Sans Soleil

Last night I watched Sans Soleil with Jenny. For a film essay on the nature of memory I think it appropriate that I remember little of its contents. This is 100 minutes of montage supposedly filmed by the cinematographer who’s letters are being read by a detached female narrator. 

A day later I can only summon the repeated images of white cat statues found in a Japanese Shinto shrine and a second image of a woman in a Cape Verde market place. She wore a blue vest and peered into the camera.

I shall watch this again soon to make my impressions concrete. I am reminded of William Gibson’s 1992 digital poem Agrippa (a book of the dead). Something else to experience again and to meditate upon. Both are essays on memory that avoid a limitation written literature generally imposes on this subject. Words permanently inscribed on a page can be more readily scanned in an order free from the clock imposed by the forward momentum of frames or deletion. Agrippa and Sans Soleil ask you to forget.


  1. Alex Vagenas March 13, 2012

    Dude, I posted about that recently too! Can’t believe it took me so long to see it. Was blown away…

  2. Will Ellwood March 13, 2012

    The DVD for La jetée, possibly the greatest SF film ever made, had been on my Amazon wishlist for about that long and Sans Soleil came with it. I was also blown away. Did you watch the English language version or the French with subtitles? I believe that nothing is different apart from the opening quote.

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