Sad news to begin the week, as word comes this morning that experimental filmmaker Chris Marker has passed away, just one day after celebrating his 91st birthday.
Though an immensely private individual who rarely gave interviews or released press photos, the filmmaker's stamp was felt on a generation of filmmakers primarily due to two of his films: "La Jetee" and "Sans Soleil" (both available through The Criterion Collection). Both pictures eschewed traditional narrative techniques to startling effect, blending documentary, fiction, fantasy and more into individual, distinct works. A time travel film of sorts, "La Jetee" is noted for being composed almost entirely of still images, and served as a massive influence on Terry Gilliam, who credited the filmmaker and film on "Twelve Monkeys." Meanwhile, "Sans Soleil" presented a travelogue, albeit one that played with ideas of memory and time in its globe spanning tale.
If you haven't yet made an acquaintance with Marker's films, there's no better time than today. Watch both below "La Jetee" (turn on the captions) and "Sans Soleil" below. [Washington Post]