La Jetee is a beautiful film. La Jetee is a photo-roman about a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel. It is a movie about remembering– the main character recalling his past and the whole movie seemingly told from memory by the narrator. It is told in black and white photographs accompanied by voice-over narration and some music and sound effects. Having a somewhat complex story told in a simple manner makes this movie unforgettable. Also contributing to this is the setting of the film- Paris in the wake of a third world war.
I love the use of photographs because I think it captures how we really remember memories- in stills. It makes the memories more real, like they actually happened with no doubts. If the movie was in normal motion, the scenes in which the main character is under the experiment and recalling memories will probably look more like dreams and the movie wouldn’t have the same strong impact. Adding cinematic flair and style would also be damaging to this film.
Unusually, I didn’t pay much attention to the photographs shown in the movie. Being a Fine Arts major, a designer and a photographer, I should probably be writing about the cinematography like the composition of the photographs and how they played with the lighting to show the relationship between good and evil (because they seem to always be about good and evil). But the only thing I noticed about the photographs was that they were predominantly black and nothing more. For some reason I was more focused on the feeling of the movie than what is being shown to the point that I actually closed my eyes in some scenes to fully be captivated by the experience of remembering. I might actually watch this movie again but with my eyes closed.
I didn’t like the part when the main character traveled into a different space and meets these weird group of people. Yes this movie is a futuristic science fiction film but this part was too corny for me. It didn’t contribute to the story too. I’m trying to delete it from my mind.