article FR EN
18.04.2018

Vertical cinema, films that walk. Horizontal cinema, films that are recumbent. Between them is a time outside time, the same duration alien to the laws of work, of reason and of health. How, and until when, can a life be extended once it seems to have left itself behind? What virtual actions remain latent within what appears to be the most complete inaction? From indefatigable walking to the fatigue of the recumbent, the spectacular reversal of postures is also accompanied by a shared perseverance: Wang Bing’s gesture consists in disengaging from the core of exhaustion the ultimate fragments of the possible.

article
21.03.2018

Wang Bing’s film is at once epic and intimate – epic because of the sheer scale of the constructions, and the long, straight railroad tracking shots Wang employs to render its geography; intimate because of its focus on the daily life of the last workers and the soon-to-be displaced. Wang’s film is not journalistic in that it does not show us, for example, the bureaucrats who made the various life-altering decisions, and it doesn’t show the rest of Shenyang – the bourgeois neighborhoods, shops, hotels, highways.

article EN
14.03.2018

In Wanda, everything remains en suspens, Loden’s shots begin a bit too soon, last a bit too long. The dictatorial “Action!” and “Cut!” of the director – bellowed out with such sadistic authority – is here prefaced by a “maybe”. The frame, too, is here too wide, there too narrow. Each shot unravels at edges. There is no other way to escape the constraint of the film set except to act carefully, as if you know nothing about it.

article NL FR EN
19.02.2018
Sarah Vanagt 2018
Translated by

And with this increased sensitivity, our thinking is reinforced in turn. The cinema’s darkness as an immeasurable greenhouse. When leaving this ‘tropic’ cinema experience – outside in the real world – there is an undeniable awareness, impossible to specify: something has turned, twisted; something has shifted.

article EN
16.02.2018

Th[e] introductory intertitle, […] allows us to read in Sunrise (1927), far more than its inconsistent “philosophical” pretext, its major signifying articulations – namely, an in order of appearance: dramatis personae, but not characters in the traditional sense (the absence of names reduces the introduction of individuals to pure roles, networks of functions and attributes); time, but not history (the narrative refuses any relation to a real chronology, any temporality beyond the segmentation on which it is founded: the times of day); places, but not geography (purely fictive locations, referring to no extra-filmic reality); and finally the film’s tones, the curious “mix of genres” it produces.

article EN
07.02.2018

In The Day He Arrives, a soju-fueled cross between Last Year at Marienbad and Groundhog Day, Yoo Seongjun, a lapsed director self-exiled to the provinces, roams the streets and bars of Seoul much as X wanders the hallways and gardens of Marienbad, through an endless repetition of settings, characters, and incidents, each reiteration calling previous accounts into question. “I don’t remember a thing,” the bar owner Ye-jeon insists after Seongjun apologizes for what something he has just done, her protestation recalling A’s many disavowals of the past in Marienbad. Whose version does one trust: his, hers, neither?

article NL EN
24.01.2018
Claire Denis 2005
Translated by

Hong Sang-soo will appreciate the reference to Cézanne, whom he often quotes, and my caution when talking about him. He is like an offered book, of which we discover that certain pages have been carefully torn out and therefore everything is suddenly missing. His films don’t need our agreement; they require total rallying.

article FR EN
17.01.2018

Poetic by its precision, attentive to duration, to the uncertainty of the moment, to outlined movements and to what they betray or control: Hong Sang-soo’s cinema seems to consist only of details, of contingent moments that suddenly get out of hand or explode. “I never aim for generalization; there’s never a global view on society at the origin of a film or even a shot. It seems to me that reality can only appear between the cracks of discrete, hypothetic, uncertain elements. I am wary of clichés and big expressions. I do not believe, for example, that something we could call ‘the’ contemporary Korea exists. I never try to share a truth, but only approximations.”

article NL EN
13.12.2017

Whether or not this film is fully as great as it might have been, it is one of the finer works in the whole great line of rural art which extends backward through Van Gogh and Brueghel to the Georgics and to the Works and Days. It combines the cold deep-country harshness of Hesiod with a Vergilian tenderness and majesty; and its achievement is wholly of our time, through that reverence for unaltered reality which can be translated into a work of art only through the camera.

article NL EN
15.11.2017

The Neon Demon is a textbook example of those supremely ‘relevant’ films, guaranteeing and commercialising subversion as a calculated effect. Refn offers us a neatly prepacked metaphor, supplemented with an astrological index that can help us in ‘decoding’ our product – even before the slightest attempt at interpretation is waged. By way of an absurd faith in difference, however, a ceaseless repetition of the Same ensues: an alternation which, above all, serves to camouflage a true sense of change. The director can but excel in the reproduction of his personal obsessions. Not without surprise, his films are as ephemeral as the world they claim to depict.

article NL EN
15.11.2017

Without any sense of scruples, contemporary viewers are asked to consume an “unfiltered everyday”, gowned in the guise of a “mythical seriousness”. The mendacious diversitarian theatre enacted by El Arbi and Fallah – which attempts to import an allegedly ‘copious’ but ultimately imaginary world into the cosy, autochthonous bedroom – can only be celebrated by grace of a critical suicide.

article NL EN
08.11.2017

At first it seems like a contradiction, a historical irony: Jean-Louis Comolli – the editor of Cahiers du Cinéma during its period of Althusserian Marxism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the author of some of the most important texts to critique the ideological nature of the “impression of reality” in the cinema (‘Cinéma/idéologie/critique,’ a manifesto-editorial co-signed with Jean Narboni, and the series of articles ‘Technique et idéologie’) – has gone onto become a prolific, highly regarded documentary filmmaker, with a filmography that stretches from the 1970s to the present day and includes more than fifty titles, made for both cinema and television. Is this transition from film theory to film practice a stunning volte-face, a theoretical apostasy from the revolutionary ethos of the post-1968 era, so common among other soixante-huitards? Nothing of the sort.

article NL FR EN
25.10.2017

I come to perceive the screen as a wall (which it is) in front of which I myself have to assume an attitude and a position. I come to find myself on my own and in my own time. I have to determine my own shot, my way of watching and my use of time. If need be I can exercise patience and wait for the next sequence (as one ‘waits for a bus’). But such an attitude renounces enjoyment. I can spend this time much better by watching instead of seeing – and I can watch in such a way that I forget that I’m waiting for something (e.g. for a bus).

article EN
20.09.2017

“Fiction is everywhere. The question is: where do we situate the starting point of fiction? What kind of arrangement makes something happen? In a way, we can say there is fiction whenever there is some kind of narrative that tells, or shows, us that something is happening. That’s why, in my recent work, I have mostly been interested in exploring the edges of fiction, the edge between nothing happens and something happens.”

article EN
13.09.2017

Still, upon sauntering through the large and wide-ranging selection of pictures large and small, framed and unframed, hung high and low, or spread out on tables, I started to perceive Wolfgang Tillman’s show, 2017, as equally marking this moment in time, when high resolution camera phones have become completely ubiquitous.

article NL EN
26.07.2017

Virtually everyone who has written about Minnelli describes him as a paradoxical phenomenon, partly a servant of the industry and partly an unorthodox stylist. Some writers explain the paradox as a ‘deep-structural’ effect of American ideology, and others as a sign of the director’s own divided attitude toward his material. In either case, Minnelli is usually regarded as both a conformist and an individual, both a company man and an artist.

article EN
14.06.2017

“This was also the case with Killer of Sheep: its objective was to change the perception of coloured people, in spite of what Hollywood had created, this myth, and to give voice to people who didn’t have access to Hollywood to tell their story. The film was made for multiple reasons: to demystify filmmaking in the community and to introduce filmmaking to kids, notably by having children work on the sound and on other technical aspects of the film. We wanted to show people who were interested in making a change in the community, to use film as a means for social change.”

article NL EN
14.06.2017

Any other art form celebrates life, the beautiful, the ideal, and has a progressive effect – except American cinema. The situation is such that one is always asked to compromise one’s integrity, and if the socially oriented film is finally made, its showing will generally be limited and the very ones that it is made for and about will probably never see it. To make filmmaking viable you need the support of the community; you have to become a part of its agenda, an aspect of its survival.

article EN
15.03.2017

The Guardian recently charted Kanye’s packed 12 months of megalomania: it really is a thin line between acting crazy and becoming crazy. You write: “The danger with Famous is that it risks being the very thing it wants to comment on.” I would argue: the force of Famous is that it risks being the very thing it wants to comment on.