An aside, or: Itinerants

Study for Le Pont de l'Europe - Gustave Caillebotte, 1876, oil on canvas

Klassenverhältnisse - Straub-Huillet, 1984, 35mm

People sometimes assume that the films' Robinson came from Céline, whereas the name was suggested to me by Kafka’s Amerika, in which Robinson and Delamarche are a couple of itinerants who describe themselves as out-of-work mechanics. Paul Scofield once sent me a postcard of August Sander's photograph Itinerants (1929). In Paul’s absence, I had the idea that one of the two men it depicts slightly resembled him, and perhaps, even more slightly, Harun Farocki, who plays the character Delamarche in Klassenverhältnisse, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s adaptation of the novel. In the film, Robinson is played by Manfred Blank, who I thought slightly resembles the other man in Sander’s photograph. In Kafka’s novel, another character says: ‘I don’t even believe that his name is Robinson, for no Irishman was ever called that since Ireland was Ireland.'

--Patrick Keiller, interviewed by Andrew Stevens, The Future of Landscape, July 2010.

Klassenverhältnisse - Straub-Huillet, 1984, 35mm

Juventude em Marcha -Pedro Costa, 2006, digital video


The Rabbit Hunters - Pedro Costa, 2007, digital video

Juventude em Marcha -Pedro Costa, 2006, digital video

The water is grey and blue, wide as an inlet of the sea. A ray of white light, falling from high in the sky, obliterates this sham scene.

--Rimbaud's The Bridges, quoted in Patrick Keiller's London, 1994.

"Grasp the world," instead of extracting impressions from it; work with objects, characters, events, in reality, and not in impressions. Kill metaphor.

--Deleuze & Guattari, Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature (Minnesota UP), 1986, p.101.

Well, cinema is, or should be, the art of space. Even though a film exists only if that space is able to become time. But the basic work is space. As Mallarmé said: “Nothing will take place, but the place.”

--a new interview with Jean Marie-Straub: Speaking of Revolutions, October 2010.

Klassenverhältnisse - Straub-Huillet, 1984, 35mm


Andy Rector said...

More itinerants, in repose -- no metaphors here, with the itinerant wheat harvesters of Tay Garnett's film; notice the title is on fire; fire is not that of sexual passion, but the wheat bosses' weapon to manufacture competition between the itinerants (Not Suitable for General Exhibition).

Matthew Flanagan said...

Many thanks, Andy.