LA JETEE, a set on Flickr.RIP CHRIS MARKER. I first saw his seminal film ‘La Jetee’ one afternoon in 1998. It was my first “art film.” I could not understand what it was “about” at first. But I also couldn’t help to be utterly captured by it. The film scared me in the way nothing ever had before. I fell in love with it. I never fully believed in the power of images. At least not in the way Chris Marker showed me. 26 minutes of grainy black and white still images, edited together with stark voice over. And then it hits you with a one two punch for a few seconds at a moment of perfect crescendo, motion. A woman blinks for a few frames of film. Perfectly timed. Wow. I’m a firm believer that such great films can instill such dread, yet can inspire and influence all at once. It’s because of Chris Marker and La Jetee, that I will always see myself as a filmmaker who makes films in photographs. “This is the story of a man marked by an image from his childhood…” Photos from the Jetee Bar taken in 2005 here. My film professor, Jean Pierre Gorin sat at that very bar with Marker the last time they were there. It’s become sort of a meeting ground and mecca for filmmakers who come through Tokyo.

jeteebarfrenchfilmmakersssjeteebarcornerfrenchfilmmaker_bw

LA JETEE, a set on Flickr.

RIP CHRIS MARKER.

I first saw his seminal film ‘La Jetee’ one afternoon in 1998. It was my first “art film.” I could not understand what it was “about” at first. But I also couldn’t help to be utterly captured by it. The film scared me in the way nothing ever had before. I fell in love with it. I never fully believed in the power of images. At least not in the way Chris Marker showed me. 26 minutes of grainy black and white still images, edited together with stark voice over. And then it hits you with a one two punch for a few seconds at a moment of perfect crescendo, motion. A woman blinks for a few frames of film. Perfectly timed. Wow.

I’m a firm believer that such great films can instill such dread, yet can inspire and influence all at once.

It’s because of Chris Marker and La Jetee, that I will always see myself as a filmmaker who makes films in photographs.

“This is the story of a man marked by an image from his childhood…”

Photos from the Jetee Bar taken in 2005 here. My film professor, Jean Pierre Gorin sat at that very bar with Marker the last time they were there. It’s become sort of a meeting ground and mecca for filmmakers who come through Tokyo.