La Jetee / Blue

Matt Lambert’s remake of La JeteeThe memorialising feature of photography and still image is –played with to great effect. Asking us to engage with this story as told through still images. The use of the French accent is a link to the original film, but it also exoticises the film. The dramatic music builds tension and atmosphere that may have been missing from what is basically a slide-show. The power of music is used to heighten our emotions with anything we see…helps to control and lead the narrative & can be used to change our opinions over what we are regarding. The stills are not shown in uniform time…some a mere second while others allow us to linger longer. Some are split by shown in distance then the same image close-up. Some images clear and some mere blurs & smears of light to add to the drama of the story. With a flickering set of images technology; or the failure and glitchyness of technology  is invoked. The use of false focus & blur symbolises the fleetingness of memory as well as the vernacular appearing more truthful than other image forms. One split second frame is actually moving which comes as a surprise after watching so many still images and just brings more attention to the fact the film is made up of static memories.

Derek Jarman’s Blue

As a symptom of AIDS – film director Derek Jarman began to lose his eyesight. Much in the way that John Dugdale continued to photograph even after losing the majority of his eyesight to side-effects of HIV; Jarman did not let his blindness stop him from creating. His film Blue is a single rich shade of blue screen which relies upon the narrative to engage the audience. Throughout we are drawn in by the rich timbre of his voice which swings from mundane descriptions of hospital visits and daily life through to more poetic musings on life and loss. I find it sad that this comes across these days as more of an historical document of a time that devastated my friends. Antiretroviral treatments have enabled us to live a normal life, but general attitudes to the Virus have changed little.

Lambert, M. (2014) Watch a radical remake of sci-fi classic La Jetée, [online] available at accessed [24th October, 2017]

Blue. (1993). [Film] London: Channel4 Films.


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