Chris Marker, the French writer, film-maker and essayist best known for films such as La Jetee (1962) and Sans Soleil (1983), has died at the age of 91. He was widely regarded as one of France’s greatest film-makers.
Although he was undoubtedly best known for his film and multimedia work, Marker also wrote a number of books on the subject of cinema, and he also created some of the earliest examples of books that truly experimented with the capabilities of modern technology. Anyone who wants to see just what a ‘book’ can be in the digital age should track down his 1997 CD-ROM release Immemory, which takes the book format and mixes it up with abandon.
Marker focused increasingly on multimedia technologies in his later years, but he continued working well into his 80s. Rarely being interviewed, he remained a fairly elusive public figure. Requests for photos were usually met with photos of cats. But if ebooks move beyond representation of text and truly explore the capabilities of new technology, Marker might well be regarded one day as a true pioneer not only in terms of cinema but also in terms of the book format itself.