L’imitation du cinéma

L’imitation du cinéma

In this surrealist short film, a young man receives the book The Imitation of Jesus Christ from a priest, which induces a strong desire to be crucified. He embarks on a search for a suitable cross in the city.


“But perhaps a term like ‘transgression,’ defined as the breaking of rules or exceeding of boundaries does not completely cover the overtones. Most theories of transgressions argue that rule and transgression in practice are strongly complicit, in the sense that transgressions do not so much seek to abolish the rule as to temporarily suspend it, and that rules already inscribe their violation (Jenks, 2003). To only speak about Mariën’s work in terms of transgression, seems then to be missing the point and neglect the light, often pun-like humor which disarms the violence inflicted by transgression. As we saw, Mariën seems more interested in moving between two terms, or following a side-track, than with the actual crossing of boundaries.


lndeed, humor operates as a device to de-route the binary confrontation of rule/ taboo and transgression. It traces an altogether line, a line of flight, which is more affirmation than negation. Where transgression ohen operates against the public by scandalizing or repulsing it, humor only succeeds by grace of an audience.”

Mieke Bleyen1


Today, Easter of this holy Year,
Here, in the basilica of Notre-Dame in Paris,
I accuse the Universal Catholic Church of the mortal hijacking of our living energies to the profit of an empty heaven;
I accuse the Catholic Church of piracy;
I accuse the Catholic Church of having infected the world with its mortuary morality,
of being the canker sore on this decomposed western civilization.
Verily I say unto thee; God is dead.
We puke up the agonizing insipidness of your prayers,
because your prayers have so generously manured the battlefields of our Europe.
Go forth into the tragic and exultant desert of this land where God is dead,
and run your naked hands through the earth again,
your proud hands,
your hands free of prayer.
Today, Easter of this holy Year,
Here, in the basilica of Notre-Dame in Paris,
we proclaim the death of the Christ-God in order
that Man might live at last.

Marcel Mariën2

  • 1Mieke Bleyen, Minor Photography. Connecting Deleuze and Guattari to Photography Theory (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2012), 58.
  • 2 Address from Notre-Dame by Marcel Marien, delivered by Serge Berna and Michel Mourre Paris, April 9 1950.


“Onlangs werd een verachtelijke en beruchte film vertoond in het Paleis voor Schone Kunsten in Brussel op het initiatief van de ‘Ciné-Club de la Jeunesse’ voor een veeltallig publiek van jonge mensen en jonge meisjes. De film in kwestie is een heiligschennende parodie van het christendom, doordrongen van een obsceniteit die elke verbeelding tart. Wij hopen dat het parket de noodzakelijke maatregelen zal treffen om deze schandaleuze film, een beschaafd land onwaardig, uit circulatie te halen.”

La centrale catholique, 1960


« Un film ignoble et infâme vient d’être présenté au Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles sous les auspices du « Ciné-Club de la Jeunesse » devant un nombreux public de jeunes gens et de jeunes filles. Le film en question est une parodie sacrilège du christianisme mêlée d’une obscénité qui dépasse toute imagination. On espère que le Parquet prendra les mesures nécessaires pour mettre hors de circulation pellicule indigne d’un pays civilisé. »

La centrale catholique, 1960

Botanique, Brussels