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Baker's Dozen

Films for Big Eyes: Charlemagne Palestine’s Baker’s Dozen
David Moats , August 22nd, 2019 15:52

Former Film Editor David Moats is brought out of retirement for Charlemagne Palestine’s Film Bakers Dozen They discuss his Jewish heritage, lucky breaks and vomit vision.


La Jetée - Chris Marker, 1962
So from a long to a short film. Where did you first see La Jetée?

Actually, I don't know even how I bumped into it, but I was at CalArts at the time. It was like 1970/71, I had come from New York. I didn't like the music that went with it, but I loved the visuals and I was giving a class on "music of the sublime" so I invented a drone that would be played during the whole film. So you just saw the film and a drone and it worked so well that it became an emblematic presentation of mine at CalArts in those days. I can't remember how I even came upon it though. Much later I met Chris Marker in France and strangely enough, I just did a big retrospective last year at the BOZAR in Brussels, which is the Palais des Beaux Arts, and it turned out that the next show after mine was a big retrospective of Chris Marker!

This one is interesting, because it comes from necessity: he couldn't afford film stock so he did it [mostly] with stills. Can you think of projects you've worked on where you found inspiration through constraints like that?

All my things had to be done with constraints. Well, except a couple. I had a film in [a well funded festival] and we got a very big budget from the French government and so I was able to do more than I normally would. Strangely enough, the film itself is less interesting though: as I've seen sometimes with other creators, they did better with less than they did with more.

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