8.3/10
29,736
130 user 80 critic

La Jetée (1962)

La jetée (original title)
The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.

Director:

Chris Marker
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Négroni Jean Négroni ... Narrator (voice) (as Jean Negroni)
Hélène Chatelain Hélène Chatelain ... The Woman
Davos Hanich Davos Hanich ... The Man
Jacques Ledoux Jacques Ledoux ... The Experimenter
André Heinrich André Heinrich
Jacques Branchu Jacques Branchu
Pierre Joffroy Pierre Joffroy
Étienne Becker Étienne Becker ... (as Etienne Becker)
Philbert von Lifchitz Philbert von Lifchitz
Ligia Branice ... A woman from the future (as Ligia Borowcyk)
Janine Klein Janine Klein ... A woman from the future
William Klein William Klein ... A man from the future (as Bill Klein)
Germano Facetti Germano Facetti ... (as Germano Faccetti)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Kirk James Kirk ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

Time travel, still images, past, present and future and the aftermath of World War III. The tale of a man, a slave, sent back and forth, in and out of time, to find a solution to the world's fate, to replenish its decreasing stocks of food, medicine and energies, and in doing so, resulting in a perpetual memory of a lone female, life, death and past events that are recreated on an airport jetty. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [English version] This is the story of a man marked by an image of his childhood. The violent scene which upset him, and whose meaning he was to grasp only years later, happened on the main pier at Orly, Paris Airport, sometime before the outbreak of World War Three.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits do not describe it as a film, but "un photo-roman." See more »

Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Vastness of Space
(uncredited)
Music by Trevor Duncan
Plays during the time travel scene near the end
Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Still Life
18 November 2008 | by peapulationSee all my reviews

I had never seen such an original film that works so well. The artist with no budget decides to make a film that could have appealed to the commercial masses. That is what is scary about it. It's the kind of story that we would consider "blockbuster gold". A journey through time, sci-fi, and romance. And yet, it requires no special effects, it requires no big budget. Marker laughs right at the face of conventional cinema and uses stills to let out imagination read between the lines.

Is this fiction? Yes, to some extent. The post-apocalyptic story that it recounts would make Waterworld blush with embarrassment, true. But once again, the arty film looks at us to find a meaning for the story. At the end of the day, are we more taken aback by the technical aspect in which Marker engages, or by the shocking finale. Would the finale have been so shocking had Marker used a Bolex camera? I fear not. The bit where he's running towards the girl in the end feels like an average nightmare, where you're running, but you can't get to wherever you want to get to. It's a feeling we have all felt, and the lack of movement within the frame conveys a certain feeling of helplessness and entrapment that could only have been achieved this well with stills.

And we must say, these stills are amazing. It's not only the elaborate mise-en-scene, or the design of the sets and the props (the french sci-fi glasses are extraordinary). It's also the placement of the camera, that has a ghostly versatility that often adds to the lack of comfort of the restless characters.

I must also give a shout for the score that is amazing, which is strange if we count that your average experimental film hardly ever employs such "cinematic" scores, always going for the more minimalist (and generally less expansive) ones.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

16 February 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

La Jetée See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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