Films byTexts by Dirk Lauwaert
Article NL EN

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. 

Article EN

Film is (and this is my fundamental assumption) not art in the bourgeois-humanist sense of the word. It is an industry and a very important part of the so-called culture industry at that. Those who switch from the category of art to the category of culture industry ultimately make a political-ideological choice, the consequences of which can hardly be overrated.

Article NL EN

For twenty-five years, there was fascist ossification and inbreeding, the heyday of a couple of genres that provided an utterly distorted picture of reality, or rather, that regarded the very dialogue with reality as superfluous. In a grandiose gesture of liberation, these self-sufficient diagrams of comedies and dramas are dismissed. Suddenly, reality itself becomes visible.

Article EN

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.

Article NL EN
Dirk Lauwaert 1975
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It is not a complicated or difficult film, rather a very simple and clean one. But it is not a natural, spontaneous film. The clarity and legibility of Jeanne Dielman is the result of self-discipline. In our culture clarity needs to be pragmatic-efficient, an argument needs to have the form of a road, including road signs. Force and energy need to be channelled into activist trajectories time and again, need to be labelled with a name and an address. Akerman slipped by and through all of that.

Article EN

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.

Compilation NL EN

Film is fundamentally the choice of a viewpoint in space, toward that space. Film is recording and therefore fundamentally contemporary (one cannot record that which is gone, the past). The spectator always watches contemporary images (even when they have aged, they remain contemporary through their model). This disposition sees to it that those who love films become ‘contemporary’ with every film.