JunkopiaDirected by Chris Marker, John Chapman, Frank Simeone.
France, 1981, 35mm, color, 6 min.
Equal parts actualité and science fiction, Junkopia was made on the same trip to San Francisco that yielded the Vertigo segments of Sans Soleil. The scrap sculpture lining a thin strip of land between freeway and water present Marker with something like an ideal subject; found objects and possible harbingers, they are allowed to speak for themselves.
The Case of the Grinning Cat (Chats perches)Directed by Chris Marker.
France, 2004, digital video, color, 58 min.
Chris Marker offers a lively, roaming examination of political dissent in 21st century France and an energetic return to the film essay form that he pioneered. Intrigued by the enigmatic appearance of an insouciant graffiti cat, grinning from ear to ear, perched defiantly high across the walls of Paris, Marker set out to track the feline pattern and the broader mood of the post-9/11 city. Marker’s search eventually leads him to discover a sudden reassertion of political voice by Parisian youth, a spirited defiance to the American invasion of Iraq and the insurgent French ultra-right, with the grinning cat an icon and emblematic participant.
Remembrance of Things to Come (Le souvenir d’un avenir)Directed by Yannick Bellon and Chris Marker.
France, 2001, digital video, black & white, 42 min.
A circuitous meditation on the volatile interwar years as photographed by Denise Bellon, Remembrance of Things to Come is bookended by two surrealist exhibitions, the first staged in 1938, “when post-war was becoming pre-war,” and the second a class reunion convened in 1947 (the same year Marker began publishing articles). Bellon’s images provide an ideal vehicle for Marker’s fascination with the indicting gaze, whether figuring as André Breton’s “perfect eye,” the hard stares of prostitutes in France’s African colonies or the shattered faces of war veterans. Typically of Marker, the film only offers faint glimmers of Bellon’s biography, focusing instead on the camera-eye’s waking dream of history in the making.