Film, La Jetee As A Reference Point For My Discussion Essay

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Can a pictorial narrative be formed purely through the use of images? It is a question many have sought to answer, and one that is becoming increasingly relevant as our literary concepts evolve to keep pace with developments in modern technologies. I have chosen to use the ciné-roman designed by Bruce Mau from Chris Marker’s 1962 science-fiction film La Jetée as a reference point for my discussion. The film is constructed almost entirely of still-images, shot through a Pentax camera. Involving the “future destruction of Paris,” the film follows a prisoner haunted by the image of a woman from his childhood, sent through time by his controllers (Lupton 2005, 87). The ciné-roman presents the film’s still-images in a graphic novel format, with English and French subtitles positioning the film’s voice-over into text on the page. Ultimately, I will attempt to argue that images can be used to create a purely pictorial narrative, in reference to the theories of visual culture expressed by Barthes, Burgin, Berger and Baetens, among others. It is important to note that the ciné-roman exists independently from its predecessor: “the French ciné-roman is a novel or film scenario designed to read not necessarily in conjunction with the film upon which it is based” (Santoro 1996, 37). As such, while I will direct some attention to the discussion of the tension between the ciné-roman’s and its cinematic predecessor, I have chosen to focus my deeper discussion on the implications of image

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