Das Fremdland [Le Dépays]
by Chris Marker
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Berlin: Galrev Verlag, 1985. First German edition. 8vo (21,5x15cm). Unpaginated 80pp, in French Flaps. Text in German. Moderate creases to rear cover, else near fine.
Just a few month before the release of Sans Soleil in 1983, Chris Marker published Le Dépays, which can be considered as prologue to Sans Soleil. With three short texts and numerous photographs, Chris Marker presents another journey through his memories of Japan, revealing further perspectives on the film‘s themes.
Marker strolls through Tokyo with his camera to explore Japan, or, as he says, to invent it in the process. To approach and understand Japanese culture, he uses the theme of cats, which is reflected in both his texts and photographs.
On his journey, Marker encounters the famous fortune cat Maneki-Neko and the lesser known witch cat Bake-Neko. In the beginning of Le Dépays, Marker’s advices the reader that, “the text doesn’t comment on the images any more than the images illustrate the text. They are two sequences that clearly cross and signal to each other, but which it would be pointlessly exhausting to collate”.
Das Fremdland is the only translation of Le Dépays, published by Galrev Verlag in Berlin, maintaining the original layout of the first French edition.