Sans Soleil 1982 Dir. Chris Marker
This film falls into no particular genre or style, it is a film that exists in it’s own realm, with little precedent or anything to compare it with (exaggeration I know, but not too much). Marker was a visionary filmmaker and essentially created cinema like no other. His work is marked by a unique approach to images, editing and general construction. Some know his early short La Jette, which was created out of a series of still shots with a voiceover; it was later remade as a Hollywood feature titled 12 Monkeys, directed by Terry Gilliam. However, for me, Sans Soleil stands as a masterpiece. It is a sort of poetic travelogue with a haunting voiceover and images that take you from the San Francisco locations used in Hitchcock’s Vertigo to Papau New Ginea to Iceland to Japan and elsewhere. It examines how culture is perceived differently in various parts of the world and how our environment affects it and its people. It is also an essay on memory and time and how we pick and choose what and how we remember the past. It looks at the world through the eyes of a poet and sees and brings to life on screen some of the absurdity, strangeness, beauty and flawed humanity that makes up this world. A masterpiece!