PRINT January 2013

Duncan Campbell

Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and Ghislain Cloquet, Les Statues meurent aussi (Statues Also Die), 1953, 35 mm, black-and-white, sound, 30 minutes.


IN A LETTER written by the great German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg to Luise Kautsky, after the latter had visited her at Breslau Prison, Luxemburg lauded her friend for retaining the “groping, searching, anxious” qualities of a young woman. (Kautsky was then in her mid-fifties.) Such uncertainty was, to Luxemburg, not merely a personal but a political virtue, since, as she warned in her essay “The Russian Revolution,” written from the same prison, socialism is an open-ended process, an improvisation, not a “sum of ready-made prescriptions.” It is difficult to know where to begin in speaking of Chris Marker, but perhaps the deepest source of my admiration (for a reason similar to that which prompted Luxemburg’s praise of Kautsky) has to do with the place he assigned himself in relation to his filmmaking and the fact that this relationship between self and subject

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