Professor of Visual Culture
|Man with a Movie Camera
|Meshes of the Afternoon
|Maya Deren, Alexander Hackenschmied
|The Battle of Algiers
|Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
|West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty
|Do the Right Thing
|Nostalgia for the Light
Man with a Movie Camera
"Everyone who cares for his art seeks the essence of his own technique." - Dziga Vertov
Meshes of the Afternoon
"It does not record an event which could be witnessed by other persons." - Maya Deren
The Battle of Algiers
Gillo Pontecorvo: "The writings of Frantz Fanon were also very important for Franco Solinas, the screenwriter, and myself. We were there for a few months before the liberation and we saw everything, the hope and the joy, and we remember young people talking on the street all night. ... To fight colonialism they had to change themselves from what colonialism had made them."
Edward Said: "Yes, the film reveals that at some point, it's no longer possible to simply endure colonialism quietly."
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
"... moi, je travaille dans les images qui sont entre les images." - Chantal Akerman
West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty
“I wanted to show that each people on earth has its own musical comedy, its own musical tragedy and its own thought shaped through its own history.” - Med Hondo
Do the Right Thing
"Five years ago, after the chokehold had been outlawed by the N.Y.P.D., Eric Garner died the same way that Radio Raheem did in a movie that was based on the real-life chokehold of Michael Stewart."
"Artist’s job — in my opinion — is to hold the mirror up to what are the ills of society. That’s our job."
- Spike Lee
"What makes a film that film and not another one? ... sometimes you put a lot of energy and, yet, something is missing, and sometimes you put a lot of energy and something comes out of it. It is the mystery of sharing." - Claire Denis
"... there’s no such thing as the so-called 'world'. People can only see their own lives, and they can only observe life from the standpoint of their own life experiences, so that our impressions of life are really only our impressions of our own life, and our impressions of the world are just our impressions of the environment we live in." - Jia Zhangke
Nostalgia for the Light
"Nostalgia is a way of thinking, it’s a way that the soul relates to the past."
"It's a film about the past, a demonstration that the most important thing in life is the past, because the whole territory of the past is fundamental for people and the future."
– Patricio Guzmán
"If the Anthropocene is a backdrop to our present-day existence then it must necessarily throw up certain ethical, aesthetic and formal questions about how one makes work. And that’s really all I’m trying to do – I am trying to register that difference, the before and after the realisation that the Anthropocene is real, and then see how to proceed on the basis of that." – John Akomfrah
Every film is an expression of its time, and so is every film list. Certain times demand certain films, and so with lists of them. Much as they may try, list makers cannot step out of their times any more than they can step out of themselves. Every film list is thus shaped, if in different measures, by history and by narcissism. Or put another way, a list is a collection, and to quote Walter Benjamin, when the collector speaks to you about his collection, "he proves to be speaking only about himself."
And indeed these are choices – my choices – but they, and their makers, can also speak for themselves. They are films of their time and for our time, sometimes in spite of themselves and despite what they – and we – might have wished.