Tuesday, 2 February 2010

La Jetee...

La Jetee (The Jetty or The Pier). is a 28 minute black and white Sci-Fi film by Chris Marker, made in 1962. The film is constructed almost entirely of still images and presents the story of a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel. The plot follows the survivors of a destroyed, post-apocalyptic Paris in the aftermath of the Third World War, who live underground in the Palais de Chaillot galleries. They research time travel, hoping to send test subjects to different time periods to call past and future to the rescue of the present.

I've seen 12 Monkeys before so this storyline was familiar to me, although i was still slightly confused by it. I really enjoyed 12 Monkeys, even though i found it slightly hard to follow at times and i was slightly confused throughout. The mysteriousness of the beginning, however, keeps you hooked because you want to know what is going on. After watching La Jetee, i can that 12 Monkeys is almost a modern day release of the same film. I enjoyed La Jetee equally as much as 12 Monkeys and i really enjoyed the way that it was constructed of only images but still got the story across as though it was live footage. I'm glad i've seen both films because it's a great way of seeing how film can be presented both independently and commercially. The reason i felt La Jette worked so well was its powerful black and white images along with the equisite use of sound and narrative. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the whispers and the disorientated effect it gave off, showing the mind state of the main character. I also enjoy the way the ending links up with the beginning as we see that the person the boy sees die is actually his older self. I definitely understand the story a bit better now that i've seen it for a second time and read the plot. When i watched 12 Monkeys, it was a mind-boggling experience to say the least, and i have the feeling La Jetee would have been the same if i didn't already understand the storyline.

For those of you who haven't seen 12 Monkeys, watch it, and here's a 2 minute cut-down of the film show the similarities in the narrative to La Jetee...

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