8.3/10
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125 user 117 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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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #387. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening titles it states "Avec la participation du Service de la Recherche de la R.T.F.". For one frame, this changes into "Avec la participation du Service de la Trouvaille de la R.T.F.". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sans Soleil (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl (Prologue)
(uncredited)
Music by Trevor Duncan
Plays during the park scene
Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Chillingly controlled to stick in the mind.
6 September 2005 | by Polaris_DiBSee all my reviews

One way movies tend to be memorable is when a certain image they create is so powerful it sticks right into the mind and refuses to leave. This is a film created to do just that, and one method is to remove a level of the motion to create haunting images that stay static on the screen until they're burned on the cornea. Memory, however, is not just visual, and as if the film needed any help, the disturbingly saturated music and sound helps implant everything in this movie until it's not to be forgotten.

A man is haunted throughout his life by the image of a beautiful woman, and the death he witnessed after seeing her. Soon afterward, a bomb hits Paris and sends the survivors scurrying underground to survive nuclear fall-out. A scientist then uses the man's clinging focus on the past memory of the beauty and death to send him through time to try to prevent the bomb.

This is not a movie that needs to be remarked upon by saying, "Every frame is like a photograph!" because every frame is a photograph. However, it keeps away from being considered merely a slide-show by the emotive use of sound and narration and the surreal look into time and memory, a look that's quite adequate for truly representing the sort of imbalance and dizziness that would be created by time-travel. It recreates the sort of objective detail of memories wherein the movement through space and time is certainly recognized as your own, but your inability to control it since it's already been done makes you sort of an outside spectator to your own actions. That, I believe, is the focus that drives this narrative along and it's done so well, it's difficult to imagine anyone not being sucked into it.

--PolarisDiB


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