Here’s an enduring warning to would-be screenwriters: don’t use voiceovers. This is something potential motion picture directors are always given: make the images in your film move. Chris Marker didn’t listen to either of those things, and ended up making one of the greatest science fiction movies ever: no getty. Marker’s 1962 masterpiece is 28 minutes long, and consists exclusively of still images and voiceover. It’s glorious. Terry Gilliam 12 monkeys It is loosely based on the shorter film, but they are two completely different works. Here are more standard:
However, like every one of no gettyStill images last significantly longer than 1/24th of a second, on kinescope still on each no getty In fact it houses dozens of replicas of itself. By presenting us with a series of frozen images, Marker exemplifies the division of the invisible flow of time into a succession of visible moments that can be seen as the individual atoms of time, our experience of time. Indeed, when the film’s hero travels into the distant future, this new world is represented as a series of microscopic images.
Time moves differently in this extraordinary essay on cinematic time, and from the very beginning, our perceptions of the past, present, and future undergo strange mutations. Narrative time shifts between past and present, the latter mostly used to narrate the hero’s return to a lost past. This past is the present Paris in which the film was shot. The combination of photos and captions made the city in 1962 look radically unfamiliar. The opening shots of Orly and its stark linear architecture offer a cool futuristic panorama, where air travel still had the feel of hyper-modernism in the early 1960s. However, the narrative across these panels describes a memory from the distant past.
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