Sans Soleil

Chris Marker's Sans Soleil - the film that brought me into the world of beautiful knowledge, perhaps art, but knowledge made beautiful is how I would describe this film.

When I was younger, at boarding school, in banality made costly, I went to Sydney for new years. I stayed for one night at my cousins house, where he lived with his brother. I remember being younger and with our family at Christmas and seeing a lot of hand/ready made sculptures in his room, and other odd but study-able matchings and findings.
When I came back as a sixteen year old, my friend and I limewired a fairly substantial amount of terrible electro music onto his computer to listen to, and did. Afterwards, when she had left, I found a Chris Marker dvd and settled down to watch. It almost completely changed my world. I remember a few years later, after leaving school, living in Italy for a year, and being back in Sydney to study, and being reminded by my still bemused and slightly smug cousin of those banal pulsing electronic beats that I had once found stimulating. Understood.

A study was done on kids who were learning or were in their teenage years of reading, still working out syntax and semantics. Listening to young kids read, you can hear this, pauses at the end of lines even though there are no commas, runnings on when there is a clear break in textual thought. Their brains are full of activity, but the kind where it is desperately trying to keep up. Suddenly it finds that it has said something aloud, or silently trudged through a paragraph, and it does not remember a thing, except the act of reading itself, like driving a road and realising that you cannot remember what was on either side of that road, or whether there were traffic lights that stopped your journey, or what was playing through the speakers or sliding through the window from the outside world, hitting your ears in an unnatural tempo. School children, just for a second, a siren that rushes up, hits an invisible wall and then drops deep out of your time and space.

Childhood is mostly like that, I have found, a confounded space-time, of unrecognisable peaks and troughs, that only later become solid in memory, and perhaps important. I do not remember my own self as a person of sixteen, but other people do. To them, you are a formed picture, that perhaps they modify, but mostly only slightly (that is a nice triplet treble troika). But what I remember is a part of this film; the lost vagrants of Tokyo, longing for a beer, whose incredible luxury would be the bottle of sake that is poured over shrines as an offering to the dead. This reminds me of Barthes Camera Lucida and an idea of the subjective feeling held in a photograph, that can only belong to the person affected by the events/people the photograph is an imprint of. Of course, it is not that simple. But we will return another time, to this.

P.S. those masks are sick