La Jetée. 1962. France. Directed and written by Chris Marker

Thierry Kuntzel was an internationally known film theorist before he started making eloquent videos and installations. Based primarily in Paris, with several years spent in Berkeley, California, he was preoccupied with time and memory, and with what happens beneath the surface of representation, beyond a narrative story line. In the late 1970s he wrote regularly for Camera Obscura and Film Quarterly Journal and explored the strong subliminal hold of films like The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and King Kong (1933). Absorbed in the work of experimental filmmakers, Kuntzel meticulously analyzed six pivotal frames of Chris Marker’s landmark La Jetée (1963) to examine the effect upon viewers of recurrent, highly charged visual images accompanied by forceful, repetitive sound effects.

Organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media.

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