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The Sixth Side of the Pentagon (1968)            The Embassy (1973)

 


(aka "The Sixth Side of the Pentagon")

 

directed by  Chris Marker and Francois Reichenbach
France 1968

 

...The Sixth Side of the Pentagon, documents a landmark event of antiwar activism that actually occurred in one of the last countries you'd expect to see staging a leftist uprising: the United States. (All right, maybe it's harder to buy now in retrospect than it was at the time, but past and future coexist in the world of Marker's films, and thus we can expect my surprise to register pre-emptively; before I was born, even.) I don't mean to boil filmed evidence of the October 21, 1967 march against the Vietnam War in D.C. down to another case of "stranger than fiction," even if it is. Marker's narration is in rare form here, as is his detached, skeptical sense of humor. At one point he picks from the crowd of hippies, Yippies and Nazis, noting "the father preaching, the speakers teaching, the hippies screeching." Whether Marker's fiction looks like non-fiction or vice versa, these two shorts seemed designed to eradicate the distinction.

Excerpt of review from Eric Henderson located HERE

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DVD Review: Icarus Films - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution

Icarus Films

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 25:20
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.10 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Icarus Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: September 2nd, 2008
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Chapters 2

 

Comments

In this edition, Icarus films paired together two of Chris Marker's shorts. Included is the anti-Vietnam protest documentary, "The Sixth Side of the Pentagon", and a short composed of faux found footage, "The Embassy". Both films are extremely powerful in their own way, the determination of the protestors as they attempt to seal off the Pentagon, and the claustrophobic and silent tension built up as the unnamed inhabitants of the embassy slowly begin to realize their fate. Neither film is what one might call typical Marker (if there is such a thing) and should be required viewing to anyone with even the faintest interest in his body of work.

Unfortunately, like the other Marker titles from Icarus Films, these are also interlaced with clear instances of combing. Also, both films suffer from a good amount of damage. In the case of "The Sixth Side of the Pentagon", it seems to be because of its age. In the case of "The Embassy" it's probably a combination of age and an attempt to create the illusion of low quality found footage, and of course the Super 8 footage looks incredibly weak. Also, to keep up the illusion of the film being found material, the soundtrack contains any number of hisses and pops. Fortunately these were almost certainly intentional and not the result of poor mastering. The soundtrack on "The Sixth Side of the Pentagon" sounds perfectly normal without any unwanted background noises. Unfortunately, there are no extras on this disc.

While far from ideal, Marker fans will likely find it acceptable and the films are fairly good to boot. Recommended.

 - Brian Montgomery

 



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(aka "The Embassy")

 

directed by Chris Marker
France 1973

 

The Embassy resembles La Jetee both stylistically and thematically. The film presents a group of refugees who flee to an embassy after a coup d’état. The film's point-of-view is that of one of the refugees: a journalist with a Super 8 camera. His narration glues together the images, which mix the mundane with flashes of excitement and tension (a refugee is shown running towards the embassy but is cut down in the streets). Once the new regime is established, the once-dormant television comes to life with state news broadcasts urging calm and confidence. The underlying ideas place the film squarely within the realm of politically-inspired science-fiction: a fictional version of reality is presented, which is unraveled to reveal a larger truth about the real world. Where the film ends up is not necessarily a surprise but the film's immediacy and directness foreshadows decades of documentary-style cinematic realism that would follow.

Excerpt of review from Rodney Perkins at Twitch located HERE

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Review:  Icarus Films - Region 1 - NTSC

Distribution

Icarus Films

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 21:15
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.60 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Icarus Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

DVD Release Date:
Keep Case

Chapters 2

 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 
Combing

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Icarus Films

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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