Director: Chris Marker
Writer: Chris Marker
Producer: Anatole Dauman 
Starring: Hélène Chatelain/Davos Hanich/Jacques Ledoux 
Year: 1962
Country: France
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 28 minutes

Somebody recommended this movie to me so I decided to watch it and review it and I must say, I’m quite surprised. I didn’t read anything about it nor did I know anything about this movie before watching it and when I started to watch it, I found out that it’s basically black-and-white pictures with a narrator and hardly any dialogue between the characters at all (except for some whispers here and there) and I must say, it was quite brilliant. La Jetée takes place in the aftermath of World War Three and in a post-apocalyptic world where food and supplies is running short. One man will be a guinea pig in an important scientific experiment in which he would time-travel back and forth to get supplies to survive. In the future, he finds out a secret that will definitely make sure mankind is safe and in the past, he finds a woman to whom he feels an instant connection with and over the few trips of moving back and forth, finally solves the mystery of a memory that he has had since he was a child. I can see La Jetée being a love-hate movie, some may find some of the narration thought-provoking and the pictures to be brilliant and some may find it just a waste of time. I thought there were some lines that the narrator said that made me think of some things, one of them being “They begin again. The man doesn’t die, nor does he go mad. He suffers. They continue”.  The use of photography in the movie was brilliant as the pictures really gave the story much more depth and emotion.

La Jetée may not have fantastic special effects and mind-blowing CGI or any acting for that matter, but it’s still very powerful, moving and quite haunting. It’s a great short movie that’s quite interesting because of the way it was made and how it speaks about love, memories, dreams and the future. It’s also quite interesting how it’s a science-fiction movie and yet it’s a romantic thriller at the same time as well as something that has meaning and is thought-provoking and La Jetée balances them out very well. La Jetée is quite unexpected because I didn’t expect to feel as much emotion for a movie that consists of nothing but pictures and a narration but I did so that was a pleasant surprise.

La Jetée is definitely something you either like or hate, there’s simply no in-between. You can either learn something from the story it tells and enjoy the storytelling along with the captivating photos or you can simply think that it’s not your cup of tea. However, for me, La Jetée is something that I’m glad I’ve watched not only because of the great story it told but because of the emotional pictures that speaks a thousand words. It’s simply one of those movies you must experience in which you’d either find something within the movie or you don’t but I would recommend everybody to watch this at least once.

One Response

  1. David Brook

    It’s a beautiful little film. I haven’t seen it since Uni (many years ago unfortunately) but some of the imagery is still etched in my memory.

    Did you know it was supposedly the inspiration behind Twelve Monkeys?


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