Films byTexts by Stoffel Debuysere
prisma NL

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.

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“Fiction is everywhere. The question is: where do we situate the starting point of fiction? What kind of arrangement makes something happen? In a way, we can say there is fiction whenever there is some kind of narrative that tells, or shows, us that something is happening. That’s why, in my recent work, I have mostly been interested in exploring the edges of fiction, the edge between nothing happens and something happens.”

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The underdeveloped country that does not have a strong or madly national art is to be pitied, because, without its art, it’s all the weaker (its brain can be colonized), and it’s here that the most dangerous extension of economic colonization can be found. In the specific case of cinema, I want to let my colleagues know that they should endure the criticism, the slander and the contempt without wavering, because I am absolutely convinced that Brazilian Cinema Novo is currently producing images and sounds that are what we can call modern cinema.

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“And that is the problem that most of the discourse runs into. In other words, as long as you keep insisting that the reasons why people make certain social acts are purposive, rational and programmatic, you’re gonna miss the point, which is that we’re not entirely rational in our actions. [...] I tried – like everybody else I was looking and asking around – but when we put it together, we realised it just wasn’t enough. It didn’t seem to explain the cataclysm. So you needed other ways of trying to do that and we did. We were editing this for a year trying to take seriously the folkloric and the ethnographic and it just wasn’t there. There was always a gap between the fire and the voice.”

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In letting go of all chains of causes and effects, knowledge and truth, she becomes a stranger who no longer has a valid place in the layout of paths and traces that others make up to be “reality”; a foreigner out of place and out of reason, lost in the void of uncertainty, in the niente, the nothingness that silently lingers throughout the film.

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Voor Daney, zelfverklaarde ‘ciné-fils’, kon de wereld uitgedrukt in films niet los worden gezien van de wereld die ze omringen. In het spoor van de aloude Franse cinefiele traditie beschouwde hij elke film als de uitdrukking van een standpunt, een visie op de wereld die het werk tegelijk legitimeert en organiseert. “De film is een kunst van het tonen. En tonen is een gebaar, een gebaar dat dwingt om te zien, om te kijken. Zonder dat gebaar zijn het slechts plaatjes. Maar als er iets is getoond, moet iemand ook voor ontvangst tekenen.”