La Jetée/Sans Soleil
Chris Marker has had a life that makes the rest of us look like unimaginative and underachieving drudges. A member of the French Resistance during the war and still exhibiting photographs at the age of 90, he has variously been a novelist, poet, film-maker, photographer, critic and much more. All this has been achieved on his own terms and with a strict avoidance of publicity (he never gives interviews).
This dual release brings together Marker's two most well known and accessible films. La Jetée is a post-apocalyptic, time-travelling fantasy with philosophical overtones composed entirely from still images (well, almost – there is a single moving shot). It's influence has far outstretched its meagre 27 minute running time. Sans Soleil is a globetrotting meditation on time, memory, technology and Hitchcock's Vertigo.
Both of these films were put together with incredibly low tech equipment; they could now probably be made on an iPhone. Will anyone have the inquiring, rigorous imagination to make their equal? [Keir Roper-Caldbeck]