The Bowie segment was off putting to me, I was expecting a piece about the influence of La Jetee on Bowie, but instead the narrator all but informs me that Bowie IS in fact a time traveler and that is why he is such a trend setter.
Same here, Bowie might have been the perfect choice to play an alien but I drew the line at suggesting he actually is
(no offence to Ziggy Stardust fans!)
I was surprised they didn't also include the full Jump They Say video with the relatively short segment. Here
it is - I quite like the women wearing the flight attendant hats from 2001 and also was reminded of the bizarre appearance in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me that Bowie did. All the corridor shots in Jump They Say makes me think of the video as a kind of backstory for Agent Jeffries! (It came out only a year after the Twin Peaks film, so it might have been something in the ether while the video was getting made?)
I also found the Vertigo comparison piece to be a little forced. I actually prefer the Catherine Lupton description of the comparison that Kinsayder quoted at the bottom of the second page of this thread to be much more effective than seeing attempts to squash images from the two films together! Perhaps I felt that the segment was trying too hard to force the comparison rather than letting it arise naturally.
I'm not really a fan of Vertigo (I think I might have to go to the front office to hand in my film fan membership badge, and then be escorted out of the criterionforum.org building by armed guards for uttering such sacreligious comments!) but love La Jetée and so I'm more inclined to think of Marker using his obsession with themes and images from the film and expanding on them for his own ends rather than just slavishly copying them only in the hopes that his audience sees the homage, Tarantino-style! I certainly find the use of the tree trunk and the gesturing to a point beyond it as an indication of where the man is from to be far more interesting and moving than Vertigo's use of the same object as a part of the fabricated back story Madeline is using to sucker Scotty in to her story of being a reincarnation of a historical suicide.
Like all great references it expands on and deepens the original material it is quoting: I like the idea of reincarnation and time travel getting linked - Madeline's consciousness supposedly having moved forward in time to 50's San Francisco and the man in La Jetée going back to a remembered, idealised time before war (or back to a time before he was aware of the world being in a constant state of many conflicts - to returning to a childish state of non awareness of the world outside of his subjective experience?), both flights of fantasy unable to completely conceal the darker realities of the true situation that their creation is meant to obscure.
It seems that Criterion's relationship with Universal paid off in their being allowed to use the Vertigo clips for the segment though!
Did anyone catch the image from Overlord playing on one of the monitors in the installation from the Chris On Chris piece?
I also noticed Ligia Borocyzk and William Klein were in La Jetée. (Particularly interested in seeing Ligia Borocyzk/Branice, as Behind Convent Walls played a significant role in my teenage years!
) Was their casting as people from the future a suggestion that Marker felt they could represent future interesting directions for cinema?
I really liked Jean-Pierre Gorin's interview clips, fragmented in Immemory style so we can create our own structure to the interview. It is sort of like La Jetée itself in that while the images are powerful in themselves it is the editing rhythms that make the experience so powerful - we seem to be catching up to Marker in that we are now confronted by masses of information and meaning comes about through the way we as viewers construct it into coherent and meaningful patterns or find meaningful personal connections between material. It means that we are both more in need of people to create and present to us their own views of what they have assembled from the world to guide us but we also have to take on more responsibility for creating our own collages of material, our own worldviews that can be added to and manipulated as things change, we get more information, we ourselves change over time etc - that allows us to begin to interact more fully than just remaining passive consumers.
Off to check out Sans Soleil next!