La Jetée is an experimental travel film based after the period of the World War. It was a story of a man undertaking an experiment. This experiment took him back to his childhood memories that seemed valuable and influential to his life.
The film utilises black and white images to form a montage that communicates a strong sense of the story situated in the past. It also transitions from one scene to the next from a fade effect or directly going onto another image. The effect here is showing how a certain event is passing over time. For instance, there’s a repetition of reaction scenes that suggest time travel from now to a piece of memory from the man (Fig.1). These reaction scenes (Fig.2) are displayed rapidly without fade to convey the concept of how this event affects him during this experiment. The intensity of this experiment is also backed up with a heart beating sound in the background. As the experiment progresses, the heart beat starts off slow and builds on dramatically reflecting on how the man reacts to a memory.
Figure 1. Having to switch back and forth between reaction and memory scenes create a sense of seeing the past in the mans’ eyes.
Figure 2. Rapid display of reaction scenes communicates an intense moment of the event.
In short, to be able to create a moment, the film utilises the technique of editing. According to Lindley and McMahon 2008, “Editing becomes the means of access the film’s own temporarily” meaning, the linear narrative of events is stitched together by the ‘cuts’ of the full event.
A similar technique of montage has been applied to week 2’s lacuna studio group task. Our story was conceptualised around the idea of being within a hateful world of finding the simplest things irritating to watch. A lot of this experience leads to the thought of violence and death of others.
Our group’s response to this story was to create a black and white montage that depicted this visually. We’ve worked out our restriction should be any piece of imagery that doesn’t include people since it was going to be an abstract piece. This was interesting because it helps communicate death effectively throughout the story. As stated by Stevens 1991, “reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor.” which appears to be true when we thought about creating something engaging. Visual metaphor was well-suited for this small project.
Through the process of generating ideas, we thought of objects that reflected a certain word. One of the most significant image has to be the image for “you could just chase these people down with another choice of weapon” (Fig. 3). It was particularly strong in terms of communication because it was the only blurred image, and because this effect was applied to it, the meaning of “chase” was emphasised through it. In addition, the presence of the chain was a symbol of escape.
Figure 3. “You could just chase these people down with another choice of weapon” visually communicated through a photo.
Final story through 15 images:
Lindley, E. & McMahon, L. 2008, Rhythms, Modern French Identities, Switzerland.
Marker, C. 2013, La Jetée, minneapolis, viewed 25 March 2017, <https://vimeo.com/46620661 >
Whittock, T. 1991, Metaphor and Film, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom.