Chris Marker was a genius. And I’m not only talking about his work, which has been acclaimed worldwide for decades. He was my friend, he was kind, witty, compassionate with the deserving, very harsh with the people who were acting like fools and the most observant person I have ever known.
Through the lens of his camera, through the letters he published, the cartoons he drew, the 3d constructs he made in the virtual worlds he sometimes inhabited, through his conversations around a cup of tea or a bottle of vodka, he saw everything noteworthy.
Back when I was a young fool, he taught me gentle criticism, the way to look at things, laugh at them if they were irrevocably stupid, and see how to improve on them if at all possible.
And through his friendship, he gave me confidence in my own abilities. With all his incredible accomplishments, with his glory, his notoriety, he took time to look at my work, for him or not, and tell me very simply that it was good, when it was.
He was the man who made me smile when things were dark, and now he’s the man who’s made me cry by his absence. I loved him, and I’ll miss him.
I know he didn’t believe much in what happens next. Whatever he found out, he’s made the most of it, and he’ll start on improving whatever he can. I’ll carry on doing the same here, without him, in his memory, less foolish for having known him.