Yesterday, French filmmaker Chris Marker died - one day after his 91st birthday. May his soul rest in peace.
"I write to you from a distant country", intones the voice in the overture of the Lettre de Sibérie. Chris Marker is a globe trotting artist. His famous verses from Henri Michaux will be engraved in memory. Solitary, attentive to the evolution of ideas, men, and the world, the artist has knocked just about everywhere –Korea, Cuba, China, Israel-, always where he should be. His pseudonym is a way to be understood by everybody. "My name can be pronounced in any language, nothing else to look for", he states.
Just as many of the survivors in La Jetée, Chris Marker the red is a revolutionary that does not show himself (you can watch the short film here). A few interviews and photographs of himself. A possible image of a cat when insisted to. In Memories of the Future (2005), Catherine Lupton describes his Parisian apartment as somber, letting hardly any daylight in. The man stays fixed on the TV screens when they are not controlling his coming and going. It is easy to imagine this crazy savant that he has shot, round telescopic glasses, while inspecting the images that will serve to depict the stories of this world.
And as “the most famous of the unknown filmmakers” returns to work, he will squeeze himself in the underground, in this case, the Parisian metro. Passengers, his last work to date, again tries to shake the habits. All possible digital effects, uniformity of images, symbolic absence, this time, beautiful words in the puzzle. Chris Marker, 90 years old, does not look for the future of photography or documentary. With him, images – no matter their quality – transform themselves into “memories of the future”. He hears the past, takes his time to see and listen to the present, he is a man who thinks. (read more)