Invited by the Viennale, the legendary 90-year-old French film essayist Chris Marker has recently created a one-minute festival trailer, following in the footsteps of directors such as Agnès Varda, Stan Brakhage, Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch, who have done so in the past. The Viennale has chosen Marker’s work as its “anniversary trailer” because in it, Marker – like no other director before him – deals with the history of cinema in a playful and surprising manner. More precisely, he deals with the question of “the perfect viewer” that cinema has been looking for since the father of film, D. W. Griffith. Chris Marker ultimately finds this ideal viewer at the end of his small essay in an unexpected figure. See for yourself.
It has taken cinema more than a hundred years to achieve its objective. It has tried everything under the sun not to disappoint those for whom it was invented. It has kept changing, has become more colorful, broader, smarter, and then again blander, it has adapted to the present and taken a stand against it. But has all that been enough? KINO is the title of the film made for the Viennale by Chris Marker. In it, he goes in search of the “perfect spectator”. Méliès had done the same before, as had Griffith, Welles and Godard, Marker informs us as he arranges portraits of film history’s great directors with clippings of their films (Godard gets his placed onto his glasses). “A rectangle cannot represent the human field of vision”, Marker once wrote, and perhaps that is what makes for the tragedy of the cinema: There can be no perfect spectator. And should he or she exist after all – an option Marker keeps open in his film’s final twist – it is bound to be somewhere entirely unexpected.
(VIENNALE 2012 Anniversary-Trailer)