When I think of the French New Wave, a few names in particular come to mind. Truffaut and Godard may have been the loudest and the most lauded, but there was a whole slew of brilliant work being done by the Left Bank set, many of whom are only just now getting their due. Chris Marker, who passed away Sunday at the age of 91, was one of these directors.

I first encountered La Jetée—Marker’s 1962 international debut and best-known film—in high school. I was just beginning to cut my teeth on cinema, and the sparse, 27-minute short film I found at the library left me with arresting images and apocalypse-fueled dreams. A few months later I saw 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam’s amped-up reimagining of Marker’s story, and couldn’t stand it. A mix of romance, war film, and science fiction dystopia, La Jetée is composed (almost) entirely of still images. Photos are linked together, voice-over narration is dropped on top, and somehow the film becomes much greater than the sum of its parts.