Assignment 2 – La Jetee – Chris Marker – 1962

This term we will be working on producing a short movie using the Canon 5D camera and film editing software. I have to admit that I am feeling apprehensive about this task , having never produced any kind of movie before! So as an introduction to the genre we were shown a short stills film called La Jetee, by Chris Marker.

La Jetee is a 1962, short featurette film that consists entirely of still shots, with added narration and music. The film is set in a post-apocolytic world in which Nuclear war has decimated the resources of Mankind. Those who are left are struggling to find a way in which to gather resources such a food, fuel and medicines to stop mankind from being completely wiped out. Experiments ensue to send someone back in time to try and ease their current predicament, with one man being chosen, due to the strength of his childhood memories, to go back on the mission.

The combination of the stills images with the music make for haunting viewing. The film was made during the height of the Cold War, and certainly plays on the fears ,held by many, that mankind was on the brink of its own destruction.  As a child of the 70’s, I remember the fear surrounding the Cold War, the tensions between the US and the USSR were palpable. La Jetee captures this fear very well and it certainly stirs uncomfortable feelings having viewed it. The combination of pictures, music and narration make for a very unsettling and chilling viewing experience and gave way to the creation of the Film , Twelve Monkeys ,  in 1995.


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