Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chris Marker, Film Essayist

ImageThe Case of the Grinning Cat (Icarus Films)
French film essayist Chris Marker’s delightful film studies a strange occurrence in Paris after September 11, 2001: the ubiquitous drawings of a bright yellow cat with a wide, tooth-laden smile that appeared on Metro stations and other buildings throughout the city. Marker disarmingly uses this feline’s appearance as a jumping-off point to explore the new, traumatic environment in which Parisians -- and, by implication, all of Western civilization -- find themselves.
Seven short films by Marker.

ImageThe Last Bolshevik/Happiness (Icarus Films)
This essential, two-disc set brings together two equally brilliant filmmakers: French essayist Chris Marker and Russian director Alexander Medvedkin (who died in 1989). The Last Bolshevik is the ultimate tribute from one artist to another, as Marker explores how art and politics intertwined in Soviet Russia -- not only in Medvedkin’s work, but also in the culture at large. Of Medvedkin’s films referenced in The Last Bolshevik, his masterpiece, Happiness (1934), is included on the second disc.
Additional Medvedkin featurettes.

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