Sans Soleil Review

A woman narrates the thoughts of a traveller as they are expressed in images and sounds from across the globe.

by David Parkinson |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1983

Running Time:

100 minutes



Original Title:

Sans Soleil

It's almost pointless reading a review of Chris Marker's extraordinary investigation into the inadequacy of the filmed image, as its entire purpose is to spark an individual reaction.

The scene shifts restlessly between Japan, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland and France, as well as the San Francisco locations for Alfred Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.

Meanwhile, excerpts from the fictitious letters of itinerant cameraman Sandor Krasna suggest that, while photographic images may be able to enlighten, amuse or provoke, they can never reproduce the intimacy of memory.

Nor can they be relied upon, as cultural pre-conditioning, political spin, airbrushing and censorship can corrupt their meaning.

One of the gems of non-narrative cinema, this is less a documentary or an avant-garde travelogue than an audio-visual barrage of potent ideas that challenges you to keep pace with its quicksilver intelligence.

Beatifully framed musing on memory and human experience that extends to the viwing of this film itself. Relying on each personal response, this film begs to be viewed, and deservedly so.
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