Sabzian is taking a summer break. We’ll be back in September.
Sabzian is taking a summer break. We’ll be back in September.
Photogénie and Film Fest Gent present the 4th Young Critics Workshop (October 12 – 20, 2017), open to aspiring film critics (aged 18-26) from Belgium and abroad, offering them the opportunity to cover the 44th edition of this major international event (October 10 – 20).
Find more info and apply here.
Visite, the multi-day film festival organised by Het Bos and De Imagerie, will be having its third edition from 11 to 19 August. Nine young artists and filmmakers have been invited to screen their work as well as films that inspired them. Find the full program here.
This year, the Brussels summertime festival L’heure d’été screens classic films with a focus on the city of Tokyo. Weather permitting, a number of the films are screened outdoors at Bruxelles les Bains at 10 pm; otherwise, indoors at the Galeries cinema. You can find the full program, with films by Yasujirô Ozu, Abbas Kiarostami, Naomi Kawase among others, here.
During the summer, de Koer in Anderlecht hosts a series of open-air film screenings curated by filmmakers Liesbeth De Ceulaer and Gust Van den Berghe. These events are free of charge. Three of Sabzian’s own, Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes and Ruben Desiere will be presenting their work alongside films by Chantal Akerman, André Delvaux, Jerzy Skolimowski and others. Find the full program here.
The 2017 symposium focuses on Abbas Kiarostami and the classical Hollywood comedy. Key note speakers include film scholars Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, Adrian Martin, whose text ‘Cinephilia as War Machine’ is featured on Sabzian, as well as Sabzian’s Ruben Demasure and Elias Grootaers.
On Tuesday 27 June, the master students of the Audiovisual Arts department of the School of Arts in Ghent present their graduation projects in Sphinx Cinema. Those who can’t make it can still catch one of the re-run screenings at KASKcinema on the Bijloke-campus, from 28 June to 2 July. More information about the films and the evening can be found here.
From 20 to 25 June, the first edition of Festival Mondial des Cinémas Sauvages (World Festival of Wild Cinema) will be held at different venues in the center of Brussels and its environs.
The festival is an open space and an open event traversed by contradictory currents. It aims to bring together films and practices that defy notions of property, authorship or copyright. Sometimes consciously through free licence; often naively, following only their own energies. Films are shown and reused without any constraints. Searching for their own identities, exploring their formats, getting involved in collective adventures, questioning themselves politically, they pass from hand to hand. The Festival Mondial des Cinémas Sauvages wants to participate in this gesture, which is a conscious position, by welcoming all types of films, whatever may be their means of production, their format, their length, their creation date.
With: screenings of approximately sixty films, a filmothèque for viewing and/or copying of all the films in the festival, concerts, libraby-info kiosk, workshops, food and drinks.
Take a look at the Festival Mondial des Cinémas Sauvages’ website for more information.
From 8 to 10 June, LABO organizes a three-day workshop ‘Hands on Film’. The workshop consists of exercises with a Bolex camera B/N, development and manipulations of 16mm film (and super8). The focus is on exposing images, developing, processing, transfers and transformations. The workshop will be led by Maxime Führer and Els van Riel.
There is only place for eight candidates, the first to mail to firstname.lastname@example.org are in.
The price is €150 for the three days, of which €100 must be payed in advance.
The workshop takes place at LABO, Kartuizerstraat 28 Rue des Chartreux, 1000 Brussels.
Take a look at LABO’s website for more information.
In the spring of 2017 the contemporary art world is busy with the openings of documenta 14 in Kassel, The Venice Biennale - 57th International Art Exhibition in Venezia and 5e Skulptur Projekte Münster in Münster. Furthermore Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain organises its national pavillon with the project, curated by Kevin Muhlen, ‘Thank you so much for the flowers’ by Mike Bourscheid. On this occasion, Argos proposes three films directed by Jef Cornelis between 1966 and 1987 in which the Belgian director documents these three exhibitions. Jef Cornelis (1941) began his career in 1963 at the arts department of BRT (Flemish public television) as a television director. Between 1964 and 1998 he directed more than two hundred television programmes, including debates, live broadcasts, films on modern art, architecture, cultural affairs and the Flemish landscape.
XXXIII BIENNALE INTERNAZIONALE D'ARTE VENEZIA (1966) - 24'
Documenta 5 (1972) - 53’
Een openbaar bad voor Munster (1987) - 40’
You can find more information on the website of Argos.
In 2017 starten Sabzian en het Filmmagie met een gedeelde rubriek die de naam Prisma draagt. Deze Prisma’s, geschreven door auteurs van Sabzian en Filmmagie, zijn niet langer en niet korter dan 2000 tekens en worden altijd begeleid door een beeld. De eerste Prisma, geschreven door Gerard-Jan Claes, Elias Grootaers en Bjorn Gabriels, kan gelden als de ‘stichtingsakte’ voor deze nieuwe rubriek: “Een schrijven over cinema opent de ruimte om over cinema te spreken, om zich te verhouden tot cinema, om cinema te delen, en dus om naar cinema te kijken: we zien de dingen juister wanneer we in staat zijn om ze te zeggen, door ze plots terug te kunnen oproepen. Zo gaan deze Prisma’s, een reeks korte gedachten van het tijdschrift Filmmagie en het online platform Sabzian, op zoek naar opmerkelijke momenten in de hedendaagse filmcultuur, weg van geprojecteerde zekerheden, als tijdingen uit een voortdurende geschiedenis van vormen en verhalen.” Elke maand verschijnt er één Prisma in een Filmmagienummer, op Sabzian zullen ze frequenter verschijnen. Ontdek hier de eerste reeks Prisma’s.
In times of backwardness, one craves for possibilities. From March the 29th, for five days on and for the sixteenth time, cinephiles and filmmakers from all over Belgium and the world gather in Ghent to celebrate cinema and share a horizon of what’s possible on the white screen. “What cinema has excelled in creating are these singular bodies, conveyors of new emotions. Cinephilia isn’t the love for old films; it’s the love for these singular inventions that wreak havoc in our forms of perception and in the tenor of our emotions.” (Jacques Rancière)
Like every year, we’ve carefully carved out a pathway through this long weekend of hard choices. Check out our selection of which, at least technically, you could see all screenings.
This Saturday, Cinea celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the Ghent University film club Film-Plateau with the 24 hour film marathon Day for Night at KASKcinema in Ghent. The program includes She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford, 1949), To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955), Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978), Toute une nuit (Chantal Akerman, 1982) and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927). You can find more info (in Dutch) and tickets on the website of Cinea.
A rare, early film by Jean-Luc Godard appeared last week on YouTube. Une femme coquette, a short film made by the auteur in 1955, was long thought to be lost by many film scholars. The script is based on the short story Le signe by French writer Guy de Maupassant.
Check out the short film below:
SoundImageCulture (SIC) is an international arts workshop focused on artistic-anthropological research and support for audiovisual art forms. On February 23 and 24, participants of 2015 and 2016 will present their films and installations in the Beursschouwburg in Brussels. Participating artists are Amir Yatziv, Julia Clever, Amélie Derlon Cordina, Samah Hijawi, Bruno Vandenberghe, Janine Prins, Greet Brauwers, Sophie Sherman a.o. You can find the whole program on their website.
“An 11-day film program in the presence of the makers. Every evening, food will be served, by OTARK or others. We invite the makers to show their work and ask them to bring along a movie to discuss what inspires them.”
For the second time De Imagerie and Het Bos invite you for Visite, a film program composed by filmmakers Anne Reijniers and Eva van Tongeren. The eleven artists for this edition are Leander Coorevits, Simon Patoor, Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat, Robin Vanbesien, An van Dienderen, Hannah Bailliu, Peter Snowdon, Emmy Oost, Hilde D’haeyere, Effi Weiss & Amir Borenstein and Bryana Fritz. The whole program can be found on the website of De Imagerie. You can find our selection here.
EYE Amsterdam’s new exhibition revolves around Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr and runs from 21 January until 7 May.
Tarr considers [his last film] The Turin Horse (2011) to be a film about the end of the world and thus, at the same time, the end of his own filmography. He could not imagine ever making another film that was more pared down and heavier, more reduced to its essence, than The Turin Horse. Since then, Tarr has run a film school in Sarajevo. For the exhibition at EYE, however, he has once again picked up the camera to film two new scenes. His anger at attitudes to migrants among people in Europe, and particularly in Hungary, has compelled him to make a statement.
Tarr has developed an exhibition that is a cross between a film, a theatre set and an installation. He wants to give a voice to the vast numbers of migrants who have been left stranded in Europe over the past two years. In his films Tarr has always presented the downside of progress, the other side of the coin. It therefore comes as no surprise that he feels called upon to make a statement against the inhuman treatment of thousands of migrants who are trying to give their lives a dignity that – in Europe – is denied them. (EYE)
From 12 to 29 January EYE Amsterdam runs a Mikio Naruse Retrospective.
“Neither in his early experimental period nor in the mature postwar films did Naruse achieve a mastery of a specific visual style to merit comparison with the work of Mizoguchi or Ozu. Nevertheless, he commands respect as the architect of subtle and profound realist dramas, distinguished by careful observation and superb acting. His genre is the shomin-geki—the film about the lower middle classes—within which his specialities are the precise delineation of social milieux, of material hardship and practical responsibilities, and ‘the compassionate portrayal of courageous women faced with great adversity.’ While nothing in Naruse’s oeuvre matches the radical feminism of My Love Has Been Burning (1949), his heroines are generally more independent and practical, less prone to romantic self-oppression, than Mizoguchi’s suffering women. Yet independence and practicality are virtues of limited significance in Naruse’s treacherous and unhappy world, which tends to crush its inhabitants regardless. His characters lack the hope and good humour of Ozu’s in the face of disappointment, and, unlike Mizoguchi’s protagonists, they are usually denied the luxury of death.”
Alexander Jacoby in Senses of Cinema
CINEMATEK organizes a book sale on Friday 9 December from 13h until 18h and on Saturday 10 December from 10h until 18h in their documentation centre.
More information here!
How can the relation between cinema and politics be thought today? This question was the starting point for Figures of Dissent, a project consisting of an extensive series of discussions, dialogues and screenings that were organized by Stoffel Debuysere over the course of four years. Some of the thoughts and doubts that have been simmering as a result of these encounters were expressed in the form of letters. This manuscript assembles six of those letters, addressed to fellow filmmakers, artists, producers and theorists. They are six tentative forms of study that blend various impressions, associations and digressions in an attempt to make sense of this conundrum that has been haunting the past century: how does the art of moving shadows pertain to the realities of political struggle?
You can order the book here.
R.I.P. Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016)
in my small night,
what mounting regret!
wind has a rendezvous
with the trees’ leaves
in my small night,
there is terror of desolation
listen! do you hear
the wind of darkness howling?
I watch breathless
-ly and wondrously this alien happiness
I am addicted to my own hopelessness
listen! listen well!
can you hear the darkness
howling? – the dark hell
its way towards us?
in the night now, there is something
the moon is red restless and uneasy
and on this roof – which fears
– it may cave in –
clouds like crowds of mourners
await to break in rain
and then after that, nothing.
behind this window, night shivers
and the earth stands still
behind this window an unknown
something fears for me and you
you who are green from head to toe!
put your hands
– like a burning
memory into my loving hands –
entrust your lips – your lips
like a warm sense of being! –
entrust! – your lips to the caresses of my
– loving lips – lover’s lips!
the wind will carry us with it
the wind will carry us with it
Poem by Forugh Farrokhzad recited in Bad ma ra khahad bord [The Wind Will Carry Us] (Abbas Kiarostami, 1999), translation by David Martin
Plein Open Air, the open air film programs by Cinema Nova are back.
Enjoy films, music and workshops in open air until July 9th. Have a look at the program here!
Bij uitgeverij Polis verscheen zopas ‘Vaarwel en beste wensen. Pasolini. Poëzie en polemieken’, een bloemlezing van het dichtwerk en de maatschappijkritische teksten van de Italiaanse schrijver, dichter en filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. Piet Joostens selecteerde en vertaalde de mooiste en belangrijkste teksten, nooit eerder vertaalde polemieken uit de ‘Scritti corsari’ (1975) en de ‘Lettere luterane’ (1976), en vulde die aan met nieuwe vertalingen van inmiddels klassieke gedichten. Het gaat onder meer om zijn beruchte polemische teksten over thema’s als abortus, drugs, mannen met lang haar, het nieuwe fascisme, terrorisme, de consumptiemaatschappij, de bourgeoisie en de studentenbeweging.
Today is Chantal Akerman's birthday, she would have been 66 years old.
In the past months since her passing we have been compiling an homage to her, take a look here.
Check out this year’s program for Zomerfilmcollege (Dutch) here. The folder contains all practical info. Apply before July 6th.
The 2016 symposium focusses on Chantal Akerman and the musical genre outside of Hollywood. Key note speakers are film scholars Adrian Martin, whose text ‘Cinephilia as War Machine’ is featured on Sabzian, and Kelley Conway of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In the months since the death of Chantal Akerman, we have been compiling a tribute in the form of articles around her work. Have a look here.
Centre Pompidou in Paris runs a full retrospective of the work of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet from 27 May to 3 July. Jean-Marie Straub will be present at three of the screenings. The attention comes following the first complete US retrospective of the couple's films at MoMA, an exhibition at a gallery in New York, a planned tour of the retrospective across the US, Canada and the English speaking countries in Europe, as well as a complete retrospective in Madrid in October and November.
On the occasion of the retrospectives, three new Straub & Huillet publications are being published.
1. The critical anthology, 'Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet', has just been released as part of the great publication series of the Austrian Film Museum. This work, edited by Ted Fendt, is the first English-language “primer” on Straub and Huillet. It features François Albera’s career-spanning interview with the two filmmakers, as well as original essays by Harun Farocki and Jean-Pierre Gorin, amongst others.
2. At the end of this month, Sequence Press publishes a compendium of the couple’s extensive writings. The volume is an expanded and updated version of the previous Spanish and French editions. 'Writings' begins with Straub’s early film criticism from the 1950s and traces the evolution of over five decades of writing activity, from manifestoes and trenchant declaratory texts, to detailed descriptions of working methods, letters, questionnaires and select interviews and oral interventions.
3. Coinciding with the Centre Pompidou retrospective, 'L’Internationale Straubienne' is presented as a collective volume (livre collectif) with contributions by critics, artists, collaborators, steadfast straubians or novel converts, compagnons de route or passants. Together, this mosaic constitutes a written and visual journey through their complete filmography.
Read our contribution to this month's Subbacultcha magazine with our upcoming 3rd anniversary and two more beautiful screenings in May! Flip to pages 42-43.
EPAS is a newly founded one-year postgraduate in the creative potential of sound both of itself and as part of a multi media practice. This international education is organized by The School of Arts Gent, Netherlands Film Academy (Amsterdam) and Internationale Filmschule (Köln). The course starts the first of September of 2016. Applications can be submitted from the 14th of March till the 15th of May 2016. You can find more information on the EPAS website.
Every month we contribute a couple of pages about film to the free music and culture magazine Subbacultcha. Flip to pages 46-47 to check out our contribution for this month.
Born in 1908, today it is one year ago that the Portugese film director Manoel de Oliveira passed away.
During the cyclus 'O acto da primavera' in CINEMATEK, some films by Oliveira will be screened. This Monday you will be able to see his film from 1981, Francisca. Also read the beautiful short text in which Paulo Rocha reminisces about the Manoel de Oliveira of the 1960s.
Due to the dreadful events of march 22nd, several screenings in Brussels are cancelled. CINEMATEK for example will remain closed until further notice. Check their website for more information. Courtisane Festival in Ghent, on the other hand, announced that everything will proceed as planned. We hope to see you there for some much needed companionship!
Longer days and shorter nights. Exchanging the minutes and hours gradually, come the equinox, winter and spring eventually meet in a rare balance between light and dark. As an alternative for pagan spring rituals, it seems Courtisane restages this complex interplay between light and darkness in the cinema, offering a panoply of possible constellations. “A cinema where the tension between a world that is being illustrated and a world that is being illuminated can make us live again in that dream-state so necessary to our very breathing.” (Marc Karlin) Four days filled to the brim with avant-garde cinema and Sabzian’s agenda to guide you through, should make for a refreshed dream-state and adjust your eyes to the excess of natural light that awaits you outside. Check out our selection of the 15th edition here.
Courtisane Festival runs from 23 to 27 March at various locations in Ghent.
CINEMATEK released a DVD Box set with three films by Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien. The box gathers three early films: the romantic comedies Jiu shi liu liu de ta [Cute Girl] (1980) and Zai na he pan qing cao qing [The Green, Green Grass of Home] (1982) which Hou made on demand, and Feng gui lai de ren [The Boys from Fengkuei] (1983), considered to be the turning point both cinematographically and aesthetically in his career. All three films have been restored by CINEMATEK under supervision of Hou Hsiao-hsien and in collaboration with the Film Foundation (World Cinema Project). Every film is accompanied by an audiovisual essay by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin. In the accompanying booklet Tom Paulus (University of Antwerp) comes back on the early days of Hou Hsiao-hsien's career.
You can find more info on the CINEMATEK website.
On 17 february 2016, Polish filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski died at the age of 75.
Zulawski's son, filmmaker Xawery Zulawski wrote the following: "Friends! I need to write; Andrzej Zulawski is in the last stages of cancer, and is in the hospital for intensive therapy, the state of progress of the disease leaves no illusions ... It's very hard to write these words, but it's important especially now when his last film starts to "live" their own lives. Think about it. Kosmos"
His film Possession (1981) will be screened at Cinema Nova on 3 March. You can find more information here.
Naar aanleiding van de retrospectieve van Jef Cornelis bij CINEMATEK en Argos plaatst canvas.be ook een aantal van zijn documentaires online. Ontdek Abdij van 't Park (1964), Panamarenko, Antwerpen 1940 (1972) en De kleuren van de geest (1997) hier. Vanaf volgende week woensdag komt daar wekelijks een andere film bij. De films blijven beschikbaar tot eind maart.
Ontdek de Sabzian selectie van de retrospectieve hier.
"I think that the cinema, even at its most naturalistic, is always secretly involved in levels of dream and fantasy, and that we must see the so-called director as a kind of psychoanalyst. Like the psychoanalyst, the director does not talk, he listens – but this is, of course, just a metaphor."
Filmmaker and critic Jacques Rivette has died today, 29 January 2016.
Recently we published a long interview with him conducted by 'La Nouvelle Critique' in 1973. The occasion for this re-publishing of both the French and English translation (published by Jonathan Rosenbaum) was the screening of his epic Out 1, no li me tangere (1971) in Cinematek in November. Read the interview here.
Inside the White Tube is the title of the retrospective exhibition of the Belgian film and television director Jef Cornelis that opens at the end of January in Argos, Brussels.
Cornelis worked as executor, director and scriptwriter for the VRT, the Dutch-language Belgian public broadcasting corporation, from 1963 until 1998. Over those 35 years Cornelis accomplished an impressive body of work. It comprises over 200 titles and is generally considered as groundbreaking, artistically and cultural-historically. In his essayistic television films he focuses on visual art, architecture and urbanism, following his desire to create and maintain a space for these subjects within the public sphere in Flanders. Throughout his career, Cornelis has tried to achieve this in various ways, ever challenging the set of laws of making television.
Along with the exhibition Cinematek presents a two-month film programme with Cornelis' work.
Sabzian made a selection of films from this programme and will publish a series of texts focusing on his films.
Serge Daney (1944-1992) was an influential French film critic who started out at Cahiers du cinéma, wrote for the daily newspaper Libération on cinema and television and at the end of his life founded the quarterly magazine Trafic. In the first years after his death most of his prolific writing was published yet sparsely translated, making him very little known outside the French speaking world up until a couple of years ago. Daney's importance to film criticism has been slowly acquiring acknowledgement through the ardent work of his admirers taking up translations themselves. We ought to be grateful to those who didn't wait for publishers to come to their senses and commission translations, although eventually they did. (The publications in Dutch by Octavo are particularly worth mentioning.) Online, there is the blog 'Serge Daney in English' keeping track of his texts available in English. Sabzian as well has published texts on and by Serge Daney. Find them here in our article section.
Reason for bringing all this up is the apparition of the fourth and last volume of 'La maison cinéma et le monde - 4. Le moment Trafic (1991-1992)' by Editions P.O.L. Focussing on his last work while launching Trafic, this volume also contains interviews along the lines of the long interview 'Journey of a cine-son'. Read the first twenty pages of this new publication here and let us hope for more brave bloggers and publishers.
Every month we contribute a couple of pages about film to the free music and culture magazine Subbacultcha. Check out the December/January issue (p. 42-43)!
‘Regards sur le réel’ presents six significant documentary films produced in French in Belgium during the 20th century. Thanks both to the view they offer us of reality and their reflection on its form, these are works that left their mark on the singular art of the documentary film. These various views question, search for and approach reality in their own way in an attempt to address the why and how of cinema. The release includes, among others, the wonderful Dimanche (Edmond Bernhard, 1963) and Lettre d'un cinéaste à sa fille (Eric Pauwels, 2000).
More info on the website of CINEMATEK.
Check out our film pages in the November issue of the free magazine Subbacultcha.
Flip to pages 44 and 45!
Filmer à tout prix is back featuring many interesting programs. FATP is a biennal festival focussing on documentary cinema.
The festival Filmer à tout prix provides a special moment to debate, discuss and review the cinema of today whose very creativity calls our world into question. This essential rendez-vous of documentary cinema in Belgium selects a series of films which highlight the multiplicity of cinematic expression. Vital and unvarnished, the Belgian and foreign films screened at this event tackle today’s realities via a variety of imaginative and innovative styles and signatures. Read on here
Check out our selection of this year's program.
The 42nd Film Fest Gent kicks off tomorrow 13 October.
Check out Sabzian's selection here.
“The way I would like to film corresponds to the idea that the land one possesses is always a sign of barbarism and blood, while the land one traverses without taking it reminds us of a book.”
SoundImageCulture (SIC) is a Brussels based workspace where artists, filmmakers and anthropologists assist artists and social scientists in the realization of their personal audiovisual projects. Candidates for SIC submit their application before 1 October 2015. The SIC team will review the applications and invite finalists for interview in November 2015. Each year SIC is open to a maximum of 15 participants. SIC is especially interested in project proposals in which artistic development goes together with antropological influences. You can find more information about the application here.
Thomas Elsaesser and Malte Hagener are presenting an online companion for the second edition of Film Theory: An Introduction Through the Senses, which explores the relationship among the screen and the spectator’s mind, body, and senses. Using seven distinctive configurations of spectator and screen that move progressively from ‘exterior’ to ‘interior’ relationships, the authors retrace the most important stages of film theory from its beginnings to the present.
The website provides analyses on topics as 'Cinema as Window and Frame', 'Cinema as Skin - Body and Touch' and 'Cinema as Ear - Acoustics and Space'. Every chapter combines a text with some video essays.
Visit the website here.
‘Le spectateur émancipé’ (2008) van de Franse filosoof Jacques Rancière is nu in het Nederlands vertaald en uitgegeven bij Octavo. In ‘De geëmancipeerde toeschouwer’ verzet Rancière zich tegen de gedachte dat het hedendaagse publiek van kunst en cultuur passief het getoonde aanschouwt. Dit denkbeeld heeft geleid tot vele pogingen van kunstenaars en theatermakers om het publiek bij het kunstwerk of de voorstelling te betrekken. De toeschouwer zou zich op die manier ‘emanciperen’ tot een actief lid van de culturele gemeenschap. Meer info vind je hier.
Op Sabzian kan je de Nederlandse vertaling vinden van Rancières ‘La politique de Pedro Costa’ en ‘Some Came Running’, een korte tekst die Rancière schreef voor de Sabzian vertoning van Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, 1958).
Today, May 6th 2015, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Orson Welles. As a tribute to his intellectual and cinematic heritage, Sabzian will publish a series of texts around Welles' oeuvre.
“What are we referring to when we speak of the world march of the cinemas, that indispensable figment of statistics? An individual sitting in a seat, in a hall. Multiply him by quite a few millions and what do you get more than the same spectator in the plural? Unconscious of his statistical importance his dreams depend obstinately on the old human scale. No super-screen will make him a superman. He is no giant, he is only numerous.”
In 1958 Orson Welles wrote a short text in response to the controversy about the aspect ratio of Touch of Evil entitled ‘Ribbon of Dreams’. You can read the original text here or the Dutch translation made by Rosanne Claes and Gerard-Jan Claes here.
The best resemble Great books
That are difficult to penetrate
Because of their richness and depth.
The cinema isn’t easy
Because life is complicated
And art indefinable.
Making life indefinable
And art complicated.
Manoel de Oliveira
Manoel de Oliveira, the world's oldest active filmmaker has passed away today at the age of 106. His career as a filmmaker spanned eight decades. He made both documentary films and fictional work.
Watch his first film from 1931 Douro Faina Fluvial here.
Read Jonathan Rosenbaum's piece on Oliveira on the eve of his 100th birthday in Filmcomment.
March 19th 1895...
Thanks to Smala Cinéma for the reminder.
Every year spring sets in motion a metamorphosis of the world as we know it. It hovers over our winters like a promise but when it finally comes round it’s like nothing we expected. Since 2002 Courtisane Festival has amplified this feeling of promise for all lovers of cinema, reminding us of the complexities born from another kind of metamorphosis. Cinema brings together, albeit for a short instant, seemingly distant takes on our world, hopes, dreams and fears, much like a prism bundling a broad spectrum of light. This year’s program offers a wide array of new and old work built up around two ‘artists in focus’. One could say Pedro Costa’s and Thom Andersen’s work are worlds apart but nevertheless share certain sensibilities and concerns. Courtisane is about re-imagining countless associations and disassociations in the midst of a chamber of resonances. “And as we are all here, perhaps we can ask ourselves: what is it that we can do together?”
1 April - 5 April 2015 at various venues in Ghent
Throughout March, CINEMATEK is holding a retrospective of Sergei Loznitsa’s work. Maidan (2014), his latest critically acclaimed film on the revolutionary events in Kiev last year, will be presented by the director himself in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp. Loznitsa’s work consists of both documentaries and fiction films. We’ve made a selection of his documentaries, which are the building blocks of his developing oeuvre and establish clearly his observational strategies. Check out the agenda!
Check out our monthly contribution to Subbacultcha!, a free music and culture magazine. Go to pages 42-43 to read about upcoming events: Pasolini in Antwerp, Philibert in Brussels, Noël Burch in Ghent...
“The images on the screen carry in them something of the world itself, something material, and yet something transposed, transformed into another world: the material ghost. Hence both the peculiar closeness to reality and the no less peculiar suspension from reality, the juncture of world and otherworldliness distinctive of the film image.”
CINEMATEK compiled a DVD with 21 short films about Brussels. The earliest film dates from 1897, shot by cameraman Alexandre Promio and commissioned by the brothers Lumière. The other 20 rare films reconstruct the story of a city going through rapid change in the 20th century. Texts by Roel Jacobs (historical consultant at VisitBrussels) and Peter Van Goethem (doctoral researcher at RITS) guide the viewer through time and space. The dvd also includes the wonderful film Dimanche (1963) by Edmond Bernhard. “Dimanche was supposed to be a didactic film, intended to evoke the problem of leisure. Bernhard diverts the order and outwits the trap of the ‘thematic’ film. Without resorting to any form of commentary, making use of extraordinary images sublimating common spaces (the boredom of Sundays, the changing of the guard, children playing, a runner in the woods, a football match, ...), he constructs with a nifty montage an exceptional work dealing with the sense of void and the fossilisation of the world.” (Boris Lehman) You can find more info on the website of CINEMATEK.
CINEMATEK is showing five films by Roberto Rossellini at Flagey, namely Roma città aperta [Rome, Open City] (1945), Paisà [Paisan] (1946), Germania, anno zero [Germany Year Zero] (1948), Viaggio in Italia [Journey to Italy] (1954) and Non credo piu all’amore (La paura) [Fear] (1954). Each film is screened several times between December and February. Check the full program here.
Ter gelegenheid van dit programma publiceerde Cobra.be een tekst van Dirk Lauwaert, getiteld 'Eindelijk Rossellini'.
"Roma, città aperta is één van de grote momenten van doorbraak van het neorealisme in het naoorlogse Italië. Doorbraak van wat? Vijfentwintig jaar lang was er fascistische verstarring en inteelt, hoogtij van enkele genres die een volledig vertekend beeld gaven van de werkelijkheid, of beter nog, die juist elke dialoog met de werkelijkheid overbodig achtten. Deze volledig zelfstandig geworden schema's van komedies en drama's worden in een grandioos gebaar van bevrijding weggeschoven. Plots is het de werkelijkheid zelf die zichtbaar wordt."
Doc Alliance is holding an online Sergei Loznitsa retrospective. The website offers nine documentary films made since 2000. Moreover, it presents a world premiere of Loznitsa‘s yet unpublished master class delivered by the director to the viewers of the Polish Planete Doc Film Festival in the spring of 2014. Entitled 'Authenticity and the Phenomenon of Cinema', it provides a unique chance to learn about the director’s original notion of the film medium. The selected films are The Train Stop [Polustanok] (2000), Poselenie [Settlement] (2002), Portret [Portrait] (2002), Landschaft (2003), Fabrika [The Factory] (2004), Artel (2006), Predstavlenie [Revue] (2008), O Milagre de Santo Antonio [The Miracle of Saint Anthony] (2012) and Pismo [Letter] (2012).
"When you start working on a new film, it’s like working on a scientific theory from scratch. It’s only up to you how far into the corner you will push yourself in the process of creation. (...) But everything always starts from the very beginning. If you succeed, you will never find yourself in a dead end. Film is a theorem that has to arrive at a final point."
Yesterday was Jean-Luc Godard’s 84th birthday, with hopefully many returns of the day. Watch this edition of ‘Cinéastes de notre temps’, a 1967 conversation in eight parts between a thirtysomething Godard and the then 77 year old Fritz Lang.
Figures of Dissent, Wiseman’s National Gallery and Cinema Zuid’s Filmhistories: flip to page 44 of this new issue of Subbacultcha! to read Sabzian’s new contribution. Subbacultcha! is a free, independent music and culture magazine.
organiseert een boekenverkoop op 13 december van 10u tot 18u in het documentatiecentrum.
organizes a book sale on 13 December from 10h until 18h in their documentation centre.
organise une vente de livres le 13 décembre de 10h à 18h au centre de documentation.
More information here!
From 28 November until 20 December, Centre Pompidou in Paris is honouring Marguerite Duras with a retrospective of her films. More info here!
“Film took the spoken word back to its original silence. Once the spoken word was destroyed by the cinema, it never came back anywhere, in any writings. And with the film director, it is the very shape of its destruction that becomes a creative asset. In my view, the cinema was built on this defeat of the written word. Its crucial and decisive attraction lies in this massacre. Because this massacre is precisely the bridge that takes you to the very place of all reading. And still further: to the very place of subjection full stop, which suggests all existence experienced in current society. One could put it another way: that youth’s almost universal choice of the cinema is a choice – conscious or intuitive – of a political kind. That wanting to make films means precisely wanting to go straight to the place of one’s subjection: the viewer. And doing this by avoiding – by destroying – the always privileged stage of writing.” (Marguerite Duras)
Nu het documentairefestival IDFA in Amsterdam in volle gang is gaan er stemmen op over de vermeende braafheid van de Nederlandse documentaire. Dana Linssen pleitte in haar artikel 'Goed gemaakte braafheid' voor een filmcultuur waarin het debat, het spreken over films centraal staat en waarin risico's genomen durven te worden.
Lees haar artikel hier.
Cinema Galeries in Brussels is holding a David Lynch retrospective over a period of three months.
We’ve made a selection in our agenda, check it out here.
It has been one month already that the festival L'Âge d'or ended. During the festival which took place in the CINEMATEK, four films of Gustav Deutsch were screened. One of them was Film ist. (1998), which tried to define what cinema is by using footage taken from scientific and educational films. The film was organized in six chapters with titles such as Movement and Time, Light and Darkness, The Blink of an Eye and A Mirror.
Tom Gunning wrote an interesting text about the two parts of Film ist. You can read it here.
The long awaited book Mise en Scène and Film Style, From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art by renowned film critic Adrian Martin is finally published.
Styles of filmmaking have changed greatly from the classical Hollywood system, with its emphasis on narrative and character, to the current digital era of YouTube and installation art, where audiovisual spectacle takes command. The ways in which film critics and scholars have analysed these transformations in film style have also often changed. This book explores two central style concepts from the history of audiovisual criticism and theory, mise en scène and dispositif, to illuminate a wide range of film and new media examples. It argues that we need an open, inclusive and truly international approach to understand anew both old and current film and media works.
You can order your copy here!
Each month Sabzian contributes to the film pages of Subbacultcha!, a free, independent music and culture magazine. This month's issue features Zéro de conduite's evening in Beursschouwburg, Duras and Marker in Art Cinema OFFoff and Phil Niblock in Concertgebouw Brugge. Flip to page 44!
Next Tuesday, October 28 at 23:20, Canvas shows Vlaanderen in vogelvlucht (1976) and De straat (1972) by Jef Cornelis. Cornelis (°1941) worked as executor, director and scriptwriter for the VRT, the Dutch-language Belgian public broadcasting corporation, from 1963 until 1998. More info
Tonight a retrospective of the work of the great Wang Bing kicks off at CINEMATEK. It includes a master class, an exposition, an installation of Caiyou riji [A Journal of Crude Oil] (2008) and a lecture. Screenings start next Monday with the first part of the seminal Tiexi qu [West of the Tracks] (2003). Several busy but glorious weeks coming up!
ABC-cinema was the last single theatre cinema to be built in Brussels in 1971, specialized in pornographic films.
Despite the enormous potential for another vibrant cinephile spot on Brussels' city centre boulevards, the cinema is about to be closed forever, due to judicial tenancy issues. CINEACT is a foundation trying to do something about it. Read all about them here.
From 8 until 14 October CINEMATEK hosts L'Âge d'or, a festival for subversive and poetic films averse to conformism in cinema and society. Orginially conceived as a prize at the legendary Knokke Experimental Film Festival, L'Âge d'or, after Luis Buñuel's eponymous film, now returns as a festival at CINEMATEK, Bozar and Flagey.
Check out our selection here!
This year, the guiding theme of Nuit Blanche in Brussels is cinema – a theme that was directly inspired by the neighbourhood it will be occupying. It will mostly be situated in the prestigious neighbourhood that was home to the cinemas and theatres of yesteryear. The boulevards of Adolphe Max and Emile Jacqmain, as well as the rue Neuve and the rue de l'Ecuyer, will host a journey that is largely focused on the art of film. You can find more info here.
October is a copious month for those who love cinema! We have made our selection for the upcoming Film Fest Gent. Check it out here.
Each month Sabzian contributes to the film pages of Subbacultcha!, a free, independent music and culture magazine. And well, October turns out to be a month full of cinema. This issue’s contribution features Wang Bing’s retrospective at Cinematek and Bozar, two new evenings in the Figures of Dissent series on the relation between cinema and politics in Ghent and Brussels and the release of Andrey Zvyaginstev’s new film Leviathan countrywide.
But these are only a few of the many discoveries to be made this fall, check out our agenda for more.
The Doclisboa 2014 program is now online and it includes a Johan van der Keuken retrospective with no less than 23 films.
De Witte Raaf dedicated their latest issue to the early texts by Dirk Lauwaert (1944-2013) on film. Lauwaert wrote about photography, film, fashion, visual arts, city culture etc. He also taught for many years at LUCA and RITS in Brussels. Publications include 'Dromen van een expeditie' (2006), 'Lichtpapier' (2007) and 'Onrust' (2011). This year 'De geknipte stof' was published posthumously.
In this issue, De Witte Raaf selected texts written by Lauwaert (in Dutch) between 1965 and 1971 on Il deserto rosso [Red Desert] by Antonioni, Pasolini, Alphaville by Godard, Bergman, etc.
Each month Sabzian contributes to the film pages of Subbacultcha!, a free, independent music and culture magazine. This month’s issue features Bozar’s UFA film nights and a Billy Wilder double bill in Antwerp’s Cinema Zuid. Check it out here!
Jeune Cinéma is a monthly film magazine created by Jean Delmas in September 1964 to extend the discovery of new films within the Fédération Jean-Vigo des ciné-clubs de jeunes which, in 1960, consisted of 300 film clubs in secondary schools. The magazine, which currently offers seven issues per year, is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in October 2014. Jeune Cinéma is now also available online: www.jeunecinema.fr.
In the fall of last year director of photography, filmmaker and photographer Sébastien Koeppel unexpectedly passed away. Sébastien was a gifted, engaged and loyal collaborator and friend to many independent directors and artists in the Brussels cinema community. He was a passionate teacher and a superb specialist of celluloid imagary and processing, being one of the inspirers of the research based experimental film lab Labo.
Cinematek is honouring Sébastien Koeppel with an elaborate selection of the films he worked on.
Please find our selection here.
CINEMATEK is holding a Luchino Visconti retrospective in September. Check out the films and dates here.
In the fall of 1962, François Truffaut carried out extensive interviews with Alfred Hitchcock at his offices at Universal Studios. The interviews were recorded to audio tape and the content eventually edited down into the 'Hitchcock/Truffaut' book. Although Truffaut could speak a little English, he hired Helen Scott to act as the translator for the interviews. The audio tapes, twenty-five files of about half an hour each, are available here.
The BFI polled 340 critics, programmers and filmmakers in the search for authoritative answers.
Find the interactive list here.
Photogénie and Film Fest Gent present the first Young Critics Workshop, open to 5 aspiring film critics (aged 18-26) from Belgium and abroad, offering them the opportunity to cover the 41st edition of this major international event (14 - 22 October).
Find more info and apply here.
"Parler avec les mots des autres, voilà ce que je voudrais. Ce doit être ça la liberté."
Alexandre in La maman et la putain (Jean Eustache, 1973)
Read more about the endlessly gratifying and beautiful 'Passage du cinéma, 4992', a carefully composed and edited book of meticulously selected quotes on cinema, by Annick Bouleau here.
Renowned German filmmaker and video artist Harun Farocki died on Wednesday July 30 at 70-years-old. More info on artnet.
Roel Bentz van den Berg is schrijver en radiomaker. Hij verzamelt in literair tijdschrift De gids zijn herinneringen over literatuur, muziek en film. In zijn laatste artikel schreef hij over de brieven van een pop en de gebroeders Quay. Lees het hier.
Subbacultcha! Belgium's June Issue is out now. You can find Sabzian's contribution at page 42 and 43!
Jorge Larossa and Jan Masschelein had a lengthy conversation with Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, held in 2010 on the occasion of their honorary doctorate at University of Leuven.
Watch it here.
Read Arthus Mas and Martial Pisani's La forme de l'entretien on Jean-Luc Godard's new film Adieu au langage. The text in French is the first part of a series entitled Un entretien presque infini.
- S’avancer à définir le sujet d’Adieu au langage serait peut-être une erreur.
- Plusieurs idées viennent pourtant à l’esprit.
- Ne les énumérons pas. Essayons de déterminer ce qui nous ferait pencher pour un sujet ou pour un autre, ou plutôt de relever les signes qui nous inciteraient à cette détermination.
- Autant ne pas s’astreindre à relever les récurrences les plus marquées, et essayer de décrire véritablement la forme du film.
- Qu’entendrait-on par là ? Est-ce la composition, le rythme ou l’aspect plastique d’Adieu au langage qui étonne le plus?
In 1975 publiceert Robert Bresson Notes sur le cinématographe, een bundeling aforismen en notities. Bresson maakt in deze bundel een onderscheid tussen cinema en cinematografie. “De CINEMA put uit de gemeenplaatsen. De cinematografie maakt een ontdekkingsreis op een onbekende planeet.” Cinema is voor Bresson niet meer dan verfilmd theater. “Cinematografie: nieuwe manier van schrijven, dus van voelen.”
Watch John Akomfrah's entire The Last Angel of History (1995) produced by Black Audio Film Collective here!
The essay film explores the history (and future) of Afrofuturism featuring musicians like George Clinton, Juan Atkins, Derrick May, sci-fi writers and culturual theorists such as Kodwo Eshun.
Les Prairies ordinaires published (in French) the book Alors, la Chine, a long interview with Wang Bing by film critic Emmanuel Burdeau and Eugenio Renzi about his life and oeuvre. About the book: Dans cet entretien, le cinéaste chinois raconte son enfance, sa découverte de la politique au moment des événements de Tian’anmen, ses études, l’aventure d’À l’Ouest des rails, sa rencontre avec Fengming, les difficultés du Fossé… Il parle longuement de sa conception du cinéma, de sa méthode et des expériences partagées auprès de ceux qu’il filme. Publié à l’occasion de la rétrospective intégrale que lui consacre le Centre Pompidou, Alors, la Chine livre un témoignage incomparable sur la vie et le travail d’un cinéaste majeur.
"My dear President, dear festival director and dear colleagues,
Once again, I thank you for inviting me to the festival, but you know I haven't taken part in film distribution for a long time, and I'm not where you think I am. Actually, I'm following another path. I've been inhabiting other worlds, sometimes for years, or for a few seconds, under the protection of film enthusiasts; I've gone and stayed."
Godard's letter in motion to Cannes' Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux, view it here.
Ive Verdoodt wrote an article about the silence of the characters of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for rekto:verso. Read it here (in Dutch).