La Jetée (The Pier) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 4, 2012
A must-see movie for all sci-fi fans. It appears boring at first, but you gradually sink into the story and in the end you see just how brilliant it really is. It's not for everyone, the film is experimental and slow paced. Overall, it is very good, though.
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2012
This thirty-minute "photo-roman" (series of narrated stills) tells the story of a man who's sent backwards, then forwards in time to try to find a way to avert a nuclear war, but spends his travels romancing a woman he saw once as a child whose image burned itself into his memory. An interesting science fiction storytelling experiment about the nature of memory that's been extremely influential over the years (it inspired Terry Gilliam's 12 MONKEYS). There is one moving image in the film; blink and you'll miss it...
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2012
Well its the first short movie that i've seen using nothng else but still photographs in order to get the story across and although its an interesting idea, i personally don't think its works all that well.
The great thing about an actual movie is that the actors are able to properly get across the emotions that their ment to fill across to the audience and although pictures do capture some of that emotion i feel its not as strong as watching a moving picture.
Its watchable purely on the fact it is only 30mins long longer than that then i'd probably have a different opinion!
Super Reviewer
September 26, 2007
A fantastic experiment in narrative and visuals. Highly influential, i'm surprised this formula has not been used more often.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2010
Talk about an amazingly brilliant and original idea, I can't think of anything that I don't like about this truly bizarre film. It takes every expectation you have about film and storytelling and throws it out the window. Chris Marker's style really takes hold in this, where as in something like Sans Soleil it is not quite as apparent. The photography/cinematography is beautiful and rivals some of Roman Polanski's shots in Knife In The Water. I don't think anyone who sees this can not be inspired in some way.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2009
"The victors stood guard over a kingdom of rats."

Experimental, avant-garde depiction of post-apocalyptic time travel told through a series of stills in slide-show progression. As odd as that sounds, the whole thing works very, very well.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2008
An interesting little 1/2 hour of moviemaking...or maybe I should call it a storyboard. The entire film is made of still pictures of the various characters in poses following the narration. The story -- what there is of it -- involves the aftermath of WWIII. Paris has been obliterated and most of the survivors live underground to escape the radiation. One man is chosen as a test subject by mysterious scientists who send him into the past. I have to say that I saw the "shock" ending coming. This came across to me as a French Twilight Zone episode. The story was used, in a much expanded form, for the Bruce Willis sci-fi film 12 Monkeys.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2007
Visually stunning, but it just seemed to wander. I would've liked to have seen it expanded upon, but that's what 12 Monkey is for. And of course my DVR cut the end off so I don't know exactly how it ended. Ah well, maybe someday.
Super Reviewer
½ March 16, 2013
La Jetee is a phenomenal sci-fi movie, and Chris Marker inspired me with this. The story of time is told purely off picture stills and a narrator, but it is more powerful than most films with live actors. Sure this craft has been imitated, but it's never been made as lividly as Marker made it. With in the opening minutes I already forgot that these were just pictures. The story begins complicated, and the concluding made me contemplate everything I've considered to be true. At under thirty minutes the film wastes no time, but it doesn't feel rushed. Absolutely brilliant and memorable.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2011
"La Jetee" is a legendary science fiction film that is renowned for it's creativity and originality but is known all the more thanks to it being the inspiration behind Terry Gilliam's "Twelve Monkeys". The film is made up of all images with the exception of the woman blinking her eyes once during the film. The images are visually arresting and suit the film and along with the narration, create a truly unique and thought provoking film. The picture is only 28 minutes long but conveys more than most films do in 2-3 hours or more. The film is composed of black and white images each of which is a piece of art in it's own right but meshes together to form a meaningful and beautiful film that takes the viewer on a journey though time and space. This is a film like none you have ever seen before and is a truly unique watch that I think anyone who loves cinema will enjoy at some level!
Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2007
This is a really poised, dark sort of film. Despite the static images and general lack of color, it's got a beautiful human spark that drives it to the end. Photography students should have to see this--the plot and the method fit perfectly. I like to think about this one sometimes when I think about time travel. Which doesn't necessarily happen a lot. But it's much more memorable than a lot of other movies I've seen.
Super Reviewer
½ January 17, 2015
The hallmark of French science fiction films, La Jetée is a time travel romantic drama where a man is being sent back to the past before the apocalypse occurred and he fell in love with a woman. The film is presented with still images and a narration. I got the same feeling as I watched A Trip to the Moon, it's simple yet serene.
Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2012
If pictures can paint a thousand words, then "La Jetée", directed by the late Chris Marker, has solidly proven that putting them in succession can also tell a story that's way ahead of time and can also impart a futuristic idea that's both thematically transcendent and deeply human. Let Terry Gilliam's "Twelve Monkeys" serve as the main testament of the film's far-reaching influence.

Composed only of black and white stills and a moody narration (by Jean Négroni), "La Jetée" is a surprising proof of the power of cinematic narrative even when there are no literal movements on screen. It's also a film that treads the territories of hard science fiction, the elliptical tendencies of time and some probing existentialism. Although the narration was structured like that of a poem, it has not fallen in the clutches of vagueness.

The use of the photographs has also fascinated me because it has given the film an otherworldly feel, a sense of ironic calm (even amid its apocalyptic premise) and its own distinct identity as an art piece. Even with the utter simplicity of its execution, the film was still very successful in telling a complex story of humanity trapped within the cycle of life and death, memories and time. Well, maybe we will never see a film quite like "La Jetée" again.
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
December 3, 2011
Very haunting and moody, frangmented to a fault but deliberatly so, La Jetée is still to this date one of the most fascinating sci-fi movies ever made either by the way it is presented to us or by the cautionary tale it's telling, never forgetting the humanitary value that is inherent to the genre.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2010
If you're a fan of science fiction films and/ or time travel, and you think you've seen it all, check out this French film, known both for being cleverly made up almost entirely of still photographs and for being the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's "12 Monkeys." It's absolutely worth seeking out this short film; while its unique mise-en-scene takes a bit getting used to, it works contextually with the film's post-apocalyptic story elements, which were very much ahead of their time. Even if the movie's visual style doesn't interest you, it provides an intriguing narrative comparison to "12 Monkeys" for fans of that film; moreover, it doesn't matter in which order you watch these two masterpieces of dystopian post-apocalyptic time travel, as knowing what happens in one film will not ruin one's enjoyment of the other. On the contrary, viewing one will most certainly enhance the viewing experience of the other. Highly recommended, especially for science fiction fans, time travel fans, French new wave mavens and/ or seekers of films with unique cinematography, or Gilliam fans.
Super Reviewer
½ November 17, 2008
Unique and different experimental short film which was the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's brilliant "12 Monkeys¨
Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2007
One of the more evocative pieces of film ever.
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2007
This film is amazing. The way Marker uses still photography and narration makes the film alive even without any sense of movement whatsoever present.
February 15, 2010
A subtle yet brilliantly crafted short film of a man who becomes the unwilling guinea pig for experimentation into time travel.
October 15, 2009
Absolutely a stunning film. As the hero in the film jumps over the wall of time, this film jumps over the wall of genres and any formality of cinema. I've never seen any other film that seem to recreate a man's daydream as successfully and creatively as this film. It looks an ordinary slide-show at first sight, but you'd notice soon how beautiful every shot is and how delicately all shots and soundtrack are edited. It seems to me that this short film (even less than 30 min.) even tells us everything about sadness of living. This is definitely not a common time-travel sci-fi...
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