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chris marker

born in neuilly-sur-seine, france, in 1921, chris marker is a groundbreaking french filmmaker, artist, and writer; his film essays exude a unique narrative style and entrenched political engagement. during world war ii, marker was a member of the maquis resistance against the vichy regime in france. following the end of the war, he began writing and producing films, traveling to a number of socialist countries and recording his experiences. in 1954, marker initiated the editing of what would become a series of acclaimed travel books entitled petite planète for 'editions du seuil'.

chris marker first achieved international recognition as a filmmaker with la jetée (1962). the short science fiction film, composed of still black and white images, tells the story of a time travel experiment set in a post-nuclear war future. the technology of time travel lends la jetée a non-chronological narrative that moves freely back and forth within time, and that is used by marker to closely observe memory and the yearning which accompanies it. marker is also renowned for his films loin du vietnam (far from vietnam, 1967), l'ambassade (the embassy, 1973), le fond de l'air est rouge (a grin without a cat, 1977), sans soleil (1983), a.k. (1985), level 5 (1997), and chats perchés (the case of the grinning cat, 2004), among others.

in addition to his writing and films, chris marker has produced multimedia installations and projects, heavily reliant on digital technology for which he has a great affinity. these include silent movie (1995) for the wexner center for the arts, ohio; immemory (1997) for centre pompidou, paris; and owls at noon prelude: the hollow men (2005) for the new museum, new york.

marker is an avid participant in the 3d virtual world second life, where he has created a cyber museum, along with austrian architect max moswitzer, called ouvroir that presented an exhibition of his work in 2008 entitled a farewell to movies.

chris marker holds a particular fascination for animals, which materialize in his work as social, political, and cultural metaphors; the cat is especially prominent as an allusion to the left and to resistance to authority. in fact, marker often chooses to represent himself as a cat called guillaume.

chris marker lives and works in paris.


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