Catherine Lupton: Chris Marker. Memories of the Future (2005)

3 May 2010, dusan

Chris Marker is one of the most extraordinary and influential film-makers of our time. In landmark films such as Letter from Siberia (1958), La Jetée (1962), Sans Soleil (1982) and Level Five (1996), he overturned the conventions of the cinema, confounding normal distinctions between documentary and fiction, private and public concerns, writing and visual recording, and the still and moving image. Yet these works are only the better-known elements of a protean career that to date has spanned the second half of the twentieth century and encompassed writing, photography, film-making, video, television and the expanding field of digital multimedia.

Catherine Lupton traces the development and transformation of Marker’s work from the late 1940s, when he began to work as a poet, novelist and critic for the French journal Esprit, through to the 1990s, and the release of his most recent works: the feature film Level Five and the CD–ROM Immemory. She incorporates the historical events, shifts and cultural contexts that most productively illuminate the different phases of Marker’s career. He stands out as a singular figure whose work resists easy assimilation into the mainstream of cultural and cinematic trends.

Marker’s oeuvre moves in circles, with each project recycling and referring back to earlier works and to a host of other adopted texts, and proceeds by way of oblique association and lateral digression. This circular movement is ideally suited to capturing and mapping Marker’s abiding and consummate obsession: the forms and operations of human memory. Chris Marker: Memories of the Future itself aims to capture something of this movement, in forming a comprehensive analysis and overview of this modern master’s prolific and multi-faceted career.

Publisher Reaktion Books, 2005
ISBN 1861892233, 9781861892232
256 pages

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PDF (updated on 2012-7-15)

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