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February 2 - 23, 2004

Masterworks of Modern Cinema

February 9 (Monday) 7 pm


Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France/Italy, 1968, color, 105 min.
With Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
French with English subtitles

Weekend finds Godard in transition; it is often cited as a breaking point between the director’s innovative early narrative work and the Marxist polemics of his films of the 1970s. Corinne and Roland are a bourgeios married couple with murderous intentions toward each other. As they travel together from Paris to Oinville, intending to collect Corrine’s inheritance from her dying father, they lose their way and become wanderers who witness the dissolution of society (as well as the disintigration of traditional narrative structure). Revolutionary politics, cannibalism, and one of the greatest traffic-jam scenes in screen history all factor into Godard’s apocalyptic vision as the film builds to its bloody, disturbing conclusion.

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February 23 (Monday) 7 pm

Sans Soleil

Directed by Chris Marker
France, 1962, color, 100 min.
With Florence Delay, Arielle Dombasle, Riyoko Ikeda
French with English subtitles

Made two decades after his celebrated La Jetée, the feature-length Sans Soleil remains French filmmaker Chris Marker’s masterpiece. Ostensibly constructed from a series of letters sent by a freelance cameraman to an unknown woman, the film presents portraits of distant locales captured in ravishing imagery and through the poetic letters of the unseen cameraman. Remarkable for its prescient incorporation of video processing, Sans Soleil equally prefigures contemporary work in the fictionalized documentary as Marker pushes beyond the boundaries of the traditional narrative cinema to invent a singularly personal film genre—part diary, part essay, part documentary, and part fiction.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700