Drawings of Added and Missing Knowledge

Let me  just say a the very beginning that this post is about Chris Marker’s film “La Jetee”, WW3 and  the pseudo-comics drawings in black , white and gray I made of the film. And  If I may quote Geoff Manaugh’s  book “The Bldg Blog” see here, he said :

…” In other words, forget academic rigor. Never take the appropriate next step. Talk about Chinese urban design. the European space program, and landscape in the film oh Alfred Hitchcock in the span of three sentences– because it’s fun, and the juxtaposing might take you somewhere..”…

..Then my juxtaposing  of things of all sorts  may indeed lead to unpredictable results for the worst or for the best…

The arrest of the Russian spy ring in the USA resurrect a relic from the old cold war style between the USA and Russia. . With this antecedent in mind, the “flotilla  war” between Turkey and Israel is a sort of new ‘relic’ to be enshrined in the temple of terrorist provocation produced by the Brothers Hanya,  Hamas leader and the Turkish PM Erduan.

Now, from Jeremiah A. 14 we know the verse: “And the Lord said to me: the north will open all the evil inhabitants of the land”, and in our case it is very tempting to  call  the axe of evil Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, and his new recruit Turkey’s  ‘flotilla war’, the prelude to a possible WW3.

Chris Marker’s 29 minute film, La Jetée, is a very special film about the aftermath of WW3 . The movie first appeared in 1962 in the era of the Cold War, an era which also gave birth to the Internet.

Marker’s vision of life just after WW3 in La Jetée is set in the underground passageways of Paris. Aboveground the planet is uninhabitable because of radioactivity.

What impressed me most at first view in his movie, was the visual darkness on the screen. The atmosphere of claustrophobic darkness in daylight. The imminence of the apocalyptic in the seemingly pleasantness of the survivors  everyday life . My own feelings are visual feelings. They where forced upon me without knowing the narrative of the movie, having muted by inadvertence  the soundtrack . And so I began drawing  what I see on the screen without knowing the narrative.

Chris Marker says:

..” Marker shot La Jetée during gaps in the shooting of Le joli mai (1963), an anatomy of May ’62 in Paris. In a 2003 interview, he said of La Jetée, “It was made like a piece of automatic writing . . . I photographed a story I didn’t completely understand. It was in the editing that the pieces of the puzzle came together, and it wasn’t me who designed the puzzle.” This could be taken as a tribute to editor Jean Ravel, but also as a testament to the unconscious forces that appear to drive the story: La Jetée can certainly be read as an allegory of psychoanalysis, in which a supine subject searches in his unconscious for the origins of his trauma.”…see more here on criterion.com.

But my own feelings are indeed only a trompe  l’oeil because the film is a science fiction story about time travel and memory without the today high-tech pyromania and extravagance:

…” La Jetée‘s narrative—in which an unnamed hero, living in a Parisian postwar radioactive wasteland, is sent back in time by scientists to find sustenance or a source of energy—is a Möbius strip, returning paradoxically to its point of origin to swallow its own tail and engender itself once more. Because these missions follow the route of inner space, via the travelers’ memories, “the man whose story we are telling” is considered an especially apt subject: he is fixated on a single memory. As a child, he witnessed an unexplained scene of violence at Orly Airport, involving a man falling and the shocked reaction of a beautiful woman.”…see more here on criterion.com.

Anyway, the discrepancy between the complete film  narrative, sound and pictures, and what I first saw on my muted mac screen, blocked my rational judgment  of any inevitable meta dissection exemplified by the following quotation :

…”However, as each one of La Jetée’s static images lasts considerably longer than 1/24 of a second, on celluloid each still in La Jetée actually comprises dozens of replicas of itself. In presenting us with a series of frozen images, Marker dramatizes a breakdown of time’s invisible flow into a succession of visible moments that might be considered the individual atoms of time, and of our experience of time. Indeed, when the film’s hero journeys into the distant future, that new world is represented as a series of microscope images“…

Such meta dissection of the movie and knowing his narrative would fix and amplify in my mind an imposed story of La Jetee.

So when  viewing the film on my mac screen, (the screen affecting the picture by his own hardware specifications),  and pausing the screening at  pictures without reference to their original story, I create my own visual impression composed of missing knowledge: sound and narrative; and added knowledge: the axis of evil , the flotilla, ww3 , the Russian spy ring included in this post–  both missing and added knowledge injected into the drawings  new  incertitudes  of relevance and irrelevance. Or would I say is it the sole viable procedure to remain in the no man’s land of lost and new identities and found objects?

Here are a few of the drawings.




“The underground”

As a footnote I bring here what JG Ballard wrote on Chris Marker’s film:

Text by jg Ballard

Text by JG Ballard

See more On JG Ballard on Wikipedia.