Film history consists not only of images and sounds but also of words. Surrounded by the darkness of the cinema, things take shape for the first time, become real. Afterwards, outside on the pavement, everything seems forgotten, the film slipping away and you wondering what it is exactly that you saw or heard. Right away, the need to invent your own forms arises, the desire to remember the film, to repeat it, to recompose it, to reshape it in writing. Writing thus becomes a continuation through other means, a way to watch again and not be left alone with your experience, to “be with someone, to be spectators together (as a we)”, in the words of Dirk Lauwaert. Perhaps a film does not fully exist until it has been discussed and “described”.
In its new section Passage, Sabzian invites film critics, authors, filmmakers and spectators to send a text or fragment on cinema that left a lasting impression. It does not need to be a favourite; it could be a phrase, a paragraph, a sentence, a passage, a formulation, an essay or an interview that at some point disrupted, shifted, confirmed or crowned their view of or thinking about cinema. The montage of personal reading histories and thoughts thus produced could become the modest outlines of an alternative film history.
The section is launched with contributions from Adrian Martin (who chose a part of a sentence by Raymond Bellour), Cristina Álvarez López (who chose ‘A Free Replay (Notes on Vertigo)’ by Chris Marker) and Romain Lefebvre (who chose a quote by Roberto Rossellini).