Winter Waves: Marguerite Duras And Trouville

Marguerite Duras lived in the Hôtel des Roches Noires in Trouville on the Normandy coast for over thirty years, spending long periods of time there from 1963 to 1996. She would stare out of the window towards the horizon line or at least was photographed often staring out of the window towards the horizon line. … Continue reading Winter Waves: Marguerite Duras And Trouville

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Accumulation in Jacques Rivette’s La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

For a while after watching Jacques Rivette’s La Belle Noiseuse (The Beautiful Troublemaker, 1991), I repeatedly heard the sound of ink scratching from a nib onto rough paper and canvas. This action occurs throughout the almost four hour long film, to the point where the process of painting – from its earliest preparatory sketches to … Continue reading Accumulation in Jacques Rivette’s La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

Snails and Death: Luis Buñuel’s The Diary Of A Chambermaid (1964)

A few years back, I dived into the French produced films of Luis Buñuel. My eyes were bombarded with images and ideas, so condensed and constant as to feel exhausted and exhilarated after each film. Even films that seemed at first more straight forward (That Obscure Object Of Desire, for example) had hidden, unconscious depths … Continue reading Snails and Death: Luis Buñuel’s The Diary Of A Chambermaid (1964)

Responses: Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills (1977)

I first came across Cindy Sherman’s photographic series, Untitled Film Stills (1977), when looking for photos of film noir titles. The series is designed around fakery, seeking to recreate the feeling of stills from 1950s and 1960s American films but also, in producing the illusion with general key-notes as to the roles of women in … Continue reading Responses: Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills (1977)

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)

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)