We’re all on the brink of despair, all we can do is look each other in the face, keep each other company, joke a little… Don’t you agree?
—The Great Beauty (2013)
JIM JARMUSCH ON THE TIME HE MET CHRIS MARKER
There were a lot of things that I couldn’t fit into my recent interview with Jim Jarmusch (which you can read at The Guardian). This is one of them.
“I had a great chance to meet Chris Marker, once. I got to go outside of Paris, he was in a little editing room in it, I think? And this guy Anatole Dauman was a big producer, and he said ‘I pay for Chris to have this little editing room, would you like to go visit him, he would love it.’ And I said, ‘Yeah!’. And I went there, not with this guy, and Chris Marker was in a room about the size of this booth, and he was editing, and he was starting to work in video, early video.
So he took a camera and he filmed me for a while, and he had all these trims in a bin, and he said ‘This is a film project I’m working on, but I don’t touch it, because look inside.’ And inside the bin was a mother cat with her little newborn babies, and he said ‘I leave them alone, they are a priority. So now I work on the video until she takes them out and then I can go back to the film project.’
He was strange and particular and so nice. It was fantastic.”
"It’s the doing that’s the important thing. I equate film-making with sandcastles. You get a bunch of mates together and go down to the beach and build a great sandcastle. You sit back and have a beer, the tide comes in, and in twenty minutes it’s just smooth sand. That structure you made is in everybody’s memories, and that’s it. You all start walking home, and someone says ‘Are you going to come back next Saturday and build another one?’ And another guy says, ‘Well, OK, but I’ll do moats this time, not turrets!’ But that, for me, is the real joy of it all, that it’s just fun, and nothing else… If I look back at all my work, it all seems like yesterday. I can’t imagine how all this time got away. All of it is basically the same; none of it comes from any brilliance. It comes from enthusiasm, a little bit of ego and tenacity. It’s been such a gift to do any of this."
February 20, 1925 — November 20, 2006