Analysis Of Chris Marker's "La Jetee", And Roland Barthes's "Camera Lucida"

When I began to look at the relationship between Chris Marker's
film, La Jetee, and Roland Barthes's book, Camera Lucida, I was thinking
only about their most obvious link: photography. The more I looked, though,
the more Marker and Barthes seemed to have in common. It was almost
uncanny. Some things had to be twisted a little, but the strangest sort of
interplay between the two works seemed to be happening, and it felt as if I
were the first to discover it. For example, the first lines in the film, “
This is the story of a man marked by an image from his childhood”, coincide
amazingly well with Barthes's story, branded by the image from his Mother's
childhood, and subsequently his ...

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most challenging, is the nature of Marker's “film” itself. Simply the fact
that I have to put the word film in quotes when applying it to La Jetee is
perhaps the strongest evidence of the enigma that this film has been
throughout its history. What exactly is la Jetee? This is a question that
haunted my research. How do you take a book about photography, and apply
its statements to this “film?” Now, obviously there are some answers to
this question. Marker's film is of course largely about photography
because it is largely photography. However, in many ways it also defies
classification. We have a series of heterogeneous photographs. There is
nothing to separate them out from any other photographs that one might find
in the world, except that they are given a narrative. Suddenly... a film
is created. Yet, I would propose that the soul of Marker's film is still
photography, and that film is its heart. Thus, though there were some very
perplexing issues in applying ...

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interpretation, and has gotten a great deal of it. I found
Barthes's book to be a perfect vehicle for this task.
Barthes writes that, “the photograph is violent.” It is violent
because “on each occasion it fills the sight by force, and because nothing
in it can be refused or transformed.” What he means is that the photograph
is only what you see, and nothing more. The individual photograph cannot
be interpreted, it “yields itself wholly” to the viewer, and the viewer
cannot and does not need to go anywhere else but to the photograph in order
to understand it. I stress this point now because it is important when
examining La Jetee. If the photograph arrests interpretation, then ...

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Analysis Of Chris Marker's "La Jetee", And Roland Barthes's "Camera Lucida". (2006, July 16). Retrieved December 18, 2018, from
"Analysis Of Chris Marker's "La Jetee", And Roland Barthes's "Camera Lucida".", 16 Jul. 2006. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <>
"Analysis Of Chris Marker's "La Jetee", And Roland Barthes's "Camera Lucida"." July 16, 2006. Accessed December 18, 2018.
"Analysis Of Chris Marker's "La Jetee", And Roland Barthes's "Camera Lucida"." July 16, 2006. Accessed December 18, 2018.
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Added: 7/16/2006 05:09:10 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 5041
Pages: 19

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