Sunday, 10 January 2016

Cutting Edge - La Jetee (1962)

Fig 1.
Chris Markers 1962 film La Jetee is a unique viewing experience when it comes to the film industry. With the story of travelling to the future to try and avoid an apocalyptic World War 3. A film made entirely of still images with dialogue overlaid on top to help portray the story clearer to the viewers rather then having to depict the story solely from the stills. "La Jetée is made up almost entirely of still photographs that tell the futuristic story of a time traveler"(Jeffrey Anderson) The use of this technique makes the film very artistic and is the reason why I believe it was so highly acclaimed. Not only that but it was one of the cornerstone for time travelling films as we can see the ideas portrayed in this film within feature films in modern cinema.

Fig 2.
The main aspect of this film that stands out to the viewers is the continuous use of stills, rather then video footage. Making the film more like a story portrayed through a slide show. As artistic as this technique to produce a film is at times it can be found rather tedious to view as the black and white images are rarely visually stimulating for the viewers making it hard to keep focus at times. That being said there are a number of images that have a lot going on that really makes the viewer feel the emotions that are trying to be portrayed, which can be difficult through the use of this technique. As said by Bosley Crowther "I find it tediously pretentious, but there are striking images in it"(Bosley Crowther)
Fig 3.
When looking at the sound design of this film the main aspect is the narrating throughout. This is used to tell the story and describe what is happening. The images are used more to set the scene and the mood. The narrating at times can be very monotone which can make the viewing experience rather tedious but the use of the dramatic stills takes your attention away from this so it can make it less noticeable at times. As said by Eric Melin "The English translation allowed me to concentrate on the visuals rather than subtitles, but the French version narration is actually quite different."(Eric Melin 2012)
Fig 4. 
Overall La Jetee was a revolutionary artistic film that took a new approach towards creating visual media. Markers used this technique to be something different and to stand out from other films, and he managed to achieve this very well with this unique piece that paved the way for modern time travelling stories. 

Anderson. J 2012 Combustible Celluloid -

Crother, B New York Times -

Melin. E 2012 Scene Stealer's -

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  1. good to see this up and archived before week 2, Ian - that is indeed the way to do it! :)