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La Jetée / Sans Soleil (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made and a mind-bending free-form travelogue: La Jetee and Sans Soleil couldn’t seem more different—but they’re the twin pillars of an unparalleled and uncompromising career in cinema. A filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, Chris Marker (A Grin Without a Cat) has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his investigations of time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet. These two films—a tale of time travel told in still images and a journey to Africa and Japan—remain his best-loved and most widely seen.

Special Features

New video interview with filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin

New, restored high-defintion digital transfers, approved by the director

Chris on Chris, a video piece on Chris Marker

A clip from David Bowie's music video Jump They Say inspired by La Jetee

New and improved English subtitle translations

A booklet featuirng an interview with Marker

An analysis of Hitchcock's Vertigo and it's influences on Marker


Product Details

  • Actors: Étienne Becker, Jean Négroni, Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich, Jacques Ledoux
  • Directors: Chris Marker
  • Producers: Anatole Dauman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: February 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00687XNZS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,072 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I am very happy that Chris Marker's La Jette (and Sans Soleil) are on DVD. La Jetee is a wonderful, incredibly haunting film. It can easily be classified as one of the greatest science fiction films ever made in my opinion. It only runs 28 minutes, and is composed of nothing but still images and narration (except for one shot), yet the universe is contained within it. It's that rare cerebral science fiction that hardly gets made these days, along the lines of 2001, Blade Runner, and Solaris (Tarkovsky's version). It was the inspiration for Twelve Monkeys, and while Monkeys is a great film in itself, La Jetee is much more haunting and moving. It's wonderful to be able to see La Jetee in a proper transfer.
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Format: DVD
La Jetee (1962) is one of the seminal works of the French New Wave as well as one of the all-time great science fiction films. It deserves all the respect it receives but what is really so amazing is how much is achieved with so little. Made entirely of still black and white images--of WWII cities in ruin, of an airport observation deck in the fifties, of generic shots of a woman one could find in any magazine, of a group of men in one of the many tunnels beneath Paris--and a mundane but strangely compelling voice-over, Le Jetee is not so much a film as a series of random images linked only by the narrative spell of a single voice.

We view only one still photo at a time and we assign meaning only because the narrator tells us the significance of each. It doesn't sound like much to describe it so and yet because the technology is so primtive we are somehow less distracted than we would be were this a full-fledged cinematic production with action sequences and a pulsing soundtrack. This is basically a slide-show and that is the key to this films appeal. This film essay works because it asks for a different kind of attention than we are used to giving films. La Jetee asks for a much more personal kind of attention, the kind of attention we give to our own photo albums, slide shows and dreams. But, also, since many of the images look like they could have come from LIFE or National Geographic there is also a kind of generic quality to the slide show and we are lulled into a kind of attentive trance as we get the feeling that Marker is making a connection between our own personal memories/dreams/markers and the generic memories/dreams/markers of the culture at large.
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By JT on May 25, 2007
Format: DVD
Sans Soleil has long been one of my favourite films. Superlatives barely begin to scratch the surface, but it is surreal, haunting, poignant, ethereal and unlike any other 'documentary' you have seen or are ever likely too. The film is ultimately about the heartbreaking beauty of the time and place in which we (do or do not) exist. Featuring Marker's central preoccupations of time, space and memory, Sans Soleil needs to be seen to be believed.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Simply stated, this disc features two of the greatest films of the 20th Century. La Jetee is often called a "science fiction" film while Sans Soleil is labeled as a "documentary", however both films defy these simple descriptions. While very different in form, both La Jetee and Sans Soleil will challenge your ideas of memory and time and spacial relationships. These films are absolutely critical viewing for discerning film fans. Kudos to Criterion for finally bringing these films to the U.S. I only wish that other films such as "La Mystere Koumiko" by Marker will follow.
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Format: DVD
La Jetee (Chris Marker, 1962)

I'm not terribly sure what I can say about Chris Marker's La Jetee that hasn't been said by just about everyone else, so I'll keep this short. You probably already know this, but if you don't, it was the inspiration for David and Janet Peoples' screenplay for the Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys, rightly considered by the various-and-sundry on the IMDB message boards to be one of the top 250 movies of all time. (Interestingly, La Jetee has a slightly higher numerical rating; it lacks enough votes to secure a top-250 placing.) But where Gilliam molded the storyline into his most accessible (and commercially successful) film, Marker seemed to have no interest at all in making something accessible, or even likable; it's hard, in fact, to even call La Jetee a film, in the sense we know the word. That, of course, makes it all the more enchanting.

The story (if you haven't seen 12 Monkeys, a quick synopsis: a guy is sent through time in order to try and prevent the war that effectively ended civilization on Earth) is told, with one stunning exception, in a series of still images, over which there is narration. A story is being told, with accompanying pictures. The film, which clocks in at only twenty-eight minutes, barely draws the outline of this story, leaving the viewer to fill in as many of the blanks as he or she wishes. It's a bold move, and when it doesn't work, it's awful. Here, it works on every level it can.

If it were just that, it would be a good movie. Interesting. A nice idea with a cool experimental sheen to it.
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