PRINT January 2013

Lucy Raven

Chris Marker, Lettre de Sibérie (Letter from Siberia), 1957, 16 mm transferred to 35 mm, color, sound, 62 minutes.


EVERY CHRIS MARKER FILM I’ve seen I’ve watched, at least the first time, on a burned DVD, the titles Sharpied on by one friend or another in my loose Chris Marker Appreciation Society. These discs were given to me over drinks or sent through the mail; sometimes I swapped copies of films I’d already gotten hold of. Not long ago, I watched a fuzzed-out, samizdat copy of one of my favorite Marker films—his early, hour-long essay called Letter from Siberia (1957).

The things I’d remembered most clearly about that film were its incredible (and incredibly funny) animation sequences, made by the French studio Équipe Arcady. There’s the ode to woolly mammoths, ten of which parade across the landscape in time with a rhyme about their habits and history in Siberia. There’s the commercial Marker inserts later in the film; it’s meant “not to sell you some new miracle product

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2013 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.