On September 23, 2012, the Berlin International Film Festival will honour documentary and experimental filmmaker Chris Marker, who passed away in late July, by screening his film Description d’un combat (Description of a Struggle). In this film, which received the Golden Bear for Best Documentary in 1961, Chris Marker took a personal look at the development of Israeli society and its identity twelve years after the state of Israel was founded.
Chris Marker’s cinematic oeuvre contributed to shaping film history in the second half of the 20th century. He explored the possibilities of film as a medium and redefined the concept of documentary film in particular. That he was avant-garde can also be seen in his early interest in electronic media and digital film processing.
Chris Marker’s very personal film essays document and reflect on social and cultural conditions and changes, and investigate the question of the significance of gaze and view.
The connection between Chris Marker and the Berlinale has involved seven of his films: Description d’un combat (Description of a Struggle, Berlinale Competition, 1961); the legendary film essay and milestone in his work, Sans Soleil (Sunless, Berlinale Competition, 1983 and Retrospective, 1990); the short film 2084: Vidéo-Clip pour une réflexion syndicale et pour le... (Berlinale Competition, 1985); Le tombeau d’Alexandre (The Last Bolshevik, Berlinale Forum, 1994), about Soviet filmmaker Aleksandr Medvedkin; Level Five (Berlinale Competition, 1997); his homage to director Andrei Tarkovski, Une journée d’Andrei Arsenevitch, (One day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich, Berlinale Forum, 2000); as well as his famous short science-fiction film, La jetée (The Pier, Berlinale Retrospective, 2002).
“The Berlinale discovered this extraordinary artist early in his career and has followed his work with great attention since Description d’un combat – which won the Golden Bear for Best Documentary in 1961. With his films, Chris Marker investigated how we look at the world and provided new perspectives,” says Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick. “We are very sad to have lost this unique visual poet.”
Screening of Description d’un combat on September 23, 2012, at noon at the Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art, Potsdamer Str. 2, 10785 Berlin, with a welcoming address by Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.
August 27, 2012