CHRIS MARKER

 ALL OF THE CATS OF THE WORLD ARE IN MOURNING. YESTERDAY, CHRIS MARKER DIED. ONE OF CINEMA’S MOST RESTLESS, PROBING SPIRITS (SEE BELOW), HE WAS 91.   Dennis THE CASE OF THE MISSING CAT (Chris Marker, 2004) A sequel of sorts to Le fond de l’air est rouge (1977), Chats perchés finds Chris Marker, the world’s […]

ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH (Chris Marker, 1999)

Until this morning I thought that Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-9; 1998) was the only documentary about films that itself is a work of great art. Now I know better. Chris Marker’s—Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve’s—Une journée d’Andrei Arsenevich, about Andrei Tarkovsky and his films, is a brilliant piece of work. It was originally broadcast as […]

CINEVARDAPHOTO (Agnès Varda, 2004)

Cinévardaphoto comprises a trio of documentaries by Agnès Varda, each of which involves photographs. These short films were made at different points in Varda’s career.      The first one is amazing. “Ydessa, the Bears, and Etc.” revolves around Toronto curator Ydessa Hendeles, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, whose exhibit of voluminous photographs including teddy bears, especially […]

THE BATTLE OF CHILE: THE STRUGGLE OF AN UNARMED PEOPLE—PART III (Patricio Guzmán, Chris Marker et al., 1979)

It may disconcert, to say the least, to find Salvador Allende again alive in the third part, “El poder popular,” of Patricio Guzmán’s tripartite La batalla de Chile: La lucha de un pueblo sin armas, when his death—assassination officially announced as suicide—is included in the second part. But this final installment, whose title translates as […]

THE BATTLE OF CHILE: THE STRUGGLE OF AN UNARMED PEOPLE, PART II (Patricio Guzmán, Chris Marker et al., 1977)

We hear the tumult in the street in Santiago before we see it; the opening credits of El golpe de estado, the second part of La batalla de Chile: La lucha de un pueblo sin armas (top prize again, Grenoble), are blocking our view. The first part begins similarly, but in this instance the procedure […]

THE BATTLE OF CHILE: THE STRUGGLE OF AN UNARMED PEOPLE, PART I (Patricio Guzmán, Chris Marker et al., 1975)

On-the-spot documentaries can capture the most unshakable things. La insurreción de la burguesía, the first part of La batalla de Chile: La lucha de un pueblo sin armas (top prize, Grenoble), the immense tripartite film directed by Patricio Guzmán and produced (and partially shot?) by Chris Marker, ends with a stunning moment. Democratically elected Salvador […]

THE SIXTH FACE OF THE PENTAGON (Chris Marker, François Reichenbach, 1968)

If the five sides of the pentagon seem impregnable, attack the sixth side.” — Zen proverb Forty years ago, during the U.S. mayhem in Vietnam, one of the first books I taught was Norman Mailer’s autobiographical “nonfiction novel” The Armies of the Night (1968), in part about the massive antiwar demonstration that proceeded from the […]