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La Jetee (1962)

La Jetee (1962)

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Published by Anim MA
Chris Marker
Chris Marker

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


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 In 1962, Chris Marker, a French director, journalist and photographer madea science fiction film called La Jetee.
This is a strangely wonderful film with many memorable images. In fact 
La Jetee 
is almost totally composed of individual frozen pictures, since it is a photo-montage with sparse narration.
( Cannon, D 1997).Marker was a very successful director and unique due to his memorablefilms, la Jetee is still considered as one of the most staggeringachievements in the history of film. The use of the still images is reallymeaningful thanks to the shots and their order that successfullycommunicates the flash backs and emotions, makes the story clear.
 During a post-apocalyptic Paris, scientists make experiments on a prisoner who has a strong memory of the past, which they believe will increase thechances to mentally travel in time. The memory that haunted him since hewas a child remained a mystery until he realized he was concerned.
This film is my favorite of those that we have covered in this course. It is a reflection of the time in which it was made in that it reflects the anxieties of the 1960s. The film was shot during the Cold War, when the fear of nuclear annihilation was a major source of concern, and the post-apocalyptic setting of the film demonstrates this, among other themes 
(Bullock, T2011)La Jetee was shot in black and white and is made of a series of stillimages, accompanied by soundtracks which are very relevant to the moodof the story.In a politic point of view, the film shows the anxiety of the French populationduring Vichy France, in which Germany has taken over northern France.This could be noticed when the scientists whisper to the protagonist.
Moreover, the enslavement of the defeated and how they are being usedfor experiments that causes madness or even death shows the presence of the Nazis occupation in the French public consciousness.The inescapability of the French public from the war and enslavement is
shown through the fact that the main character couldn’t
escape the timeand his destiny regardless of his ability to travel in time.
Why did the scientists go to all the bother of killing the time-traveller at the end? Under the hypothesis that the time-travel was real, it was surely a costly waste of time for the scientists to chase the time-traveller down and shoot him. Under the alternative hypothesis that the time-travel was imagined or else purely a mental phenomenon, the scientists would then have killed the time-traveller relatively simply and costlessly by giving him,say, an injection of poison, so the shooting at the airport would be merely the time-traveller's imagination at work before he dies 
(Y, Sheng 2003).
What makes this film so special and memorable is its use of psychologyand the room it leaves to the people
s interpretation. The director succeedsto put the viewer next to the character where we can closely follow andwatch him create scenes in his head, because obviously
he didn’t travel in
time.On further research, it appears to be that memories are likely to changeand get distorted under drugs influence without people realizing it. Inaddition to that, the character 
’s t
raumatic memories, his pain and fear fromdeath that have been haunting him during the experiment have invaded hisdream.

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