We come to Columbia College Chicago with a creative vision that has been influenced by “our favorites.” By “favorites” I mean favorite movies and directors. For example, after seeing A Clockwork Orange, I would call Stanley Kubrick a favorite. The amazing fight scene in They Live makes John Carpenter a favorite. The list could go on and on: Taxi Driver – Scorsese; Django Unchained – Tarantino; Madea Goes to Jail – Perry. While at Columbia College Chicago, I was introduced to a new favorite—director Chris Marker’s 1962 science fiction short film, La Jetee.
La Jetee is a French film that MUST be seen while in film school. It is told using still photos and centers on the story of a time traveler that must travel to the past to save the world. By using a series of images together with voice-over narration and musical score, this time traveling story challenges how we perceive memory and time travel.
Marker’s work is true poetry. There are no wasted images. The shots progress seamlessly. Marker’s use of narration actually gives the editing a sense of rhythm. It may seem as if I’m giving a film theory lecture, but this is what makes these types of films great. You can dissect them and find unique elements to use on your next projects. This leads you down the path of becoming a complete filmmaker.
I cannot say that this film is for everyone, but it is still ground breaking and worth seeing. I am not the only one taken with La Jetee. Director Terry Gilliam remade the movie in 1996 with Twelve Monkeys starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. As I continue my studies at Columbia College Chicago, I make a concerted effort to keep my mind open to new influences. You never know what will spark your next flame of genius.
By using a series of images together with voice-over narration and musical score, this time traveling story challenges how we perceive memory and time travel.