Directed by Chris Marker, Yannick Bellon • Documentary • 2001 • 42 minutes
Chris Marker's "cine-essay" is dense and demanding, a splendid reminder of the agility, poetry, and power of his nimble, capacious mind.
Ostensibly a portrait of photographer Denise Bellon, focusing on the two decades between 1935 and 1955, the film leaps and backtracks, Marker-style, from subject to subject, from a family portrait of Bellon and her two daughters, Loleh and Yannick (the latter co-authored the film), to a wide-ranging history of surrealism, of the city of Paris, of French cinema and the birth of the cinémathèque, of Europe, the National Front, the Second World War and Spanish Civil War, and postwar politics and culture.
"A dizzying, quicksilver imbrication of histories: artistic, political, domestic, cinematic, and (this being Marker) Olympic."—James Quandt's Best Films of 2003, Artforum
"Unforgettable... Mr. Marker's own intrigue with impatience—his fleet films dance by in an instant, while using the music of pauses and silence to convey an almost inscrutable density—is a marvel when married to an admiring biography."—The New York Times