Article NL
10.07.2019

Critici worden vaak verguisd. Kenneth Williams vergeleek hen ooit op memorabele wijze met de eunuchen in een harem: “Ze zijn er elke avond. Ze zien het elke avond gebeuren. Maar zelf kunnen ze het niet.” Het is moeilijk om geen plezier te beleven aan Williams’ bijtende scherpzinnigheid, ook al bezondigt hij zich hier misschien aan een onterechte veralgemening. Kritiek, als ze goed is uitgevoerd, is een kunstvorm op zich. Maar aangezien vandaag de voorkeur uitgaat naar clickbait in plaats van inzicht, zijn de normen voor de hedendaagse kritiek onmiskenbaar vervaagd.

Conversation NL EN
26.06.2019

During her visit to Belgium this spring, Sabzian spoke with Valeska Grisebach, director of Mein Stern (2001), Sehnsucht (2006) and Western (2017). Grisebach: “It just sometimes really takes my breath away. The beauty of simple material without invention, the contact between the camera and the material: a human, a face, light, atmosphere... On the one hand there is this story or plot, a reference to the idea of fiction, or to old legends and stories people bring to the project... But at the same time, I also want to lose control and get to something you can’t understand or sort out immediately. You could say it’s about a refusal to place the characters, the world depicted, “under restraint.””

Conversation NL EN
26.06.2019

Tijdens haar bezoek aan België dit voorjaar sprak Sabzian met Valeska Grisebach, regisseuse van Mein Stern (2001), Sehnsucht (2006) en Western (2017). Grisebach: “Soms vind ik het simpelweg adembenemend. De schoonheid van eenvoudig materiaal zonder verzinsels, het contact tussen de camera en het materiaal: een mens, een gezicht, licht, sfeer, …  Dus aan de ene kant is er een verhaal of een plot, een verwijzing naar het idee van fictie of naar oude legendes en verhalen die mensen meebrengen naar het project … Maar tegelijkertijd wil ik ook de controle verliezen en tot iets komen dat ik niet onmiddellijk begrijp of kan oplossen. Je zou kunnen zeggen dat het gaat om een weigering om de personages, de wereld die wordt getoond, op te sluiten.”

Article NL EN
19.06.2019

Girl thrives on impersonal voyeurism. Not unlike the scenes in front of the mirror, the scenes with the doctor, psychologist and dance teacher turn the audience into bystanders of a process of certification. When Lara, at the end of her journey, confidently looks into the camera in a Brussels metro station, she also looks us, her “jury”, straight in the eyes. It’s as if she knew all along that someone had been watching in the background. “Here I am,” she seems to say, “now you know what I’ve been through. Now I can come to terms with myself.”

Conversation NL
12.06.2019

Dit interview werd afgenomen door de Portuguese filmcriticus Luís Mendonça voor de Portuguese website À pala de Walsh. Sylvie Pierre: “Binnen die omgeving dan “de vrouwelijke gevoeligheid” representeren? Geen idee of ik dat deed ... Waarschijnlijk. Maar wel behoedzaam. Het vrouwelijke toegepast op het gebied van het kritische denken was nog onontgonnen terrein, bovendien bezaaid met mijnen. Het vrouwelijke denken werd, toen tenminste, niet toegejuicht. Het werd niet gezien als een intellectuele kwaliteit die buiten verdenking stond.”

Article NL
5.06.2019

Zo heeft het hele gebeuren iets miraculeus. Het vertelt het verhaal van een representatie die sneller is dan de werkelijkheid. Het evenement in het stadion representeert die representatie, brengt ze ten tonele, als in een ongevaarlijke verdubbeling. Doordat de beelden meteen zichtbaar zijn, wordt zowel Lil Nas X als het publiek getroffen door de bevreemdende observatie dat het heden zich hier tot geschiedenis verheft. Het maakt van het filmpje een ongevraagde metafoor voor het hele “Old Town Road”-fenomeen.

Conversation NL EN
29.05.2019

“A mental hospital is not, as such, an original theme. The story told by ’Til Madness Do Us Part could just as well happen anywhere else. It is a common story. The fact remains that mental illness is of course an interesting subject, particularly in China. Somehow, mental illness frees mankind, as it liberates mankind from the yoke of the law. At the same time, it makes man more vulnerable... […] The life we see on the outside of an asylum is fundamentally not very different from the one we can see on the inside. What interested me was less the hospital than the patients and the life they were living... They don’t consider this place a mental hospital but the place in which they live. […]  It is their house. That’s where they live as if it is their home. Some of them even stay there for the rest of their lives. Very early on, I was struck by the impression that in a lot of ways there is more humanity on the inside of a hospital than on the outside.”

Article EN
29.05.2019

But fire also burns in the face of Yingying, the dutiful, stoic eldest daughter who yearns to read and write and study, to discover something unattainable in this tiny, remote village. There is fire even in her dirty, white-hooded jacket with the words “Lovely Diary” on the back, a jacket she never takes off throughout the film. She never demands anything, and she barely speaks, yet she is one of the most compelling, most affecting figures in all of documentary cinema.

Article EN
29.05.2019

The exercise is new to me. To reread what I have written in another time. Over the past decade, I was occasionally prompted to speak on Wang Bing’s film West of the Tracks (2002), which I don’t just consider a great movie but a cinematographic event that changes the state of things we still call ‘cinema’. In Corps et cadre (Verdier, 2002), I regretted not being able to produce a true critique of this film fleuve (of nine hours). The thing was beyond me; it still is. I then resolved to a different tactical approach. To examine what remained of the film in my memory. A film which is that long, a whole which is that intricate, cut into four segments each lasting more than one hour, two hours, three hours, obviously presents a challenge to the memory of the spectator that I am.

Conversation EN
29.05.2019

Before the premiere at the 2018 Cannes filmfestival, Emmanuel Burdeau talked to Wang Bing about his colossal documentary work Dead Souls. “As it is often the case, though, the problem was the solution: I finally understood that it was this gap that would be the subject of Dead Souls. I finally realized that what interested me through the memory of the survivors was to be able to touch upon the reality of those who had died. But all this remains very theoretical... From a practical standpoint I still didn’t know how the reality of those who were dead was going to come forth from the testimonies of those who were, on the contrary, still alive and who, when they were interviewed, spoke mostly of just that: the fact that they had survived. ”

Conversation EN
29.05.2019

“Behind her eyes I saw something – a light. And that light reminded me of a child’s eyes. I thought, “She’s there and we know that she’s there looking out from behind her eyes.” Eyes talk to us in these ways. When it dawned on me that a second chance to record her was unlikely, I realized that for the most part this would be the way to have her appear in the film. I thought it would probably be the only way to make people feel that she’s there, she’s alive, she’s still alive.”

Conversation EN
29.05.2019

“There is no absolute freedom for any filmmaker. There will always be limitations on various levels, according to the particular conditions a director works in: “less money” causes the “less freedom” of “less money,” and “more money” causes the “less freedom” of “more money”. For certain filmmakers, having little money means having little freedom, for other filmmakers – like myself – having little money means having more freedom, because the low budget makes things simpler and more straightforward. So I would say that a director has first of all to find the suitable conditions to create, to do what he wants to do. A good director always manages to work around – and sometimes break through – these limitations, and achieve his aims.”

Article EN
29.05.2019

Everything, you know, is nothing. The patients in every psychiatric hospital in the world do not exist. Their identity is denied. They have no name. They are simply crazy. In Wang Bing’s cinema we meet two types of characters. Those who have no name, but who describe themselves through action, and those who have a name and act through words. Dumbed by medicines, the madmen of Wang Bing are deprived of the opportunity to tell their story. This is the main issue that the film tackles and solves.

Conversation EN
29.05.2019
Didier Péron 2014
Translated by

“Yingying lives in hard circumstances. First, she was separated from her mother. Then, she was obliged to live several months without her father. And thereafter, she had to live without him and her two sisters. She has a difficult relation with the human community around her, her family and friends. But when she’s with the animals, you can feel her innocence, a certain human truth, very primal, very basic.”

Conversation EN
29.05.2019
Julien Gester 2012
Translated by

In He Fengming [Fengming: A Chinese Memoir] (2007) Wang Bing recorded in barely one take He Fengming’s startling testimony of the persecutions that she and her family endured throughout the Anti-Rightist Movement and the Cultural Revolution in China. “I wanted to assure her the most ample freedom of speaking. The core of the film has been shot during one afternoon. Fengming was 76 years old, she’s a woman who entirely lives in the past, in her memory. In fact, it seemed correct to make an immobile film, a ‘talking heads’ film and I did not want to stage anything else. It’s about understanding her for who she is: a spectral woman locked up in the past, wandering about in an apartment that has been reduced to a tomb.”

Article EN
22.05.2019

Disarming. There’s always something disarming about the massive. The massive of impudence; the massive of self-assurance; the massive of collectivity; the massive of vulgarity; the massive of being right. Television is carried by all these incarnations of the massive. It is founded in it.

Manifesto NL EN
15.05.2019

Ik geloof in een vorm van cinema die meer mogelijkheden en tijd biedt aan zijn toeschouwers. Een halfgecreëerde cinema, een onvoltooide cinema die door de creatieve geest van het publiek voltooid raakt en zo leidt tot honderden films. Het behoort toe aan de toeschouwers en stemt overeen met hun eigen wereld.

Manifesto NL EN
15.05.2019

I believe in a type of cinema that gives greater possibilities and time to its audience. A half-created cinema, an unfinished cinema that attains completion through the creative spirit of the audience, so resulting in hundreds of films. It belongs to the members of that audience and corresponds to their own world.

Article NL EN
8.05.2019

Als ik het probleem van het beeld ter sprake breng, is het vooral om je inzicht te geven in hoe de geest van een filmmaker werkt. Die moet zijn weg aftasten door de verschijning van dingen, moet kiezen, afwijzen en weer kiezen, altijd op zoek naar significantere verschijningsvormen, die als gist zijn voor het deeg, dat de context is. Dit is echter niet moeilijker voor film dan voor poëzie. De camera is instinctmatig, of zelfs door oefening, een zwerver.

Article NL FR EN
1.05.2019

Herman Asselberghs werkt momenteel aan een langlopend filmproject in de filmopleiding waar hij sinds twee decennia lesgeeft. Via de realisatie van een filmessay peilt hij naar de relaties tussen aandacht en verstrooiing in bioscoopzaal en klaslokaal. Doorheen het maakproces doet Sabzian verslag van zijn begeleidend lees- en schrijfwerk. Met regelmaat selecteert Asselberghs een bestaande tekst die hem bezighoudt en die hij zelf van een bijbehorende tekst voorziet. In de eerste aflevering staat hij stil bij En sortant du cinéma van Roland Barthes.