The online retrospective of Chris Marker who has influenced several generations of filmmakers across the globe will be held on June 5 to 18, 2017 exclusively at DAFilms.com. The collection includes La Jetée, Sans Soleil, Level Five, Junkopia, Sunday in Peking, Letter from Siberia and Description of a Struggle.
Chris Marker ranks among the prominent French artists of the 20th century and directors of the French New Wave. Besides being a documentary filmmaker, he was a photographer, author of essays, newspaper articles and poems and multimedia artist. He was a leftist artist who voiced his provocative opinion on the current social and political events in his films. That is why some of his films dealing with taboo themes in Africa, the Soviet Union and Cuba were forbidden or censored. His work is imbued with the recurrent themes of time, memory and nostalgia. Throughout his life, Marker explored film as a medium and experimented with its form. For instance, his film The Pier (La Jetée, 1962) is composed of static photographs.
Throughout his life, Chris Marker received countless film and literary awards, the most prestigious ones including a César for Junkopia (1981). His most renowned films include La Jetée (1962) and Sans Soleil (1983). He has collaborated with other prominent auteurs of his era, such as Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Joris Ivens and Agnès Varda.
In the 1990s, Chris Marker was captivated by the possibilities of digital technologies, in spite of his relatively old age. At more than 70, he made a whole range of multimedia works for leading world art institutions. The very latest work by Marker is the film for one actress Level Five (1997).
The seven films of the retrospective are available for streaming here until June 18:
Sunday in Peking (1956)
Reflections on the loss of memory in connection with the emptiness of Beijing’s Forbidden City. The film attempts to depict the complex reality of the city, or more precisely of all of China; an economic superpower and at the same time a land of immense poverty.
Letter from Siberia (1957)
How to capture the truth? The film plays with the documentary and other genres and implies how difficult it is to give an account of any country and how determining our point of view is. Marker’s film also tells of the manipulative potential of the film medium; by means of editing, shooting angles and primarily voice-over, images can attain a completely different meaning.
Description of a Struggle (1960)
A documentary with a political focus and a Kafkaesque title in which both poles of the filmmaker’s work – travel essays and political documentaries – meet.
The Pier (La Jetée, 1962)
The black-and-white sci-fi novel depicts a scientific experiment in which a group of scientists tries to save mankind living in catacombs after a nuclear disaster by sending a rescue expedition to the past. The film has inspired Terry Gilliam’s cult film 12 Monkeys for which Chris Marker wrote a script.
Deserted Pacific Ocean bay near Emeryville, California. The sea is washing up things of the world to the shore and Chris Marker together with his friend are filming objects transforming from these things between the low and high tide. The experimental image of a creative process was awarded a César for the best short film.
Sunless (Sans Soleil, 1983)
A film essay (named after a composition by Mussorgsky) in which an unknown woman reads and comments on the letters she gets from her friend who is a cinematographer. He travels around the world and is most interested in Japan and Africa which fascinate him as “two extreme poles of survival.”
Level Five (1997)
The fascinating documentary puzzle is at the same time one of the most renowned cyberpunk films. The inward theme of the film is the Battle of Okinawa and the questions related to the suicidal behaviour of the local inhabitants. On a general level, the film deals with the individual and collective memory of the Japanese.
Doc Alliance Films is a collaboration between seven European documentary film festivals: Doclisboa, Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Jihlava IDFF, Visions du Réel, and CPH:DOX.