Still Picture Films: Cinema meets Photography

It is possible to make a narrative film using only still pictures. There is no movement in the frame, but there is a lineair viewing: the director decides how long each image is to be seen and which voice-over, or music, or other sounds are hearable.

Here are some recommended viewings:
The English translation of the script of LA JETEE was published in 1992 and is available at: and
See also (essay by Jean-Louis Schefer) and (essay by Jonathan Romney).
In 1966 Chris Marker made another experimental still picture film: IF I HAD FOUR DROMEDARIES (

  • SALUT LES CUBAINS (Agnès Varda, 1963)
  • WAVELENGTH (Michael Snow, 1967)
NOSTALGIA (Hollis Frampton, 1971) is an experimental film in which some photo’s are discussed, while they are slowly burning away on a electric heating-ring. In my opinion, this film is too easy and too pretentious. For another and more positive opinion check the book by Rachel Moore: Hollis Frampton (Nostalgia), London: Afterall Books, 2006.
The work of pioneer motion photographer Eadweard Muybridge is a source of inspiration for modern experimental filmmakers, some examples:
Recommended books for further reading:
  1. Horak, Jan-Christopher, Making Images Move: Photographers and Avant-Garde Cinema. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997.
  2. Rossak, Eivind (ed), Between Stillness and Motion: Film, Photography, Algorithms, Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2011.
  3. David Greene & Joanna Lowry 9eds), Stillness and Time: Photography and the Moving Image, Brighton: Photoworks/Photoforum, 2005.
  4. Bellour, Raymond 1990, l’Entre-images: photo, cinéma, video, Parijs : La Différence.
  5. Moholy-Nagy, L. 1925, Malerei. Photographie. Film. München: Langen.
  6. Delluc, L. 1920 Photogenie.