Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sans Soleil/Sunless (Part 1)

Like Matthew Barney, Chris Marker is an audio-visual poet.

Marker, a mysterious artist, did not give interviews or like his picture taken. He would offer to let photographers take a picture of his cat though.

This movie, Sans Soleil is still one of the most incredible influencial movies ever made. To watch it now is to see a preview of trends and cultural insights that are almost shocking because of their exciting futurism. Its even almost a funny movie in many spots. You can see it at youTube...part by part...it is so worth your time! If you have never seen this movie then you are in for a treat.

Sans Soleil and Roland Barthes Empire of Signs were among the most intense influences on me personally as a student. Now, looking back, it's as if Barthes and Marker were time travellers...

Born Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve on July 29, 1921, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, the intensely private and enigmatic Marker shrouded the personal details of his life in mystery. He rarely agreed to interviews, and during his rare tête-à-têtes with the media he was known to provide deliberate misinformation (as a result, some biographies even list him as a native of Outer Mongolia). It is known that during World War II, Marker joined the French Resistance forces (and also, according to myth, the U.S. Army). He later mounted a career as a writer and critic, publishing the novel Veillée de l'homme et de sa liberté in 1949. He also wrote 1952's Giraudoux par Lui-Même -- an acclaimed study of the existential dramatist Jean Giraudoux, whose use of abstract narrative tools proved highly influential on Marker's subsequent film work -- and appeared in the pages of Cahiers du Cinema.

A little more about Chris Marker
A rare interview in Film Comment with Chris Marker.


Wylie Kinson said...

Hi Candy,

You lucky devil... I've given you a THINKING BLOGGER AWARD.
(cue applause track)

Go to my latest web post for details!


Minerva Jane said...

fascinating candy. i can't wait to see the rest of sans soleil--on youtube you say? i'll check it out...

Red Garnier said...

Very well! Highly deserved THINKING BLOGGER AWARD.¨*Applause*
Will check out youtube for sans soleil!!

Candy Minx said...

Wylie, sheesh, thank you...I am really well surprised. Really "thinking and candy" aren't ususally said in the same breath heheh! I am working on the post and links right now........

Minerva! hello!!! terrific to see you! Yes, you can see the rest of Sans Soleil on YouTube, I watched the whole thing yesteday morning. I had originally seen it in a movie theatre a long time ago...but it somehow suits YouTube. I am sure the director would approve...it has everything in it. The influence of this movie is still being felt...so many movies, so many trends. The person who loaded it onto YouTube did it in ten sections of ten minutes each. It takes a while but it is really worth it.

Red, near the last section of the movie...there is an interview with a game programmer...and the camera wanders over the editing boards and comes to the word "matrix" on the mixing board...and of course it is easy to see a link with the movies Matrix series...haunting even. The director explores anime, Japanese actions flicks, packaging, cats animals, death, violence transformation. It is narrated by letters sent home from japan...but it's all a created character writing the letters...it is very bizarre how the French philosopher Roland Barthes had a book published almost exactly same time about the imaginary land of "Japan" as when this movie was made...I remember when i first read Empire of Signs by Barthes...I thought so many mixed feelings...it felt part pretentious and part brilliant...but I came to love the book. I hope you find time to watch this entire movie Sans Soleil.