Film Response #3: Sans Soleil

Chris Marker’s essay film, Sans Soleil (1983) was by far the most frustrating movie I have ever watched in my life.  I tried to understand it, but many times I would lose track of what was going on.  We mentioned in class that the film has a lot to do with memory, and that is what I took from it.  There are certain parts of the film that stuck out in my memory, but may not have stuck out for other people. The images that I keep going back to were the Japanese men and women dancing in the street during some sort of festival.

This scene was probably one of the longest with the least amount of narration.  I had to chance to just watch and observe.  Recalling a specific event can be different for every single person and watching this movie is the perfect example.  Everyone’s reactions and explanations are going to be different.  Everyone will remember and forget different parts of the film.  The narrator even mentions memory directly, “I will have spent my life trying to understand the function of remembering, which is not the opposite of forgetting, but rather its lining. We do not remember, we rewrite memory much as history is rewritten.’  In other words, forgetting is an important part of memory as much as remembering is.  Visual images are often supposed to make us remember things, but this films shows that that is not always the case.  Our memory is constantly being edited over and over, just like history.  When we think about something again and again, we can start to remember things that we initially forgot.

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. 3 Apr. 2011.

Montero, David. “Film also ages: time and images in Chris Marker’s Sans soleil.” Studies in French Cinema 6.2 (2006): 107-115. Film & Television Literature Index. EBSCO. Web. 3 Apr. 2011.

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One Response to Film Response #3: Sans Soleil

  1. rosemarie says:

    I like the quote from the movie you mentioned toward the end of your post.. about memory and forgetting. This is an interesting idea you point out: “forgetting is an important part of memory as much as remembering is.”

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