Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Life Is A Picture

ChrisMarker’s La Jetée uses the concept of photography as a memory and of the process of living. His snippets are then used to show the larger context; as if life wasn’t a flow of motion but rather still frames captured in a consecutive way. It is almost as if Dziga Vertov critiqued La Jetée in his “Kino-Eye.” La Jetée was… "filmed in a way that sets out the relevant materials one after the other and forces the eyes of the audience to see the consecutive details that they must see. The film camera drags the eyes of the audience… in the most profitable order and it organizes the details into a regular montage exercise" (Kino-Eye. 92). Time traveling and memory are one in La Jetée. They both take place in his adult mind, but also in his childhood reality. The line is blurred between past and present as he is shown his own death.

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Blogger RachelK said...

I too was also struck with the notion that he was witness to his own death and then in turn became obsessed with the image in his own mind. The past, present and future were all comprised in that moment: the past was evident with the child watching himself die, the present with him actually dying and the future with the child watching himself die being propelled into the future.

2/20/2007 7:49 PM  
Blogger Phoebe_A said...

Another question to add to this idea is whether he really saw himself die, or if he linked the visual of a man dying with the thought of his own death in his mind? He was obsessed with the image he saw as a young boy, but how accurate could he really remember figures? If I were to think back to a period of time when I was a small child, I do not clearly remember what certain people looked like. I might mentally place a familiar face of someone I saw walking down the street a week ago on the memory of my Kindergarten teacher. Could he have been remembering this moment to such an extent that he was able to mentally place his own self and his beloved on the image of the man dying and the woman's face? He repeatedly mentions that he was awaiting his death and execution. He could have replaced himself in his mind with the vision of the man he saw dying, since this memory seemed to haunt him. Was his death really a false memory?

2/21/2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger Ifan Wei said...

I am amazed that a story with such a level of complexity can be presented with such limited time. Perhaps, this attests to Vertov's idea that the Kino-eye is truly superior to the human eye. The fact that so many people were able to predict the death of the protagnoist says something about the atmosphere of the images. The ominous music and shadow-filled images dictate the mood and become a large part of the story. The efficiency and effectiveness of the images are able to construct a complex and coherent film in under 30 minutes.

2/25/2007 10:20 PM  
Blogger Shane_Wey said...

you bring up a good point about using pictures to express real time. I thought the pictures and narration took away from the movie. It was hard to follow and a little to abstract. However, although it was a simple story, the pictures did add another level of interest and suspense.

4/30/2007 1:02 AM  

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