From the Notebook of...

From the Notebook of...

“Close the window shutting to a crack, film my reflection in the mirror as my hand moves in front of the mirrored light.”

Opening title


“An essential work of structural harmony, binary oppositions and self-reflexive form. ‘Leonardo’s notebooks and Valéry’s essays on Leonardo’s creative method inspired my filming in Florence. I filmed myself observing various locations in darting camera movements, then I reflected on the details and placed them within my ‘notebook-film’. From the first scene the film’s image and sound develop through a series of metaphors.’”

Robert Beavers1


From the Notebook of… was shot in Florence and takes as its point of departure Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks and Paul Valéry’s essay on da Vinci’s process. These two elements suggest an implicit comparison between the treatment of space in Renaissance art and the moving image. The film marks a critical development in the artist’s work in that he repeatedly employs a series of rapid pans and upward tilts along the city’s buildings or facades, often integrating glimpses of his own face. As Beavers notes in his writing on the film, the camera movements are tied to the filmmakers’ presence and suggests his investigative gaze.”

Henriette Huldisch2

  • 1Robert Beavers, Cinéma du réel.
  • 2Henriette Huldisch, quoted in Diagonal Thoughts, 2011.
UPDATED ON 10.10.2018