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At Jetty’s End: A Tribute to Chris Marker, 1921–2012

November 2, 2012 - November 30, 2012


From Chris Marker’s jetty you can see both the past and the future. And through the particular genius of this great French filmmaker the past of cinema has been forever altered, and the future as well. An artist of supreme curiosity, Marker set about deciphering the world for us, rendering his observations first through film and later through any moving-image medium that caught his eye. His prodigious body of work—filled with remarkable cultural references, political barbs, and timely classicism—would have stood the test of time on the strength of its two ur-entries alone, La jetée (1963) and Sans soleil (Sunless, 1980), one a purely expressed speculation about desire, fate, and time travel, the other a transgeographic essay on memory, culture, and, of all things, Vertigo. Working with filmmakers of the Left Bank film movement, such as Alain Resnais and Agnès Varda, Marker made his first film, Olympia 52, in the eponymous year. But it was not until after several collaborations with Resnais that his own inimitable style emerged with Sundays in Peking (1956), a poetic invocation of Beijing that interrogates cultural insularity. This film essay was followed by an influential outpouring of other prismatic and philosophical works such as Le joli mai, The Koumiko Mystery, A Grin Without a Cat, The Owl’s Legacy, The Last Bolshevik, and others. Over three evenings, we pay homage to an artist who, though famed for Sunless, will remain a brilliant star in the firmament of cinema.

Steve Seid, Video Curator

Friday, November 2, 2012
9:20 p.m. Sans soleil
Chris Marker (France, 1982). One of the greatest experimental films of all time: a journey through Africa and Japan, and a transgeographic essay on memory, culture, and, of all things, Vertigo. (100 mins)

Friday, November 16, 2012
7:00 p.m. A Grin Without a Cat
Chris Marker (France, 1977/2001). In analyzing history circa 1968, “Chris Marker has a genius for poetic aphorism and the documentary equivalent of the bon mot” (Village Voice). (180 mins, plus intermission)

Friday, November 30, 2012
7:00 p.m. To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter
Emiko Omori (U.S., 2012) Special Sneak Preview! Emiko Omori in person. Bay Area filmmaker Omori (Rabbit in the Moon) presents a special sneak preview of her tribute to Marker, which includes remembrances from fans such as Tom Luddy, David Thomson, Peter Scarlet, and more. (78 mins)

Friday, November 30, 2012
8:50 p.m. Marker Mix
Chris Marker (France/Poland/U.S., 1959–88). This program is guaranteed to be catnip for Marker maniacs—a sampler that spans thirty years and many modes of moviemaking. Includes the rarely seen Les astronautes, the timeless La jetée, the Emeryville-filmed Junkopia, and an excerpt from the philosophical essay The Owl’s Legacy. (73 mins)