Monday, June 28, 2010

LA JETEE (French) (1962)

An experimental and path breaking short film consists of just 26 minutes duration and made with black and white still images (no, it’s not motion picture literally). Many critics regarded it as sci-fi film but for me it’s quite indescribable metaphysical and emotional experience fall short to put in words. Chris Marker’s this film is a statement and manipulation on time, space and human conditioning of mind. It’s a film about photographic images stored in human memory, quite eternal experience for the protagonist who was compelled to time travel first in past than in future where he encounters two most closest images stored in his mind- a violent death of stranger and a beautiful woman at airport. The shocking tragedy is stored in the end when he moves to present.

It’s quite extraordinary feat to achieve in cinema with just still photographs. I still asking myself- How can I attached myself emotionally to a protagonist who never moves or speaks in entire film? And yet my heart miss a bit in the last frame when he witnessed his most beloved woman in the end with something simultaneously surprising and shocking at personal level. Is time and beauty are just abstract and fragmentary or so eternal for mortal human and his memory??? Above all what is a man without his memory??? The answers are not easy to find. Hail to Chris Marker who infuses the film with thought provoking narrative thrusting us into different territory with images looks like photographic journalism and showing us all that moving pictures need not always move to move us. I watched it two times back to back and love to watch it time and again…

Truly an unconventional piece of French cinema and the film beyond all ratings.

PS- It’s not a film for anybody and everybody. Don’t blame me or the film if you don’t like it…watch it again and again and hopefully some day you will!!!

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