Level Five

French film essayist Chris Marker (La Jetee, A Grin Without A Cat, Le Joli Mai) singular place in cinema is distinguished by a constant probing of how he, and we, come to experience time, memory, history and cinema itself. Unreleased in the United States until now, Marker’s film presciently uses cyber-space to explore a chapter in wartime Japan. Laura “inherits” a task: to finish writing a video game centered on the Battle of Okinawa—whose development played a decisive role in the way World War II ended. The game is strange one, in fact. Contrary to classical strategy games whose purpose is to turn back the tide of history, this one seems willing only to reproduce history as it happened. While working on Okinawa and meeting, through a rather unusual network (a parallel to the Internet), various informants and even eye-witnesses to the battle (including film director Nagisa Oshima), Laura gathers pieces of the tragedy until they start to interfere with her own life. Melding retro-futuristic sci-fi imagery, references to American film noir, and reflections on history, Marker crafts a visually and philosophically provocative puzzle. “A passionate and cerebral science-fiction adventure…there is nothing else in theaters now that feels quite as new.” —The New York Times.

Appears in: Special Screenings

Genres: Sci-Fi, Diary, Experimental

Other Films by Chris Marker

Le Joli Mae

“The restoration of Marker’s legendary portrait of Paris in May 1962 premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, exactly half a century after the original won the International Critics Prize there. Meticulously restored by the film’s cinematographer and co-director, Pierre Lhomme, LE JOLI MAI emerges as one of the director’s most poignant and important works.

A.K.

Marker’s (La Jetee, Sans Soleil) hyper-observational style is on full display in A.K. as he skirts around Akira Kurosawa’s legendary, massively scaled production of Ran (1985), focusing on the master’s previous classics and the day-to-day making of his new film, which at the time was the most expensive Japanese film ever made. French producer Serge