This blog was consumed by Vertigo all through January and half of February. I thought I'd moved on, was looking forward to Mad Men on Sunday nights - and then I opened the March issue of TCM's Now Playing guide.
One of my Vertigo guest bloggers, Dan Auiler, author of the definitive Vertigo: the Making of a Hitchcock Classic, considered two films by French filmmaker Chris Marker in his piece, Vertigo for Life: La Jetee (1962) and Sans Soleil (1983). I read of Marker with interest; I was completely unfamiliar with his work, but Dan's references to his films and the links of each to Hitchcock's Vertigo piqued my interest and I put both on my "to watch" list. I did not have to wait for very long...
This Sunday night (for some, the wee hours of Monday morning), March 4, Turner Classic Movies will air both films, Sans Soleil at 2:15 am Eastern/11:15 pm Pacific, and La Jetee at 4:00 am Eastern/1:00am Pacific.
Chris Marker, born in 1921 and still with us today, studied philosophy with Jean-Paul Sartre in the 1930s and was part of the French Resistance during World War II. He is best known for the two films mentioned as well as A Grin Without a Cat (1977) and the 1985 documentary, AK, on Akira Kurosawa. Marker is classified among France's Left Bank (Rive Gauche) filmmakers, a group contemporary to but considered distinct from the French New Wave. Others in the Left Bank cluster include Alain Resnais (Hiroshima mon amour, Last Year at Marienbad, Mon oncle d'Amerique), Agnes Varda (Le Bonheur, Vagabond) and others - like Varda's husband Jacques Demy (Lola, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort).
La Jetee, composed primarily of cinematically showcased still photos, has been called a Science Fiction masterpiece (even at a short 28 minutes) and has inspired or provided the basis for several later films. Of these, the most familiar to and popular with American audiences is Terry Gilliam's 1995 hit, 12 Monkeys, starring Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt and Christopher Plummer.
Sans Soleil reflects on time and memory and features several locales around the world - including the San Francisco Bay Area where locations shown in Hitchcock's Vertigo are revisited. Sans Soleil is said to recall Vertigo's structure and themes.
Between Vertigo, the Oscars and Mad Men, I'll be making time to discover Chris Marker this weekend...
|Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo|