Comments on Chris Marker’s La Jetee

The proposition of La Jetee is such that it places the nature of love-creativity alongside that of memory and desire. Love creativity produces a simulacra of images playing in time; culminating in the image of the lover as Eternal Mother. Simultaneously memory and desire find their limits in childhood(the past) and death (the future).

Marker emphasises the pathological nature of psychic reality with a cynical caveat : all self-knowledge is self-destructive; can cinema only document a negative space? Time plays with the Buddhist no-longer (the past) and not-yet(the future) which are connected through the time machine in the film. The self-realization, an ever-present now is accessible to the viewer of the film. The protagonist is trapped in a psychic reality in which comprehensible language produce a manifestation of past, present and future that produce sensory-motor continuity; but cannily result in Heidegger’s “most certain possibility” i.e. death.

Marker seems to be suggesting that all image making emerges from an oppressive regime that transforms memory into desire. Image making pauses at the level of the phenomenon that is manifest, and cannot manifest rebirth; which is not a phenomenon. To move to a state beyond death would require a sensorial collapse where desire is withdrawn from the object, transformed into energy and produces a voluntary withdrawal of movement: erehwon.

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