This summer MUBI UK be hosting a retrospective on one of the all-time favourite auteurs, Master film & video essayist Chris Marker. Each week MUBI will play one of his most iconic works.
Chris Marker’s If I Had Four Dromedaries (1966).
Composed entirely of still photographs shot by Marker himself over the course of his restless travel through twenty-six countries, If I Had Four Dromedaries stages a probing, at times agitated, search for the meanings of the photographic image, in the form of an extended voice-over conversation and debate between the “amateur photographer” credited with the images and two of his colleagues. Anticipating later writings by Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag (who professed her admiration for the film) If I Had Four Dromedaries reveals Marker’s instinctual understanding of the secret rapport between still and moving image.
Clearly, If I Had Four Dromedaries, was a key influence on Marc Karlin’s Nicaragua Part 1: Voyages.
The first part in Marc Karlin’s extraordinary Nicaraguan series, comprises of stills by the American photographer Susan Meiselas. Between 1978 and 1979, Meiselas captured the two revolutionary insurrections which brought the FSLN to power in Nicaragua, overthrowing the fifty year dictatorship of the Somoza family. The film is in the form of a letter, written by Meiselas to Karlin. Through her own words, the film interrogates the responsibility of the war photographer, the line between observer and participant, and the political significance of the photographic image.
Thanks to ChrisMarker.org