Imagine getting letters from a friend in Japan, letters full of images, sounds and ideas. Your friend is an inveterate globe-trotter, and his letters are full of memories of other trips. He has a wry and very engaging sense of humour, he's a movie fan, he used to be quite an activist (though he was never much into 'ideology'), and he's thoughtful and very well read. In his letters, he wants to share with you the faces that have caught his eye, the events that made him smile or weep, the places where he's felt at home. He wants to tell you stories, but he can't find a story big enough to deal with his sense of contrasts, his wish to grasp fleeting moments, his recurring memories. Above all he hopes to excite you, to share his secrets with you, to consolidate your friendship. Now stop imagining things and go to see Sans Soleil, in which Marker, the cinema's greatest essayist, sums up a lifetime's travels, speculations and passions. Among very many other things, his film is the most intimate portrait of Tokyo yet made: from neighbourhood festivals to robots, under the sign of the Owl and the Pussycat.
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