The foundation of memory: on Chris Marker's "Photo Roman” Cover Image

Fundament pamięci - o "fotograficznej powieści" Chrisa Markera
The foundation of memory: on Chris Marker's "Photo Roman”

Author(s): Andrzej Pitrus
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Chris Marker; "Photo Roman"

Summary/Abstract: Pitrus examines the peculiar way in which Chris Marker “is constructing movement” in his La Jetée, the 1962 film telling a fictional science-fiction story. Marker is cited here as saying his film was a „photo roman”, which were to point to the fact that the piece had much in common with literature and photography. Its dialogues are replaced by commentary, and the viewer has the impression that he is not watching a film but looking through a photo album. The story of the hero is made up of photos. The frames with stills - of which only one shot creates the illusion of a continuous movement - cause that the film spectator has the impression that he is watching things in motion. But as a matter of fact, he is only watching artificially „constructed movement”, a dynamic whole the director built solely from stills depicting the successive phases of movement. Pitrus argues that the method allows Marker to perfectly render the condition of the hero who travels in time in his mind. Pitrus says that the represented world is deprived of a kinetic element because Marker wants to point to the literal and metaphorical stillness of the hero and to additionally emphasize the message of the film (the story of a nuclear apocalypse). In his concluding remarks, Pitrus points out that La Jetée is known as the inspiration for Terry Gilliam’s film 12 Monkeys (1995).

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 54-55
  • Page Range: 231-236
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: Polish