Films byTexts by 2013
FILM
The Age of Stone
Ana Vaz, 2013, 29’

A voyage into the far west of Brazil leads us to a monumental structure - petrified at the centre of the savannah. Inspired by the epic construction of the city of Brasília, the film uses this history to imagine it otherwise.

FILM
Els van Riel, 2013, 50’

“A few years ago I started collecting images with the idea in mind to pay homage to the slowly vanishing techniques of analog filmmaking.

Article EN
29.05.2019

The exercise is new to me. To reread what I have written in another time. Over the past decade, I was occasionally prompted to speak on Wang Bing’s film West of the Tracks (2002), which I don’t just consider a great movie but a cinematographic event that changes the state of things we still call ‘cinema’. In Corps et cadre (Verdier, 2002), I regretted not being able to produce a true critique of this film fleuve (of nine hours). The thing was beyond me; it still is. I then resolved to a different tactical approach. To examine what remained of the film in my memory. A film which is that long, a whole which is that intricate, cut into four segments each lasting more than one hour, two hours, three hours, obviously presents a challenge to the memory of the spectator that I am.

Conversation NL EN
29.05.2019

“A mental hospital is not, as such, an original theme. The story told by ’Til Madness Do Us Part could just as well happen anywhere else. It is a common story. The fact remains that mental illness is of course an interesting subject, particularly in China. Somehow, mental illness frees mankind, as it liberates mankind from the yoke of the law. At the same time, it makes man more vulnerable... […] The life we see on the outside of an asylum is fundamentally not very different from the one we can see on the inside. What interested me was less the hospital than the patients and the life they were living... They don’t consider this place a mental hospital but the place in which they live. […]  It is their house. That’s where they live as if it is their home. Some of them even stay there for the rest of their lives. Very early on, I was struck by the impression that in a lot of ways there is more humanity on the inside of a hospital than on the outside.”

Article EN
29.05.2019

Everything, you know, is nothing. The patients in every psychiatric hospital in the world do not exist. Their identity is denied. They have no name. They are simply crazy. In Wang Bing’s cinema we meet two types of characters. Those who have no name, but who describe themselves through action, and those who have a name and act through words. Dumbed by medicines, the madmen of Wang Bing are deprived of the opportunity to tell their story. This is the main issue that the film tackles and solves.

FILM
Jon Jost, 2013, 85’

“In making this film I sought to address a topic appropriate for someone my age – death, and its social impact. I wished to discard as much conventional narrative tissue, as well as the usual cinematic language normally used, and to go as directly as possible to the emotional core of the matter.

ARTICLE EN
7.02.2018

In The Day He Arrives, a soju-fueled cross between Last Year at Marienbad and Groundhog Day, Yoo Seongjun, a lapsed director self-exiled to the provinces, roams the streets and bars of Seoul much as X wanders the hallways and gardens of Marienbad, through an endless repetition of settings, characters, and incidents, each reiteration calling previous accounts into question. “I don’t remember a thing,” the bar owner Ye-jeon insists after Seongjun apologizes for what something he has just done, her protestation recalling A’s many disavowals of the past in Marienbad. Whose version does one trust: his, hers, neither?

FILM
Hannes Verhoustraete, 2013, 31’

A history is not only a narrative of things past, it is also a way of sharing individual and collective experiences as well as the forms and signs that give them shape. Every history is an arrangement of silent testimonies and discursive traces allowing us to be where we were not.

Article NL
30.03.2016

Laten we veronderstellen dat het hier niet gaat om het naast-elkaar-bestaan van twee tegenstrijdige aspiraties van dezelfde filmmaker – aan de ene kant het engagement voor de strijd van de onderdrukten, aan de andere kant de ‘esthetische’ gevoeligheid voor het formele spel van licht, van schaduwen en van weerspiegelingen –, dat het politieke karakter zelf van deze films bestaat uit de manier waarop ze blijk geven van de rijkdom van de machtelozen door van hen acteurs te maken in dit theater van schaduw en licht.

Conversation NL EN
9.11.2014

“Een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis is, op zich, geen origineel thema. Het verhaal van Feng ai [’Til Madness Do Us Part] had zich zeker ook elders kunnen afspelen. Het is een alledaags verhaal. Toch is geestesziekte natuurlijk een interessant onderwerp, met name in China. Geestesziekte bevrijdt de mens, in zekere zin, want ze bevrijdt hem van het juk van de wet. Tegelijkertijd maakt ze hem kwetsbaarder … [...] Het leven dat men buiten een inrichting waarneemt is in wezen niet zo verschillend van het leven dat men binnen kan waarnemen. Wat me interesseerde was minder het ziekenhuis dan de patiënten en het leven dat ze er leidden. Zij beschouwen die plek niet als een ziekenhuis maar als een plaats waar ze leven. [...] Het is hun huis. Ze leven er alsof ze thuis zijn, sommigen blijven er zelfs tot hun dood. Ik was al vroeg getroffen door de indruk dat in veel opzichten er meer menselijkheid binnen dan buiten het ziekenhuis was.”

Conversation EN
22.10.2014

“I don’t usually worry about whether the audience will accept the way my film is designed. You are the filmmaker; it is your job to make a convincing work. Instead of worrying about the audience, you should search for ways to make your film a good one. To me, it means to look for, or create, a potentially better cinema that fits your needs in making this particular work. At the same time, your film must be capable of accommodating the living reality of its subject. [...] The technique and style you choose for a film should be appropriate to your subject matter. What is really important is to establish a relation between the subject of your film and your audience. It is the camera that creates this connection.”

Conversation EN
17.09.2014

“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.”

Article EN
30.03.2014

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.

Article NL EN
14.12.2013

The juxtaposition of images shows a spiritual coherence to which we as viewers must work towards. In De poes [The Cat] (1968) van der Keuken articulates it thus: “The film could be a means for change. To this end it must affect the fixed patterns of expectation. To this end it must create a dynamic balance of the forms in which our reality can be described. Art could be a means by which to set man free. A school for seeing the self and the other more clearly.”

Article NL EN
6.05.2013

De juxtapositie van beelden toont een geestelijke samenhang waar we als kijker naar moeten toewerken. In De poes (1968) spreekt van der Keuken het als volgt uit: “De film zou een middel kunnen zijn tot verandering. Hiertoe moet hij de vaste verwachtingspatronen aantasten. Hiertoe moet hij een dynamisch evenwicht scheppen van de vormen waarin onze werkelijkheid beschreven kan worden. Kunst zou een middel kunnen zijn tot bevrijding van de mens. Een school om zichzelf en de anderen beter te zien.”

Article NL
19.04.2013

“Hoe kan ik”, vraagt de nog jonge Farocki zich af, “een beeld tonen van de verwondingen veroorzaakt door napalm? Wanneer ik een beeld laat zien van een slachtoffer, zal u uw ogen sluiten. Eerst zal u uw ogen voor de beelden sluiten. Dan zal u uw ogen voor de herinnering daaraan sluiten. Dan zal u uw ogen voor de feiten sluiten. Dan zal u uw ogen voor de context sluiten. Wanneer ik een beeld laat zien van iemand die verwond is door napalm, zal ik uw gevoel verwonden. Wanneer ik uw gevoel verwond, lijkt het alsof u zelf getroffen bent door napalm. We kunnen alleen een zwakke voorstelling geven van hoe napalm werkt.”