10

La Jetée is a short, French sci-fi film of about 30 minutes. The whole film is just one long sequence of beautiful black and white photographs, except for a single short sequence where the photographs come faster and faster until they become an actual moving image, giving great emphasis to this particular moment in the film and making it very powerful and meaningful.

As the photos are displayed there is a narrator delivering the story, and sometimes there are a music track and ambient sound effects in the background.

Are there any other films which have been filmed in this style, and does this style of film-making have a technical name? Is this a genuine genre of film-making or does La Jetée stand out as a singular incident? I would call the style "Photomontage with narration" but I doubt that is the correct terminology.

  • 2
    Well, if you are including documentaries, then most of Ken Burns' films are of this nature. – No Grabbing Feb 1 '17 at 6:17
  • I have rephrased this slightly, concetrating on what the actual question has always been, drawing it away a bit from the recommendation angle that the close-voters seemed to get hung up on. In its current form it seems to be a reasonable and valid question about a unique style of film-making. – Napoleon Wilson Jul 18 '18 at 16:17
7

The Glass Fortress, also a French s-f short film, is made in a very similar style:

There is also a 2013 remake of La Jetée made by Matt Lambert:

Then there is Año Uña by Jonás Cuarón (son of Alfonso):

Año Uña is a wonderful film. Stylistically influenced by Chris Marker’s La Jetée, Jonás Cuarón’s debut film is a postmodern merging of fiction and truth. Snapping pictures of his family and girlfriend at home in Mexico and New York for a year, he then collated the shots before reassembling them into a totally new narrative.

In addition to the above, Wikipedia lists a number of homages and parodies of La Jetée. It isn't specified whether they are stylistically similar, but I think there is a high chance that at least some of them are:

The 2003 short film, La puppé, is both an homage to and a parody of La Jetée. The video for Sigue Sigue Sputnik's 1989 single "Dancerama" is also an homage to La Jetée. The film is one of the influences in the video for David Bowie's "Jump They Say" (1993). Kode9 in collaboration with Ms. Haptic, Marcel Weber (aka MFO), and Lucy Benson created an homage to La Jetée in 2011, for the Unsound Festival. The plot centers around the woman instead of the man and is a "reimagining", in that it features a completely new, original script that further develops the narrative whilst remaining true to the original plot. The images and music of "Her Ghost" are almost exclusively sourced from the original film, however they are significantly reworked so as to create an original piece.

Lastly, there is also Sans Soleil from La Jetée director Chris Marker. While being stylistically similar to La Jetée, it's generally classified as a documentary:

Expanding the documentary genre, this experimental essay-film is a composition of thoughts, images and scenes, mainly from Japan and Guinea-Bissau, "two extreme poles of survival". Some other scenes were filmed in Cape Verde, Iceland, Paris, and San Francisco. A female narrator reads from letters supposedly sent to her by the (fictitious) cameraman Sandor Krasna.

See also this article that deals with still images cinematography. Note that in comments people mention a lot of shorts using this technique, so you may want to review them, e.g. The Forgotten Love seems to match your criteria nicely.

  • While I extremely like this question and working on this answer, finding more and more matches makes me think that it starts to qualify as too broad. Initially I thought that your criteria are strict enough for a valid question. I won't look for any more films and leave it to community to decide whether the question is too broad or not. – Chanandler Bong Feb 1 '17 at 9:13
  • I like the question too but it is basically a "list question" (almost a "recommendation question") which has no other scope than "style" which make me think it's too broad. Close call though. – Paulie_D Feb 1 '17 at 11:46
2

There are some student films that are influenced by La Jetée. Here are some examples:

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .