La Jetee/Sans Soleil [Criterion Collection] [DVD]

  • SKU: 8668916
  • Release Date: 06/26/2007
  • Rating: NR
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Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfers, approved by director Chris Marker
  • New video interviews with filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin
  • Chris on Chris, a video piece on Marker by filmmaker and critic Chris Darke
  • Two excerpts from the French TV series Court-circuit (le magazine), directed by Luc Lagier: the first, a look at David Bowie's music video for "Jump They Say," inspired by La Jetée; the second, an analysis of Hitchcock's Vertigo and its influence on Marker
  • New and improved English subtitle translations
  • Plus: A booklet featuring a new essay by Marker scholar Catherine Lupton, an interview with Marker, and notes on the films and filmmaking by Marker


La jetée
The movie that inspired Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys, Chris Marker's La jetée is a landmark of science-fiction filmmaking, a 28-minute masterpiece told almost entirely in still frames. Set in a post-apocalyptic near-future, it tells the story of an unnamed man whose vivid childhood recollections make him the perfect guinea pig for an experiment in time travel. After a lengthy and nightmarish period of conditioning, he is sent into the past, where he falls in love with a woman whom he once saw on a pier. At the experiment's conclusion, he is visited by an advanced race, who offer him the opportunity to journey into their future world, but he instead requests that they send him permanently into the past, where he can remain with the woman of his dreams. A singular experience. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

Sans Soleil
Titled after a song cycle by Mussorgsky, Sans Soleil is a 1982 nonlinear essay film by elusive documentary filmmaker Chris Marker. It's a collage of images gathered from Japan, Africa, Iceland, San Francisco, and France -- all presented without direct sound. The soundtrack consists of occasional spells of electronic music while an unseen woman's voice (Alexandra Stewart) narrates letters written by a possibly fictional traveler in poetic verse. Beginning with the phrase "He wrote me," each segment explores some philosophical inquiry of matters as broad as modern culture, technology, consciousness, Japanese television, and even the act of filming itself. Some of the first images include children in Iceland, a ferry in Hokkido, a carnival in Guinea-Bissau, girls in Cape Verde, and a shrine to cats in Tokyo. There's also a creepy JFK robot, petrified animals left by desert drought, and teenagers dancing in a public square. The seemingly miscellaneous footage is made up of archive clips, synthesized video sequences, and some images collected by Marker's colleagues. It's randomly assembled, jumping from one continent to another in the same breath. It remains one of the director's masterpiece accomplishments. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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    Jean Negroni - Narrator
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    Étienne Becker
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    Jacques Ledoux - The Experimentor
  • Image coming soon
    Helene Chatelain - The Woman

Customer rating

would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Forget 12 Monkeys


    It's true, La Jete is the inspiration for 12 Monkeys which is really cool if you enjoyed 12 Monkeys. The parallels in plot are apparent, but what makes La Jete so interesting and worth watching is that it is composed almost entirely of still frames. That's right, like with a camera, photos. They are arranged in cinematic montage and come to life in their own way. It's an exercise in cinema that's worth watching. But La Jete isn't what sells me on this DVD. Sans Soleil is one of my top three all time favorites. It's somewhere between a video journal and documentary and is far from your traditional Hollywood narative. It requires a patient viewer and considerable attention but also has this wonderful quality of almost washing over you. It's a quality that comes from careful thought and consideration on the part of the auteur. It touches on a lot of ideas and at times seems somewhat scattered, but it all comes full circle in the end. It's a great film. For Fans Of- 12 Monkeys French New Wave Koyaanisqatsi Eastern Philosophy

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    12 Monkeys Inspiration


    La Jette is the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys, the film starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. It is a very interesting and creative insert into the vault of cineam history.

    I would recommend this to a friend

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