la jetée

La jetée

La jetée (English: The Jetty or The Pier) (1962) is a 28-minute black and white science fiction film by Chris Marker. Constructed almost entirely from still photos, it tells the story of a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel.

It is an absolute future noir cyberpunk masterpiece and sets its creator Chris Marker (aka Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve, *1921) on par with Andrei Tarkovsky. Film-noir elements are abound, including e.g. the voice-over narrator. The decisive plot-twist is the same as in a short story by almost forgotten German writer Alexander Moritz Frey [in German]—in the collection ‘Dunkle Gänge’ [Dark Passages] (1913), I think, have to look it up. But I won’t give the twist away and spoil the movie for you—go and watch it on YouTube. The strategies of storytelling in ‘La Jetée,’ like in its spectacular remake ’12 Monkeys’ (Gilliam 1995), is reminiscent of Thomas Pynchon, another big influence on the 1980s cyberpunk movement. Interestingly enough only three years after ‘La jetée’, in 1965, another future noir cyberpunk movie from France came to the cinemas: Jean-Luc Godard‘s ‘Alphaville.’ French artists are not to be underestimated or even neglected, when it comes to cyberpunk. Think of the comics / graphic novels / sequential art / bandes dessinée of e.g. Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud and the whole scene of ‘Les Humanoïdes Associés.’

GILLIAM, TERRY. 1995. 12 Monkeys [motion picture]. Universal City: Universal Pictures.
GODARD, JEAN-LUC. 1965. Alphaville: Une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (Alphaville: A Strange Adventure of Lemmy Caution) [motion picture]. Paris: Athos Films.
MARKER, CHRIS. 1962. La jetée [motion picture]. Paris: Argos Films.
‘La jetée’ initially via entry @ rufposten—tnx!
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