DVD Review: La Jetee; Sans Soleil
|The Criterion Collection |
Movies •••• Picture •••• Sound •••• Extras ••
Marker's feature-length Sans Soleil (1983) is more ambitious, a collage of images and narration contrasting impoverished Africa with all-too-modern Japan, and the mundane with the amazing. It's all unified by elaborate, instinctive cross-cutting and another complex soundtrack. The DVD transfer unashamedly preserves the graininess of the 16mm footage, as if to underscore that the images are unquestionably authentic; it's just our interpretation of them that should be examined. The sound reveals layer upon layer of location recording, studio effects, music, and narration, mixed into a compelling whole - all of it clean and clear.
Both films come with the choice of English or French narration; I find that the English works perfectly well. Extras include a new interview with filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin and a video piece on Marker by filmmaker and critic Chris Darke. More informative, though, are comments by Marker, an essay, and a rare interview with the elusive filmmaker included in the booklet accompanying the DVD. Both: [NR] French and English, Dolby Digital mono; letterboxed (1.66:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.