Midsection: Around the World with Chris Marker
An online-only annotated Chris Marker filmography
BY PAUL ARTHUR
Paul Arthur addresses Chris Marker in letter form, exploring the influence of experimental Soviet cinema, both aesthetically and politically, upon the director's works.
II. GHOST WORLD: JAPAN THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
BY OLAF MÖLLER
Japan has a special meaning for Chris Marker. It's the one place this eternal traveler—once of the physical world, now mainly of the mind, soul, and Net—has returned to time and again, filming, pondering, and remembering experiences that in some cases he might never have had.
III. RED SKIES
BY MIN LEE
During his SLON years, the period from 1967 to 1976, Marker worked anonymously within this militant collective—one of a number that sprang up in France's politicized film culture.
IV. TOTAL RECALL: FILM, VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA WORKS BY CHRIS MARKER
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY CATHERINE LUPTON, SAM DIIORIO, MIN LEE, & MICHAEL CHAIKEN, WITH ASSISTANCE FROM CHRIS MARKER
A complete, exhaustive, and annotated filmography representing the entire output of Chris Marker.
V. PRINTED MATTER: THE AUTHOR BEHIND THE AUTEUR
BY MICHAEL CHAIKEN AND SAM DIIORIO
Much of the English-language critical writing on Chris Marker concentrates on his recent work and leaves the start of his career completely out of the picture. And rightly so. The little information circulating is both contradictory and vague: born just outside of Paris to a family of Latin American property owners, a student of Sartre's in the Thirties, American paratrooper during WWII, schooling in Indiana. . . . By the end of the Forties, however, the picture becomes slightly clearer. At this point, Marker began a serious career as a writer.
VI. BAZIN ON MARKER
In a new, never before published translation, legendary film critic André Bazin heralds the cinema of the future. Chris Marker wrote the narration for Bibliothèque Nationale (Toute la mémoire du monde) and Statues Also Die. These incisive, powerful texts, in which cutting irony plays hide and seek with poetry, would be enough to secure their author a privileged place in the field of short filmmaking, currently the liveliest fringe of the French cinema. Chris Marker has already profoundly altered the visual relationship between text and image. But his ambition was obviously more radical, and it became necessary for him to make his own films.
VII. TIME IMMEMORIAL
BY KENT JONES
After you've browsed through Immemory, Chris Marker's first CD-ROM, you will want to leave areas of it unexplored. That way, you can extend your relationship with this precious object long past the point that you've thrown other relics of the all-but-obsolete medium into your deepest desk drawer. Without apparent effort, Marker pulls off a remarkable feat: like Proust before him, he creates a template for the workings of memory itself as he's charting his own interior landscape. (Read the complete article here.)
VIII. POSTCARD FROM THE EDGE: MARKER'S IMPRESSIONS OF ISRAEL
BY J. HOBERMAN
"Modern adventure, Marker understands, is not updating lost paradises, but discovering new places . . . no longer the Indies, but Communist China, no longer the Amazon, but Cuba, no longer Palestine, but Israel." So wrote Cahiers du Cinéma critic Andre S. Labarthe on the occasion of the release of Chris Marker's 1961 Description of a Struggle. Today one might call these places failed utopias. "Following the footsteps of Jesus on a scooter," another Cahiers critic enthused, "Marker returns with a science-fiction film. Israel '60 [is] a country making itself in front of a camera."