Chris Marker

Silent Movie and Selected Screenings

12 May to 13 June 1999


Chris Marker is arguably France's most important filmmaker. His work encompasses and collapses story telling with documentary, the most keenly observed travelogue with sci-fi. As an editor of images he consistently breaks with convention to achieve an extraordinary filmic language which takes on humanity itself - life, death, time, history and memory.

For Marker to make an image and to witness an image is to fix it to memory. Silent Movie is a tribute to his memory of the era of silent films. The work comprises a five channel video installation which recalls the allure of early cinema through a collage of resonant moving images, some retrieved from pre 30s American and French cinema, and some shot specifically for this work. A metal tower, consciously referring to "hardcore constructivism", houses five monitors. Each monitor has a theme linked to early cinema, The Journey, The Face, The Gesture, The Waltz and the fifth channel is a collection of ninety-four silent era intertitles. The channels travel through a computer interface which scrambles the sequences so that there is a continually changing array of images - each moment is unrepeatable. As with silent film, there is an independent source for accompanying music, again, non-synchronised with the images.

Films Screened
From Chris to Christo (in French) 1985 24'20"
Three Video Haikus 1994 4'09"
La sixieme face du Pentagone (in French) 1968 28'00"
Prime Time in the Camps 1993 28'00"
Chat ecoutant la musique 1985 3'11"
L'ambassade 1973 21'00"
Junkopia 1981 6'00"
Slon tango 1983 4'23"
La jetee 1962 28'00"
Sans Soleil 1982 110'00"
A Grin without a Cat - (part one) Fragile Hands 1977 / 1993 90'00"
A Grin without a Cat - (part two) Severed Hands 1977 / 1993 90'00"
Si j'avais quatre dromadaries (in French) 1967 52'00"
The Last Bolshevik 1993 104'00"


Publication: 
Silent Movie and selected screenings publication is available. Click here to buy a copy.
Read extracts from the book by: Dom Rotheroe, Craigie Horsfield, Catherine and Andrew Brighton.



Exhibition initiated by Peer and presented at Beaconsfield.
Silent Movie was organised by the Wexner Center for the Arts, the University of Ohio, Columbus Ohio.
Beaconsfield is financially assisted by the London Arts Board.