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200 × 150 × 18 mm
256 pages
147 illustrations
01 Oct 2004
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Chris Marker Memories of the Future Catherine Lupton

Chris Marker is one of the most extraordinary and influential film-makers of our time. In landmark films such as Letter from Siberia (1958), La Jetée (1962), Sans Soleil (1982) and Level Five (1996), he overturned the conventions of the cinema, confounding normal distinctions between documentary and fiction, private and public concerns, writing and visual recording, and the still and moving image. Yet these works are only the better-known elements of a protean career that to date has spanned the second half of the twentieth century and encompassed writing, photography, film-making, video, television and the expanding field of digital multimedia.

Catherine Lupton traces the development and transformation of Marker’s work from the late 1940s, when he began to work as a poet, novelist and critic for the French journal Esprit, through to the 1990s, and the release of his most recent works: the feature film Level Five and the CD-ROM Immemory. She incorporates the historical events, shifts and cultural contexts that most productively illuminate the different phases of Marker’s career. He stands out as a singular figure whose work resists easy assimilation into the mainstream of cultural and cinematic trends.

Marker’s oeuvre moves in circles, with each project recycling and referring back to earlier works and to a host of other adopted texts, and proceeds by way of oblique association and lateral digression. This circular movement is ideally suited to capturing and mapping Marker’s abiding and consummate obsession: the forms and operations of human memory. Chris Marker: Memories of the Future itself aims to capture something of this movement, in forming a comprehensive analysis and overview of this modern master’s prolific and multi-faceted career.

‘a gentle, firm, lucid tracking-down of the greatest ever movie essayist . . . There could not be a better introduction.’ — David Thomson, The Week

‘sedulously researched and engaging . . . a thoroughly necessary guide.’ — Modern Painters

‘Her prose is refreshlingly jargon-free . . . Lupton draws thematic connections between isolated moments in Markers films with an ease born of deep familiarity, and her film analyses are lucid and interesting . . . the first complete English-language survey of Markers work is an invaluble reference.’ — Rain Taxi

‘Lupton steers through the maze of Markers world with admirable clear-headedness.’ — Frieze

‘Catherine Luptons is the first complete study of Marker in English, and she has produced a succinct, comprehensive account of his work.’ — London Review of Books

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Catherine Lupton is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Roehampton University.

Introduction: Free Radical
1. The Invention of Chris Marker
2. Travels in a Small Planet
3. A Moment in Time
4. A Grin Without a Cat
5. Into the Zone
6. Memories of the Future
Conclusion: The Eye that Writes
Illustration Credits