An Exhaustive List of Nothing and Everything in Chantal Akerman’s Saute Ma Ville (1968)

It is fifty years ago this September since Chantal Akerman made her first film. It was a short comical fragment about distraction and suicide called Saute Ma Ville (1968). Following Akerman herself running up to her flat, the film then shows her gradually making a mess of the kitchen into which she has locked herself, … Continue reading An Exhaustive List of Nothing and Everything in Chantal Akerman’s Saute Ma Ville (1968)

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Jean-Pierre Melville’s Un Flic (1972) and Le Corbusier’s Transitional Pigments

Jean-Pierre Melville was the master of the drame azur; those strange, dark films, usually French, that contrasted such dramatic darkness with often very light visuals of a bluish hue. The light was still murky, creating bluish white-outs with cloud, fog, sea and other natural elements playing into the blurring of the image. But the drama … Continue reading Jean-Pierre Melville’s Un Flic (1972) and Le Corbusier’s Transitional Pigments

They Lay With Debris – Wreckage in Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979)

“In the morning they leave. The animals, birds, and insects that watched in horror through the long night creep out from their hiding places. And what do they see? Old spark plugs and old filters strewn around... Rags, burnt-out bulbs, and a monkey wrench left behind... And of course, the usual mess—apple cores, sweet wrappers, … Continue reading They Lay With Debris – Wreckage in Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979)

Still life in Margaret Tait’s My Room (1951)

I was walking through the National Gallery recently when I came across Jan Trek’s Still Life (1648) painting with its atmospheric rendering of ephemera. Within it sits a skull, some books, manuscripts, the helmet of a suit of armour and other such seemingly random objects. I had been thinking about similar paintings for some time, … Continue reading Still life in Margaret Tait’s My Room (1951)

Cartographic Time In Jacques Rivette’s Le Pont Du Nord

In 1946, Jorge Luis Borges published the micro-short story, On Exactitude In Science. The piece is a fictionalised fragment, supposedly taken from Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV, Cap. XLV, Lérida, (1658) written by the equally fictional Suárez Miranda. The piece addresses the role of perception in cartography, relying on the irony of mapmakers attempting … Continue reading Cartographic Time In Jacques Rivette’s Le Pont Du Nord

The Temporal Disruptions of Marguerite Duras

Marguerite Duras was never keen to allow cinema an easy route out. Adapting her own stories into feature films, it seems that the writer, rather than compromise the ghostly qualities of her books, experimented and destabilised the narrative aspects of film form to suit her needs. Like her contemporary, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Duras made many attempts … Continue reading The Temporal Disruptions of Marguerite Duras

Interview: David Gladwell on Cinema and Requiem For A Village

This interview was originally was published on the Small Cinema Liverpool website with thanks to Sam Meech and the BFI. However, since the closure and destruction of the cinema by Liverpool developers, the website has since been closed. This interview is saved here for posterity and in appreciation of a much underrated editor, filmmaker and … Continue reading Interview: David Gladwell on Cinema and Requiem For A Village

Shadow-Time in Ritual In Transfigured Time (1946, Maya Deren)

Time is Maya Deren's raw material. Though it could be argued that temporality is the material of all filmmakers to some extent, there's something about Deren's short work that captures a very earnest questioning of time passing and even as an unseen character of sorts. Like Andrei Tarkovsky, Deren used time to map the questioning … Continue reading Shadow-Time in Ritual In Transfigured Time (1946, Maya Deren)