“With his four dromedaries, Don Pedro d'Alfaroubeira roamed the world and admired it. He did what I would like to do if I had four dromedaries too.” An amateur photographer and two of his friends discuss pictures taken all over the world. This film is entirely made up of a rostrum sequence using still photos taken in twenty-six countries between 1955 and 1965.
Four years after “La Jetée”, Chris Marker embarks on another film based on photographs. Although this time it’s not a (science-)fiction but a documentary approach, the hypothesis remains the same: it’s through images that we travel, both in time and space. Mental images, images from memory, formalised by fixity and black & white photographs. In both cases, the voice animates the pictures, lending them life and a heartbeat. In this quintessentially “Marker” essay, the filmmaker pores over his old photographs to create a short phenomenology of the traveller-photographer, somewhat similar to Roland Barthes’ later writings on photography. Simulating a conversation between friends, multiplying the subjective perspectives of the pictures and the enlightening remarks about art and the state of the world, Marker, under the cover of a polyphonic construction, offers us a personal yet modest portrait of his inner world as an image-maker at the dawn of a decade of political upheaval.
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