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Een van mijn favoriete stukken over een van mijn favoriete filmmakers heet simpelweg Jean-Luc Godard. De Amerikaanse schilder, filmcriticus en auteur Manny Farber schreef het in 1968. Ik las het ongeveer dertig jaar na datum in Negative Space, de bundeling van zijn beste stukken uit die periode. Sindsdien schiet me bij het bekijken van een film van JLG geregeld de slotzin van het artikel te binnen: “In short, no other film-maker has so consistently made me feel like a stupid ass.” (...) In bevlogen proza laat Farber zich schamper uit over Godards productieve sixties-output, die hij met stijgende ergernis merkbaar op de voet heeft gevolgd en maar wat graag haat. De spreekwoordelijke druppel die aanleiding geeft tot balansopmaak: La chinoise.

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André Bazin 1956
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André Bazin is sometimes called “the inventor of film criticism”. Entire generations of film critics and filmmakers, especially those associated with the Nouvelle Vague, are indebted to his writings on film. Film opens a “window on the world”, according to Bazin. His writings would also be important for the development of the auteur theory. Bazin: “Let’s face it, westerns aren’t taken seriously! Sure, there is no shortage of intellectuals declaring their love of westerns. One hears plenty of distinguished old gentlemen proclaiming it loudly. But even without looking for the posturing this declaration of faith entails (ask for titles and you will find that these self-proclaimed “western lovers” only see one or two a year!), one can be almost certain that it is based on a misunderstanding.”

Article NL

In slechts drie jaar tijd ontstond het gehele oeuvre van Jan Decorte (1950) als filmmaker. Hij regisseerde het televisiespel Nature morte (1976), de langspeelfilms Pierre (1976) en Hedda Gabler (1978), en de televisiefilm Gombrowicz: voorvallen, avonturen (1977). Na de voltooiing van deze films maakte Decorte geen films meer; hij had naar eigen zeggen genoeg van productionele rompslomp en filmcritici die zijn werk niet serieus wensten te nemen. (...) Ook de Poolse auteur Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969), onderwerp van Decortes televisiefilm, kreeg amper bijval van binnen- en buitenlandse critici en werd geregeld gemakzuchtig aan de kant geschoven.

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Staring Back brings together about two hundred black-and-white photo portraits produced by Chris Marker from 1952 to 2006. It arose unforeseen (but what route better, given how we believe we’ve come to know him?) from an exchange of letters.

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Atteyat Al-Abnoudy’s definition of documentaries is simple and all-encompassing: “No script, no actors, no direction. The cameraman follows the subject.” (...) “What I want,” says Al-Abnoudy, leaning forward to make the point, “is a Déscription de l’Egypte on film.” Layers and layers of thick description that would make Clifford Geertz happy, testimonies from people rarely heard from, images of daily struggles to survive, dreams deferred but not forgotten.

From the Archive

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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.

Conversation EN

“The International Women’s Year provided me with the opportunity to make it [Fatma 75]. I figured that, for the first Tunisian film entirely devoted to this subject, I must not resort to fiction but make an analytical work. Through this film, I set about demystifying what is called ‘the miracle of Tunisian women’s emancipation’.”

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The film Mitten, which shows us what goes on behind the scenes in the creation of Mitten wir im Leben Sind/Bach6CelloSuiten, focuses on this point exactly: how is dance invented? The camera of Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes scrutinises how it emerges from a continuous circulation between the notes, the words and the gestures. Each scene, alternating between sessions at the table and rehearsals of dance sequences, redistributes the evolving places of these different symbolic arrangements. We see the stops, the retakes, the discussions: about a note, a rhythm, a trajectory.