Posted by: kfugrip | May 30, 2007

Cups of Tea

San Soliel, by Chris Marker is an essay film by the director of La Jete.  Marker purists will deride me for portraying him in such a narrow manner but it is the only other film of his that I’ve seen.  The essay film, which is what I would call San Soliel, is a combination of a letter being read over images of Japan and Africa, Japan mainly.  What follows is a poetic, and nausea inducing trip through the respective lands their people, and customs.

It’s not my cup of tea.  I prefer a narrative film and this is another beast altogether.  It was more involving than many of the similar avant garde films I’ve seen but longer too.  My nausea was induced by the constant movement of the camera for nearly two hours.  For some this may be a nice technique but I find is makes my stomach ache and my head swim, not to mention that it’s distracting to a large degree.

The film was filled with many poiniant passages and gave much food for thought.  For this reason alone I give the film 2 stars.  It probably isn’t that bad but it’s not what I like at all, thus skewing my review.


Les Maitres Fous, by Jean Rouch is a documentary portrait of colonialism viewed through the actions of some tranced, slobbering, Africans.  Each man in a religious sect enters a trance and begins to act out the roles of the colonial armed forces occupying their country.

An interesting, and biting depiction of European colonialism is nice and short.  Shot with  a hand-cranked camera no shot is over 20 seconds.  The ever-present voice-over would be better served as a counterpoint to actual sync sound.  Oh, well… one can always wish.

3 stars.


P.S. These reviews suck… I’ll work on it for the next films… I don’t have the energy.  Sorry.



  1. how is it possible that you posted this review on wednesday, may 30th 2007, when last i checked it is still tuesday, may 29th?

    you can travel in time. impressive.

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