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

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André Bazin 1957
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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: “Chris Marker’s Sunday in Peking unfortunately lasts just twenty minutes, and the crop of images seems poor compared to Pedrazzini’s. But the image is not limited here to itself. Its value is developed in two supplementary dimensions: the editing and the commentary.”

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"Naast zijn activiteiten als schrijver, criticus, fotograaf, scenarist, filmmaker, fotoredacteur, mediakunstenaar en cartoonist/blogger frequenteert Chris Marker sinds kort ook Second Life, waar zijn avatar Sergei Murasaki heet. In die gedaante stond Marker een zeldzaam online interview toe, waarin hij stellig poneert dat hij zichzelf nooit als een cineast heeft beschouwd. Ja-mais. Multimediakunstenaar vindt hij dan weer te eigentijds klinken. Hij houdt het liever op een typering als ambachtelijk bricoleur. Maar dan wel een knutselaar die aan alles een eigen signatuur verleent.”

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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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In the series ‘One Spectator Among Others’ Herman Asselberghs and Gerard-Jan Claes invite various passionate film lovers to elaborate on their viewing practice by email. Filmmakers, artists, critics, researchers, authors, programmers, cinemagoers, TV enthusiasts, Netflixers, YouTubers, torrent users... After the first instalment with Herman Asselberghs, we continue the series with Rebecca Jane Arthur, a Scottish visual artist, living in Brussels. She is co-founder of elephy, a production and distribution platform for film and media art based in Brussels.

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We listen to Atteyat Al-Abnoudy speak in a loud voice about her vision for art, life and reality; and we get to know her inimitable, riotous character in return. Atteyat Al-Abnoudy: “I don’t care for the prizes as much as I care for my films to be shown in my own country, because I am offering pure Egyptian cinema to the Egyptian people, and I am addressing the existence of the authentic Egyptian human. Regardless of how many prizes I win around the world, their entire sum is not as worthy as one single glance of a pair of Egyptian eyes that give my films their glory and true worth.”


The Belgian producer Anne Deligne, cofounder of the production house Cobra Films, has passed away.

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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.

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Brazil’s oldest institution for the preservation and restoration of audivisual history, the Cinemateca Brasileira based in São Paulo, has suffered yet another major setback when its main warehouses were hit by fire on 30 July, probably due to a technical malfunction.

From the Archive

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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.

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Zowel de openingsfilm van Film Fest Gent 2018, Girl van Lukas Dhont, als de slotfilm, Beautiful Boy van Felix Van Groeningen, waren gebaseerd op waargebeurde verhalen. De eerste is het relaas van een jonge transvrouw, de tweede dat van een jongeman die met een drugsverslaving worstelt.


In navolging van de Black Panther-comics schaakt de film die naam – zonder ooit rechtstreeks de echte Panthers te vermelden – in een eenvoudig maar daarom niet minder meesterlijk manoeuvre van ideologische manipulatie, zodat de eerste associatie nu niet langer de vroegere radicale militante organisatie is, maar een superheld-koning van een machtig Afrikaans koninkrijk. Beter gezegd, er zijn twee Black Panthers in de film, koning T’Challa en zijn neef, Erik Killmonger. Ze staan elk voor een verschillende politieke visie.