Wednesday, March 30, 2005

DVD Alert: La Jetée/Sans Soleil

Chris Marker's La Jetée (1962) is one of my fave movies (okay, at 29 minutes I guess it's a "film"), and I've always thought it would make a great DVD paired with another fab Marker film, Sans Soleil. And lo, with one qualification, this has come to pass! That qualification is: it's a DVD-R, and may not play on every machine (and may not last as long either). It's put out by DbD Video, whatever that is; I assume it's a legitimate release, but who knows? The packaging is low-rent but professional-enough-looking, and the transfer looks fine. Oh, and if you care (some claim to), both are narrated in English, not the original French; but the narrators are good, and it's nice not to have subtitles block the picture. The message board at says the French version of La Jetée is available too, but there was some concern about the picture quality. Also, an English version (I hesitate to call it "dubbed," as it's only a narration) has been available for a while on a disc of short films.

If you haven't seen La Jetée, it may help to know that it was the "inspiration" for Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys, which I did like (actually I saw it first, so maybe that's why), but La Jetée is much much much better, utterly unique, a true classic. Sans Soleil (1982) is pretty great too; it's described here as a "nonlinear essay film," if that helps, which I can't imagine it would. Check the review at - I think she liked it!

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