Saturday, December 21, 2013

Featured: Three by Chris Marker



 Passengers
Hardcover with Dustjacket and printed mylar cover

Passengers captures the many private actions and gestures that take place daily in the public sphere. Mothers cradling their children, couples whispering intimately, women wistfully staring out the window or into the middle distance, engrossed in their own personal thoughts. In several of the shots, we see whole train cars filled with similarly disengaged people. Taken as a complete body of work, this series very clearly illustrates  the various ways in which people create invisible walls and boundaries in order to cope with modern urban life. Chris Marker further to the photographs he takes, enhances, changes or colors his images on the computer, giving them often an eerie, almost otherworldly presence.




Staring Back
Hardcover, illustrated boards

 Staring Back presents 200 black-and-white photographs from Marker's personal archives, taken from 1952 to 2006. Some of the photographs are related to his classic films (which include Le Jetée, Sans Soleil, ¡Cuba Si!, and The Case of the Grinning Cat), others are portraits of famous faces (Simone Signoret, Akira Kurosawa), but most are pictures of people Marker has encountered as he has traveled the world (an extra who appeared in Kurosawa's Ran, a woman seen on a street in Siberia). The central section of the book contains a series of photographs documenting political protests Marker has witnessed, including the march on the Pentagon in 1967, the events of May 1968 in Paris, and the tumultuous 2006 demonstrations protesting the French government's proposed employment policies. The photographs are accompanied by several unpublished texts by Marker, including the English language text of The Case of the Grinning Cat and Marker's annotations for some of the photos.





 La Jetée
Hardcover with dustjacket

 La Jetée, the legendary science fiction film about time and memory after a nuclear apocalypse, was released in 1964 and is considered by many critics to be among the greatest experimental films ever made. (It provided the basis for Terry Gilliam's 1995 film 12 Monkeys.) Chris Marker, who is the undisputed master of the film essay, composed this postapocalyptic story almost entirely of black-and-white still photographs. The story concerns an experiment in recovering and changing the past through the action of memory, yet the film can be read as a poem dominated by a single moving image, which in its context becomes one of the supreme moments in the history of film.
This Zone Books edition reproduces the film's original images along with the script in both English and French.


 Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France in 1921, Chris Marker is one of the most influential and important filmmakers to emerge in the post-war era. Marker appeared on the Paris cultural landscape as a writer and editor and also became identified for his uniquely expressive non-fiction films. Marker began garnering international recognition in 1962 with the science-fiction short film La Jeté. In the seventies Marker created documentaries both on the history of the left (Le Fond de l’air est rouge, 1977) and travel and memory (Sans Soleil, 1982).

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