…the essay film, which might be defined as setting out to depict the process of thinking around a given subject, with all its attendant messiness, hesitations, and sudden insights intact…. ~Catherine Lupton, “Memory’s Apostle: Chris Marker, La Jetée, and Sans Soleil“
Recent Readings in Essay Films:
Exit Through the Gift Shop…uses the cinematic narrator to implicate all the different levels of narration as possible lies, including the implied author and the cinematic narrator itself. Though this creates abundant confusion as to which voices are trustworthy, it is a storytelling strategy executed with enough self-assurance that the larger meaning of the film–the questioning of authenticity and authorship itself–remains clear. (20-21)
La Jetée by Chris Darke from BFI Film Classics (2016).