The retrospective of director Chris Marker who has influenced several generations of filmmakers across the globe will be held on June 5 to 18, 2017 exclusively at DAFilms.com. The viewers will have a unique opportunity to watch seven key films by Marker which prove his timeless mastery. The collection includes La Jetée, Sans Soleil, Level Five, Junkopia, Sunday in Peking, Letter from Siberia and Description of a Struggle.
Chris Marker ranks among the prominent French artists of the 20th century and directors of the French New Wave. Besides being a documentary filmmaker, he was a photographer, author of essays, newspaper articles and poems and multimedia artist. He was a leftist artist who voiced his provocative opinion on the current social and political events in his films. That is why some of his films dealing with taboo themes in Africa, the Soviet Union and Cuba were forbidden or censored. His work is imbued with the recurrent themes of time, memory and nostalgia. Throughout his life, Marker explored film as a medium and experimented with its form. For instance, his film The Pier (La Jetée, 1962) is composed of static photographs.
“For eleven years, the online documentary cinema DAFilms.com has been discovering quality creative films and bringing them to viewers across the globe. Legally and online, we present contemporary production as well as retrospectives of distinguished filmmakers; for instance, we have presented films by Helena Třeštíková or the French living legend Agnès Varda with great success. This time, we look back at the key personality of cinema Chris Marker whose work reflects the technological development of cinema while merging film, new media and the internet. Many of his retrospectives were limited to his documentary essay Sans Soleil and La Jetée which inspired Terry Gilliam to make his cult film 12 Monkeys. DAFilms.com, on the other hand, brings a cross section of the work of the writer, photographer and explorer, ranging from Sunday in Peking from 1956 to one of the most famous cyberpunk films Level Five from 1997,” says acquisitions manager Diana Tabakov.
Chris Marker was born in 1921. After graduating from a lyceum, where Jean Paul Sartre was a professor at the time, Marker studied philosophy. During occupation, he left for Switzerland where he allegedly joined the United States Air Force. After the war, he worked as a journalist and photographer. In the 1950s, he joined the French New Wave, made documentaries and film essays.
Throughout his life, Chris Marker received countless film and literary awards, the most prestigious ones including a César for Junkopia (1981). His most renowned films include La Jetée (1962) and Sans Soleil (1983). He has collaborated with other prominent auteurs of his era, such as Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Joris Ivens and Agnès Varda.
In the 1990s, Chris Marker was captivated by the possibilities of digital technologies, in spite of his relatively old age. At more than 70, he made a whole range of multimedia works for leading world art institutions. The very latest work by Marker is the film for one actress Level Five (1997).
Films presented in the retrospective at DAFilms:
Sunday in Peking (1956)
Reflections on the loss of memory in connection with the emptiness of Beijing’s Forbidden City. The film attempts to depict the complex reality of the city, or more precisely of all of China; an economic superpower and at the same time a land of immense poverty.
Letter from Siberia (1957)
How to capture the truth? The film plays with the documentary and other genres and implies how difficult it is to give an account of any country and how determining our point of view is. Marker’s film also tells of the manipulative potential of the film medium; by means of editing, shooting angles and primarily voice-over, images can attain a completely different meaning.
Description of a Struggle (1960)
A documentary with a political focus and a Kafkaesque title in which both poles of the filmmaker’s work – travel essays and political documentaries – meet.
The Pier (La Jetée, 1962)
The black-and-white sci-fi novel depicts a scientific experiment in which a group of scientists tries to save mankind living in catacombs after a nuclear disaster by sending a rescue expedition to the past. The film has inspired Terry Gilliam’s cult film 12 Monkeys for which Chris Marker wrote a script.
Deserted Pacific Ocean bay near Emeryville, California. The sea is washing up things of the world to the shore and Chris Marker together with his friend are filming objects transforming from these things between the low and high tide. The experimental image of a creative process was awarded a César for the best short film.
Sunless (Sans Soleil, 1983)
A film essay (named after a composition by Mussorgsky) in which an unknown woman reads and comments on the letters she gets from her friend who is a cinematographer. He travels around the world and is most interested in Japan and Africa which fascinate him as “two extreme poles of survival.”
Level Five (1997)
The fascinating documentary puzzle is at the same time one of the most renowned cyberpunk films. The inward theme of the film is the Battle of Okinawa and the questions related to the suicidal behaviour of the local inhabitants. On a general level, the film deals with the individual and collective memory of the Japanese.
You can find a link to the retrospective at DAFilms here (the link is valid from June 5).
DAFilms.com is one of the oldest online VoD portals in the world as it was founded already in 2006. Its mission is to popularize Czech and international documentary cinema and create a unique publicly accessible video library which now includes over 1500 hand-picked films. The portal is programmed by seven prestigious European documentary festivals. The Czech representative is Jihlava IDFF which founded the portal more than 10 years ago.
Doc Alliance comprises seven documentary film festivals:
CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Jihlava IDFF, Visions du Réel
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