Le fond de l’air est rouge, Partisans Mai/Juin 1968
By Chris Marker / Edited by Emile Copfermann
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Paris: Iskra et Librairie François Maspero, 1978. First edition, with only 3300 printed copies. 8vo (20x17cm), illustrated card wrappers with french flaps. 212pp. Text in French. First pages show very minimal traces of dog-ears on the bottom corner of the page. Near fine.
Paris: François Maspero, 1968. 4to (26x18cm), printed card wrappers. 260pp. Text in French. Light soiling and toning to wrappers. Several uncut sheets, which are mistrimmed sheets, but fully printed. Still a very good copy.
After a decade of active and supportive participation in various militant groups of political filmmakers, such as ISKRA or SLON, Chris Marker returned with Le Fond de l’air est rouge, as a critical-essayistic filmmaker in 1977.
In 1972, the editor and director Valérie Mayoux, who worked together with Marker at ISKRA, rediscovered cans full of outtakes and rejected materials from SLON and ISKRA productions that had been sorted out for their ambiguity in order to maintain an ideologically „correct“ image. This found material was the starting point of Le Fond de l’air est rouge. Chris Marker wanted to use the found and discarded archival material to construct an alternative history of the 1968 protests which was not based on mass media material.
A year after the film, the entire commentary was published by the left-wing publisher and bookshop owner François Maspero. The publication of Le fond de l’air est rouge opens with a quote from Marker himself taken from Cahiers du Cinéma:
“In the end, I want to say that this film, is a very Editions Maspero film.”
Maspero was also the publisher and editor of the May/June 1968 issue of Partisans, entitled ouvriers, étudiants, un seul combat!, which contains an incredible chronology of the May protests.
The chronology is an assemblage of leaflets, manifestos, press extracts, photographs, and articles selected to characterize the various aspects of the May protests, with contributions by Chris Marker.