Showing posts from March, 2008

fixed firmly on the object in view

"We must try to keep the mind in tranquility. For just as the eye which constantly shifts its gaze, now turning to the right or to the left, now incessantly peering up or down, cannot see distinctly what lies before it, but the sight must be fixed firmly on the object in view if one would make his vision of it clear; so too man's mind when distracted by his countless worldly cares cannot focus itself distinctly on the truth." - Basil of Caesarea cross-posted to Chained to the Cinémathèque

Maximalism of screen liberty

Robert Koehler (at the Guadalajara festival) wrote a very interesting article on Lisandro Alonso and the new (minimalist) world cinema. Read the full article at FilmJourney . Here is an excerpt: A solid survey of recent Argentine films, which starts for me with Lisandro Alonso's La libertad , the film that actually launched a whole new way of making post-narrative films. My Cinema Scope colleague Mark Peranson (...) has noted that La libertad was also one of the first films of its era to break down the division between documentary and fiction. This, more than any other single thing, is what distinguishes the new world cinema, whether it's by Raya Martin, Jim Finn, Pedro Costa or Albert Serra (and others). Alonso didn't start what gets commonly called "New Argentine Cinema" (there were at least two previous "new" periods), but he radicalized it, and offered a new way. As far as I know (...) La libertad has never screened in Los Angeles. Not a surpri

The Pleasures of Contemplation

At OffScreen , this is a film review by Michael Crochetière about Robin Schlaht's first dramatic feature " Solitude " (2001). Here is my selection of highlights typically depicting the contemplative aspect of filmmaking : (...) the fragmented, ambiguous backstories and paradoxical motivations of the lead characters, the idea of emotional detachment, the motif of observation and the folly of trying to understand the heart of another. At its heart, Solitude is about personal journeys, about everyday lives filled with small victories and moments of what Henry David Thoreau called " quiet desperation ". Solitude is a film without an inciting incident (unless one considers the arrival of Michele at the abbey, an event which occurs before the film begins). The film's structure is episodic, consisting of highly resonant privileged moments spelled by intervals of quiet reflection. Schlaht believes that these negative spaces - moments of uneasy stasis, hesitation o


Pedro COSTA (born 1959, Portugal) = 49 yold in 2008 12 films/ 4 screenplays (1st film:1984/latest film:2007) INSPIRED BY : Straub/Huillet, Jean Rouch, John Ford, Nouvelle Vague, Duras, Murnau, Charles Laughton, Jacques Tourneur, António Reis C.C.C. films (strict model in red) : Ne Change Rien (2009) v ; Tarrafal (2007) v ; Juventude Em Marcha/Colossal Youth (2006) v ; Où gît votre sourire enfoui? (2001) v ; No Quarto da Vanda/In Vanda's Room (2000) v ; Ossos/Bones (1997) v ; Casa de Lava (1994) v ; O Sangue/Blood (1989) v INFLUENCE ON : ? Quick scroll : BIBLIOGRAPHY | ONLINE ARTICLES | INTERVIEW | COSTA TEXTS | WEBSITES | DOCUMENTARY Ne Change Rien (2009) Cannes 2009 " Missives from Cannes : There outta be a moonlight saving time " By: David Phelps (15 May 2009, The Auteurs ) Links By: David Hudson ( IFC The Daily ) Costa Brief By: Daniel Kasman ( The Auteurs ) "Pour que tout soit différent" By: Antoine Thirion ( Cahiers du cinéma , #645, May

arte povera

Adrian Martin's letter (6-30-1997) in chapter 1 of Movie Mutations, the changing face of world cinephilia (2003), talking about Cassavetes' Love Stream (1984) and Philippe Garrel's Les Baisers de Secours (1989), snipet : "Cassavetes and Garrel stand for one sort of extreme that I love and cherish in cinema : a kind of arte povera fixed on the minute fluctuations of intimate life, on the effervescence of mood and emotion, and the instability of all lived meaning. A cinema which is a kind of documentary event where the energies of bodily performance, of gesture and utterance and movement, collide willy-nilly, in ways not always forseen or proscribed, with the dynamic, formal, figurative work of shooting, framing, cutting, sound recording. A cinema open to the energies and intensities of life - and perpetually transformed by them." Read also: Minimalisme, Postmodernité et Arte Povera

Tarr's universe

" Out of Tarr's universe " A poetic look at the work of Hungarian film director Béla Tarr . By Nadine Poulain (in filmwaves #34, Autumn 2007) excerpts (my emphasis) : [foreword] "Instead of deconstructing Bela Tarr's films the following essay aims to capture the uniqueness and intensity of his work. Meaning and interpretation is left to the individual. Film as experience . Endless rain Mud's soft embrace Gravity, weight, physical being Black and white or rather an infinite graduation of greys " (...) "Tarr's universe, where the story is bare, a secondary thing . It provides the structure for the subtle to unfold. Locations are equal to characters . We contemplate them, have time to become familiar with their peculiarities. Often we arrive at a location before the characters enter the frame, stay there after they have left. Temps mort, our breeding ground, has never been more alive. Scenery and natural elements tell their own stories, in their o