people of the future who offer him a way out, they offer to keephim in the future, but he requests to go back and live in the past with the woman, when he gets back to the past, before he could
reach the woman he’s killed in cold blood; this is the exact scene he see as a young child.
 A film where the viewers are allowed to watch and reflect on the significance of frame before the story continue; before this film,not many people thought it was possible to tell a story with just simply images, La Jetée was the film that proved the scepticswrong, there is a brief moment in the film where the woman blinks, though as odd as it might have been having a moving image inthis film felt surreal; suspended in disbelief, the audience
almost forgets that they’re watching images, but when the woman
blink,it feels strange and as people talk more about what actually happens in the film, that point in the film feels like the most
significant. Ureil Orlow talks about the photography in the film he said that “
La Jetée represents the power to interrupt the flow of  narrative 
” (Orlow, 1999), here Orlow talks about how effect the timing between each image is effect for the type of film La Jetée
is. Interrupting the flow of narrative gives time for the viewer to think, although people can come out of the film not known whatthey had just seen, it gives you the opportunity to understand, and then creates appropriate suspense for a dark psycho take ontime travel.
Figure 2. Love interest?
 
The character dies in the film, but he dies in the past, so he therefore dies in the present. No one understand time travel because
it’s literally impossible, but upon reflection it becomes obvious that the main character actually doesn’t time travel, “
we are meant to exist 
– 
to live and die 
– 
in the present 
” (Walters, 2008), this emphasizes the fact
that everyone dies in present, but thefilm is
played out in such a way the viewer’s true believe the main character has time travelled, and when he dies, it’s like his tru
lydied in the past. Another way of looking at the film is that the main character is given a drug and under the influence of this drugthe character recollects his strongest memory of the woman, and in his head he creates a world where he time travelledeverything in this world is in this head and the placebo effect kicks in, helping the main character predict the future, and when he
come back to the present from his “trip”, and is informed that he’ll be killed, the scientist actually were nice enough to pu
t himunder the influence of that drug before executing him and in his head, he creates a scenario where he gets shot.La Jetée is a very successful experimental film, it explores time travel, but what the whole film comes down to is memory. Thesimple vivid m
emory of a young child which shapes the future of man as a “time traveller”. “
La Jetée is a complex and poetic reflection on the destructive and redemptive powers of memory 
” (
Dillion, 2009), here Dillion shows he understand what theunderlying storyline is about, the main word is memory, a memory leading to a chain of events created in the head of one man, avery tragic and yet a poetic end, La Jetée is a film that might have to be watched twice to understand the genius
of it all, it’s
visually pleasing and is an experience to be had by all.
 
Figure 3. The beginning and the end

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