19 August 2014
To state that Chris Marker’s La Jetèe is an incredible piece of sci-fi film would be an understatement. In the span of 28 minutes, in what people of this generation (I’m looking at my boyfriend on this one) might call ‘slideshows’ The Jetty as aptly translated in English features photographs of every scene, narrated by a man in French about a person’s exploration in time travel, as well as how far a person can go for his love for another person and his country.
A boy notices a woman’s expression as she gasps at the sight of a man. Several years later the boy is a man and Paris is at a war. He is kidnapped and held hostage underground by scientists who plan to use him for their experiments, one of which is to test whether a person is capable of time-travel. The man is sent into a dream-like stage where he experiences rebirth, early memories of happiness and remorse appear. Until one day he meets a woman, one of whom he cannot remember where he met her. Day by day memories of where they meet and how appears.
Until finally he was able to visit the future and seek help to rebuild Paris. He is given a chance to fix it, but with this chance there are consequences. The film ends with him choosing what makes him happier, a selfless choice one should make to survive.
But what is it that we’re surviving from? A cynic might discuss.