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A Grin Without A Cat Le Fond de l'Air est Rouge
A Film by Chris Marker
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What the Press Said - Then and Now

"Much more than a weapon, more than a history lesson intended to provoke our revolutionary consciousness, this feature film is the result of lucid reflection and profound honesty." -- Michel Perez, Le Matin, November 25, 1977

"A beautiful poem in red, luminous with sensitivity and intelligence." -- Serge Richard, L'Unité, December 9, 1977

"This film is a mirror held up to each of us, a mirror that wanders through all the paths that we have taken or crossed (Vietnam war protests, pro-Latin America movement, May of '68, the rise and fall of the Left) and encourages us to reflect along with it about the journey and its goal." -- Regis Debray, Rouge, December 28, 1977

"Image, imaginary, imagination, imagery... and revolution. Chris Marker delves into his enormous reservoir of images from the past ten years, both official and candid, sorts, selects, puts them into perspective, in context, into opposition, and by allowing us to re-see, to re-read our recent past, attempts to imagine the future." -- Alain Remond, Telerama, December 3/9, 1977

"A trial for the viewer: One cannot absorb four hours of so much history, kneaded, tormented, perpetually reexamined, without wondering if the end of the world is not near. To interpret the film in that way would be to betray its meaning, and that is where Chris Marker's work becomes somewhat like a mirror held up to our awareness: not a traditional humanist awareness, but an active awareness. That is where progressivism regains meaning. And especially, that is where film now asserts itself as the possible and practically indispensable tool of awareness, to put back into perspective so many dashed hopes, so many betrayals." -- Louis Marcorelles, Le Monde, November 5, 1977

"Fifteen years later, his work as a filmmaker has the density of a Pierre Bourdieu sociological survey or a Fernand Braudel historical opus... In this thoughtful exercise in style, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT, teems with lost illusions, but no errors. Finally, Chris Marker's film is being used rather than abused. The reason undoubtedly resides in this little phrase slipped into the second episode: 'You never know what you're filming. Until years later.'

"In 1993, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT accomplishes the tour de force of avoiding three potential pitfalls. It is not a likable witness to times past; it is not a summation, and still less the act of contrition of a lost generation. It is all about memory and social anthropology." -- Michel Chemin, Libération, April 1993

"...And it is there, in these unanticipated tremblings, that Marker regains the meaning of militant cinema: cinema that does not survey memory as an "exercise," that evokes revolution not only as a mystique that has deteriorated into politics, but as a still living source of poetry." -- Noël Herpe, Libération, May 12, 1998

Click here for the main title page.

Click here for a statement from Chris Marker.

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