Freelance writer and curator
|Man with a Movie Camera
|Rentrée des classes
|SAUTE MA VILLE
|A Touch of Zen
|Zdravi Ljudi Za Razonodu (Litany of Healthy People)
Buster is the master. And his projectionist’s dream is the dream of cinema itself.
Man with a Movie Camera
In a collective adventure with his partner in life & crime, Elizaveta Svilova, and his daredevil brother Mikhail Kaufman, Vertov documents street life in Kyiv, Charkiv and Odessa, explores the possibilities of filmmaking, and, without any spoken/written language, draws us into a tale of one day spent on earth: all directions of cinema drawn into one single work.
Beauty all over. Cattle herds have never looked more heartbreaking on screen, the Duke as an aging man has never been more attractive, the face of Montgomery Clift, filmed ten years before his disastrous car accident, still angelic. No wonder this western about the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas was chosen for the final screening in "The Last Picture Show".
Rentrée des classes
“Where the Wild Things Are”, dreamed up by the first poet of the French New Wave: a forgotten satchel can lead to a serenade from the Queen of the Night if you just follow the grass snake.
SAUTE MA VILLE
Chantal Akerman, the wildest child of them all, on the road to frenzy and death. And the lonely girl sings: "laa laa-laa laa-laa / laa-laa-laa laa laa-laa laa-laa / laa-laa-laa laa …"
Queer German Underground drifting from Nibelungian Germany to Napoli, Capri, the Mediterranean. Unbridled in every respect, a symphony in asynchrony, Werner Schroeter’s infectious collage of arias, texts by Hölderlin and Nietzsche, and schlager music takes me into a deep state of bliss. As does his partnership with the unforgettable Magdalena Montezuma (here as Aida, Tosca, and catholic mystic Resi von Konnersreuth). Death is always present, but it’s not the end.
A Touch of Zen
Love at first sight, I’m craving for the day to see King Hu’s philosophical Wuxia epic again in a movie theater in its full glory. The martial arts ballet in the bamboo forest is one for eternity.
Zdravi Ljudi Za Razonodu (Litany of Healthy People)
An enigmatic recital. Yugoslav New Waver Karpo Godina’s ode to joy and to the many ethnicities of the Vojvodina region was not understood by the censors. Their loss.
Warren Oates should always be remembered, and Monte Hellman recognized the beauty of this man in more than one picture. Hellman once said that he has a desire for all things which cannot be. This makes even more sense now, after the disappearance of a culture where drifting was a way of life and men were named after their favorite muscle car.
My grain of sand in the gearbox. “Kunst kommt von küssen” (‘art comes from kissing’) – these were Klaus Lemke’s final words of wisdom before he tipped his hat and said goodbye this past July. 44 years earlier, he already knew that amore, friends, a cheerful mood and a little bit of money were all you need to tell the story of Maria and Pietro, both working at Munich-Haidhausen’s fruit and vegetable market. And, yes: you need ultra-comedienne Cleo Kretschmer, Lemke’s heroine of many films and my favorite imaginary girlfriend.
My frivolous answer to a frivolous request: Looking at 130 years of cinema and at the immensity of its forms and voices, the only way for me to tell you about the 10 greatest films of all time is to take a bow before the 10 that became my best friends over all these years. They’ll stay with me forever. My list ends in the 1970s; many new friends have arisen, but they need to show endurance first!