I finally decided to post my biography and I give Chris Marker’s documentary film Letters From Siberia (1957) credit for inspiring me to do so. If you watch the clip before you check out my bio page, it might make a bit more sense.
Ostensibly this film sets out as a cultural travelog, however, before long one realizes that Marker is taking us on a cheeky, irony filled stream-of-consciousness ride through Siberia that is less of a journalistic journey than an impressionistic one.
I lifted the following paragraph from Adrian Miles in Letter from Siberia | Senses of Cinema because he said everything that I wanted to say… only better:
The film moves with gleeful but not mocking irony from live action to simple cell animation, so the description of a scientific expedition to uncover frozen mammoths in the tundra looks eerily like something from South Park! In a similar manner, the soundtrack slips from a narrative marked by its engaged critical commentary into playful song. Or in what has become the most famous instance from the film, the same footage of streets, a bus, and workers repairing a road is repeated verbatim three times, but each time with a differently inflected voice over narrative. The first is in the spirit of Soviet Socialist Realism, all honest happy workers and modernization, the second more like a Voice of America broadcast with mention of slaves, sinister looking Asiatics, and primitive labour, while the third is what could be characterized as a reasonable description of just what is going on, and why. Which is Marker’s? Well of course we all think the third is his, observational, somewhere between the not quite objective and idiosyncratically personal. But all three are Marker’s, and the third only gets its reasonableness, even what might be called its clarity of reasonableness, because it is contextualized as one of three.
The clip I attached is of the famous montage sequence repeated three times with three different narrations. One might ask if is this a documentary, an attack on the documentary or even a documentary of a place as it was understood through the subjectivity and experiential senses of the filmmaker.
I haven’t located the full film on line yet but when I do, I will put it up here for you.