La Jetée (1962)

La jetée / The Pier
Short Film | Sci-Fi | France | English | 28m
Dir: Chris Marker | Scr: Chris Marker | Ph: Chris Marker | Prod: Anatole Dauman | Mus: Trevor Duncan | Ed: Jean Ravel | Snd: Antoine Bonfanti | Nar: Jean Négroni | Cast: Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich, Jacques Ledoux, Ligia Branice, Janine Kleina, William Klein

In a post-Third World War Paris blighted by radiation-induced deprivation, a man is selected to participate in a time travel experiment by his country’s new rulers based on his vivid, recurring dreams of a vaguely traumatic childhood incident. In order to acclimatise him to the process, he is sent back to this period (just before the war) several times – during which he forms an unlikely romantic relationship with a woman from his dreams. However, his real mission (when ready) is to take a trip to the future in search of a renewable power source, which he knows will see an end to his relationship with the woman and perhaps even his own life, with his usefulness to his captors having past. Composed entirely of still photographs accompanied by some rather clinical narration, Marker’s celebrated piece of science-fiction proves rather cold and uninvolving. Never the less, the film’s basic concept is fascinating and its formal experiments interesting.