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Acousmêtrie

On the Relationship between Voice and Image in the Films of Chris


Marker
Michael Wetzel

http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/themes/art_and_cinematography/marker/

In modern discourse, the tense relationship between new media and old
literature is usually portrayed as a crisis of the narrative. The postmodern
macro perspective has regarded the end of the grand narrative as a genuine
opportunity for change in the narrative. However, in the realm of epic
creativity, this development has been greeted with an elegiac sigh:
«Narrative real narrative that was before my time.«[1] Representing an
entire generation of poets, Rilke formulated these words at the beginning of
the last century. However, he did not associate them with any apocalyptic
predictions regarding the end of time. Instead, in his farewell, he welcomes
another kind of narration: the writing of one's own observations. Literature
becomes a written system of recording and hence a seismograph,
measuring streams of data which are no longer hermeneutically pre-
processed and are of a visual as well as acoustic nature, at the very least.
As Rilke's Malte promenades through Paris, he retains an awareness of
certain smells of poverty, for instance, and burned frying oil. Yet he is
predominantly conscious of visual and acoustic stimulants, such as the
experience of hearing a word disintegrate into soundscreated by a series of
individually pronounced letters. Benjamin's obituary for the narrator also
speaks of a change in the function of communication. Erfahrung, which
shapes a narrative like the hand of the potter shapes a vase, gives way in
new media to Erlebnis, which is conveyed in the vortex of information, with
its lack of distance, its sensational character, its temporality of meaning.[2]
Film thus communicates shocking stimuli to the consciousness, which is,
according to Freud's oft-quoted concept of the Wunderblock, constantly
shedding its skin, repulsing experiences, which then accumulate underneath
the perceptive threshold of a reality, in the so-called unconsciousness.
Anyone familiar with the films by French cineaste Chris Marker knows that
this cultural/historical caesura is not absolute. His films resist in the best
sense of the word the kind of narrative cinema derived from television-like
illusion. Containing an omnipresent visuality, Marker's films do not exactly
maintain the illusion of the grand narrative in the Hollywood sense. Instead,
they turn the end of the grand narrative (see Lyotard) into the beginnings
of the small, the minor in short, the vague, roaming, unrooted narrative. An
overly extravagant desire to narrate is practically a trademark of Marker's
abstract cinematographic artworks, which have been called essay films.
Regardless of the subject matter, Marker's storehouse of images produces a
new cosmos of over determined meanings. In this sense, the filmmaker's
game with the documentary film genre becomes more of an ironic analysis
of the documentary's latent tendencies to monumentalize. Once again, for
emphasis: the intent is to fabricate a minor monumentality, which, in a
narrative shape, provides food for thought. It is more like a kind of
evolution than a lofty subliminity, like folding Japanese origami paper, or
new digital photo processes, such as the zapping, windowing, linking, and

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morphing that actually dominate Marker's more recent works («Zapping
Zone» 1990, F; «Level 5» 1997, F; «Immemory» 1997, F).[3] Nevertheless,
in analyzing the potential of this new narrativity in film, the image is again
and again considered to be the most important aspect. Even though in Le
regard et la voix, Pascal Bonitzer referred to the off-camera voice as a
symbol of the function of power, he still maintains that the attention of
thescriptwriter is solely focused on the images. «It is therefore not simply
about being able to tell a story, but being able to tell the story in view of
the images, under the dictates of the images & the image tells the
story.»[4] Chris Marker himself is often quoted with a remark from «Sans
soleil», made by the character of Yamaneko, the computer expert: images
simply want to be what they are, «that is, pictures.» One can almost hear a
continuance of the prejudice deeply rooted in the old paragone between the
written and visual arts, which recalls the early days of the transition from
silent to sound film, when it was feared that sound would detract from the
intensity of visual expression.[5] Yet in no other cineaste's work does the
voice indeed, language itself play such an important role as it does in Chris
Marker's films. However, the soundtrack follows its own laws of editing,
which do not simply correspond to the visual mise-enscène. In Marker's
work, there is almost no synchronized original soundtrack; everything is
owed to post-production processing of both visuals and sound, where the
narrator tells the story in a practically two-handed, asynchronous way.
Because unity, the camera, and the narrative point of view are surpassed
and a differentiation is made between the acoustic and visual levels, the
tense relationship between image and sound (or, as Serge Daney more
precisely said, between «the gaze» and «the voice,» the two incomplete
objects of cinematographic desire[6]) becomes even more highly charged.
The act of speech comes from a place that does not become visible.
The voice between commentary and correspondence
When referring to what is probably Marker's best-known film, «Sans soleil»
(1983, F), discussions always focus on commentary. Marker himself
published the scripts of his early films under the title Commentaires.
Nevertheless, practically everyone who analyzes these commentaries feels
obliged to point out that the voice only seldom actually comments upon
what is being shown in the pictures. Yet the voice, which spans redundancy
to opposition, appears to be searching for dissonance in periods, themes,
and gestures.[7] Colleagues of the director report that he made fully editing
decisions autonomous of the images, had the actors speak the dialog
without knowing what theimages were (as in «Si j'avais quatre
dromadaires» (1966, F), for instance), and was particularly fond of
accidental discrepancies between image and sound (such as, for example,
when the sound engineer for «Le Jolie Mai» (1963, F) accidentally allowed
the twittering of swallows to mix with images of swarms of police, to
Marker's great enjoyment).[8] The other key word is correspondence. Here,
it is appropriate to recall the romantic notion of synesthesia, which had
already attempted to eliminate, or better, integrate the contradictions
between voice and gaze. However, the question that remains pertinent in
every case is, of course, how much are commentary and correspondence
intended? Perhaps the «conflict montage» (to use one of Eisenstein's terms)
is more of an antecedent for Marker's work. Eisenstein's contrastattraction

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used Japanese Haiku as a model, with the aim of sharpening the «conflict
between the acoustic and the optical in sound film.«[9] Musical terms such
as counterpoint or leitmotif are more suitable to describe the relationship
between voice and gaze, which resembles a dialog in which the mutual
recognition of autonomy or at least a mutual respect is expressed. So one
could say that there is a unique level of meaning for both the linguistic and
the visual, as Marker himself formulated in his photographic novel Le
dépays. «The text comments as little upon the pictures as the pictures
illustrate the text. It is natural for these two serial sequences to intersect
and refer to each other, although it would be unnecessarily tiring if one
attempted to make them oppose each other. It might be easier to like them
in their disorder. Accept simplicity and doubling, as one normally accepts all
things in Japan.»[10]
The Model of Haiku (Roland Barthes' «Empire of Signs»)
Besides Eisenstein, another role model for Marker's parallel counterpoint
editing of images and texts was Roland Barthes' book about his journey to
Japan, Empire of Signs. Barthes' own drawings and his studies of painting
and writing gave him a certain limited sensitivity for this dialectic. He
described Japanese culture as a tightrope walk between visual and linguistic
signs, as the writing of images and the painting of writing. He also used
haiku as a model,since he thought that the way haiku glided unnoticeably
between linguistic linearity and painterly simultaneity annulled two basic
criteria of Western writing the description and the definition. Haiku gestures
toward references, making simple, designative statements that are not
subject to evaluation and interpretation like photographs, it is the ideal
image-text without commentary or illustration: «The text does not
9comment : upon the images. The images are not 9illustrations : for the
text. Both simply served as a place to start exploring a kind of visual
stagger something perhaps akin to the loss of meaning, called satori in Zen.
Intertwining text and images should make it possible for significants (body,
face, writing) to circulate, exchange. The retreat of the sign can be read in
this.»[11] Thus, Barthes' «intertwining» of the two elements text and image
infers an noncausal synchronicity rather than a correspondence or a
commentary. There is a specifically coincidental «encounter» between the
two forms of expression, which neither communicate with nor allow
themselves to be compared to each other, but are instead competitors.
According to Barthes, this encounter leads to an unconventional effect the
loss of meaning. In the moment when the abovementioned retreat of signs
occurs, this loss of meaning can also be interpreted (as Barthes called it in
another essay) as an «effet de réel.»[12] This coincidental, unpredictable,
and incalculable encounter reveals a multiplicity of insights there is
something new to see and understand.
Acoustic space of sound and voice in cinema
However, for this interpretation, it is now important to focus intently upon
the double reference in both tracks (to use technical language) of so-called
audio-visual media. Whereas the doubles game between text and image
remains on a visual level shared by both, the acoustic level adds another
dimension. Just as the series of images allow one to experience the passage
of time, the acoustic space of the soundtrack, or the voice, is added.
Accordingly, questions surrounding the intertwining of space and time arise

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in front of the backdrop of a long history of alternating excess and
subversion. Ulrich Sonnemann called the fixation upon the optical
(connected with the modern period)oculartyrannis.[13] Opposing this is a
criticism of what has been called, since Derrida, logo-phonocentrism. It is a
criticism of the Western metaphysical notion of the presence of the spirit in
the voice, heard breathing its last. The notion is that this metaphysical truth
can be most purely revealed in the openness of the vocal presence. In the
cinema, this metaphysical truth undergoes a magical elevation, but also a
media deconstruction as well, since the differences between what is seen
and what is heard become apparent. The powerful effects connected with
this are achieved in film primarily through the off-camera voice, which owes
its unquestionable authority to the fact that it is outside of the visible field
and thus unlocatable. In the visual field, a believable reason for the acoustic
effects is threateningly absent, thanks to the presence of the off-camera
voice. In French film theory, this complex of problems has been quickly
connected with psychoanalytical termini, most of which come from the
Lacanian school. After all, it was Lacan who added the terms gaze and voice
to Freud's classic Theory of the Drives / Instincts, integrating audio und
optical aspects into the libidinous scenario. With this theoretical background
in mind, film analyst Michel Chion gave this phenomenon a name in his
pioneering study, Voices in the Cinema. He states more precisely that the
sound does not actually exist. Instead, the problem is basically that of
localizing incarnations of acoustic phenomena, the audible quality of the
voice in particular spatial contexts. In contrast to the visual, which is
incomplete and directional, the audio is «omnidirectional,» meaning that it
exceeds, or better, outdoes the visual in every direction and aspect. Here,
Chion recalls the early stages of the unborn child; its experience of the
mother is an audible one that was established long before the child has a
visual image of her. A voice can therefore be disquieting when it sounds as
if it is drifting through space, so that the listener is not able to pinpoint a
specific act of speech or a particular speaker. The inner voice captures the
audience, guides the fantasy outside of the imaginary film setting. This
replacement of the inner voice with the outer can already be noticed during
the transition from silent to sound film, or as Chion writes: «So it is not
silence the absence of voices that the sound film destroys. Before the
advent of sound, it was up tothe audience to imagine the voice and that is
what the sound film eradicated.«[14] Opening with a criticism of the neglect
of the voice (which sometimes threatens to be lost in the general term
«sound,» but which is also often reduced to simply «speech«), Chion
reconstructs a «vococentric» development of film, which begins with various
phenomena of hearing without seeing. Chion calls the basic phenomenon of
vocality (strictly separated from the visual or in a pure, vocal state)
acousmatic («présence acousmatique»). He refers to the acousmatics as a
Pythagorian sect. For them, the greatest revelation of truth was connected
to the fact that the priest who spoke remained hidden behind a curtain (the
model for a certain more contemporary divan setting in which the moment
of truth also remains hidden from the eyes of the listener).[15] By the way,
Chris Marker has always been regarded as a contemporary representative of
the Pythagorian school. The question here in film analysis is not just about
the relationship between sound and image. It also asks if the source of the

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voice will be visible or not meaning the voice as an almighty, all-knowing,
omnipresent aspect that sees or knows everything. According to Chion, the
history of the cinema contains a double strategy between the «voix
acousmatique» (the «invisible voice«) and «écoute visualisée,» which is
connected to a source, a speaking body. Chion differentiates among certain
types of films: those that are chiefly visually oriented, where sound is a
secondary aspect, and those (mostly mystery or suspense films) that begin
with acousmatic vocal effects and then later use «désacousmatisation» to
assign a source to the speaker or incarnation.[16] In the original sense,
«acousmatique» refers simply to the voices that remain invisible. However,
Chion writes that a true «acousmêtre» (an acousmatic being or creature
«être acousmatique») is only present when the voice has no incarnation
whatsoever, when it can no longer be measured or calculated (and thus
cannot be confused with an acousmetrie), or when it resists visual
identification. Hence, it always has a certain eeriness. An excellent example
of this is in Fritz Lang's «M.» At first, only the shadow of the child murderer
is visible on the post, upon which a wanted poster of the murderer can be
seen; the off-camera voice speaks to the little girl. Paradigmatically, the
visual impression amere shadow is only shaken through the contrasting
presence of the voice standing in for the absence of the eye, or the optical
presence. In this context, Chion speaks of the ombre parlant, knowing well
that Victor Hugo, in his spiritualist séances on the Isle of Guernesey, also
spoke of bouches d'ombre. So this faceless, incorporeal, unlocatable «vocal
being» always possesses a numinous power, the aura of a godly voice,
ultimately the » acousmaître.» On the other hand, Chion says that we are
more familiar with the acousmatic being known as the commentator, an off-
camera voice that is not seen on the screen because it has no business
being there. Commentators can be narrators (including the first-person
narrative voice) and authors (as in the auctorial narrator), as well as
antagonistic toward the onscreen events. They are more or less distanced
from the events being narrated. At the same time, film «acousmêtre» (as
opposed to the radiophone, spiritous, or psychiatric) always refers to the
specifically cinematographic synchronization of image and sound unlike the
theater, where the location of scene and voiceover is fixed. Thus film
represents another way of dealing with space and time. An invisible voice
can be «present» when it has been previously visible and the person
speaking has merely left the visual frame or becomes invisible afterward.
Actually, the cinematographic triumph of «acousmêtre» effect is essentially
the effect caused by the uncanny voice that is simultaneously in and outside
of the picture, meaning that it is ultimately neither in nor outside. «For its
part, cinematographic acousmêtre is thus off outside of the image from the
audience's standpoint, but at the same time it is in the image, from behind
which it emerges, either in reality (in the classic cinema) or the imagination
(in television or drive-in movies, etc.) As if the voice drifts around on the
surface, inside and outside, simultaneously, without having a place to settle
down.»[17]
Games of doubling
Using the voice to expand space or turn it into a dialectic is one of the many
different conspiracy 9games : played between image and voice. Or it is
used to contrast the audible voice and visual evidence, between promising

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something and showing it, as in Marguerite Duras' and Alain Resnais' film
«Hiroshima monamour,» which features a 9double bind : consisting of a
skeptical vocal authority and the visual authentification of the cruel nuclear
catastrophe in Hiroshima: «tu n'as rien vue à Hiroshima, tu as tout
inventé.» With these words, the visual impressions of the traumatic past
(the Frenchwoman's love for a German soldier at the end of World War II,
and her lover's unimaginable horror of the atom bomb explosion) are
continually shaken, and yet at the same time, they prompt a dialectic
between seeing and inventing. The stranger who came to be in a film about
peace insisted upon seeing everything the photographs of the destroyed
city, the newsreels of the burned and mutilated bodies. She was in the
museum, with its documents, its reconstructions and explanations, all of the
memorializing material that is also seen in the film. And nevertheless,
another voice, from off-camera, repeats that nothing has been seen,
everything has been invented. Whereupon the female voice begins to tell
everything she knows about terror, in order to prove that she has not
invented anything. This dilemma also defines the films of Chris Marker, who
began as an assistant to Resnais and, to a certain extent, adopted the
technique of editing with voice-overs, acousmêtre. At any rate, his films
rarely feature the désacousmatisation of speech. They narrate a great deal
and stage very little (in the sense of being an incarnation of vocal
authority). The soundtrack consciously functions with the double effect of
acousmêtre, which is always in- and outside, or, more precisely,
everywhere (whereas in French, doubler can also mean to use a voice-over
to synchronize something that confirms the voice as a mere double, as a
doppelgänger, or the undead returned). From a historical perspective,
Marker is also quoted as the representative of an esthetic position that
reaches from Mallarmé and Giraudoux to Blanchot and beyond. Its most
important principle is that the work should speak, not the artist. Hence
Marker's multilayered doubling games he is not just the author of the
works, but the author in the work, the auctorial absence in the presence of
other off-camera voices speaking in the names of yet others from the
artificial voices appearing in the shape of Hayao Yamaneko's synthesizer in
«Sans soleil» to the computerized voice in «Level Five.» For Marker, the
problem of authorship in general crystallizes in the acousmatic
phenomenonof film. Authorship per se already opens up a highly dialectic
game between presence in absence and absence in presence. In the essay
film, an acousmatic voice meaning, one that comments but cannot be
visually identified only seems to speak in the name of the author. It can be
feminine, as it is in «Sans Soleil», or, as in the synchronized German
version, a masculine-sounding female voice; perhaps it is the cameraman's
voice, represented in partial quotations from fictitious letters written in the
first person. Whereby some statements might come from the treasury of
quotations culled from Marker's favorite poets (especially Giraudoux and
Michaud), such as Michaux's exordium, «Je vous j'écris d'un Pays Lointain,»
featured in «Lettre de sibérie.»[18] Acousmatic effects Altogether, however,
roughly three kinds of acousmatic effects can be distinguished in Marker's
films: - dissymmetry between voice and image, wherein what is shown is
not an incarnation (in the désacusmatic sense) or, as such, functions only in
an ironic or cynical sense (like the radio reports from the bomber pilots at

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the beginning of «Le fond de l'air est rouge,» where the electronically
distorted voices are edited together with images of the exploding bombs as
seen from the perspective of the attackers), disconnection of the vocal from
the visual, as if the film were concerned with connecting the utopian
promise of happiness to the iconoclastic condition of its acousmatic
withdrawal (as in the beginning of «Sans soleil», where a randomly edited
series of images alternates with a black screen, accompanied by a voice
speaking about witnessing happiness a technique that Wim Wenders also
uses in the beginning of Tokyo-Ga, where he deals with the theme of
memory), showing what is being spoken visually postpones the fulfillment
of speech: as in the profane continuation of a kind of theology consisting of
a process of Adamic naming, when the next image is introduced with the
words «I show you &» and then a name is heard, identifying an object (for
instance, a river). Irony might also be included here sometimes and is
expressed, for example, in «Lettre de sibérie» in the eulogy to the raindeer
(renne), which is combined with images of the rue de Rennes Parisian Métro
station. It also appears when the directional voice of the computer in «Level
Fives» takes the hermeneutic initiative and figures out the mysterious
program forthe battle of Okinawa with «editing ace» Chris, whose voice can
only be heard off-camera and which undergoes a strong désacousmatisation
when presented as the face of the woman who stands astonished in front of
the man and the machine. Who, then, is speaking? Is it always the work?
But who makes the work speak? Who is the ubiquitous acousmatic
ventriloquist? To form a hypothesis, the question is asked: does perhaps
the entire presentation of the phantom known as Chris Marker[19] owe all
to the effect of acousmêtre caused by the presence of the artist as an
acousmatic (neither visualized nor embodied) voice?
Word and image
In the overall reception of Marker's work, two positions can be recognized
that have to do with the relationship between voice and gaze. First, a
logophonocentric position, which assumes that the voice is the source that
gives meaning and acts as a synthesizer; and secondly, a neodeconstructive
position, which in a certain way considers the voice as a supplement, added
later to make sense of the images. André Bazin takes the first position in his
enthusiastic commentary on Marker's film «Lettre de sibérie» the latter
position is basically represented by Serge Daney, who, however, did not
deal with Marker's films. As Barthes' and Marker's similar definitions
emphasized, acknowledging the opposition of the independent image and
sound editing, as well as the way the view and the voice are organized,
serves to liberate the visual narrative, which should no longer be used to
illustrate or imagine solely linguistic semantics. Conversely, the text must
no longer expose the truth of the images, but instead, can devote itself with
iconic detachment to the chronology of events in the universe of discourse,
just as the visual track merely delivers images that simply want to be what
they are, to wit: images. Marker allows the pictura to have a referential
dialectic with other absent images in order to use the written image to
develop a new way of reading things, an analytical reading of the visual,
which at the same time includes its inverse or the abyss of illusion,
memory, or knowledge. Since his early film works, Marker has been
revealing this dialectic of images through the double representational

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function of sound and screen image. «Lettre de Sibérie» earnedemphatic
praise from André Bazin, who spoke of a fundamental renewal of the
relationship between word, image, and dialectic of a new kind of
«horizontal» editing, based on recurring voices instead of a linear series of
images.[20] Bazin was also the first to make the street scene in Irkutsk
famous; in this scene, Marker had the brilliant idea of repeating a three-part
series of scenes: a street in which a bus and a limousine meet, construction
workers smoothing a road surface, an inhabitant of the city crossing the
landscape. Each scene was repeated with different accompanying
commentary: first procommunist propaganda, then cynical defeatism, and
finally, sobering facts. [fig. 5 from C. Marker's «Lettre de Sibérie» taken
from A propos du CD-ROM Immemory, Paris 1997, p. 20] At the same time,
Bazin attempts to subordinate the image's power of expression to the voice.
He conjures up an «intelligence» whose «direct expression» is also «the
word,» so that the series of images is dependent upon this «verbal
intelligence,» as if it were a Hegelist absoluter Geist containing the dialectic
trinity of the images' statement. However, what Marker persuasively
elucidates is something, which in German ideological criticism has become
known as the «text-imagescissors » meaning that textual statements can
be defamiliarized through their combination with contrasting images and
visual evidence with opposing commentary.[21]
Deconstruction of the acousmatic effect of power
However, as text and image increasingly drift apart, Marker trusts the
ability of his viewers to experience a heightening of critical consciousness.
Precisely speaking, he shows (as none of the almost canonical sources have
noted) the sequence four times: that is, it is shown once without any
commentary at all, and he finishes with the remark that it is not possible to
attain objectivity, but that instead the evocative effect of the voice is always
one of deformed judgment, one of holding on to something, of establishing,
and that it ought to, instead, attempt to invent, to suggest: «Yet objectivity
itself is also not precise. It does not deform the reality of Siberia, but it
stops it in a judgmental moment, and thus actually does deform it. What
counts is the movement and the diversity. Walking through the streets of
Jakutsk will not give you an understanding ofSiberia. In addition, one needs
an imaginary newsreel, filmed in all four corners of the country. I will show
you, for instance, the beautifully painted cinema in Jakutsk, and I will
comment upon it with the help of some Siberian sayings, which are already
pictures themselves.»[22] Marker then cites a series of what are already
pictorial proverbs, in order to provide his Nietzschean position, so to speak,
with a difference in the metaphorical cabinet of linguistic meaning, from
which it can only be freed through the acceleration and «diversification» of
similes. In this sense, the sequence can also be regarded as a
deconstruction of the effect of acousmatic power, as an ideological, critical
désacousmatisation of the authoritative voice, whose power of expression
with regard to the images beyond truth and lies is made ridiculous, in a
sense exceeding morals. His is a strategy that disempowers the voice
through repetition, which is like movement, as Daney describes it. For
Daney, the voix off (the soundtrack that is edited parallel to the images) is
a parasitical structure placed over the images, which attempts to be the site
where all semantic power is gathered. Opposing this, Daney writes of a

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strategy of «démultiplication (non plus une voix mais des voix),» a
«politique des voix,» which allows the voices as voix in to invade the visual
material and to emerge as a visual doppelgänger; as the voix out, it stages
its physical exile or repulse (like vocal pornography), and as the voix
through, it disconnects the image from bodies and mouths.[23] In Marker's
work, there are countless examples of this kind of deconstructive
désacusmatisation, in the sense that the acousmêtre is contrasted to
deficient incarnations or better said, in the sense that voices are removed
from the dominant dialectic of off/on, detached in general from the physical
beings in which they are supposed be realized. Instead, voices circulate
freely within the image, as objects among other objects. Films such as «Le
fond de l'air est rouge» play with the figure of the «talking head,» ironically
dissecting the rhetorical strategies of populist speakers such as Fidel Castro.
In a chain of repetitions, Castro is always shown in the same situation,
speaking to the people, surrounded by a forest of phallic microphones,
fiddling with the movable part of the microphone during the applause.
However, when we see the scene in Moscow, wherethe microphones are
immobile, the speaker, irritated and in disbelief, begins to stammer, even
threatens to fall silent, and his voice literally breaks on the structure of the
speech. What then is left for Chris Marker's acousmatic strategy to
accomplish? A preliminary answer to this implicitly asked question might
perhaps be that Marker is constructing the acousmetric position, the
absolute signifier of a particular acousmaître, a position of a certain
absolute knowledge only to destroy, caricature, and in this sense, to
disacousmatize it, to expose it in a game of concealments and revelations.
He does the same with himself, appearing as various doppelgängers such as
cats and owls pseudodéscusmatisations and in the partial revelation in Wim
Wenders' film «Tokyo-Ga».
[1] Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, M.D. Herter
Norton, Trans., New York, 1992. For more on the postmodern crisis of the
narrative, see Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition. A Report
on Knowledge, Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi, Trans., University of
Minnesota Press, 1984.
[2] See Walter Benjamin, «The Storyteller. Reflections on the Works of
Nikolai Leskov,» in Illuminations, Harry Zohn, Trans., Hannah Arendt (ed.),
New York, 1969, 83-109.
[3] See Raymond Bellour, «Chris Marker, Zapping Zone,» in Passages de
l'image, R. Bellour, C. David, C. Van Assche (eds.), Paris, 1990, p.169; and
Laurent Roth/Raymond Bellour, Qu'est-ce qu'une Madeleine? A propos du
CD-ROM Immemory de Chris Marker, C. Van Assche, Y. Gevaert (eds.),
Paris, 1997.
[4] Pascal Bonitzer, «Probleme des Drehbuchschreibens,» in Praxis des
Drehbuchschreibens, Jean-Claude Carrière/ Pascal Bonitzer (eds.), German
transl. S. Alge, Berlin, 1999, 83 and 85; see also Bonitzer, Le regard de la
voix, Paris, 1976.
[5] See Rudolf Arnheim, Film as Art, UC Press (1957), 1989
[6] Serge Daney, «L'orgue et l'aspirateur,» in La rampe, Paris (1983) 1996,
169.
[7] See Stefan Hesper, «Die Stimme der Erinnerung—Bilder des
Vergessens. Chris Marker SANS SOLEIL,» …sie wollen eben sein, was sie

9
sind, nämlich Bilder… Anschlüsse an Chris Marker, N. Binczek/M. Rass
(eds.), Würzburg, 1999, p.43; and Gerd Roscher, «Der Sprung über die
Revolte,» Chris Marker. Filmessayist, (eds.) B. Kämper and T. Tode,
Munich, 1997, p.103.
[8] See Olivier Kohn and Hubert Niogret, «Témoignages. Propos recueillis,»
«Antoine Bonfanti, Ingénieur du son,» in: Dossier Chris. Marker, Positif no.
433, Mars 1997, S. 93.
[9] Sergei Eisenstein, «Beyond the Shot,» Film Theory and Crticism, Leo
Braudy and Marshall Cohen, (eds.), Oxford UP, 1998; see also Sergei
Eisenstein/V. Pudovkin/G. Alexandrov, «Statement on Sound» (1928), in:
ibid.
[10] Chris Marker, Introduction to Le dépays, Paris, 1982.
[11] Roland Barthes, Das Reich der Zeichen, Frankfurt/M. 1981, p. 11; for
more on haiku, see idem., p.114. Engl. Empire of Signs, Hill and Wang,
1983.
[12] Roland Barthes, «L'effet de réel,» Oeuvres completes, E. Marty (ed.),
Paris, 1994, II, p.484.
[13] See Ulrich Sonnemann in F. Rötzer, Denken das an der Zeit ist,
Frankfurt/M., 1987, p.276; and Sonnemann, «Zeit ist Anhörungsform,»
Tunnelstiche, Frankfurt/M., 1987, pp.286–288.
[14] Michel Chion, La voix au cinéma, Paris, 1982, p.18.
[15] Michel Chion, La voix au cinéma, Paris, 1982, p.27; see also Chion, Le
son, Paris, 1998, p.201.
[16] Michel Chion, La voix au cinéma, Paris, 1982, pp.28 f. and 32 f. See
also Chion, L'audiovision, Paris, 1990, p.64.
[17] Michel Chion, La voix au cinéma, Paris, 1982, p.28.
[18] Henri Michaux, «Ich schreibe Dir aus einem fernen Land,» in In der
Gesellschaft der Ungeheuer. Ausgewählte Dichtungen, Trans. K. Leonard,
Frankfurt/M. 1986, pp.145–147; for more on the multiple voices of
authorship see Stefan Hesper, «Die Stimme der Erinnerung—Bilder des
Vergessens. Chris Marker SANS SOLEIL,» …sie wollen eben sein, was sie
sind, nämlich Bilder… Anschlüsse an Chris Marker, N. Binczek/M. Rass
(eds.), Würzburg, 1999, p.44.
[19] See Thomas Tode, «Phantom Marker, Inventur vor dem Film,» in Chris
Marker. Filmessayist, B. Kämper and T. Tode (eds.), Munich 1997, pp.31–
33.
[20] 20 André Bazin, «Lettre de Sibérie,» Schreiben Bilder Sprechen. Texte
zum essayistischen Film, C. Blümlinger and C. Wulf (eds.), Vienna, 1992,
pp.205–206.
[21] See André Bazin, «Lettre de Sibérie,» Schreiben Bilder Sprechen. Texte
zum essayistischen Film, C. Blümlinger and C. Wulf (eds.), Vienna, 1992,
pp.206–207; and Bernward Wember, Wie kritisch informiert das Fernsehen?
Ein Indizienbeweis, Munich, 1983)
[22] Chris Marker, «Lettre de Sibérie» Commentaires 1, Paris, 1961, p.58;
See also David Bordwell/Kristin Thompson, Film Art. An Introduction, New
York, 1996, p.293.
[23] See Serge Daney, «L'orgue et l'aspirateur,» in La rampe, Paris (1983)
1996, pp.170–175.

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