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Sunnless and the Essay Film

by Michelle Langford

The essay film is a practice that can be situated somewhere between documentary and fiction. The term ‘essay’ suggests to try something out, to test things out. The essay is speculative, takes risks and acknowledges its own procedures. In terms of documentary tradition, we see the return of the voice over, but unlike the Voice of God narration in the Greirsonian tradition, here, in Sunless, the voice over reflects on a series of images, it doesn’t tell us what to think about the images. The voice is thinking about the images and what they evoke, speculating on the meaning of events, creating a sense of intimacy between us and the film. The voice assumes the position of a viewer, not a pedagogue.

Sans Soleil - Sunless and the Essay Film

Sans Soleil - Sunless and the Essay Film

from Sans Soleil/Sunless (1983)
Creator: Chris Marker
Posted by Michelle Langford
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