American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of August/Sept. Schedule!
Series compiled by:  Dennis Bartok & Gwen Deglise.
Special Thanks to:





Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< September 5-7 2003 >>>


"Our unknown cosmonaut" – Jean Quevel.

"A kind of one-man total cinema" – Richard Roud.

"The films of Chris Marker are unequalled in contemporary cinema for their beauty, complexity, influence and inventiveness." – James Quandt.

Chris Marker’s films are the kind of miracle you’d stopped hoping for long ago, a Travelogue of Pure Mystery where "images appear like confessions" (LA JETEE), where his beloved cats and owls materialize to remind us just how far we have to go, how much we have to remember. His favorite medium is the cinema essay: a series of impressions, snapshots, postcards from distant lands (Japan, Africa, Russia, Greece), linked together by Marker’s enigmatic voice, described as "the voice of an insomniac dreamer" (Bill Horrigan), or "a ghost whispering in your ear" (Terrence Rafferty). Marker is in love with Memory, with its melancholy beauty, and his films are an altogether heroic, perhaps doomed attempt to trace its stain on our lives, like lifting rubbings from a gravestone. As Marker has said, "I claim, for the image, the humility and the powers of a madeleine."

Marker himself is even more elusive than his work, a quicksilver character in a world of klieg lights. He was born, apparently, in 1921 in the suburbs of Paris (although he’s occasionally claimed his birthplace was Outer Mongolia). A journalist, travel-writer and photographer before he took up filmmaking, Marker has consistently refused interviews and has rarely been photographed himself. His earliest films were made in collaboration with Alain Resnais, who shares Marker’s preoccupation with time and memory; and while Marker’s career parallels the French New Wave, his films have always been too singular to be easily grouped with Godard, Truffaut and his other peers.

Since our first Marker series in 1997, he has produced a number of major new works, including the dazzling REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME (made in collaboration with Yannick Bellon) and ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH, a haunting portrait of the great Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky – so what better time to celebrate Marker’s unique, unforgettable vision than with this short series of new and classic films?

All films in French with English subtitles except as noted.


Friday, September 5 – 7:00 PM

Los Angeles Premiere!!

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME (LE SOUVENIR D’UN AVENIR), 2001, First Run/Icarus Films, 42 min. Dirs. Yannick Bellon and Chris Marker. Genius. The latest "cine-essay" of Chris Marker is dense and demanding, a splendid reminder that his nimble, capacious mind has lost none of its agility, poetry and power. Ostensibly a portrait of French photographer Denise Bellon, focusing on the two decades between 1935 and 1955, the film leaps and backtracks, Marker-style, from subject to subject, from a family portrait of Bellon and her two daughters, Loleh and Yannick (the latter co-authored the film), to a wide-ranging history of surrealism, of the city of Paris, of French cinemas and the birth of the cinémathèque, of Europe, the National Front, the Second World War and Spanish Civil War, and postwar politics and culture. Full of Marker jokes (a great one about artists and cats), word play, filmic homages (Musidora makes a memorable appearance), peculiar art history, a consideration of the 1952 Olympics, and astounding segues from French colonialism in Africa to women in the Maghreb, to a Jewish wedding and gypsy culture in Europe, to "Mein Kampf" and the Nazi death camps (Birkenau, Auschwitz), the film opens with Dali and ends with Mompou, traversing in its short time a world of thought, feeling, and history. A small masterpiece of montage, REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME is from moment to moment reminiscent of Resnais, Ivens, even Kubrick, but in its deployment of still photographs (as in LA JETEE), its theme of history and memory, its subject-skipping montage and rapid shuttle of wit and philosophy, REMEMBRANCE is pure, marvellous Marker. (Notes by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario.) Note: this is the English voice-over version, supervised by Marker himself.

LA JETEE, 1964, New Yorker, 30 min. Marker’s most famous film (and his only work of pure fiction), LA JETEE is an agonizing cry of love to a world gone by, the story of a man drawn through time by the image of a woman standing on the jetty at Orly Airport. A candidate for one of the greatest films ever made; certainly, it’s the most romantic.

STATUES ALSO DIE (LES STATUES MEURENT AUSSI), 1953, Editions Presence Africaine, 27 min. Co-directed with Alain Resnais, STATUES casts an ultra-critical eye on European culture’s misuse of African sacred art; it also serves as a stunning testament to the art itself.


Friday, September 5 – 9:30 PM

SANS SOLEIL, 1982, New Yorker, 100 min. Dir. Chris Marker. How to describe SANS SOLEIL? A narrator (who we never see) reads a series of letters from a distant world-traveling friend (who we never see), while a haunting stream of images flash by like some techno-dream: temples in Tokyo dedicated to cats (a Marker favorite), Vatican treasures on display in a department store, and an animatronic John F. Kennedy singing "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You …" SANS SOLEIL is a film truly like no other, a love affair with textures, sounds and ideas, with Marker himself as the Ghost in the Machine, pulling us towards an uncertain future.


Saturday, September 6 – 5:00 PM

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME (LE SOUVENIR D’UN AVENIR), 2001, First Run /Icarus Films, 42 min. Dirs. Yannick Bellon and Chris Marker. (See 9/5 above for description.)

ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH (UNE JOURNEE D’ANDREI ARSENEVITCH), 2000, First Run /Icarus Films, 55 min. Dir. Chris Marker. "The best single piece of [Andrei] Tarkovsky criticism I know of, clarifying the overall coherence of his oeuvre while leaving all the principal mysteries in his films intact. It becomes clear early on that Marker was an intimate friend of Tarkovsky and his family, and was shooting home-video footage of some of Tarkovsky’s final days in the mid-1980’s, when he was dying of cancer, for Tarkovsky and his family’s use as well as his own. But this is handled throughout with exquisite tact and restraint and is never allowed to intrude on the poetic analysis of the features. In fact, the video interweaves biography and autobiography with poetic and political insight in a manner that seldom works as well as it does here, perhaps because personal affection and poetic analysis are rarely as compatible as Marker makes them." – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader


Saturday, September 6 – 7:30 PM

New 35 mm. Print:

THE GRIN WITHOUT A CAT (LE FOND DE L’AIR EST ROUGE), 1977, First Run /Icarus Films, 180 min. Dir. Chris Marker. As brilliant as it is indescribable, GRIN WITHOUT A CAT looks at the rise and fall of the worldwide revolutionary movement, from France in May, 1968 to the anti-Vietnam riots in the U.S., to the terrible crush of the Czech uprising. The French title of the film is untranslatable in English; roughly, it means "Revolution Is In The Air," a metaphor at once wistful and ever-hopeful. Given the current world situation, GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is, now more than ever, an epic event not to be missed. In one of the film’s many high points, Marker dissects the famous Odessa Steps sequence in BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN – a revolutionary landmark that never actually occurred …


Sunday, September 7 – 5:00 PM

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME (LE SOUVENIR D’UN AVENIR), 2001, First Run /Icarus Films, 42 min. Dirs. Yannick Bellon and Chris Marker. (See 9/5 above for description.)

THE LAST BOLSHEVIK, 1993, First Run /Icarus Films, 120 min. Dir. Chris Marker. If there’s anything to equal SANS SOLEIL, it may be THE LAST BOLSHEVIK, Marker’s astonishing look at the history of 20th century Russia through the life and work of his dear friend, the filmmaker Alexander Medvedkin. Told in the form of six letters to the late Medvedkin, THE LAST BOLSHEVIK is a film of heartbreaking devotion (to a friend, to an ideology, to film itself), of acidic wit and endless curiosity – oh, hell, we’ve run out of superlatives on this one. It’s simply one of the best films from the past decade – don’t miss it!