Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Cutting Edge - La Jetée (The Pier)

Fig 1.

La Jetée (1962)

Director - Chris Marker

After a nuclear holocaust the world is left in tatters, most of the worlds little populas live underground where scientists experiment with sending humans back in time to find a solution to mans plight and hopefully change the past events the led to destruction.

Fig 2.

The film is entierly made from still images, but not in the way you would expect today. If someone was to say a film was made of still images you would most probably expect it to be of the spot motion kind. But this is not the case with La Jetée. It is cleverly crafted out os still images that give not real sense of animation. Each still maybe lasts 2-4 seconds and is more like a story board than anything else. It can be hard to immerse ones self into what is essencailly a photo album being narrated over although Time Out say that "the fluid montage leads the viewer into the sensation of watching moving images" it could be said that the sense of animiation percieved could differ cinciderably from person to person. And again it was said by New York The Sun "sticking audiences in a cinematic moment they can't escape." Some my have sucessfully escaped before the first half of the film.

Fig 3.

That said the story if inspiring and was the film that inspired the film 12 monkeys. The TV Guide give a good description of the atmospher created here "it manages to tell a gripping, haunting story and create an ominous and powerful atmosphere simply through the masterly manipulation of frozen images and a subtle soundtrack made up of heartbeats, whispers, jet engines and other sound effects." The sound track does infact lend a hand to the films successes. One could almost watch the film eyes closed and relax to the sothing voice of the narrator and the use of audio effects.

Image bibliography

Fig 1. La Jetée, DVD cover, 1962, [photography],

Fig 2. La Jetée, Movie still, 1962, [photography],
Fig 3. La Jetée, Movie still, 1962, [photography],

La Jetée: review (1963), TV Guide, [Online] avaliable at [Accessed 02 February 2011]

La Jetée (1962), Time Out, [Online] avaliable at [Accessed 02 February 2011]

La Jetée (2007), New York The Sun, [Online] avaliable at [Accessed 02 February 2011]

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