La Jetée (1962) — Sci-fi (8/10)

April 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm (Movies) (, , )

Let’s sum it up this way: La Jetée is an influential 1962 French sci-fi short film about a prisoner during the post-apocalyptic war-torn France after the events of WW3. He goes backwards (and forwards) in time to do things to help his captors, the ruling class, rebuild their world.

Sound familiar? It’s the storyline that inspired the 1995 film 12 Monkeys, starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt.

If you watch the film on Netflix, you will get the original language (French) with subtitles. I watched this film on Hulu, and it was an English language version. Obviously, Criterion would not set the English language version as the “main” version if it wasn’t of quality. As I was watching it, I thought this dub was quite seamless, and that’s not usually how I feel on such things (the Disney-prepared Studio Ghibli dubs are good, as well).

The film clocks in at about 28 minutes, and so it isn’t very long. I would recommend you check this one out.

Oh! It now occurs to me (I did this on purpose) that I have left out on major detail. Maybe you’re thinking that this film sounds nice and what not but, really, what makes it standout? I will tell you what makes it memorable in my mind. The entire film, except for about 5 short seconds, is told as a series of still images. There is an unknown narrator that provides the exposition and dialog. I found it very interesting how my imagination was filling in the gaps where one would expect a film-like execution rather than individual frames.



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