Cover for ALTER: Chris Marker. Click for larger image

Chris Marker

Investigating the maverick filmmaker's personal and politcal relationships with film

Having spearheaded the bourgeoning Nouvelle Vague scene in the late 1950s and developed a distinctive style involving still images, Chris Marker (born Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve) stands among the most influential filmmakers of the postwar era, yet remains enigmatic. His notorious reclusiveness has led to surprisingly few studies, and Nora M. Alter's Chris Marker presents the first English-language study of the unpredictable and reclusive director who remains politically and artistically influential.

Marker's 1953 debut "filmic essay," The Statues Also Die (with Alain Resnais) exposed the European art market's complicity in the former Belgian Congo atrocities, and provided a bold model for other politically committed filmmakers. Thus began Marker's long struggle against global injustice, a trajectory that included his involvement with Night and Fog, La Jetée, Le Joli Mai, Far from Vietnam, Le fond du l'air est Rouge, and Prime Time in the Camps. Alter's careful study includes interviews with the director and investigates the core themes and motivations behind an often unpredictable and transnational career that defies easy classification.

"Nora Alter's short study of Marker's work does much to restore a sense of the complexity of his motivations and working methods . . . She is especially informative on the aesthetic and political involutions of post-war France. . . . For its filmography and the breadth of its coverage, her book is essential."--Brian Dillon, Sight and Sound "A valuable addition to Marker scholarship."--Film International

Nora M. Alter is a Research Professor of German, Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida. She is the author of Vietnam Protest Theatre: The Television War on Stage and Projecting History: Non-fiction German Cinema: 1967-2000.

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