Saturday, December 1, 2012

698. Sans Soleil/Sunless (1983)

Running Time: 100 minutes
Directed By: Chris Marker
Written By: Chris Marker
Main Cast: Florence Delay, Arielle Dombasle, Riyoko Ikeda, Charlotte Kerr, Alexandra Stewart


Hopefully today will be the final day of the sixth season, as I put in double overtime to try and reach my short term goal of 601 movies watched (400 to go). This morning, I rose early and popped in "Sans Soleil", the other Chris Marker film in THE BOOK (the first being "La jetee", which I've already reviewed) and found myself in a constant state of impatience.

Even THE BOOK notes that to summarize "Sans Soleil" would be impossible, so I won't even try. I'll just tell you that the film consists of many different images and scenes, shot mainly in Tokyo (although Iceland, San Francisco and Africa were also used as filming locations), that are set to narration, using fake letters, supposedly written to her by the cameraman. Key scenes and segments include Marker's attempt to try and locate & visit all of the key locations in Hitchcock's "Vertigo", a hunter shooting a giraffe (shown in explicit detail) and an interesting girl in a marketplace in Guinea-Bissau - shy and mysterious. "Sans Soleil" is an experimental film, which tries to evoke thought and implements original ideas and uses, sometimes, poetic, nonsensical dialogue to overlap it's images.

I just couldn't wait for this movie to be over and I continue to be baffled by the appeal of the experimental film. I'm not advocating against filmmaker's experimenting with film. I feel that any man who feels the urge to pick up a camera and shoot should do so, in hopes that they might capture something wonderful. However, my befuddlement is caused by the praise that these experimental pieces of cinema are showered with. I just don't understand it and as I watched "Sans Soleil", I grew more impatient, waiting for the end of the film, wanting it desperately to be over. The only time I actually got lost in the film was when the filmmaker was shooting the marketplace in Guinea-Bissau - hundreds of people reacting to a moving, shooting camera; either turning away or looking straight at it. The girl who tries desperately to avoid looking and then, in an instant, gives a glance that lasts a twenty-fourth of a second, was mesmerizing...but only for twenty-fourth of a second. Other than that short sequence, I found my mind wandering, barely able to pay attention to the narrator.

I've bashed experimental films so much in the past, that there's no use continuing to do so. You all know my feelings and since I'm a positive person, I still await the day when someone, experimenting with film, captures my attention and my mind. For now, I'll just leave "Sans Soleil" alone.

RATING: 1/10  I'm a glass half full kind of guy, so how about this thought: This is only the third '1' I've given all season and I've given four '10' ratings. So, perhaps, my earlier comment of this being the worst season ever was a little hasty.


December 1, 2012  12:06pm

1 comment:

  1. I've heard so much about this film. I wonder if I will like it. -Sandra


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