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Summary: Earth lies in ruin after a nuclear war. The few surviving humans begin researching time travel, hoping to send someone back to the pre-war world for food, supplies and maybe a solution to their dire position. One man is haunted by a vague childhood memory that will prove fateful. (imdb)
This is the only time-traveling movie that makes sense, and a perfect fusion of form and function. Probably a perfect film (and a film almost entirely without motion! So much for that definition...). Blows my mind with every viewing.
The story is fairly brilliant, something like a combination of Slaughterhouse Five and a dystopic sci-fi. The visual quality is really poor, though, not to mention the experimental film style, and it prevented me from being completely engaged by the film.
The film is entirely still images with a narration, but those images are so effective that it still feels as if you're seeing the action, kind of like when reading a good book you form pictures of what you're reading. Marker gives you some amazing images and an interesting narration while your mind completes the picture for you, it was incredibly effective. The story itself was also quite creative and even though I should have seen it coming, the ending was very good and caught me by surprise.
Haunting and beautiful at the same time. Telling the story with photos instead of moving images makes the experience more surreal, the viewer is kept at a distance and only short moments of time are understood, same as how the main character experiences his jumps through time. Great music as well.
I re-watched this short film after 5 years. It didn't affect me as much as the first time, but it struck me how well sound and music are used. It's really unfair to compare it to "12 monkeys" (or other way around). It's experimental cinema, very different from traditional 25 frames-per-second narratives, but even more effective and captivating.
La Jetée was released in 1962 (four years after Vertigo, which inspired Marker greatly). It consists almost entirely of still photos, telling a story of the world after nuclear war. The absence of movement means you can%u2019t look away for a second. Although there is spoken narration, the photos are the key, and each one feels crucial, so you stare at the screen, absorbing every still. La Jetée is not a movie you can half-watch while doing something else.
Half hour short film. Very apparent that 12 monkeys stole this film's idea, but I wouldn't hold it against Gilliam: after all most films are a copy, more or less. Apart from the great plot, La Jetée has something unique (potential wake-up call for every so-so director): Marker proves (with ease) that the beauty of the cinema can be said in a simple mix of style and voice-over. A storyboard like this and you will never fail. Look for movement; it's there. Plot is everything. Composition likewise.