Film Response for April 4: Sans Soleil

I’ll admit that having you craft a response to a complex, essay film such as Sans Soleil is a little cruel. However, the essay film is a complex genre and one that really flourishes in the last forty years of the international cinema, and Chris Marker is regarded as the preeminent film essayist in the world.

For a film like this, you don’t have remember all of it. You don’t need to understand the entire work. You merely have to understand the “argument” and consider how the incredibly vast amount of visual footage, the disparate locations, and the copious amount of narration support this argument.

As we discussed in a previous class, postmodern film as it develops in post-New Wave era is hard to characterize by a single unifying theme. But that richness and that mosiac of signs and meanings is what makes this film so open-ended and, admittedly, frustrating to define.

For your response, recall a scene that addresses memory. How did you find that memory was being addressed in that scene? Why is the essay film an appropriate form for exploring this theme?

When considering your response, discuss how was these questions are addressed in a research article, located using our research databases. Bear in mind that It’s okay if your response doesn’t fit in with what others have said.

Helpful Links

  • Though not specific to the film, be sure to first look for research articles on the film, Sans Soleil.
  • You can view Sans Soleil in its entirety on Netflix’s “Watch Instantly”.
  • An English language version that is suspiciously short, and which I have not reviewed, is available on Google Video.
  • Can’t remember the entire text? That’s okay. Remember the film is about memory. Nonetheless, you can find the entire text of the narration.
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