Films byTexts by Nicole Brenez
Manifesto NL FR EN
23.12.2021

Previously, images were in the world. Today, it is the world that is swimming in an ocean of images. Our real, material and unique world; woven from and overflowing with real, immaterial, numbered (made of numbers), innumerable images. If one wants to observe contemporary cinema one must place it in the context of this exponentially rising quantitative and qualitative power of images, question the role it has played and still plays.

Manifesto NL FR EN
23.12.2021

Vroeger bevonden beelden zich in de wereld. Vandaag is het de wereld die baadt in een zee van beelden. Onze werkelijke, materiële en unieke wereld; geweven en overlopend van werkelijke, immateriële, genummerde (uit getallen bestaande), ontelbare beelden. De hedendaagse cinema observeren dwingt ons ertoe hem in de context te plaatsen van de exponentieel stijgende kwantitatieve en kwalitatieve macht van beelden en ons af te vragen welke rol cinema hierin heeft gespeeld en nog steeds speelt.

Manifesto NL FR EN
23.12.2021

Auparavant, les images étaient dans le monde. Aujourd’hui, c’est le monde qui baigne dans un océan d’images. Notre monde réel, matériel et unique ; tissé et débordé d’images réelles, immatérielles, nombrées (constituées de chiffres), innombrables. Observer le cinéma contemporain oblige à inscrire celui-ci dans le contexte de cette exponentielle montée en puissance quantitative et qualitative des images, à s’interroger sur le rôle qu’il y a joué et joue encore.

Article EN
15.12.2021

Harun Farocki, in all his works, elaborates and un folds an intensive and meditated form of encounter that we have named “visual study”. What is visual study? It is a matter of a frontal encounter, a face-to-face encounter between an existing image and a figurative project dedicated to observing It – in other words, a study of the image by means of the image itself.

Article EN
15.12.2021

I wish to question what could be an internationalism for today, in the field of cinema – a critical internationalism that defies the powers of state, nation, administration and global economy. Almost all the examples I will cite are provided by filmmakers who are trying to help, through images, people other than their own. Thanks to the films themselves, it seems possible to consider, even very briefly, new proposals concerning the conception of history; the conception of the history of cinema; of an oeuvre; of the filmmaker; of political forms; of curating; and, finally, of spectatorship.

Article EN
15.12.2021

With a few remarkable exceptions (Jean Mitry, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Noel Burch ...), the history of cinema has mainly been recounted from the industry’s point of view. May this contribution to a history of forms help us to escape such a dominant ideology and reconsider the works and the artists from a different perspective. Today the violence of the cultural industry is so cynically triumphant that it is possible to establish a law of inverse proportions between the social visibility of a film and its real eminence. 

Article EN
15.12.2021

In 2010, with the full-length film X+, Marylène Negro takes up a new dimension of human experience: the collectivity. “A Picture of Us”. What are the aggregating forces that bring forth this drive – brusque or slow, woven from facts, simplifications and resonances that we call, always approximately, collective history? Unendlessly, the cinema records silhouettes, groups, crowds, masses – fleeting passers-by of a period they are going through, tiny extras of a zeitgeist that carries them along.

Article EN
15.12.2021

Between 2010 and 2011, the filmmakers and artists José Luis Guérin and Jonas Mekas exchanged nine video letters as the result of an initiative of Jordi Balló. The result was a feature-length film of infinite tenderness, assembling a personal diary, travelogues and key reflections about images. Existential cinephilia, poetic horizons, artistic kinship, elegiac sensibility, a community of views, radicalness, autonomy, all these things bring together these two “friends in cinema” (as Jonas Mekas puts it), whose respective works are characterised by the renewal of descriptive forms and the challenges of observation.

Article EN
15.12.2021

Nicole Brenez is an essential figure in film criticism and contemporary cinema studies. Her analytical and passionate approach to cinema, emerging from her extraordinary creative freedom, has earned her the respect and admiration of critics all over the world. Her widely followed work has never ceased to highlight the exciting challenges of engaged cinema, the kind that commits to artistic investigation as well as to the urgent social and political issues that concern us all.

Article EN
15.12.2021

Every film by René Vautier constitutes a pamphlet, a shield for the oppressed and the victims of history, a little war machine for justice. And like weapons in an underground cell, these films serve, are donated, exchanged, lent, thrown away, destroyed, lost, or hidden and sometimes forgotten in their hideout for a long time. In this regard, every work by René Vautier constitutes a special case, an episode in probably the most novelistic story in the history of cinema. Full of scars though they might be, these films are of a real beauty, not only in the aesthetic and stylistic sense, but in the sense of a cinema elevated to the plenitude of its necessity and its powers. 

Article EN
15.12.2021

Few theorists have been as critical of cinema as T.W. Adorno. Critical in this context implies all of the following: methodical, negative and subtle. … For [Adorno], cinema and popular or popularised music … were emblematic of how works of art had become commodified cultural products. A cultural “commodity” represents simultaneously the means of a confiscation, a mode of corruption, a simulacrum, and a sort of formal joke. … [C]inema, which arose out of techniques of recording and whose primary goal is reproduction organised into an industry, appears from the start as a powerful instrument of domination, propaganda and falsification. Adorno’s achievement consists in his having furnished us with instruments for understanding ideology as much as for defining the concept of art.

DOSSIER EN
15.12.2021

On the occasion of the State of Cinema 2021, held by Nicole Brenez on 23 December 2021, Sabzian presents a small Dossier on the French film historian, scholar and curator, compiled in dialogue with Brenez herself. This compilation comprises texts on Theodor W. Adorno’s view on cinema, Harun Farocki, Marylène Negro, The House Is Black by Forough Farrokhzad, on the filmic correspondence between Jonas Mekas and José Luis Guérin, a keynote speech on the state of political cinema today, and an exclusive English translation of Brenez’s piece on René Vautier.

Conversation NL
12.09.2018
Nicole Brenez 2002
Vertaald door

Daar waren we naar op zoek: een verontrustende film, zeer verontrustend, zeer fragiel en levendig. Geen film als een boom, met een stam en takken, maar als een veld zonnebloemen, een grasveld met gras dat overal groeit. Daar situeert zich de grootste breuk: in de manier waarop de film werd geconcipieerd. Het opzet en de totstandkoming van de film werden gebaseerd op kwesties van intensiteit eerder dan psychologische relaties.