Remembrance of Things to Come: Le Souvenir d'un avenir

Directed by Yannick Bellon & Chris Marker

42 minutes / Color
Release: 2003
Copyright: 2001

Remembrance of Things to Come is on the same DVD as Yannick Bellon's Colette

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME, the latest "cine-essay" of Chris Marker, is dense and demanding, a splendid reminder that his nimble, capacious mind has lost none of its agility, poetry, and power. Ostensibly a portrait of photographer Denise Bellon, focusing on the two decades between 1935 and 1955, the film leaps and backtracks, Marker-style, from subject to subject, from a family portrait of Bellon and her two daughters, Loleh and Yannick (the latter co-authored the film), to a wide-ranging history of surrealism, of the city of Paris, of French cinema and the birth of the cinémathèque, of Europe, the National Front, the Second World War and Spanish Civil War, and postwar politics and culture.

Film StillFull of Marker jokes (a great one about artists and cats), word play (Citroen/citron), filmic homages (Musidora makes a memorable appearance), peculiar art history, a consideration of the 1952 Olympics, and astounding segues from French colonialism in Africa to women in the Maghreb, to a Jewish wedding and gypsy culture in Europe, to Mein Kampf and the Nazi death camps (Birkenau, Auschwitz), the film opens with Dali and ends with Mompou, traversing in its short time a world of thought, feeling, and history.

A small masterpiece of montage, REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME is from moment to moment reminiscent of Resnais, Ivens, even Kubrick, but in its deployment of still photographs (as in La Jetée), its theme of history and memory, its subject-skipping montage and rapid shuttle of wit and philosophy, REMEMBRANCE is pure, marvelous Marker. — Description written by James Quandt, Senior Programmer, Cinematheque Ontario

"A dizzying, quicksilver imbrication of histories: artistic, political, domestic, cinematic, and (this being Marker) Olympic." —James Quandt's Best Films of 2003, Artforum

"The most unforgettable film of any length you will see this year. Mr. Marker's own intrigue with impatience — his fleet films dance by in an instant, while using the music of pauses and silence to convey an almost inscrutable density — is a marvel when married to an admiring biography." —Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"An ingenious use of still photographs. Marker and Bellon not only prompt us to re-imagine the past, but to rethink what the past means, and grasp that our futures are always with us, in embryo." —LA Weekly

"Mr. Marker is an unusually perceptive critic with a razor-sharp, aphoristic turn of mind… Though it's ultimately addressing the tragedy the 20th Century, this slender little film is a joy." —Nathan Lee, The New York Sun

"The mode is discursive, descriptive, quick-witted, dense. The tone is at once tender and stoic."—Michael Almereyda, Film Comment

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A Film by Yannick Bellon and Chris Marker


In his newest film, French cinema-essayist Chris Marker reflects on French and international politics, art and culture at the start of the new millennium.

Chris Marker | 2006 | 58 minutes | Color | English

A fascinating visit with the legendary writer in her Paris apartment on the Palais Royal circa 1951. And Jean Cocteau drops by.

Yannick Bellon | 2003 | 29 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles