Chris Marker

By Sarah Cooper

Chris Marker


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8364-8
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: October 2010
  • BIC Category: The arts / Film: styles & genres, The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, Film: styles & genres, Films, cinema, Film and Media
  • Series: French Film Directors Series


Since the early 1950s, Chris Marker has embraced different filmmaking styles as readily as he has new technologies, and has broadened conceptions of the documentary in distinctly personal ways. He has travelled around the world, tracking political upheavals and historic events, as well as unearthing the stories buried under official reporting. This globetrotting filmmaker testifies to his six decades on the move through a passionate devotion to the moving image. Yet from the outset, his filmic images reveal a fascination with stillness. It is at this juncture of mobility and immobility that Sarah Cooper situates her comprehensive study of Marker's films.

She pays attention to the central place that photographs occupy in his work, as well as to the emergence in his filming of statuary, painting and other static images, including the film still, and his interest in fixed frame shooting. She engages with key debates in photographic and film theory in order to argue that a different conception of time emerges from his filmic explorations of stasis.

In detailed readings of each of his films, including Le souvenir d'un avenir andLa Jetee, Sans soleil and Level 5, Cooper charts Marker's concern with mortality in varied historical and geographical contexts, which embraces the fragility of the human race, along with that of the planet.


"This volume, dedicated to the life's work of the artist born Christian Francois Bouche-Villeneuve, possesses all the impelling power of rattan finger cuffs: once in, it is nearly impossible to get out, as Dr. Cooper's engaging style fairly generates enthusiasm."
(Robert Dator, Film Matters, 2014)


Introduction: Screening Life
1 The Early Years: 1950-1961
2 A Second Beginning: 1962-1966
3 Collective Endeavour: 1967-1977
4 Continuity and Change: The 1980s
5 Level 5 and Beyond: 1990 Onwards
Concluding Remarks
Select Bibliography


Sarah Cooper is Lecturer in Film Studies at King's College London

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