article EN
25.07.2018

Wilfried Reichart shaped the WDR-Filmredaktion in various capacities, leading it from 1980 until 2004. Over the years, Reichart had several conversations with Jean-Luc Godard and grappled with his work in reviews, articles and essays again and again. Reichart: “Honestly, I have always been fascinated by this person. I like the constant rebeginning, the permanent calling into question, in order to then take another step. I find that incredibly exciting about him. This fundamental attitude. The principle of his thinking is always to say no. [...] That’s the difference between him and all the others. Rivette has always made the same films, Truffaut as well, and Rohmer very extremely so. They have all found their style and followed it through until the end of their lives. Godard is the only one who hasn’t done this.”

article NL EN
4.07.2018

I have always found the slavish devotion to reality a bit of a mystery. I don’t know why. People say: “Well, that doesn’t seem very realistic.” You are sitting in a room with a hundred of strangers, looking at a projection on a screen, there is nothing realistic about that, it is all fake. The actress is not real. This is all fake, every bit of it. The clothes they have on, the way they live, the make-up, it is all fake. I have never been a big fan of reality. I think that’s why we watch stories.

article NL EN
6.06.2018

The cinema fell upon its prey with immense rapacity, and to the moment largely subsists upon the body of its unfortunate victim. But the results are disastrous to both. The alliance is unnatural. Eye and brain are torn asunder ruthlessly as they try vainly to work in couples.

article EN
9.05.2018

“I only started out in cinema when I was about thirty, and for me, my life or my thoughts have always been lagging behind cinema. Like, if it were a train, cinema would be the locomotive and politics and all that would be the last carriage. It is from For Ever Mozart and mostly Film socialisme onward that it started to be both at the same time. In my personal life as well, how my personal life has joined my cinematographic life.”

article EN
25.04.2018

When your voice appears on top of the images telling the viewer an anecdote that inspired the title of the film: how when in New York you listen to Palestinian hip-hop and when in Palestine you listen to the blues, you reveal your road trip’s soundtrack. By sharing this snippet of information, you set a tone for the film and the journey. It’s personal. With this letter, I’ve decided to lose the third person, avoid the banal (re)writing of a press release and allow this bid to speak nearby your work to be personal too.

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 EN
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
7.02.2018

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
8.11.2017

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.”