Film 66 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge was 1961’s “La Jetée”. Or to give it’s English title “The Pier”. Spoiler alert, there was no pier! There was an airport so already that annoyed me. Little did I know that the worst was yet to come. I spent 27 minutes watching this asking myself, “What’s the plot?” This was never answered and if it was, I never got it. This was confusing right from the start. I spent more time wondering if turtle neck jumpers were still a thing in 2014. I will give this film credit for doing something different. That being, doing a film using only still images and a narrator. Some of the images were rather nice but that really didn’t help me with any knowledge of plot. One quote that I did get from the narrator, played by Jean Negroni, is “They begin again. The man doesn’t die, nor does he go mad. He suffers. They continue.” Director Chris Marker makes a reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” in a shot of the man and woman looking at a section of a sequoia tree. This film would be remade by Terry Gilliam in 1995 as “Twelve Monkeys” staring Bruce Willis. If you have seen this film, then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1961’s “La Jetée”
Film – La Jetée
Year – 1962
Director – Chris Marker
Staring – Etienne Becker, Jean Negroni, Helene Chatelain
IMDb Rating – 8.4/10
My Rating – 4.2/10
Length – 27 min
Genre – Short, Drama, Romance
Nothing says film like a photo of a quiet airport
I wish I knew French
It’s a photo slide show!!!
Paris looks like a dump in 1961
OK, there’s ruined buildings everywhere!
The Arc de Triomphe has lost it’s top!
Don’t wake the sleeping man in the hammock
Is he using a bra to cover his eyes?
Am I in a log cabin?
A log cabin that has a collection of old statues?!?!
You are a creepy looking man
Better drug you to sleep
What is suppose to happen?
Does this thing even have a plot? If so… What?!
Back to the airport
Now we’re sailing
Who is she?
I’m lost in this field
How am I back at the airport?
That statue has lost it’s head
More French whisperings
Why is this man stalking that woman?
And in all places, he stalks her at Forbidden Planet!
Let’s have a romantic walk through the park so I can explain myself
I want your necklace!
Back to the whispers
Back to more flashbacks
She’s asleep! Now’s your chance!
Too late! She’s awake now
Why does this guy think a coal miner’s glove is a fashion crase?
Back to the whisperings
Still have no idea what is happening
Is he having memories of all the women he’s fallen in love with?
SHE HAS HAIRY ARMPITS!!!
Time for a date at a place where they stuff and mount animals
Does this guy not have any other clothes?
So that’s where the shark from Jaws is nowadays
Well the answer to Ylvis’s “What Does the Fox Say?” won’t be answered in this film – That fox is dead!
Are turtle neck jumpers still trendy in 2014?
I am confused! What is going on?
Why do those women have clocks on their foreheads?
And back at the airport
Run to your date!
Nope! Just collapse infront of her