Chris Marker: Memories of the Future
Reaktion Books, 2005 - 256 pages
Chris Marker is one of the most extraordinary and influential filmmakers of our time. In landmark films such as Letter from Siberia, La Jetée, Sans Soleil, and Level Five, he has overturned cinematic conventions by confounding the distinction between documentary and fiction, writing and visual recording, and the still and moving image. Yet these works are only the tip of the iceberg; Marker's career has also encompassed writing, photography, television, and digital multimedia.
Chris Marker is the first systematic examination of Marker's complete oeuvre. Here, Catherine Lupton traces the development and transformation of the artist's work from the late 1940s, when he began to work as a poet, novelist, and critic for the French journal Esprit, through the 1990s and the release of his most recent works, including Level Five and the CD-ROM Immemory. Lupton explicates Marker's work as a circular trajectory, with each project recycling and referring back to earlier works as well as to a host of adopted texts, always proceeding by oblique association and lateral digression. This trajectory, which Lupton outlines with great care and precision, is critical to understanding Marker's abiding obsession: the forms and operations of human memory. With this theme as her architecture, Lupton presents the most comprehensive and incisive analysis of Marker to date.
Incorporating historical events and cultural contexts that have informed each phase of Marker's career, Lupton gives readers access to an artist who stands outside of the mainstream and thus defies easy explanation. There is no better guide than Lupton's to this modern master's prolific and multidimensional career.