Vitesse (La Jetée)

03 May

Vitesse - (verb) French for "speed"

La Jetée is, by far, the most interesting films I have ever seen. I have never been exposed to this kind of style in film-making and admittedly, I was not so sure I liked it at first. But towards the end of the film, I acquired a new-found respect for the artistic style of La Jetée and appreciated how the film communicated its message to me.

I chose to entitle this journal entry with “Vitesse” because of how the movie left me pondering about the many levels of speed a human life can undergo. As I am typing this at the comforts of my room, I am pretty sure that somewhere on the other end of the world is a person like me, typing along, too, but with a greater sense of rush to meet the deadline for a breaking news article, perhaps. Since the movie touched on how time and memory are two things that greatly influence the way we live our lives and how we see our future, it dawned on me that there are many possibilities as to how we drive to our own fate. Just as my imaginary “friend” is typing along what might soon become the biggest news on earth, I am, in my parallel universe, trying to build my college degree up in search for a brighter future ahead.

The movie, or the photo slideshow of La Jetée, presented me with a very descriptive illustration of time. Even without much audible dialog, the strong photos sufficed for the building up of the story plot. The back story of the characters in the film made me feel like I was reading the novel and retracing the steps where they once were. It was an interesting process for me, trying to piece up the images together, to try to create and make sense of the little information I was exposed to. The style of how the film was executed greatly contributed to triggering the emotions of wanting to remember the past, and wanting to go back in time to seemingly fix things that bothered us the most.

In the case of the man in La Jetée, the issue which kept him looking for more answers was that he saw his own death — and there was nothing he could have done to prevent it. In my opinion, what La Jetée tries to each us is that any amount of longing or desire to go back and change the past won’t be enough to dictate the end of our future. It’s the film’s subtle way of telling us that memories are memories for a reason — they stay that way to remind us of who we were and what we’ve become, but never to change the person we are at the moment.

There was a particular scene in La Jetée that gave me a slight push. It was when a short clip of the lady’s fluttering eyes were shown. This scene to me, meant a lot in such a way that it served as a “snap back to reality” figure to me. I was interpreting La Jetée as something that urged me to want to go back to the past because of the depiction of “memories through photos”, but this particular moving scene reminded me of what is and what is not real.

Although La Jetée is a motion picture without motion, I believe that the lack of movement was highly compensated for the emotion that is left its audience with. La Jetée is a film for those who find it hard to face the future because they are held back at the past and at the same time, it is the perfect avenue for everyone to begin to value the importance of the present.

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Posted by on 3 May 2011 in Uncategorized


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