Documentary Salon: Return To Sender, Address Unknown - A Tribute to Chris Marker

Event Date: May 8, 2012 - 7:30pm

Location: The James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall 1409, UCLA

Featuring: ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH (Chris Marker, 1999) and TO CHRIS MARKER, AN UNSENT LETTER (Emiko Omori, 2012)


Co-Curated by Marina Goldovskaya and Samuel B. Prime
A Melnitz Movies and Documentary Salon Co-Presentation

Co-sponsored by the French Film & TV Office, Consulate General of France in Los Angeles, join us for a post-show Q&A with director Emiko Omori moderated by Marina Goldovskaya!


Through film clips, journal entries, and personal musings, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH is renowned French filmmaker Chris Marker's homage to his friend and colleague, Andrei Tarkovsky, who died in 1986. Performing close readings of Tarkovsky’s films – including rare scenes from his student film (an adaptation of Hemingway's THE KILLERS) and a practically unknown production of BORIS GOUDONOV – Marker attempts to locate Tarkovsky in his work. Parallels drawn by Marker between Tarkovsky’s life and films offer an original insight into the reclusive director. Personal anecdotes from Tarkovsky's writings – from his prophetic meeting with Boris Pasternak (author of DR. ZHIVAGO) to an encounter with the KGB on the streets of Paris (he thought they were coming to kill him) – pepper the film.

With behind-the-scenes footage of Tarkovsky obsessively commanding his entire crew (including famed Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist, during the filming of a complicated sequence from his final film The Sacrifice), and candid moments of Tarkovsky with his friends and family, bedridden but still working on the editing of his final film, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH is a personal and loving portrait of the monumental filmmaker.

“A masterpiece! Marker's ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH [is] the best single piece of Tarkovsky criticism I know of, clarifying the overall coherence of his oeuvre while leaving all the mysteries of his films intact. The video interweaves biography and autobiography with poetic and political insight in a manner that seldom works as well as it does here.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

“A brilliant appreciation of the last great Soviet director, Andrei Tarkovsky. No less then Jean-Luc Godard or Martin Scorsese, Marker is an original and perceptive exegete of other filmmakers… The most sustained and heartfelt tribute one filmmaker has paid another.” —Jim Hoberman, Village Voice

“A film that defies categorization as a documentary, or even as a 'film essay' ...A love letter is more like it: personal, passionate, unguarded. The meat of the film is a dazzling montage, drawn mostly from Tarkovsky's work, but reorganized into illuminating new patterns... inspiring us to make our own observations and connections.” —F. X. Feeney, LA Weekly


A collective cinematic love letter to the elusive French filmmaker Chris Marker in documentary form, Emiko Omori’s timely film captures the persona of a filmmaker who is at once both contradictorily present in and distant from his body of work. Notoriously private, Self-described as the “best known author of unknown works,” Marker is widely known for a few key cinematic works such as LA JETÉE (1962) and SANS SOLEIL (1983), but his wider filmography remains undiscovered. Through interviews with Marker's many colleagues and admirers, Omori lovingly describes a man whose preference for personal privacy has rendered him perhaps cinema’s most famous enigma: a man who is his works. Marker’s films have affected many, both those who know him personally and those who only know him through his films. Please join us for this special event as we pay tribute to a legendary and ephemeral French filmmaker, the "cat who walks by himself," Chris Marker.

Writer/Director: Chris Marker
Featuring: Andrei Tarkovsky, Chris Marker, Marina Vlady, Sven Nykvist, Eva Mattes, Alexandra Stewart, Margarita Terekhova, Michal Leszczylowski, Valérie Mairesse, Larisa Tarkovskaya
DigiBeta, 55 min.

(brief intermission)

Writer/Director: Emiko Omori
DVD, 80 min.

NOTE: This is the first public screening of Emiko Omori’s TO CHRIS MARKER, AN UNSENT LETTER, still a work in progress.

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