August 22, 2007

Ciné, ma verité

Chris Marker's Sans Soleil: an exquisite flowing piece of (or about? who knows…?) exquisite orientalisms (in the broader Saidian sense), beautiful cliches, the sort of thing that always says infinitely more about the observer than the observed, that feels more like a travelogue of a filmaking era than of memory, place, and culture (it's always fascinating to see what fascinated someone like Marker 25 years ago), a melange of signs of signs, a thoughtfully-constructed cabinet of curiosities of curiosities. Like La Jetée, the effect's hypnotic, but this time it's difficult to escape the feeling that you're watching a filmmaker at work at making you watch a filmmaker at work, striving for significance with a studied and sometime sardonic off-handedness that tries to hide or efface the portentousness always lurking on the surface. All of which makes it sound as though I disliked the film, but it's stayed with me for weeks, mostly as a complex impression, a set of tones and colours, a pleasurable flow of little misdirections….

(Part of Flix).

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