The Forgettable Sans Soleil

This was one of the most weirdest films I have ever seen in my life. I really didn’t like this film at all because it really did bore me to death and made me almost fall a sleep. But it really did serve it’s purpose and I really appreciated. Sans Soleil was a test for us to see if we can forget half of the things that’s shown or talked about in the film, which pretty much in my opinion did. There was some things that I was able to remember which was the statues of penises and the animals of having sex of course! Maybe because it made most of us feel uncomfortable and freaked out a bit but I also did remember the images of the owl, cat and mostly the people praying. The only reason I remember those because they were constantly being repeated many time in the movie. But I guess they were meant to be repeated just give a test if repeated images do help us remember. In this article Happiness with a Long Piece of Black Leader: Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil by Carol Mavor, he believed how the colors Black and Blue symbolizes the functions of memory in the film. She states:

“At the start of Sans soleil, we get tiny glimpses of the Icelandic sky and the
North Atlantic Ocean: blue bits bitten by nostalgic longing. By the end of the film
we are overwhelmed to see the same place covered in a black ash. The volcano is a
natural catastrophe that harkens the apocalypse of war, something that had
already happened to Marker’s beloved Japan, twenty-five years before when, at
8:15 am, on 6 August 1945, ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on Hiroshima. On that day,
the sky turned black. On that day, ashes were everywhere. On that day, drops of
black rain the size of marbles fell. But to be in the black can be full of goodness. Black is the colour of dreams
before they hit the screen of our mind’s eye. Black is the colour of development, as
in the photographic darkroom. Black is the colour of transport, as in the movie
theatre itself. Black is the colour of the nocturnal; those animals that Marker so
loves, the cat, and also the owl, know all about this (plate 21). The nocturnal
Proust, who also loved the black, turned his days into nights and wrote in his corklined
room without light. Is it no wonder, then, that Barthes feels good, like a cat,
when he leaves the darkness of the cinema, and finds that ‘his body has become
something soporific, soft, peaceful: limp as a sleeping cat’?”

In this paragraph Carol pointed out a very good point that I thought I would have never looked out on my own. She tries to tell us that in the beginning of the film everything is shown in blue like the oceans or the skies from Iceland but by the end things are covered in black with ashes filled on lands covering the home with black skies. Then she describes how Black can represent memory with the description of development, transport, and nocturnal which is how our memory sort of works. What I also notice is that this function also describes on how we heal from an injury. The bruises turn blue then black until it goes back to normal which is very similar to how our brains work with memory. So in meaning Black is what makes forget what has happened and is allowing us to restart again.

Works Cited

MAVOR, CAROL. “HAPPINESS WITH A LONG PIECE OF BLACK LEADER: CHRIS MARKER’S SANS SOLEIL.” Art History 30.5 (2007): 738-756. Film & Television Literature Index. EBSCO. Web. 31 Mar. 2011.

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