Memory and imagining are the subjects of Chris Marker’s LaJetee, a French science fiction film. Journalist Brian Dillon and scholar Patrick Ffrench offer divergent perspectives on this short feature, in which the viewer sees only still photos. Their styles provide context for the particular interests and backgrounds of their respective audiences. Whereas Dillon’s readers are more diverse, Ffrench’s audience has a fundamental understanding of French literature. This allows Ffrench to offer a more effective view of the film because he is able to draw on a deeper, more comprehensive reserve of sources.
Although Dillon and Ffrench’s articles are both on La Jetee, Ffrench’s writing demonstrates a more effective article than Dillon’s writing. The effectiveness of an article depends on how strong the analysis is, which should be grounded in research and references, but not personal and emotional experiences. In creating a strong and persuasive article, Ffrench’s communicates his thought on “ image [that] has a memory” in analyzing La Jetee through many research findings. For instance, he says “ The thesis that the image has a memory, aside from its Proustian resonances, has been the focus of recent work by Georges Didi-Huberman, particularly on the great art-historian and librarian Aby Warburg”. In one statement, Ffrench supports his thesis that image has a memory by integrating three sources:French writer Marcel Proust’s concept of involuntary memory which is the Proustian resonances, French writer Huberman and great art-historian and German Jewish cultural theorist Warburg. Ffrench’s resources are not restricted to French writers, but a variety of well renowned specialists in history, literature, etc. The independence and abundance of the resources contribute to the effectiveness of Ffrench’s article.
Some may contend that Dillon’s article is more effective because it is more to the point and avoids scholarly jargon. However, Dillon’s account is restricted by his journalistic style, which is fact-based, less conceptual and not as reflective. His highly narrative style, which draws on a synopsis of La Jetee, Chris Marker’s biography and the filmmaker’s other works, is concise and accurate but lacks the analytical depth of Ffrench’s article. Dillon is largely confined to quoting film critic Janet Harbord, and
seeks to elicit a more visceral response by interjecting words like “we” and “us.” Conversely, Ffrench writes as an observer, which imbues his writing with a sense of distance and thought-provoking objectivity. As such, his article is more effective because it is more cerebral and less emotional.
In conclusion, Dillon and Ffrench difference in constructing their articles are observed in their introductions. Dillon writes for the newspaper which is widely accessible to the general public, thus he summarizes his findings in the opening and focus on the factual narration of the film to accommodate the audience’s needs. Ffrench integrates his idea with references that only choose readers who have prior knowledge in French literature. The effectiveness of the article relies on how strong the references are, which Ffrench’s abundant and independent research analysis proves that his article is more effective than Dillon.