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January 28 2008

French New Wave founding father loves "Firefly". Chris Marker, filmmaker of La Jetee (best known as the inspiration for 12 Monkeys), says in an interview in the Le Jetee/Sans Soleil Criterion booklet that American shows like "Firefly" are the only fictional cinema he likes anymore.

Marker says:

But to tell the truth, I no longer watch many films, only those by friends or curiosities that an American acquaintance tapes for me on TCM.[...] And I feed my hunger for fiction with what is by far the most accomplished source: those terrific American TV series like Deadwood, Firefly, or The Wire... There is a knowledge in them, a sense of story and economy, of ellipsis, a science of framing and of cutting, a dramaturgy, and an acting style that has no equal anywhere, and certainly not in Hollywood.

This DVD came out in June, but I didn't see anyone else post this.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2008-01-28 17:52 ]

[ edited by bodamander on 2008-01-28 20:51 ]

I have the DVD and remember thinking how cool the comment was. It's great to finally own such a powerful work. I won't kiss it's ass because there are pages and pages out there on the interweb that do it better than I could ever. Sans Soliel is the most beautifully shot and narrated travelogue ever made. Even though I must admit I can only watch it in spurts because it really is just a beautiful travelogue.
Wow - that is incredible. Chris Marker's La Jetee is one of the greatest films ever made (the inspiration for 12 Monkeys). His suggestion that his hunger for fiction is satisfied only be television rather than film is extraordinary coming from such an important figure in film history.

I hope Joss happens across this link/thread.
Wow, that is high praise.
Criterion! I'll buy any release they put out, another bad addicition of mine, since I have like 70 already. Better get this one, too!
I have an earlier region 2 copy of this DVD, and when the Criterion version came out, I was one of the first to get it, because it IS an amazing film, and I use it in my classes. But I never read the insert. Shame on me.

I, too, hope Joss sees this thread. This is high praise, indeed.
Wow. That's a level of amazing my brain isn't quite comprehending. I've been eying this disc for a while, but now I think I have what I need to finally push me into buying it.
Might not have been posted because the Criterion page doesn't reference the booklet quote, and generally we like the linked page to contain the relevant info. I substituted a review page that does. Good find.
Wow! My two favorite non-Whedon dramas mentioned in the same breath with Firefly. It's hard for me to imagine that he's getting all the nuances, since I've listened to the French version of Firefly on my R1 dvds and it sucks, for the most part. I hope he speaks English well, or that the European dvd has a different translation of the dialog.

I wonder whether the execs at Showtime or HBO think Joss is too genre-bound for their audiences, or are somehow unaware of him? He's such a perfect fit for them. HBO in particular is looking for shows now. Dollhouse sounds more like a show they could get behind than Fox, who will bail if the show doesn't perform immediately. Plus, I think that, as much as I love getting 22 episodes a season on regular tv, if I got 13 episodes where Joss had the time to polish and embellish the stories and then had longer than 8 days to film them, I'd be in heaven.
I wonder Chris Marker could be tempted to do a guest commentary download for Objects in Space.
Great idea, Simon, though it would be hard to beat Joss's original commentary--even for Marker.

As far as his main point about the best drama being TV shows like Firefly--well duh! It's not just the dramatic failure of movies due to the business pressures--we've seen how you can tell a richer story with a series. I also think there's a kind of incestuousness and resistance to fresh ideas in Hollywood that hurts movies more than non-reality TV--at least so far.
That's very cool. I recall watching La Jatee in college and loving it.

I love those Criterion DVDs, I just wish they weren't so expensive. The only ones I own are the ones people buy me for presents.

I wonder whether the execs at Showtime or HBO think Joss is too genre-bound for their audiences, or are somehow unaware of him? He's such a perfect fit for them.


I doubt HBO would think of Whedon as too genre-bound, since they were apparently strongly considering a straight fantasy show (an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire) when the strike hit. But him working for HBO isn't going to happen anytime soon. He still has a development deal with 20th Century TV from before Firefly. It was suspended for awhile, but it's apparently back in effect now with Dollhouse, and anyway, suspended isn't terminated, so he'd have to go through them to make any TV show.

Now, just because he has a deal with 20th, doesn't mean the show has to air on Fox. After all, Buffy and Angel were produced by 20th and they didn't air on Fox. But it gives Fox the right of first refusal, so Fox the network would have to pass on it first before it could be shopped around to other networks. And HBO, apparently, doesn't air any original TV that isn't produced by their in-house studio for whatever reason. I don't think that's Showtime's policy though, so they remain a remote possibility.
O my. I got this from Netflix just a few weeks ago. "La Jetee" I thought was okay, sort of Borges's hypothetical s.f. movie, but "Sans Soleil" is beyond amazing. It makes my brain boil. It's so smart, and so information-dense, and the bit with the giraffe, and the footage of the rebel charge in whatever country it was in (memory being a major topic of both those movies, I think it's appropriate that I can't recall specifics, non?) -- those were probably the most compelling things I've ever seen in film. I do not hyperbolize. Gut-punch compelling. Horrifying. Hypnotic. So of course he would like "Firefly" ... o me. Dance of joy. All roads seem to lead to Joss, you know? We need to get Alan Moore hooked on "Angel."
I love "La Jetee." And while I don't necessarily feel that the only good cinema in existence these days is on American TV--well, it's pretty hard to come up with much that matches "Firefly." Way, way cool.
Ditto on that 'two favorite non-Whedon shows' and Firefly deservedly right smack in the middle of them. I will have to check out Chris Marker, because I've never heard of him.

Y'all are watching 'The Wire', right?
Nah, I'm saving The Wire for last on account of how awesome everyone says it is. I started watching HBO when Sex & The City first came out on DVD, and from there my love spread to their Spawn animated series (much better than the live-action film, the first season and most of Season 2 being better than the comic). Then came renting Oz little by little (can't find the sixth and final season for rent anywhere, so I guess I'll just buy the inevitable Complete Series set).

Then buying the incredible Six Feet Under Season 1 and subscribing to The Movie Network to catch up on Season 2 and the debut of Season 3 (HBO's zenith series as far as I'm concerned, forget The Sopranos, great as that also--sometimes--was and yeah I've seen all six seasons and liked the controversial ending). While all that multi-HBO-series viewing was going on, there was also the beautiful and ambitious Carnivale (Season 1 is slow-build-to-big-finish perfection, while Season 2 had some good stuff but suffered greatly from the loss of Ron Moore heading to Battlestar Galactica), Entourage, and Big Love (hey, I like it, and the subject matter is interesting. And Season 2 built on Season 1 nicely and blew it out of the water).

Oh and wouldn't wanna forget a little piece of brilliance called Deadwood.

I might be forgetting some.

Anyway, I love HBO. I love Showtime & FX too, far as premium cable goes (and TMN in Canada--Slings & Arrows, anyone ?), from what I've seen of theirs...Joss would fit on HBO. I'd love to see what he could do uncensored and with complete artistic freedom.

The Wire is waiting until I've gotten around to Rome. I think after that, I'll have seen every notable series HBO's ever done (don't care about Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Kris, Rome is another one to fondle with our memory. How I loved that show!

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