June 03, 2006

la jetée and 12 monkeys

dear ingmar,

today i watched a little short film called la jetée (1962, chris marker) which left me rather breathless and in a complete state of awe. the film was about a half hour long and consisted almost entirely of still black & white images. the quality is a bit grainy but the effect is most powerful. there is a rawness to it that sort of grips you and gnaws away whatever cinematic trappings you may have adorned throughout the years of watching meaningless hollywoodized drivel.

you can find a short snippet of the beginning here. this does not include the narration.

now i stumbled upon this sort of by accident and by the end, i kept thinking..."wow, this is almost exactly like the plot of terry gilliam's 12 monkeys (1995)" and wouldn't you know, after looking it up, i discovered 12 monkeys was indeed inspired by la jetée! it is even credited in the former.

who would've thought that somewhere between manufacturing grotesequely slapstick adam sandler comedies would hollywood actually find the time to dig up this brilliant little foreign short and make it a bruce willis blockbuster.

i also read that chris marker (originally christian françois bouche-villeneuve) took the last name "marker" from the "magic marker" pen. the french, they are fous, n'est pas?!

-- j


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