Friday, 5 February 2010

Le Jette film review

In a recent lecture we watched the film Le Jette, a French film based in the aftermath of a holocaustic event during World War Three. This film was written and directed by Chris Marker in 1962, showcasing a reel of expressionative stills which encapsulate the audience into an understanding of a story. In effect this creates this movie to be a large animatic, which has the potential be further developed into a film. This movie set the insperation for films such as Twelve Monkeys, yet no recreation directly of La Jettee is known as of yet.

The film uses a variety of simplistic sound effects to help "animate" the story to life, and indulge the audience into understanding the images further. The languages used within this film are mixed between German and French, yet narrated by an English speaker. In effect, this creates the situation of the story to be more realistic and placed.

The storyline is based on a post-war experiment, where the people of Paris are subdued to living underground in protective shelter hidden away from the radiation from nucluer explosives above. To find out their fate, whether they are to survive in the future or if they can prevent the nuclear attack from happening by going into the past, a "mad" scientist named the Experimenter (Jacques Ledoux) develops a time machine. This machine is a desperate mans attempt at gaining freedom for himself and the others trapped underneath the City, seemingly not concerned about its concequence, he forces his fellow survivers to undergo with the experiement. This story however follows a male prisoner (Davis Hanich) who has the ability to withstand the time travel experience. His memory of an incident with a lady (Hélène Chatelain) involved at an Airport in his Childhood becomes the key to his lapse back in time. Whenever the Man travels back in time he returns to the era of his childhood and meets this lady, who he befreinds and tries to explain of the terrible things to come. When taken out of the past, the Experimenter sends him into the distant future to see if they can be of help. He comes to find three beings of the future (Ligia Branice, Janine Kleina, William Klien) who offer a power source to revive the City of Paris. On his return to the present, he fears that his captives wish to execute him, thus on his final trip to the future the three he met before offer sanctuary in their time. He chooses not to live within the future, and go back to the time of his childhood so he can find the lady once again. He returns, only to find the scene to be too familiar, it is that of the incident in his Childhood memories. One of the agents from the experiment tracks him down, thus he then realises that this is the scene of his own death.

Through this storyline I have come to find that there is a strong similarity between Le Jettee and The Matrix, the "hero" or main character being "plugged in" to another dimension or time in reality.

A very interesting, captivating film, very expressionative and the photography used is brilliant.



  1. Hi Chris... just a quick reminder that your 'team' need to sort out a team name and email it to Phil. Thanks!