Des animaux #6

Céline et Julie vont en bateau / Phantom Ladies Over Paris - Jacques Rivette, 1974, 16mm


Digressions on the photographic agony #4

For this film, there’s really no mystery. It was shot on color since it’s video. It was edited more or less in color. And then, one day, watching the long, nine-minute shot of the opera rehearsal, the editor and I... we just kept feeling something. It was a shot where Jeanne moved a lot, her neck and her mouth. Just by chance, we turned the color button on the monitor and something appeared in black-and-white that was not there in color. The veins, the nerves — it was more sensual, more physical. Even her skin began to show things.

--Pedro Costa, interviewed by James Hansen, Film Quarterly 63.2 (Winter 2009), p.55.


Ne change rien - Pedro Costa, 2009, digital video


Realism(s) #14, or: no art without matter


A late addition to Lumen: David Phelps's superb translation of an interview with the great Jean-Claude Rousseau, about La Vallée close, vision, art, and the sense of things suspended.

Tiresias: I have lived long. I have lived so much that every story I listen to seems to be my own. Which meaning do you say about the clouds in the sky? / Oedipus: A presence within the void...

--Cesare Pavese, Dialogues with Leuco, 1947.

But for there to be this rupturing of the frame, there has to be a frame, an enclosed space. My films are like that: in a room, but looking out onto an open sky. [...] Nothing can come face to face to confront the image. And certainly not anyone who’s looking at it, since he disappears into this vision...

--Jean-Claude Rousseau, in conversation with Cyril Neyrat, 2008.

Illuminations #6, or: the movement of atoms is eternal



La Vallée close - Jean-Claude Rousseau, 1995, super 8

Realism(s) #13, or: that majestic sadness

'Let what you do,' says Horace, 'be always simple and a whole.'

--Racine, preface to Bérénice, 1670.

This sudden flight
Leaves me, I must confess, a simple wound.

--Bérénice, act I, scene V.

What, after all, shall I say? I flee your vacant eyes
Which, seeing me always, see me never.
Farewell, I go, my heart too full of your image,
To await, for my part, while loving you, death.
Above all fear not that a distress sightless
Fills the universe with the resound of my misfortune,
Madame: the sole sound of a death that I beg
Will remember you again I was still alive.

--Bérénice, act I, scene IV; also spoken in JLG's Une femme mariée (1964), trans. CK.

De son appartement - Jean-Claude Rousseau, 2007, digital video


Everything was lost in the air and the wind #3

Landscape [detail] - Sesshū Tōyō, c. 1495, ink on paper scroll


Forests #11

artwork from Box of Birch LP - A Broken Consort, 2009, Tompkins Sq., vinyl


It does make a difference to the sound if you get an instrument and cover it in soil. Or you can use bits of bark as plectra. Because I was using really cheap instruments, I could leave them out in the wood and cover them with leaves. It didn't matter if they got knackered. I was coming to terms with a process of decay.

--Richard Skelton, speaking to Clive Bell in the latest issue of The Wire (326), p.47.