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Patricio Guzmán - Capturing Reality
“Our Own Take on Reality

The Great Archive of Humanity

The Battle of Chile: Continuing the Debate

Reality is Chaos

The Battle of Chile: Bringing Order to Chaos

The Music of Everyday Life

The Battle of Chile: Chris Marker to the Rescue”
patricioguzmán  chile  film  filmmaking  documentary  thebattleofchile  reality  humanity  everyday  chrismarker  storytelling  noticing  seeing  attention 
11 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Black Excellence of Kahlil Joseph | The New Yorker
"Joseph draws very little distinction between his commercial work and the art that he produces on his own. A true auteur, he displays his particular sensibility in pieces ranging from a commercial for the British telecommunications company O2, starring Gary Oldman, to “Wildcat,” a short film about black cowboys in Grayson, Oklahoma. Joseph often shoots in black-and-white, which emphasizes the blackness of his subjects’ skin. His actors and models sit staring at the camera, iconic in their stillness. Or he observes them in slow motion, walking away from the camera, as if they were tired of being seen. A master of sound, he allows the dialogue and the music in his movies to drop out and then return at unexpected moments, creating a sometimes heart-stopping juxtaposition between what we hear and what we see. It’s as if Joseph’s visual world were a vinyl record, complete with scratches that make the needle skip, thereby changing the flow of things."



"Like his parents, Joseph attended Loyola Marymount, where he studied film and other subjects. (He never graduated.) It was a course on Asian cinema that changed his life. Viewing the work of unconventional contemporary masters, such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose films can cut from one narrative to another and another, without foregrounding or explanation, helped release Joseph from Western ideas of how to tell a story. Instead, he began to ask himself what story he could tell from his perspective, and his community’s. Black life and black culture weren’t linear; they had been interrupted too many times by violence, prejudice, disaster, and compromise. And there was the flip side: the juicy originality that emerged from those bad days and funky nights. How best, then, to create on film a black aesthetic that represented the hope, the highs, and the losses of a twenty-first-century New Negro?

To learn more and to share what he was discovering about his medium, Joseph got in touch with other male artists of color, such as the director and cinematographer Arthur Jafa. Then, in the mid-aughts, he was hired as an assistant to the black photographer and filmmaker Melodie McDaniel. Working at the Directors Bureau, a commercial and music-video production company in L.A., Joseph learned on the job: he shot behind-the-scenes footage and interviews for Sofia Coppola (whose brother Roman had founded the bureau), and filmed B-roll for that artist of disjunction Terrence Malick, while absorbing what McDaniel had to impart: the importance of representing the black world and the female world in ways that were free of ideology.

From the start, Joseph drew on distinctly American and African imagery to produce work in which faces and bodies were the narrative. When he made music videos, the songs were used less to support the visuals than to provide a frame for them to bounce off or dismantle. In “Until the Quiet Comes,” a 2012 piece that he made for the experimental d.j. and musician Flying Lotus—Kara Walker included it in “Ruffneck Constructivists,” a significant show she curated at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, in 2014—we see several of the motifs that Joseph would revisit in “Lemonade”: the suspension and play of time and the fractured narrative, slow, illusory, and true."



"Although Knowles has allowed Joseph’s version of “Lemonade” to be shown in museums, she hasn’t approved his screening it in other contexts. Black excellence, however, can’t be stopped, and, in a way, Joseph could not have created a work as personal and powerful as “Fly Paper” without first having made “Lemonade.” “Fly Paper,” which was inspired by the black-and-white tones of the Harlem photographer Roy DeCarava, doesn’t so much recycle themes from “Lemonade” as incorporate them: there is the split between what we can see and what we can’t; there are all those lost spirits, like Keven Davis and Noah Davis, literally cut into the here and now. The dialogue is minimal. We see a black-and-white shot of an older black man, Bob Fosse’s great star Ben Vereen (who happens to be Karon Davis’s father). Vereen observes the black bodies coming toward him on a street in Harlem. “I went out to take a walk,” he says, and the journey begins. Vereen climbs a flight of stairs, and at the top we find a younger man who dances his way along the walls, as Vereen strikes an attitude, walks as if he were dancing, dances while he walks. Later, there are scenes of today’s Talented Tenth: the singer Lauryn Hill in an improvised jam session; the writer Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts at a shoot with the comedian Alzo Slade. We’re behind the scenes of the movie we’re watching. The past cuts a swath through the reality of the present: a shot of Keven with staples in his head after surgery, Noah walking in the park with a friend. The sun is setting. Where have all these figures, all the love, gone? Joseph is playing hide-and-seek with his legacy, so much black excellence gone but ever alive. The past resonates in the present: Ben Vereen and his phantom younger self; Keven Davis and his son.

Joseph concludes the film with a reference to another genius of the interrupted narrative: the documentary director Chris Marker, whose “Sans Soleil” (1983), is an urtext on film as fragments, film as journey. In “Fly Paper,” after the parade of disparate lives bound together by aesthetics, politics, belief, and love has ended, the screen goes dark. The world has stopped. The excellence is gone. But the blackness onscreen is as rich and textured as skin. And that’s when we hear a woman, in calm voice-over, quoting from “Sans Soleil”: “If they don’t see happiness in the picture, at least they’ll see the black.”"
kahliljoseph  hiltonals  2017  film  art  lemonande  beyoncé  chrismarker  terrancemalick  apichatpongweerasethakul  srg 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Blind Spot | Blog—Jarrett Fuller
"Blind Spot, the writer and photographer Teju Cole’s new book, feels like a culmination of his intellectual work of the last few years. A master of shifting forms, Cole previously published two novels (Open City and Everyday is for a Thief) and an essay collection (Known and Strange Things), is the photography critic for The New York Times, and is prolific on Instagram where he showcases his photography. Blind Spot, a book that mixes text with his original photography, at once feels like a continuation of his previous work while also something completely new. How does one define Blind Spot? Is it a photo book or a novel? A travelogue or a poem? A memoir or a lyric essay? The answer, I think, is ‘yes’.

The photos — all shot on color film from Cole’s travels across the globe — blend seamlessly from Brooklyn to Berlin, Omaha to Africa. The images are quiet and largely devoid of humans, aside from a final striking portrait, recalling great street photographers like Stephen Shore and Louis Ghirri. The text — which shifts between narrative, memoir, criticism, poetry — sometimes refers to these photos while at other times remain independent. All of Cole’s familiar influences — Sebald, Berger, Calvino — are on display here.

The text reads less as captions as they do a voiceover — he’s said in interviews he sees the book as a documentary in book form — where another set of influences emerge. “I pray to Tarvoksy, Marker, Hitchcock” he writes in the middle of the book. Sure enough, the flipping between Cole’s text and image, one could see the book as homage to Chris Marker’s Sans Soliel. And as the photos start to reference each other, and fragments begin to connect, Marker’s more famous La Jetee comes to mind. There’s a playful reflexivity throughout — his writing reflects on his own writing process for the book, how he selected particular images, and what he hopes the book will be. In one passage he writes:
She asked, though these were not her exact words: Isn’t all the work part of a single piece? She asked, like someone patiently unlocking, with a pin, a pair of handcuffs: Aren’t all the photographs and texts, the fragments and experiments, even the things you say into a microphone, even the things you don’t say, aren’t they all installments toward a unified project? She said, though these are not her exact words: I have always felt that Open City was one way you approached the problem. You’re still circling the problem now, she said, obsessed, she said, and approaching it in other ways. You will probably always be returning to it, she said, making herself comfortable within the folds of my brain.

In a later passage, Cole invokes Calvino’s continuous city and his search of the threads that connect the places he visits. But he’s also looking for the threads that connect the images and the text. Calvino suggests that there is simply one big, continuous city that does not begin or end: ‘Only the name of the airport changes,’ he writes in Invisible Cities. The same can be said of Cole’s work — it’s simply one big, continuous journey — his intellectual interests and preoccupations recur — he finds new ways to display them, new ways to talk about them. Only the name of the book changes.

I read Open City, Cole’s first novel in 2015 during my last week in San Francisco, before moving to Baltimore for graduate school. My belongings were packed up and I’d lay on the floor in the middle of a nearly empty apartment reading. In the book, largely devoid of an obvious plot, we follow the narrator, Julius, as he walks through Manhattan. I started doing the same thing — after a period of reading, I’d put the book down, put classical music on in my headphones, and walk the San Francisco streets. This had been my neighborhood for the last three years but that week, with that music, and Cole’s prose rattling around in my head, I saw the city differently. That, I think, is the thread that ties Cole’s work together. He changes your pace, forces you to slow down. His writing is patient, his photography reserved. He makes you look, really look. This world moves fast. There’s always something new to read, new tweets, new emails, new books, new music. Last month’s news feels like a decade ago.

Blind Spot is a book about looking; about seeing what’s in the frame, about reflecting on what we see. Teju Cole asks us to slow down so we can understand our own blind spots. I saw San Francisco differently that last week, and as I finished Blind Spot this week, I started to see New York differently too. He taught me to see."
tejucole  jarrettfuller  2017  writing  photography  italocalvino  johnberger  wgsebald  chrismarker  film  walking  cities  urban  ubanism  place  landscape  noticing  looking  seeing  sansoleil  lajetée  blindspot 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Teju Cole: ‘My camera is like an invisibility cloak. It makes me more free’ | Books | The Guardian
"The final piece in Cole’s 2016 essay collection, Known and Strange Things, is a description of that traumatic occurrence. It is called Blind Spot. Next month, his first book of photographs is published. It is also called Blind Spot. Why, I ask him, did he reprise that title for a book that is, in essence, about a sustained way of seeing? “Well, there is some dark humour in the title that people who have read the essay will hopefully pick up on,” he says, “but, as I write in the afterword, there is also the fact that the act of looking is limited. We only see a small part of what we are looking at, so there is a constant blind spot even with the kind of attentive looking that photography entails. There are many resonances in that title – how difficult it is to see clearly, how difficult it is to tell a dream, how difficult it is to make pictures that are new in some way.”

How well Cole succeeds in all of this is difficult to say, not because his images aren’t strong – they are in a detached and rigorously formal-to-the-point-of-deadpan way that was pioneered by the likes of Stephen Shore in the 1970s – but because Blind Spot is not simply a book of photographs. Instead, each image is accompanied by a corresponding passage of prose. The book unfolds – and succeeds – as a deftly choreographed dance of words and pictures, with Cole’s characteristically allusive style of writing here condensed to what he calls “fragments”. Sometimes, but not often, the words refer directly to what is in the picture, but more often the photographs are conceptual starting points for musings on his now-familiar obsessions: memory, myth, culture, politics, race and dreams.

The associations, though, are often not entirely clear. A photograph of a telegraph pole on a deserted street in Selma, Alabama prompts a memory of a dream Cole had about crossing a street but never arriving at the other side, which, in turn, calls up a quotation on consciousness and time by the French phenomenological philosopher, Maurice Merleau-Ponty. A street portrait of the back of a blond woman in New York City (see below), redolent of the work of Joel Meyerowitz, is matched with a fragment from Greek mythology concerning the painter Timanthes’s mysterious portrait of the grieving, veiled Agamemnon. This is, for want of a better phrase, quintessentially Cole-ian.

“I see it as a unified story,” he explains, “but one in which each fragment of prose is dense in the way that a poem is dense. There are thematic breadcrumbs scattered throughout the text, but, yes, it is oblique. It’s not meant to be obvious, but a more psychologically resonant series of fragments that detonate on some deeper level.”"



"Taken alongside his fiction and his essays, which range from the reflective to the polemical, as well as the photography column he writes for the New York Times, Blind Spot further enhances Cole’s already burnished reputation. He is a writer for our times, prodigious, wide-ranging and supremely confident in his reach. In Known and Strange Things, to give just a few examples, he discourses passionately on race in America, explores the poetics of Saul Leiter’s pioneering colour photographs and, in two consecutive essays, lauds VS Naipaul, the elegant writer, and nails VS Naipaul, the dreadful old reactionary.

If there is a personal touchstone for this kind of cross-fertilisation, it is surely the late John Berger, one of his heroes, though Berger, as I remind him, never took photographs. “I actually asked John why photography was not part of his practice,” Cole says, “In his case, to photograph a subject was to foreclose some part of what he could write about it. He saw it as an interference in his writing faculties. I don’t think like that about it. In fact, for me, taking a photograph of something often induces further thoughts on it.”

In the flesh, Cole is both charming and intense. When I met him briefly last summer at a party in Manhattan thrown in his honour by his editors at the New York Times, he was warm and inclusive, but, even in casual conversation, there is a palpable alertness about him that intrigues. He seems acutely conscious, too, of his own place in the intellectual firmament. In Known and Strange Things, he revealed that his antidote to insomnia was to “rise from my bed and watch Jacques Derrida talk”. In his deftly elegant takedown of Naipaul, there is also the distinct suggestion that a literary baton is being passed from the older master to the heir apparent.

Cole’s precocious literary talent must surely have been honed in childhood. Born in Michigan, he was taken back to Nigeria as a child by his parents when they had completed their studies. His upbringing, he says, was solidly middle-class and aspirational. His father worked in middle management and his mother was a school teacher; both instilled in him the notion that “the child had to do better in education than their peers”. When he travelled to America in the early 90s to commence his own college education, he felt he was returning home. “For sure, I had conflict and a certain nervousness, but not the kind that comes from thinking of oneself as an immigrant. I had a sense of my rights as an American. There was a period of adjustment – there still is – but the feeling I have sometimes of being lost in the world is more to do with my own personality than America.”

Cole studied art and art history at Kalamazoo College, Michigan – “a good liberal college with the kind of leafy campus you get in American campus novels” – and later tried and failed to apply himself to a degree in medicine, in part to appease his parents. That failure haunted him for a while and, he says, he suffered from a bout of depression around that time. “I had no money, no time to read or go to concerts and I felt starved of that. Plus, I was very cold in Michigan and isolated. For two years, I was struggling to do well when I was used to doing well. I do not want to dwell on it but, for a time, I was phenomenally not myself. All the things you hear about depression were there.”"



"
In Open City, his descriptions of his New York evince a keen, roving attentiveness reminiscent of the city’s great street photographers: Garry Winogrand, Meyerowitz and Leiter are presences in his prose alongside the more often cited Berger and WG Sebald. Cole, as he is keen to point out, has been taking photographs longer than he has been writing fiction. In Every Day Is for the Thief, the text is punctuated by Cole’s black-and-white photographs evoking the swaggering, chaotic thrust of Lagos, his childhood home.

In both novels, Cole’s writing style recalls Christopher Isherwood’s celebrated description of his own prose: “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Some day, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.”

Cole cites the great experimental film-maker Chris Marker as perhaps the crucial influence in his novels. “In his great film, Sans Soleil, Marker moves between zooming out and watching the flow of life and zooming in to look at the pattern of the details of everyday experience. He is not telling you one thing about a place, but allowing it all to come in and making the connections visible. He is a major influence on Open City and even more on Blind Spot, where the subject itself is that kind of interconnectedness.”

In many ways, then, Blind Spot continues in the vein of Teju Cole’s fiction. This time around, though, he is the peripatetic narrator on an altogether more epic global journey through cities in which he is often a lone stranger. The experience of travel – by air as well as wandering alone on land – is central here. Since the success of Open City, Cole has travelled extensively – to literary festivals, teaching programmes, writer’s residencies and promotional events. As the novelist Siri Hustvedt puts it in her introduction: “Teju Cole really gets around.” Thus, each photograph and fragment of prose is grounded in a specific location: Auckland, Basel, Chicago, Lagos, Nairobi, New York, Paris and so forth. “In each place I have travelled,” he writes, “I have used my camera as an extension of my memory.”

The images, and the reflections that follow from them, are also a way of fixing moments that might otherwise be lost in the sheer overload of global memories he has stored in his head in a relatively short time. “Certain experiences became more vivid as I was walking around and thinking about what I was photographing,” he elaborates. “In central Bali, for instance, there was an afternoon that has survived very clearly and vividly in my memory but also in the false memory of the photographs I took that day. They are stilled moments, fragments from a much bigger experience, a film that could only have been captured with a camera attached to my head.”

Given that he takes his camera with him wherever he goes, how visible a presence is he when he shoots on the street? He laughs, anticipating the underlying thrust of my question. “Well, a solitary black tourist is not a common sight in Switzerland or Kathmandu or northern Italy or even in upstate New York,” he says, ruefully, “so, I am already a little strange. But, there is a way in which having the camera makes me more free. It is a kind of invisibility cloak, especially when you are on a strange street far from home. But, oddly enough, I was more free in Kathmandu than in Lagos. The first assumption everywhere is, ‘there is a black tourist’ – but, in Nigeria, that question becomes more complex. There is more suspicion.”"



"“One of the responses to all that is to do the work I do. My essays are not political in the main, but they are trying to advance a humanist argument. Likewise, my photographs are complex, but I hope, … [more]
tejucole  2017  johnberger  blindspot  photography  writing  howwewrite  opencity  chrismarker  fiction  experience  invisibility  sanssoleil  christopherisherwood  garrywinogand  wgsebald  depression 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Paris Review - Chris Marker’s Studio, Adam Bartos and Ben Lerner
"Chris Marker, whose name was not “Chris Marker,” was a play of masks and avatars, an artist who leapt, like one of his beloved cats, from medium to medium. If, as Walter Benjamin said, a great work either dissolves a genre or invents one, if each great work is a special case, Marker produced a series of special cases. He invented the genre of the essay film; he composed what is widely considered the greatest short film ever made, La Jetée, in 1962; in the late nineties, he issued one of the first major artworks of the digital age, the CD-ROM Immemory. Even Marker’s relation to his own celebrity was an evasive masterpiece: until his death in 2012, at ninety-one, he was everywhere and nowhere, refusing both the haughty fantasy of nonparticipation and the seductions of spectacle. How do you ­memorialize an artist who refused to remain identical to himself? How do you remember one of the great philosopher-artists of memory?

Adam Bartos’s photographs of Marker’s Paris studio offer a powerful answer; they are beautiful portraits from which the subject has gone missing.

In Bartos’s photographs, people are everywhere and nowhere. The first of his books I encountered was International Territory (1994), a series of ­images of the UN building in New York. Emptied of people, the architecture is left to dream its modernist dream of a future that never arrives. In many of the images, a distinctly postapocalyptic feeling obtains: without a speaker atop it, the General Assembly podium appears like a giant tomb; the subtle signs of aging infrastructure—cracks in the walls, peeling paint—make the building look less momentarily vacated than abandoned. I can’t quite decide, for instance, whether the coat hanging in the photograph of the Russian Translation Service indicates that someone is working just beyond the frame or whether the garment has been hanging there for years. The healthy-­looking office plants that appear in several images look less like ­reassuring signs of habitation than ominous indications that nature is starting to reclaim the buildings of a depopulated city. And the single rose in a vase at the center of the image of the Delegates Dining Room—is that freshly cut or plastic? Bartos’s photographs are full of such ambiguities, undecidable temporalities. Across his projects, I experience the contradictory sense that the human figure is just about to reenter the picture and that the architecture and furniture will never again be occupied. Of course, this shifting sense of presence and absence isn’t an effect merely of what’s depicted, but of how: Bartos’s images feel both perfectly composed and simply found, patterned and yet unmanipulated, which means that my awareness of someone “­behind” the camera dims and intensifies and dims again as I look.

The architecture dreams, the chairs expect—on a variety of scales, Bartos can reveal how collective fantasies about the future are sedimented in materials. A few people do appear in Boulevard (2005), for instance, a book that juxtaposes images of Los Angeles and Paris—two historical centers of image making—but the pathos belongs to objects. Parked cars in an empty lot in Los Angeles and an unoccupied table for two at a Parisian restaurant (shot through the window from the street, but at an angle from which the photographer is not reflected in the glass, adding to the sense the image was taken by a ghost) seem to “wait without hope”—to quote Eliot, whom Marker loved—for drivers and diners. The sense of waiting in Bartos’s work is key: What appears, appears to wait for the return of the human, but since nothing is as human as waiting, as the experience of duration that is boredom, I begin to invest things with feelings. And then the things look back at me.

Crucially, most of what appears in Bartos’s photos is dated; he depicts old futurisms, a special case of anachronism. Kosmos (2001)—I see a copy of this book on Marker’s shelf in one of the studio photographs—shows us the technologies and uniforms of Russian cosmonauts; Yard Sale Photographs (2009) explores that ritual suburban purging of barely resalable junk and memory. The shape of a fender, the linoleum of a counter, the outmoded ergonomics of an empty office chair, the now archaic instantaneity of the Polaroid, color schemes that register the collective affect of another age—we see in Bartos’s work period styles falling out of their periods. And Bartos is always depicting other media within his medium: books, cameras, keyboards, old audio technology, et cetera. The quietly managed motif of discarded ­media makes each image feel time sensitive—the older technologies are, among other things, memento mori for Bartos’s camera, which adds an element of fragility to each picture’s quiet confidence.

Bartos’s most recent book, Darkroom (2011), gathers many of these concerns. His sense of composition can make even a photograph taken in the open air seem like an interior carefully arranged by a ghostly presence; a darkroom, typically an interior within an interior, is the nude of rooms, a site of exposure exposed. It is also the most dated of spaces, as digital technology has eliminated the dialectic of light and darkness once constitutive of the photographic art. Darkroom is an elegy for process and for patience, although, like many elegies, Bartos reinscribes the values he mourns, as his own photographs evince a sensitivity that makes nostalgia for a previous moment in the medium beside the point. These images of the displaced origin of images are again subtle evocations of distinct temporalities: the time required for a photograph (of an instant) to develop in a chemical bath, technological developments that supplant that process in historical time. No photographer ever appears within the photographs, and Bartos’s touch is so light, it’s almost as if he’s given his camera a moment alone with the darkroom so that it can pay its last respects.

Marker’s studio is a kind of (light-flooded) darkroom located off a Parisian boulevard and is as full of formerly futuristic keepsakes as a cosmonaut’s yard sale—that is to say, Bartos has been preparing, without knowing it, to shoot Marker’s studio for decades. The studio is both remarkably cluttered and remarkably clean. There is no trash (although there is plenty of kitsch), no dust; the thousands of books, VHS tapes, and CDs, the multiple computers, monitors, keyboards, and other production technologies all seem in their place. A sense of highly personal order prevails; Marker, I feel, would have just the right texts and images and totems at hand, but anyone else would be at a loss regarding how to navigate his systems. And while Marker isn’t at home, from every corner something gazes at us: his cats and owls, Kim Novak in a signed photograph (Vertigo was Marker’s favorite film), the paused image of an actress on a monitor (in these images, Marker will forever almost be right back), masks of various sorts, stuffed animals, et cetera. Marker’s mind seems spatialized here, as though we were looking into his memory palace, an elaborate, idiosyncratic mnemonic become a memorial. But a joyous memorial: joyous first, because Marker’s signature mix of seriousness and playfulness is palpable—we see a thousand grins and winks—and second, because Marker, instead of becoming the fixed ­object of elegy, has again given us the slip, allowing us an intimate glimpse, but of privacy. "
chrismarker  studios  adambartos  howwework  2016  benlerner  photography  lajetée 
september 2016 by robertogreco
How YouTube Changed The Essay | Evan Puschak | TEDxLafayetteCollege - YouTube
"Evan Puschak, creator of The Nerdwriter, traces the history of the written essay and the essay-film, showing how these two strands feed into a new form of the essay which is becoming increasingly popular on YouTube: the video essay.

Evan Puschak is the creator and producer of The Nerdwriter, a popular web series of weekly video essays about art and culture. Evan launched The Nerdwriter in 2011, a year after graduating from Boston University, where he studied film production. One of his first videos landed him a job at MSNBC as a writer and web content producer. Almost three years later, the Discovery Channel asked him to write and host a show on their digital network called Seeker Daily. After launching a successful show for Discovery, he left to pursue The Nerdwriter full time. Evan has never been fond of offices or working for other people. He hates meetings and quarterly earnings reports. Now that he’s working for himself, pursuing his passion on YouTube, Evan has never been happier."
via:lukeneff  writing  essays  evanpuschak  nerdwriter  videoessays  2016  hansrichter  fforfake  orsonwelles  documentary  commentary  sanssoleil  1973  1983  1940  chrismarker  everyframeapainting  tonyzhou  education  knowledge  explainers  mikerugnetta  vox  internet  web  online  audiovisual  learning  thinking  micheldemontaigne  montaigne 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Chris Marker: (Le livre impossible) by Maroussia Vossen ~ Chris Marker
"Out of the blue, we learned of a new and quite intimate book on Chris Marker, written by his adopted daughter Maroussia Vossen. Marker’s life went into his work, and his personal life remained and remains a mystery to a great many of his fans. This new book, which can be found at Amazon.fr currently, promises to be a welcome respite from scholarly publications, and an insight into the oft-guarded personal side of the auteur. That Marker was loyal to his intimates has been clear, with testimonies coming since his death from many sides, including Pierre Lhomme and Patricio Guzman. His friends were so numerous, yet each relationship, as attested to by Maroussia, was set in a kind of sacred space – just the opposite of social space with its flattening of relationships into connections, friends, followers… There is in this publication an aura of glimpsing into the center of the storm of a wildly productive life, at the most intimate and non-public relationship perhaps of all. It is a welcome arrival. As we await its physical arrival from amazon.fr, we can at least ruminate and quote some preliminary texts that are posted on the publisher’s site, le-tripode.net."
chrismarker  books  maroussiavossen 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Williams Gibson: On Technophobia and the Power of Film | Literary Hub
"In part one [http://lithub.com/william-gibson-on-phones-fiction-and-the-end-of-the-world/ + https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-one/s-0Jwns ] of Paul Holdengraber’s phone call with William Gibson, topics included dystopias, the universal screenwriter, and the disruption of the telephone. In part two,

[https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-two/s-my54E ]

William Gibson on the availability of culture…

If you had never heard recorded music and you didn’t have it as a category of experience—if it simply never existed for you—I think that your concept of what music is would be fantastically different. Something that’s happened, a change that’s occurred over the course of my own life that I think somewhat puts this vague claim I’m making into perspective, is the way in which seeing a film used to be something that was so dependent on so many factors that it made it largely unrepeatable. You could see the film on its theatrical release, but unless you lived in, say, New York, there were no repertory cinemas. So people saw a film once and then lived with it in memory, there was no television, there were no videotapes of films. Film existed primarily in memory, and the experience of actually seeing it was very intense.

William Gibson on Chris Marker…

I first saw Chris Marker’s La Jetée in a film history course when I was an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia. I had been vaguely aware of it earlier because it is, you know, technically a science fiction film even though it’s a short avant-garde French film. I had had in my life no opportunity to see any avant-garde French film, so I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t really expecting very much. It had this extraordinarily profound effect on me, and it’s very, very brief. I actually left the lecture hall feeling uneasily that I had somehow—that something had happened, that I’d experienced some sort of transformation, and I didn’t know what it was.

William Gibson on technophobia…

I’m dubious about ranking… I’m not sure about ranking. I’ve long suspected that what our descendants will find quaintest about us it that we made distinctions of that sort. That they’ll be looking back and they’ll be going, So strange they didn’t think Facebook was “real.” There’s a wonderful, weird book, the title of which I will probably be unable to remember, but it’s a collection of first-person accounts of Victorians encountering new technologies. It’s taken from diaries and letters—it’s not famous people, just ordinary people. The one that always struck me was an Anglican clergyman who went to a garden party, heard an Edison phonograph talking, and went home and wrote this completely terrifying description of this demonic, satanic, mechanical voice speaking to the children in the garden, and how this probably presaged the end of the world. He was just writing for himself, so he wasn’t exaggerating, and I thought, Oh, wow. He had this absolutely intense experience, but I don’t think I could say that what it caused him to fear came to pass."
williamgibson  technophobia  film  chrismarker  lajetee  culture  2016  television  tv  paulholdengraber  interviews  experience  memory  recordings  music  audio  listening  nostalgia  lajetée 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Wunderkammer - Chris Marker
"The essayist’s aesthetic is that of the collector, or the ‘amateur’ in an archaic sense: such works seem destined for the writerly equivalent of the Wunderkammer – the essayist thrives on miscellanea. Except to say: the discrete essay may itself be an omnium-gatherum; there’s no duty to thematic unity, and because the notion that the essay is necessarily a short text is just a convenient rule easily broken, none to concision either: in his Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Robert Burton starts composing an essay about a single affliction and ends up writing a book about everything – but everything – he can think of." —frieze, “Energy & Rue”, Issue 151 (November-December 2012)
chrismarker  2012  collectors  collections  essayists  amateurism  amateurs  wunderkammer  miscellanea  gathering  cv  robertburton  essays  everything  eclecticism  collection  commonplacebooks  writing 
march 2015 by robertogreco
markertext.com : Chris Marker - image = text
[transcripts from the films]

""Cat, wherever you are, peace be with you."

Chris Marker:

à Valparaiso
Coréenes
Description of a Struggle
La Jetée
Letter from Siberia

Sans Soleil - French text
Sans Soleil / Sunless - English text
Sans Soleil / サン・ソレイユ - Japanese text (PDF)
Sans Soleil / 태양 없이 - Korean text
Sans Soleil / Без Солнца - Russian text

A few links

Comment or contribute text: sandor (at) markertext.com"

[Came via/for this one: http://www.markertext.com/sans_soleil.htm ]
chrismarker  lajetée  sanssoleil  transcripts  documentary  coréenes  àvalparaiso  film 
march 2015 by robertogreco
GODARD MONTAGE: Chris Marker's Camera-Stylo / "Notes On Filmmaking"
"To return to Astruc, tonight's film Sans Soleil is an example of "La Camera-Stylo" par excellence. An entire book could be dedicated to Marker's editing in the film, so I will not focus on it in particular at the moment; suffice to say the montage would not have been as effective if the footage itself was not shot with such patient and active framing and movement, by a true camera-writer. I am also choosing not to mention the text, which is of course essential to the film – my focus is solely on the creative independence offered by the small camera, which Astruc so presciently predicted.

The majority of the footage was shot by Marker himself, using a silent 16mm Beaulieu film camera to capture his own compendium of "things that quicken the heart." Although notes on the production are scare if existent at all due to Marker's public reclusiveness, we can assume a number of basic qualities that tie back to Astruc's ideas. Marker's footage seems to have been shot as the events and subjects were discovered and unfolding, and the lightweight Beaulieu provided the discreet ability to write with motion anywhere at any time during Marker's travels. Here we can note the uncanny clarity and purpose with which Marker investigates and focuses on his subjects. Early in the film at the cat cemetery in Tokyo, we have reason to suspect the man behind the camera is not an amateur but truly an auteur cameraman, as Marker moves to reframe the woman praying to the cat shrine.

[image]

Some of my other favorite stills from the film – needless to say a pretty difficult task to choose. Note the care in framing and composition:

[images]

Serving as the film's editor as well as the fictional narrator and fictional cameraman Sandor Krashna (Krashna's friend Hayao Yamaneko is also Marker, the name translating to "Mountain Cat" or "Wild Cat," cats being of course a favorite animal [of the filmmaker]) Marker creates a work that the term "essay film" only begins to describe. Indeed, this type of filmmaking seems a direct extension of Astruc's idea of the roles of screenwriter and director losing their distinction as new technology permits the evasion of the industrial mode of filmmaking that had so far codified into the classical Hollywood system and its worldwide exponents.

Marker's process is not unlike writing a novel or essay, wherein the author is alone with his stylus, writing an excess of ideas and musings which will ultimately be edited into its final form. Except with Marker, the writer is out engaging with the events of the world. Watching the film I feel as I am discovering cinema's potential for the first time – Sans Soleil gives lie to the notion that a fledgling filmmaker must be follow some arbitrary industrial production procedure in order to produce a work that is personal, affective, complex and sincere. As Abbas Kiarostami notes on his masterclass 10 on Ten, in regards to the small DV camera he used on Ten, small cameras "allow the artist to work alone again." Here the distinction between documentary and fiction loses its relevance in the same way it did for Godard in 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her. As Sam mentioned following the screening, it's simply because Marker and Godard choose to simply make a film and do not worry about the categories and genres which are ascribed after the fact.

Below is an excerpt from Marker's text I transcribed from the Criterion box set for Sans Soleil/La Jetee. I cannot help but take Marker's point that technology today could allow for anyone to create something extremely personal and exploratory, free from the restraints of capital. Although his reference to Vertov is certainly appropriate, Astruc could have been evoked just as easily. The real question is: with the advent of incredibly cheap HD video cameras (this generation's Beaulieu), why aren't there more films produced in kindred spirit with Sans Soleil? Why are there virtually no other camera-writers and most importantly:

"Will there be a last letter?"

- Ian

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes On Filmmaking
by Chris Marker

Working on a shoestring, which in my case is more often a matter of circumstance than of choice, never appeared to me as a cornerstone for aesthetics, and Dogme-type stuff just bores me. So it's rather in order to bring some comfort to young filmmakers in need that I mention these few technical details: The material for La Jetee was created with a Pentax 24x36, and the only "cinema" part (the blinking of the eyes) with an Arriflex 35mm film camera, borrowed for one hour. Sans Soleil was entirely shot with a 16mm Beaulieu silent film camera (not one sync take within the whole film), with 100-foot reels – 2'44" autonomy! –and a small cassette recorder (not even a Walkman; they didn't exist yet). The only "sophisticated" device – given the time – was the spectre image synthesizer, also borrowed for a few days. This is to say that the basic tools for these two films were literally available to anyone. No silly boasting here, just the conviction that today, with the advent of computer and small DV cameras (unintentional homage to Dziga Vertov), would-be directors need no longer submit their fate to the unpredictability of producers or the arthritis of televisions, and that by following their whims or passions, they perhaps see on day their tinkering elevated to DVD status by honorable men."
chrismarker  budget  constraints  filmmaking  lajetée  sanssoleil  audio  film  tools  howwework  cinematography  cameras  editing  framing  composition  dzigavertov  technology 
march 2015 by robertogreco
... a Valparaíso on Vimeo
"A film essay about Valparaíso.
Directed by: Joris Ivens
Script: Chris Marker
Cinematographers: Georges Strouvé, Patricio Guzmán
Music by: Gustavo Becerra
Produced by: Argos Films / Universidad de Chile.
Spanish subtitles by Ricardo Greene
______________________

Dirigido por el documentalista holandés Joris Ivens, con guión de Chris Marker y con la participación de Patricio Guzmán y Georges Strouvé en asistencia de cámara, este documental ofrece una 'sinfonía urbana' hermosa y políticamente comprometida del puerto de Valparaiso.
Ivens nos introduce en el singular paisaje de un lugar que habita con un pie en el cerro y otro en el mar; y entre un pasado de glorias y un presente de deterioro y carencias. Con perfecto ritmo visual, nos presenta no la imagen-postal de la ciudad sino sus contradicciones y singularidades, indagando así en la vida cotidiana de sus habitantes y ofreciendo finalmente un panorama complejo y diverso sobre la vida en el puerto.

Subtítulos en español por Ricardo Greene."
chile  valparaíso  chrismarker  jorisivens  patricioguzmán  georgesstrouvé  film  documentary 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Chris Marker — Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
"Chrismarker.org is an randomly-compiled, taxonomically naive and hopefully useful archive of ruminations, bibliographic & filmographic notations, untimely meditations, mnemonic minutiae and other glosses on the cinematic, written, photographic and multimedia work of world-citizen & time-traveler Chris Marker – the “mercurial international man of semiotic mystery.”* (Or, as the endnotes to Abschied vom Kino puts it, Chris Marker is: “Autor, Aktivist, Filmemacher, Fotograf, Internaut, Kritiker, Medienkünstler, Poet, Publizist / Author, activist, filmmaker, photographer, Internaut, critic, media artist, poet, journalist.” We might add: friend to animals). In the end, the title he settled on was simply “bricoleur.”

We welcome contributions in short article form from the global village that Marker helped to map. We also welcome Chris Marker news, links, memorabilia, aphorisms, quotations, images and stray insights. Contributions from animals are welcome too, of course, including but not limited to cats, owls, giraffes, emus and elephants (слоны).

The predecessor of this site was an old and crumbling edifice from the ’90s: silverthreaded presents chris marker, housed at a so-called tilde account in the dial-up days, in and amongst the rubble of a strange research project dubbed Cinema Paranoia. Upon this shaky base we build, quoting & glossing, writing when inspired, ever fascinated by and admiring always the oeuvre of Chris Marker, le plus célèbre des cinéastes inconnus."
chrismarker  film  documentary  photography  archives 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Filmic Page: Chris Marker's Commentaires: Observatory: Design Observer
"Commentaires presents the scripts of five films directed by Marker: Les statues meurent aussi (1953, co-directed with Alain Resnais), Dimanche à Pékin (1955), Lettre de Sibérie (1957), Description d’un combat (1960) and Cuba si (1961), as well as an unmade project, L’Amérique rêve (1959). In each case, Marker puts stills from the film into or alongside the text. It would be easy to take such plasticity for granted today, although this degree of integration of text and image in a film book, or any kind of small-format book for continuous reading rather than reference, is still unusual. At the time, it was a remarkable accentuation of the image in relation to the text. Marker uses wide fore-edge margins, and spaces between the paragraphs and other kinds of writing, such as song lyrics, to create open, dynamically organized layouts. The effect is to make all the elements appear to float in loosely placed, almost provisional arrangements. Turning the book’s pages, text and image strike the eye as being equally important.

“As you read [Commentaires] you knew exactly what was being talked about,” Richard Hollis notes in an interview with Eye. “It was a substitute for description: instead of talking about something, you show the objective visual evidence. That’s how I wanted to do Ways of Seeing, rather than have images by the side or text followed by a page of images.” In Commentaires, though, the image isn’t a substitute for the text (as it was sometimes in Berger’s book) but rather a selective approximation and evocation of the film experience, running in parallel with the words."



"In one of the film’s most audacious conceits, Marker shows the same sequence three times: a bus goes past, some men work on the road, another man walks by. With each viewing, the voiceover changes to describe the city of Yakutsk first as a worker’s paradise, then as hell on earth, and finally in more measured terms. The man walking by transforms from a “picturesque denizen of the Arctic reaches” into a “sinister looking Asiatic” before becoming merely a worker “afflicted with an eye disorder.” But even objectivity, notes Marker, can end up being a form of distortion; Yakutsk cannot be understood just by walking (and filming) the streets. After this piece of demystification, the reliability of any documentary, including his own, must forever be in doubt. When the sequence is translated into a layout in Commentaires, there is no need to repeat it to make the point. Marker compresses the narrative into a triptych of representative images displayed opposite the three competing modes of voiceover.

One final example taken from a sequence about the Siberian gold rush that turned the Aldan district into a lawless territory over which the Soviet government, a decade after the revolution, could maintain no control. Marker teases the viewer: “You expected to see Indians? There were Indians, cowboys, sorcerers, trappers, fights and romances.” The oval vignettes used on the page on either side of the descriptions are a direct re-creation of the devices employed ironically in the film to mythologize the figures in these old photographs. A bearded, modern-day worker living in the area is shown in the same manner before the moving image expands, like an iris-in, to fill the full frame.

The final likely reason that Commentaires has been neglected as a piece of advanced editorial design is that its layout was not the work of an established graphic designer. We are back to the familiar limitation that graphic design history tends to concern itself with the output of people formally identified as professional designers. As it happens, Marker was an outstanding example of the kind of communicator many designers now aspire to be, a versatile, multi-talented figure able to cross disciplinary boundaries — in his case writing, photography, filmmaking and design — and combine these endeavors in a unified personal life project. It’s hardly surprising that critics who analyse his work primarily as a filmmaker haven’t taken a close interest in Commentaires, the multi-volume Petite Planète series (1954-64), or Coréennes (1959), his book of photographs of Korean women, as designed objects. The two volumes of Commentaires are highly imaginative, inventive and challenging interpretations of the book form and, quite apart from their importance as documents in film history, they rightly also belong within an expanded historical understanding of editorial design."
rickpoynor  chrismarker  books  via:litherland  documentary  film  bookdesign  graphicdesign  objectivity  2014  commentaires  johnberger  waysofseeing 
march 2014 by robertogreco
In Memoriam: Chris Marker : The New Yorker
Marker’s modesty is that of a devoted craftsman and an exquisite aesthete: a nonperformer, a nonsinger, a nonathlete, a former writer who didn’t continue—he did the one thing that he cultivated with an unyielding devotion.
thinking  culture  cinema  chrismarker  modesty  focus  film  filmmaking  devotion  via:litherland 
august 2012 by robertogreco
greg.org: the making of: When People Die, They Sing Songs: Chris Marker's "Stopover In Dubai"
"It was only after watching Stopover in awe, figuring out what it was, and then tracking down and watching the original version, that I realized Marker had appropriated GNTV/Dubai State Media's footage exactly as they aired it, edits, captions, graphics and all. And yet he had completely remade the film… [by replacing the soundtrack with an] ominous string composition written by Henryk Górecki for the Kronos Quartet.

Where I'd once questioned my interpretation and response to the film, wondering who was actually responsible for the elements of its success-its narrative, structure, pacing, and suspense--I now marveled at Marker's ability to recognize how these two things existing in the world--the edited footage and the Kronos recording--resonated so powerfully with each other, and with himself and his artistic sensibilities. Marker didn't need to do any more than make this impossible connection; it was the slightest gesture necessary, and yet the result is no less remarkable."
pairing  patternrecognition  kronosquartet  uae  dubai  cctv  gorgomancy  surveillance  soundtracks  stopoverindubai  2010  2012  combinatorialcreativity  combinations  film  chrismarker 
august 2012 by robertogreco
DAILY | Chris Marker, 1921 – 2012 – Fandor - Essential films. Instantly!
"…a quote from Alain Resnais: “Chris Marker is the prototype of the 19th Century man. He managed to achieve a synthesis of all appetites and obligations without ever sacrificing any of them to the others. In fact a theory is making the rounds, and not without some grounds, that Marker could be an extra-terrestrial. He looks like a human, but perhaps he comes from the future or from another planet… There are some very bizarre clues. He is never sick or ill, he is not sensitive to cold, and he doesn’t seem to need any sleep.”"
filmmaking  film  superhumans  generalists  synthesis  2012  sleep  humans  alainresnais  chrismarker 
august 2012 by robertogreco
FILM; Chris Marker: Already Living in Film's Future - New York Times
"Had she smiled? It was miraculous, as if one was seeing and feeling in an instant the revolution by which still pictures became cinema. It was a magical way of saying, ''Look, there is the message, there is the thing about movies: they have a special affinity for passing time, for change and evanescence, for memory or forgetting.'' … Mr. Marker is far less impressed by the camera's neutrality or its ability to record things whole. He loves imagery, but does not trust it. His essential influences -- Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov -- are filmmakers who explored montage (or editing) as a stimulus to argument. Pictures come to life if we are looking, thinking, testing; they demand definition, not just awed witness. Above all, Mr. Marker sees that imagery has become a chief resort of our collective memory -- but in a way that stresses our isolation as much as our involvement. To adapt the critic John Berger (another Markerian) a little: photographs evoke presence and absence at the same time. We are there, in the scene, yet cut off from it. It is the model for so much of modern experience -- our amazing ability to acquire information usually depends on some distancing mechanism. We do not know things so much as pretend to know them. … Mr. Marker is already at work on a more sophisticated version of ''Immemory'' (for the technology changes every year). What it already amounts to is a trip through one man's archive -- or memory. And to many people, it seems the most likely future for film -- a new kind of cinema, private, solitary, exploratory, yet full of epiphanies, like the breathing face in ''Jetée.'' Some may lament the loss of all the old communal atmospherics of moviegoing. Yet others see in such filmmaking a recognition of the essential loneliness of humankind -- and a return to the kind of information exchange exemplified by, of all things, writing and reading."
2003  chrismarker  film  cinema  memory  time  change  forgetting  isolation  knowing  via:Preoccupations  lajetée 
july 2012 by robertogreco
A Cinematic Novel: ‘Historias extraordinarias’ | Hydra Magazine
"The pleasure of watching Historias extraordinarias derives in large part from the sheer magnitude of the multiple narratives that propel the film forward.

…One such episode recounts a brutal robbery and mass killing using only photographs for visualization, creating suspense and terror from a deft sequencing of photo stills, a technique reminiscent of Chris Marker’s canonical masterwork, La jetée (1962). Another memorable section ingeniously weaves the actual work and biography of obscure Argentine architect, Francisco Salamone, into one of the central plot threads. To Llinás, fiction and nonfiction are perpetually on level terms.

The graphic textuality of Historias extraordinarias owes much also to the comic book and graphic novel medium. In an interview with Argentine novelist Alan Pauls, Llinás explains that one of the chief inspirations for the scenario was Hergé’s classic comic-strip series, Les Aventures de Tintin…"
intertextuality  narrative  literature  alanpauls  franciscosalamone  narration  fiction  nonfiction  towatch  argentina  borges  2011  film  tintin  hergé  marianollinás  historiasextraordinarias  andrébazin  storytelling  comics  chrismarker  lajetée 
january 2012 by robertogreco
La Jetée: Ciné-Roman
"book version of the legendary 1964 science fiction film about time and memory after a nuclear apocalypse. Chris Marker, the undisputed master of the filmic essay, composed the film almost entirely of still photographs. It traces a desperate experiment by
sciencefiction  books  film  lajetée  scifi  french  france  photography  via:preoccupations  chrismarker 
january 2008 by robertogreco
La Jetée - Wikipedia
"La Jetée (1962) (literally "The Jetty") 28-minute science fiction film in black and white by Chris Marker."
film  scifi  science  fiction  france  french  photography  comics  sciencefiction  chrismarker  lajetée 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Ballardian: The World of JG Ballard » Retrospecto: La Jetee
"It highlights why we are attracted to SF in the first place: not for bug-eyed aliens or galaxy-hopping spaceships, but for the way in which the form can twist our most cherished versions of reality inside out."
film  scifi  science  fiction  france  french  photography  comics  jgballard  sciencefiction  chrismarker  lajetée 
december 2006 by robertogreco

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