New
note EN
1.08.2022

Sabzian is taking a summer break. We’ll be back in September!

Article NL EN
27.07.2022

Critic, film theorist and filmmaker, Jean-Louis Comolli died in his adoptive home city of Paris on May 19, 2022, at the age of eighty. An editor of Cahiers du Cinéma from 1965 to 1973, his international reputation in the field of film studies rests largely on a handful of texts – ‘The Detour through the Direct’, ‘Cinema/Ideology/Criticism’, ‘Technique and Ideology’ – written as he and his co-editor Jean Narboni steered the journal towards a Marxist-Leninist line in the wake of the May ’68 uprising. In France, meanwhile, he is equally well-known for the corpus of films made after departing Cahiers: a body of more than forty titles incorporating both fiction and (more preponderantly) documentary formats, and made for both cinema and television.

Article NL EN
27.07.2022

In ‘Dreaming of an Expedition’, published in 1996, the then 52-year-old Dirk Lauwaert takes stock of his long personal relationship, and his relationship as a critic, with the medium of film. He describes his burgeoning passion for film and how it further shaped his life as a young man; he clarifies, briefly and powerfully, what is at stake for him in the film experience; then the argument tilts: the film lover feels cheated by the dominant visual culture of the mid-1990s: it separates watching from experiencing. This calls for a renewed struggle for the autonomy of the film experience. But isn’t that a losing battle?

Article NL EN
27.07.2022

Film was an empty theatre, during the day, in which artificial light showed everything the sun outside could never show. It was the most blissful way of being: all alone in the presence of an intense illusion. Life watched more fascinating than life lived. The other so much more fascinating than the self, a substitute dream for the self.

note EN
26.07.2022

Iranian filmmakers Mohamad Rasoulof, Mostafa Al-Ahmad and Jafar Pahani, have been detained and are currently being persecuted as a result of their work in Iran.

note EN
26.07.2022

Recently the Polish Film Institute and Wytwόrnia Filmόw Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych (Documentary and Feature Film Studios) launched a new streaming platform entitled 35mm.online, making available a large amount of Polish films freely available online.

Conversation EN
20.07.2022

In Lviv, after a spontaneous occupation of the regional government buildings by activists, the police forces withdraw, leaving a power vacuum. A self-organized group of volunteers decide to take over law enforcement functions in the city, using a peer-to-peer digital radio channel called “Varta1” (guard1), that formed the starting point for Yuriy Hrytsyna’s film. Hrytsyna: “When I found it, I immediately knew it was something important, something historic. Since it’s a radio stream, it would disappear. So I recorded it a few days in a row. (...) They were characteristic for the things that were discussed in Maidan, Kyiv and in the whole of Ukraine. But nevertheless, it was a situation that was likely to be forgotten.”

Article NL EN
13.07.2022

Trouble in Paradise is a crook film – and not only because it’s about crooks. It reveals imposture to be the essence of cinema. Film, says Leenhardt, is the art of ellipsis – what else are theft, fraud and imposture? Skipping links, creating seemingly or only outwardly conclusive connections between originally unrelated elements: that is the art of filmmakers and con artists, the essence of their respective means of expression. 

Article NL FR EN
6.07.2022

When I read Melissa Anderson’s thin volume on Inland Empire late last year, I was overwhelmed. After inhaling its 104 pages, I felt immediately that I wanted to write about the book but equally knew that I could never review it, since it appears in a series – the Decadent Editions from Fireflies Press, ten books about ten films, one for each year of the 2000s – to which I’m also a contributor. Now I happily have my chance, freed from any pretense of objective assessment.

Article NL
13.07.2022
Fernand Deligny 1978
Vertaald door
Introductie door

Sabzian publiceert de komende maanden de eerste Nederlandstalige vertalingen van enkele teksten van Fernand Deligny. Hij schreef verschillende teksten over camereren, een werkwoord dat zich onderscheidt van wat we doorgaans filmen noemen. Via dit neologisme opende hij een uniek perspectief op de camera. Deligny: “Film is nooit enkel het Engelse woord dat voor de geest roept wat in onze taal pellicule heet. Maar dat woord pellicule moest bezet zijn door wat het wou zeggen, en het zijn kleine schilfers van dode huid waar het om gaat; op basis daarvan zegt men filmen en niet pelliculeren.”

From the Archive

Conversation EN
30.09.2020

The 91 year-old Michael Snow is one of the few canonized figures of his ilk, and the structural school he’s said to be part of remains etched into the annals of American cinematic history. Over two conversations, Snow and Brandon Kaufman spoke about [...] retrospection, as well as process, legacy, and experimentation – and the contradictions therein. Michael Snow: “each of my films is different and each film has a different quantity of narrativity. Speaking structurally, narrativity means presenting an event to the audience at a particular time, then referring to that event later. I have tried to control "narrativity" in different ways, trying to get [the film] situated in the ideal “now” of the cinema experience.”

Article NL FR EN
11.12.2019
André Bazin 1956
Vertaald door

André Bazin wordt weleens de “uitvinder van de filmkritiek” genoemd. Hele generaties filmcritici en filmmakers, niet in het minst die verbonden met de Nouvelle Vague, zijn schatplichtig aan zijn schrijfsels over film. Film opent een “venster op de wereld”, aldus Bazin. Zijn geschriften zouden ook belangrijk zijn voor de ontwikkeling van de auteurstheorie. Bazin: “Een van de belangrijkste argumenten tegen de haters van de mechanische kunsten die het moderne leven hebben overspoeld, leek me altijd het feit dat ze zowel een buitengewoon middel zijn ter verspreiding van cultuur als ter vermaak.”

Article NL FR EN
24.04.2019

Le film Mitten – qui nous montre les coulisses de la création de Mitten wir im Leben Sind/Bach6CelloSuiten – met le doigt sur ce point précis : comment s’invente la danse ? La caméra de Olivia Rochette et Gerard-Jan Claes scrute la manière dont elle émerge d’une circulation continue entre les notes, les mots et les gestes. Chaque plan – alternant séances à la table et répétition des séquences dansées – redistribue les places fluctuantes de ces différents régimes de signes. On observe les arrêts, les reprises, les discussions : sur une note, un rythme, une trajectoire.