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Monday, August 22, 2011

Déjà-vu (Köhler)

"[..]This map that did (as [Gilberto] Perez [The Material Ghost; 1998]) go out of style for a time, perhaps during the period of postmodernism, and definitely during the period when Fassbinder ruled the arthouse. But the map has been opened again by a new generation. Its influence can now be seen in films from every continent - too such extent that the Antonioni open film can be said to be in its golden age. There are some examples: the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul from Blissfully Yours to Uncle Boonmee; Lisandro Alonso's La Libertad through to Liverpool; Uruphong Raksasad's Agrarian Utopia; C.W. Winter and Anders Edström's The Anchorage; Ulrich Köhler's Sleeping Sickness; the entire so-caled Berlin School of which Köhler is a part; Albert Serra's Honour of the Knights and Birdsong; James Benning; Kelly Reichardt; Kore-eda Hirokazu; Ho Yuang's Rain Dogs; Jia Zhangke's Platform and Still Life; Li Hongqi's Winter Vacation. The list goes on...
Some of these filmmakers may disavow any Antonioni influence - but we know that what directors (including Antonioni) say about their films can't always be trusted. Besides, the ways in which L'Avventura works on the viewer's consciousness are furtive and often below a conscious level. In Apichatpong's fascination with characters being transformed by the landscape around them; in Raksasad's interest in dissolving the borders between "documentary" and "fiction", or the recorded and the staged; in Alonso's precision and absolute commitment to purely cinematic ressources and disgust with the sentimental; in Köhler's continual refinement of his visualisation of his characters's uncertain existences; in Reichardt's concern for what happens to human beings in nature - especially when they get lost; in all these and more; the open film is stretched, remoulded, reconsidered, questioned, embraced. A kind of film that was first named L'Avventura." 
Source: Great Wide Open (Robert Koehler; Sight and Sound, August 2011)


I can't seem to remember where I've heard this before... could someone help me please?





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1 comment:

HarryTuttle said...

I never realized "open-ending" went out of style after Antonioni... In fact it was the staple of the Nouveau Roman school, which inspired the Modernity movement of the 60ies-70ies, and later influenced the mainstream screenwriters who popularized it.


Selective history of open ended films (reminder)

BEFORE ANTONIONI :

L'Arrivée d'un train à La Ciotat (1895/LUMIERE/France)
Berlin, Symphony of a Big City (1927/RUTTMAN/Germany)
The Man with a Movie Camera (1929/VERTOV/Russia)
À propos de Nice (1930/VIGO/France)
People on Sunday (1930/SIODMAK/ULMER/ZINNEMANN/Germany)
Las Hurdes (1933/BUNUEL/Spain)
The Bicycle Thieves (1948/DE SICA/Italy)
Les quatre-cent coups (1959/TRUFFAUT/France)

AFTER ANTONIONI (1960) AND BEFORE 2000 :

Last Year in Marienbad (1961/RESNAIS/France)
El ángel exterminador (1962/BUÑUEL/Mexico)
Knife in the water (1962/POLANSKI/Poland)
The Silence (1963/BERGMAN/Sweden)
Loves of a Blonde (1965/FORMAN/CZ)
Fahrenheit 451 (1966/TRUFFAUT/UK)
Persona (1966/BERGMAN/Sweden)
La guerre est finie (1966/RESNAIS/France)
A Man Vanishes (1967/IMAMURA/Japon)
Accident (1967/LOSEY/UK)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968/KUBRICK/UK)
Faces (1968/CASSAVETES/USA)
Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968/RESNAIS/France)
Coming Apart (1969/GINSBERG/USA)
Husbands (1970/CASSAVETES/USA)
Days and Nights in the Forest (1970/S. RAY/India)
Five Easy Pieces (1970/RAFELSON/USA)
Two-lane Blacktop (1971/HELLMAN/USA)
La Cicatrice Intérieure (1972/GARREL/France)
The Conversation (1974/Coppola/USA)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975/WEIR/Australia)
India Song (1975/DURAS/France)
Zerkalo (1975/TARKOVSKY/Russia)
King of the Road (1976/WENDERS/Germany)
Le plein de super (1976/CAVALIER/France)
Twenty Days Without War (1976/GERMAN/Russia)
Killer of sheep (1977/BURNETT/USA)
Permanent Vacation (1980/JARMUSCH/USA)
Le Déclin de l'empire américain (1986/ARCAND/Canada)
Lonely Human Voice (1987/SOKUROV/Russia)
A scene at the sea (1991/KITANO/Japan)
Days of Being Wild (1991/WONG/HK)
Chungking Express (1994/WONG/HK)
Satantango (1994/TARR/Hungary)
Through the olive trees (1994/KIAROSTAMI/Iran)
Vive l'Amour (1994/TSAI/Taiwan)
Burnt By The Sun (1994/MIKHALKOV/Russia)
[Safe] (1995/HAYNES/USA)
Chronicle of a Disappearance (1996/SULEIMAN/Palestine)
Few of Us (1996/BARTAS/Lithuania)
Trois vies et une seule mort (1996/RUIZ/France/Portugal)
Mother and Son (1997/SOKUROV/Russia)
Lost Highway (1997/LYNCH/USA)
Eternity and a Day (1998/ANGELOPOULOS/Greece)
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999/JARMUSCH/USA)
...

should I go on?

And today, after 2000, the open-ending narrative is hardly the monopoly of CCC, since this is the family he is refering to in his very distinctive namedropping. Blair Witch, Mulholland Drive, Memento, Caché, There Will Be Blood, Lost in Translation... which do not correspond to the CCC "stereotype" at all.