radiuju: (books / music / movie talk)
Joaru ([personal profile] radiuju) wrote on April 4th, 2014 at 12:24 pm
at the pier she waits
We watched La Jetée (The Pier) yesterday in English class. It's my first still-movie and I really liked it, so I'm posting here for future reference.
It's a science-fiction movie but I liked how they didn't try to create fancy things/props for the story. It does not look ostentatious, considering the limit of film-making in 1962. They are trying to optimize their creativity in cinematography and storytelling instead of wasting a lot of budget in visual effects, which I found refreshing compared to modern movies. Don't get me wrong, I love certain modern movies too, but I don't really like it when filmmakers spam visual effects and compensate on the story/plot...

The only technological advancement showed in this movie is the ability to time-travel! So no, it's not about aliens and robots.
I'm going to fangirl inside the cut to avoid spoiling anyone from the movie!

There are several things that I really liked from the movie. First, it is refreshing to see a black and white still-film. I have never watched a film in this kind of format so it's groundbreaking for me! Hahaha. It's quite different from stop motion as they are not trying to create a motion with these photos. I think if I have to pick anything closer, it's like an animatic? Each shot is one action, rather than a sort of motion.
This movie consists of photographs, there is no motion except for the transitions (dissolves) and sort-of-camera movement (I think they are trying to make the montage more organic by shaking the film slightly at times). Everyone is silent except for the narrator. What I like best about this film is actually how each shot is a beautiful photo on its own. The lighting for each shot is amazing.

The plot itself is actually quite predictable, even for me. Apparently this film inspired 12 Monkeys, which is another sci-fi flick. There were people in my class who had already watched that movie, so they found it quite easy to see how the story goes. I have not watched 12 Monkeys before but yeah, the plot is quite straightforward (it has a twist in the end but I think anyone can guess it). I don't think it's a bad thing because it still leaves a great impression. I still remember the terror I felt when I saw him running, as the number of frames increased and the music grew tense. I found it very neat when they matched the timing/rhythm of the transition of each photo according to the mood of the situation and the background music. It really works!

The main actress, too, is very beautiful. She is not exactly sexy or alluring but there is something about her smile that makes you care for her. I think they did a good job in casting. If I have to be nitpicky I kinda wished that she would show terror on her face when the main character died in the end... But she probably did not really witness what happened because she was quite far from the place of incident.

Overall I would love to watch this again. It was really short, only about half an hour of a movie. My lecturer said that we can find the movie online but it probably would have no subtitle... So I might try to find the DVD. The problem with older movies is that sometimes it's really hard to find the DVD in affordable price... Sigh.

Here are my favorite quotes from the film:

"This time he is close to her, he speaks to her. She welcomes him without surprise. They are without memories, without plans. Time builds itself painlessly around them. Their only landmarks are the flavour of the moment they are living and the markings on the walls."

“...he understood there was no way to escape Time, and that this moment he had been granted to watch as a child, which had never ceased to obsess him, was the moment of his own death."



 

I will probably put more proper screenshots once I can rent/get the movie on my own...
If you have not watched it but you're fond of classic movies, you should! It's quite different from typical French films, by the way, the pacing is much faster (I think because they only have half an hour to tell the story).
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