Chris Marker’s LEVEL FIVE

Level Five 1

French film essayist Chris Marker (LA JETEE, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT, LE JOLI MAI) singular place in cinema is distinguished by a constant probing of how he, and we, come to experience time, memory, history and cinema itself. Unreleased in the United States until now, Marker’s film presciently uses cyber-space to explore a chapter in wartime Japan. Laura “inherits” a task: to finish writing a video game centered on the Battle of Okinawa—whose development played a decisive role in the way World War II ended. The game is strange one, in fact. Contrary to classical strategy games whose purpose is to turn back the tide of history, this one seems willing only to reproduce history as it happened. While working on Okinawa and meeting, through a rather unusual network (a parallel to the Internet), various informants and even eye-witnesses to the battle (including film director Nagisa Oshima), Laura gathers pieces of the tragedy until they start to interfere with her own life. Melding retro-futuristic sci-fi imagery, references to American film noir, and reflections on history, Marker crafts a visually and philosophically provocative puzzle. “A passionate and cerebral science-fiction adventure…there is nothing else in theaters now that feels quite as new.” —The New York Times. (106 mins.)

LEVEL FIVE screens Friday, December 19 at 7pm, Saturday, December 20 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 21 at 2:30 & 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

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