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In 1982 debuteerde de Belgische filmcriticus/docent/academicus/televisieproducent en -programmator Eric de Kuyper met Casta Diva, een film die internationaal meteen werd opgemerkt. Deze tekst is zijn toelichting bij de subsidieaanvraag voor het Nederlands filmfonds, waarin hij vooral tracht zijn fascinatie te omschrijven en niet via woorden de beelden te evoceren. “Mijn weigering om een klassiek scenario te schrijven [mag] geïnterpreteerd worden als functioneel. In die zin dat ik van mening ben dat: 1. niet alle films ‘klassieke speelfilms’ hoeven te zijn; 2. men in bepaalde contextuele (voornamelijk financiële) omstandigheden naar andere filmvormen moet streven. Geen speelfilm betekent dus niet automatisch een ‘documentaire’ of ‘dus, een experimentele film’.”

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Met Eric de Kuyper als rug en spilfiguur heeft de Nijmeegse school in 1986 al vier films afgeleverd: Casta Diva, Naughty Boys, Mathilde (van Emile Poppe) en A Strange Love Affair (samen met Paul Verstraten). Constanten zijn dat deze films heel snel zijn gemaakt, met weinig geld, dat er gretig uit films in wordt geciteerd, dat ze in zwart-wit zijn en dat ze andere visuele en auditieve prikkels uitsturen dan de doorsnee speelfilm. Een bloemlezing uit de Kuypers mijmeringen.

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Na zijn debuut Casta Diva (1982) leverde Eric de Kuyper in 1984 Naughty Boys af. Een nieuwe film van de Belgische regisseur die tot dan toe vooral actief was geweest als televisieproducent- en programmator, schrijver, docent en onderzoeker. “Ik weet uit ervaring hoe veel andere mensen films maken of gemaakt hebben en ik had voor mezelf besloten: nou, op die manier maak ik vast geen films! Alleen wist ik niet zo meteen hoe eraan te ontsnappen. Maar voor mij, zoals ik eerder ook al aangaf, is een film maken een soort feestje, een soort plezierige samenwerking van verschillende mensen die graag met elkaar werken. En dat is de basis geworden.”

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The title of the text “Straschek 1963–74 West Berlin” is as simple as it is informative: it is a subjective, self-reflective insight into Günter Peter Straschek’s eleven years in West Berlin. Straschek: “I’ve never enjoyed teaching or gained anything from it, least of all in a state college of fine arts, those state-run breeding grounds for irrationality, where teachers and students are out to do each other one better at cooking up pretentious ideas.”

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Asked about his use of sound, Apichatpong has this to say: “I want it to resonate in the heart.” Does it resonate in the world? “What's that sound?” Apichatpong's films suggest many answers to this recurring question, or no answers at all, only openings. Loud bang in sleep, subliminal roar, deep groaning voices of howler monkeys; all inchoate, the invisible entity that stalks us through life. Sound is here on earth with us, calling to another place, beyond physical life.

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Writing about Ophüls or Ozu on a corner of the kitchen table... surrounded by the smell of everyday life. Cooking, “making food” – thus protecting herself from the torment of writing. An attitude that is difficult for me to understand, my own approach to writing being quite different. (The same goes for my approach of cooking.) It remains a mystery to me that these beautiful texts originated between simmering boeuf bourguignon and caramel flan, still to be prepared. 

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Julian Volz 2022
Translated by

At the end of the 1960s, there was a change of generations at the magazine [Filmkritik] and the editorial work was henceforth led by a collective, the film critics’ co-operative. From that moment, the magazine stopped being a film magazine oriented towards current cinema events and, instead, published thematic issues devoted entirely to one subject and without any formal guidelines. The issues’ respective guest authors and designers were free from editorial intervention. Only these conditions made it possible for literary and film personalities such as Straschek to cover an entire issue with a thoroughly composed biographical essay.

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This year, the American film director Gus Van Sant created his first stage production called Trouble, a musical about Andy Warhol. On the occasion of the premiere in De Singel in Antwerp, Sabzian has a conversation with Van Sant to talk about four films that marked a period of formal experimentation in his oeuvre: Gerry (2002), Elephant (2003), Last Days (2005) and Paranoid Park (2007). Gus Van Sant: “The blocking itself is the main feature of the scene. When you’re using a storyboard, you’re adapting the locations and the actors to the storyboard, which is already fixed when the characters come in the frame. This is the main reason I started to work without a storyboard because the characters can work the scene better. They can make things happen within that timeframe as opposed to working with single shots.”


On the occasion of the State of Cinema 2021, held by Nicole Brenez on 23 December 2021, Sabzian presents a small Dossier on the French film historian, scholar and curator, compiled in dialogue with Brenez herself. This compilation comprises texts on Theodor W. Adorno’s view on cinema, Harun Farocki, Marylène Negro, The House Is Black by Forough Farrokhzad, on the filmic correspondence between Jonas Mekas and José Luis Guérin, a keynote speech on the state of political cinema today, and an exclusive English translation of Brenez’s piece on René Vautier.

From the Archive

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Hatari! is an enormous film, one which is only saved from its monstrosity by the incredible intelligence of its director. It is a summation in which all the aspects of cinema are stirred together, amalgamated. The labyrinthine complexity of its construction is dizzying. Watching it can only put one off, or leave them wiped out.

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TV-programme producers occasionally try to make their works available for repeated viewing in addition to one-off screenings. As is the case with Voyage à Paris, which is like a beautiful poem you want to read several times, or a piece of music you want to hear several times. This visual essay contains a couple of passages you will remember especially well, transitions that are so intriguing that you will want to further savour them. 

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Net als de Tramp past Wendy niet in de gevestigde orde, maar de anarchie die Chaplins zwerver kon stichten, even rigoureus als zinloos, is tenietgedaan.