The Film Desk Presents: Sans Soleil

May 1, 2024
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Introduction by editor Sadie Starnes.

Presented with The Film Desk for the launch of the first English language edition of Chris Marker’s 1982 photo-essay Le Dépays—a collection of Marker’s black-and-white photography in Japan tracing similar themes to Sans Soleil, from maneki-neko to Golden Gai. Copies of Le Depays will be available for purchase in the lobby before and after the screening.

Imported 35mm Print. Driven by a desire to “capture life in the process of becoming history,” the enigmatic and influential French filmmaker Chris Marker travelled the globe and made a sprawling body of hybrid work that ruminates on the nature of memory and time. Of the several films he made in Japan (where, among the crowded drinking holes of Shinjuku’s “Golden Gai” district, there is a bar named after one of his early masterpieces), this singular essay film remains the late director’s greatest achievement. An unnamed woman narrates the poetic letters and philosophical reflections of an invisible world traveler accompanied by footage of Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Iceland, Paris, San Francisco and, most significantly, Tokyo—a city whose people, streets, malls and temples inspire the traveler’s richest observations.

Dir. Chris Marker, 1983, 103 min., 35mm, in French with English subtitles

Inventing Japan is just another way of getting to know it . . . Trust appearances, consciously confuse the decor with the drama, never worry about understanding, just be there—dasein—and everything will come your way. Well, something, at least…”—Chris Marker, from Le Dépays

Image © 1983 Argos Films.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Anime NYC and Yen Press. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family and Friends of Film. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film. Housing assistance is provided by the Prince Kitano New York, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2024
  • 7:00 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $16 Nonmembers
  • $8 Members
  • $14 Seniors/Students
  • $14 Person with Disability