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Chris Marker Monografico

Chris Marker Monografico

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Published by matshita
Monográfico en ingles sobre el cineasta Chris Marker
Monográfico en ingles sobre el cineasta Chris Marker

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Published by: matshita on Mar 13, 2011
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08/03/2013

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WhoisChrisMarker?Bettertoask"HowmanyChrisMarkershavethere
been?"
EversincethenameChris.Markel'(that
doL
patientlywaitingforits
com)
firstappearedinthelateForties,
the
manbornChristian
Francois
Bouche-VilleneuvehasdevelopedintowhatHowardHamptondescribesinthefol-lowingpagesas"themost
unclassifi-
ableofdirectors."Movingbackandforthbetweenbookandfilm,wordandimage,pastandpresent,hereandthere,Mmkerisanever-evolvinghybrid.Thatidentity-concealingdotwasleftoffsometimeagoasMarkerbecamecinema'scon-summatediversifier:worldtraveler,filmessayist,writer,photographer,politicallyengagedinternationalist.Why"unclassifiable"?Partlybecause
32FILMCOM~IENT
Thecrowdlooksup:
AGrinWithout
a
Cat
ofthemultifaceted(and,ithastobesaid,mostlyinvisible)natureoftheworkitselfbutalsobecauseMarker'sachieve-menthasbeentomakehimselfprettymuchinvisible,too.Nomeanfeat,giventhecultofpersonalitythatstilldominatescinema.Butit'sbeenalifetime'swork,thisCheshireCat-likevanishingact,thisreverse-engineeringofanabsence.Modesty,orakindofinversenarcis-sism?Intruth,theymatterlittle,themotivesforhisself-removaltothestatusofarecurringfootnote,hismultiplicationufsurrogatesandheteronyms(Marker,
Krasna,
Yameneko,etc.).Asatacticalployinthewiderstrategyofkeepingmoving,evolving,andproducing,it'sbeentheworkthathasmatteredmost,andhisvanish-ingacthashadthebeneficialsideeffectofmakingthevoice,thepersonality,resideentirelyinthework.TheMarkernon-personaof"TheManWhoWas(andWasn't)There,"
theParisianOz,
wouldhavebeenjustagreatgaghadthefilmsnotbeenquitesounforgettableandbehindwhich,thesuspiciongrew,theremayhavebeensomekindofrealwizardryatwork.TherehavebeentimeswhenMarker'srenownhasbeenlittlemomthanacinephileswhisper,arumoredsightingofafacesaidtoexistinonlyacoupleofphotographicimages.Butsteadily,thewhispershavegrowninvolume,andcine-kidsfindthemselvesdiscoursingenthusiasticallywithmovieeldersaboutthatblackpearlattheheartofcinema'scrownjewels,
La
Jellie.
Ot;aboutthe"spiralsoftime"thathaveencir-cledthem,onegenerationafterthenext,in
Sanssoleil.
Itseemstome,and
evidently
toalltheotherwritersinthistwo-partdossier,thatthewhispershavenowreachedsuchapitchthatthequestion
''\VllO
is
Chris
Marker?"maywell
be
worthposinganew.
So,
whatdo
weknowaboutMarker?'111alhewasborninParis-orUlanBator-in
1921.
Thathewasapublishedwriterillhismid-twenties,producinganovel,acriticalessayontheplaywrightJeanCirsudoux,andanumberofcollaborative"montagetexts"incorporatingwordsandimages,as
well
asregularcontributionstothepublications
Esprit
and
Cahiersducinema.
That
hewas
a
socially
engaged
left-istwhosetravelswouldtakehimtoChina,theU5SH,Koren,Cuba,Israel,Japan,andmanypointsinbetween.Thathewas
acoll-
aborator
withother
Iilnunakers,
notably
Alain
Resnais,beforehebeganmakinghisownfilmsandthat,inthe50-plusyearssincehisfirstfeature,
Olympia
52(52),
hisout-puthasincludedfilmsofvaryinglengthsforthecinema,documentaries
for
rv,col-lectivefilms,
writtencommentaries
forotherfilmmakers,
and
multimediaandvideo
work,
It'stemptingtoreducethegreatdiver-sityofMarker'soutputtoachecklistofIlat
thematics,
timeandmemory,wordandimage,struggleandliberty,etc.Betterto
let
thisdossier'scontributorsguideyouthroughtheMm'kerlabyrinthandtopro-ceedbyindirection,takingthedetours
offered
throughtheirchosenapproaches.Insomecasesthesetaketheformofexplorationsofspecificfilms
(Le[olimai;
Marker'smostrecentwork,
Remem-
brancea/ThiJlgstoCome;
hisfilmsofthelateFiftiesandearlySixties).Elsewhere,theapproachisthematic(HowardHamp-ton'soverview
of
the
Marker'
"memoryzone"andCatherineLuptononhisever-chang-ingrelationshipwithtechnology)orgeo-graphic(OlafMolleronthefilmmaker'slifelongrelationshipwithJapaninPart
lI).
Toparaphrasethemanhimselfcom-mentingonJapan:"IfyouwanttogeltoknowMarkeryoucanaswellinventhim."-CHRIS
DAIlKE
 
Definingqualitiesoftheperipheralvision-
ury:
obliquity,modesty,thoughtfulness,humor,criticalengagement,aretrospec-tiveappreciationofexperience.Hisperi-
patetie
zigzag
mindtravels
on(whatelse?)eatfeet,sidlingthroughcmwdsofrefugee-likeimages.Melling-plotspecterscome[rom
verywbere=-Moscow,
Tokyo,Paris,
Havana,
Okinawa,Cape
Verrle,
Vertigo's
,an
Francisco,
Tarkovskys
Solan's,
cyber-
space,Ouijaboards.
(I
keepforgetting:
Is
La
JeltSe
the
archaicprequel
to
12
Monkeys
orthescience-fictionsequelto
Laura?)
Theseshadow
couriers
carrynomadicgeographieswiththem,imprintedliketattoos:
"the
map
becomestheterritory,"
inscribingthepreciselatitudesandlon-
gitudes
ofunspokenlives,hiddencon-
tradictions,
telltale
traces,
calm,
measured
voicemakesitselfheardahovethewhitenoiseofwars,pol
i
I
iealsavage
I)"
implodedrevolutions.
11
drawsus
in
withtheconfi-dential,clandestine
tone
ofatinyadslippedinto
the
Prood«
personals:lucid
alertness
seeks
li
ke-rninded
companion-
ship,
witheye
toward
escapingglobalnightmare
ofkamikaze
ideologies,
DOA
utopias.dominationh)'
consumption,
Throughout
a
serpentinejourneyint(}-and
out
of-the
past,ChrisMlll·kerhasbeenthemostunclassifiable
or
directors;a
whimsical-my,
tical-dialec-ticallinkbetweenZenandMarx?AZonepoetstalk
i
ng
I
heinnerI
ifeofhis-tory?Nature
documentarian
trackingthatmostelusiveofendangeredspecies->subjectivity?
15
lurkerthelate,
semi-
lamented20th
century's
mostpitilesscoroneroritslastpartisan?Hisbodyof
work
meetsuson
it';
own
hereticalterms,less
aseriesofdiscrete
motionpicturesthansomanypassionatelysketched-
out
chapters.
Call
eacha"Convolute,"usingWalterBenjamin'snomenclatureandthe
OED's
definition:
"Rolledlongitudi-nallyupon
iLo;eIf,
asalesfinthebud."One
by
one,piece
by
piece.
a<ldingup
toasin-
gle,
lifelongquest
memorializing
the
dreamlile
ofanepochthatvanishedbeforehis
eyes.
Marker'sconversational,ever-evolvingcinematic:
hybrids
(news-rel/Iiction,
La
Jelee's
stills-en-film,thegradualembraceofvideo'scasualplas-
ticity)
alwaysseemtobemovinginsev-eral
(I
irections
atonce,full-cireiingback
CHRISMARKER'SANATOMIESOFMELANCHO
v.
BYHOWARDHAMPTON
to
the
sameeternal
preoooupation-e-our
limesasthey,andwe,haveseeminglypassedintothedustbinof
history.
OneDar
in
theI
iji!
<!lAne/reiJlr!!enevich
(00),his
lender,
elementalpanegyric
to
Tarkovsky,suppliesathumbnailsketch
or
Marker'sownaesthetic:"...Andreiwasraisingallimaginaryhouse,auniquehousewhere
all
themomsopenontoone
another,
andallleud
to
thesame<.:0211dor...."
His
work
could
beconsidered
the
cine-
matiequivalentofBenjamin'S
sprawling,saturnine
notebooksforhis
unfinished,literally
interminable
ArcadesProject
but
transposedto
a
worldwhere
thevideo
ar.adeand
Internet
hasreplaced
the
19lh
century's
cathedral-like
proto-shop-
ping-mallsand[laneur-haunts.Thusthepculiarfeelingofstatelyyetfrazzled
si
mui
taneity
in
la
[etee
(62).
Sanssoleil
(82),
and
LevelFive
(97),that
dual
Cor-ward/backward-looking
quallty,
the
antic-
ipatoryand
the
relros
peel
i
vescrambledtogetherinanoverlapping,boundary-blurringwaythatfeelssolikewhatreal-
ity
hasbecome.Asmuchpainstakingeditor
as
auteur
(as
if
the
world
werealibraryofouttakesand
lost
negatives
waitingto
befoundand
reo
tored
10
life),hhas
narrators
deliverthese
digres-
sive,intuitive-leapingcollages
orquotations
andruminationsas
if
they
werelettersread
aloud
toabsentor
deceased
friends
(Tarkovsky,
AlexanderMedvedkin,
you
0['
me).
Mi
ivescomposed
of
somany
types
offootage
that
arethensentgentlypin-ballinghackintotheworld,inalan-
guage
that'sas
public
asapolitical
demonstration,reclusive
as
aseem!
life,andintimateusa
love
song.
For
instance,"OnlyLoveCanBreakYourIleur1"-exeeptthatMarkersub-stitutesIIi
·tUl),
asthesourceofalldoomed
FidelCastroin
Grin
ardor.
11'5
lhsultryair-raid
sirenseduc-ingandabandoninggenerationsoftheunwruyandunrequited:a'S
Lenin
mighthave
said,
you
can'tmakearevolutionwithoutbreakingafewhearts,nottomenLionwills.(talinexpeditedtheprocess:a
bullet
throughtheheadwasaquickerway
FILMCOMMENT
ss

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