Be Seeing You (À bientôt, j’espere)Directed by Chris Marker.
France, 1968, digital video, black & white, 39 min.
French with English subtitles.
After first visiting Rhodia’s Besançon plant to observe a strike in March 1967, Marker and his SLON associates were invited back nine months later to document a second action. The resulting film shuttles between the picket line and interviews with workers and their wives at home. The men speak about the alienating aspects of their labor as well as the lively atmosphere of the strike. “What is beautiful is not what is written in the tabloid,” says one a union leader, “it’s what the working class does.” Soon after making À Bientôt, j’espère,Marker would lend his support to a collective of Rhodia workers making their own films, suggesting that they name themselves for the Soviet director Alexander Medvedkin.
The quizzical love of animals expressed throughout Marker's cinema is given a new dimension and urgency in Vive la baleine, a short essay film which traces the history and mythology of the whale and dark shadow of man's troubled relationship with the sea creature, co-directed by Italian painter, ethnologist and documentarian Mario Ruspoli.
The Train Rolls On (Le train en marche)Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Philippe Garrel, et. al..
France, 1971, digital video, black & white, 32 min.
Designed as a companion piece to a re-release of Alexander Medvedkin's Happiness (1934), Marker's short film revisits the cine-train designed by Medvedkin to bring cinema to the people, looking affectionately and almost wistfully back at the utopian spirit and idea of the cinema as a force for raising political consciousness.