Saturday, August 8, 2009


La jetée is unlike anything I had ever seen before. The closest thing that I can compare it to is Reading Rainbow, but imagine that instead of a single page being narrated, dozens of pages are narrated at a time.

At heart, it is as much love as time travel tale, but centered in questions of Time and Love in the same way that Ashes of Time is, a totally different film in every other regard. It's interesting to watch some of the special features on the Criterion disc explaining the film's debt to Vertigo, one of the many Hitchcock films I still haven't seen. These connections highlight both Marker's obsessiveness and the time traveler's obsessiveness.

La jetée is easily one of the best SF films I've ever seen. My only regret is that I didn't get a chance to see it before having seen 12 Monkeys. Some of the shock and even some of the images were diminished through my familiarity with 12 Monkeys, which is a shame, because 12 Monkeys is obviously the weaker film. I do need to revisit it and see if I still love it. Anyhow, I've known for 14 years that I've needed to see La jetée. Talk about procrastination. I'm glad I've now seen it and look forward to seeing more Marker films.

If you're willing to endure even less than less than ideal viewing circumstances, the whole thing can be found on Youtube (embedded here!):

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