PRINT December 2015


Nicole Brenez

Chantal Akerman, No Home Movie, 2015, digital video, color, sound, 115 minutes.

1 NO HOME MOVIE (Chantal Akerman) This was a dark year for avant-garde cinema, as we witnessed the disappearance of René Vautier, Manoel de Oliveira, and Chantal Akerman. What is the origin of self-expression? Akerman often remarked that her work was structured by her mother’s silence about Auschwitz. Her final film, which premiered in Locarno only weeks before her death, offers a quotidian—and thus all the more poignant—dialogue between them.

2 JEAN-LUC GODARD’S THANK-YOU VIDEO ON WINNING THE PRIX D’HONNEUR DU CINÉMA SUISSE A new incarnation of critical thinking that defies death itself—before it attacks, while it attacks, and after defeating it.

3 COMMANDER KHAWANI and TOMORROW TRIPOLI (Florent Marcie) French documentarian Florent Marcie completes his crucial war trilogy—which began with Itchkéri Kenti (2006), an account of the conflict between Chechnya and Russia—with new films about Afghanistan and Libya, respectively, revealing totally unexpected dimensions of warfare.

4 GET ALL THAT, ANT? (Anthony Stern) Painter, photographer, filmmaker, and glassblower Anthony Stern visits his own visual archives and offers a cinematic poem about the British counterculture of the 1960s.

5 WAKE (SUBIC) (John Gianvito) Part two of Gianvito’s sprawling fresco of American imperialism’s devastating legacy in the Philippines.

Anthony Stern, Get All That, Ant?, 2015, 16 mm transferred to digital video, color, sound, approx. 95 minutes.

6 VERTIÈRES I, II, III (Louise Botkay) Following in the footsteps of Rudy Burckhardt and Maya Deren, the Brazilian filmmaker Louise Botkay has crafted a magnificent poem in Super 8 celebrating and singing Haiti, her onetime home.

7 NOTFILM (Ross Lipman) A deep, intense, and patient journey into Samuel Beckett’s Film of 1965, Notfilm is also a model of visual historical analysis.

8 THE GREAT WALL (Tadhg O’Sullivan) Franz Kafka’s 1917 short story “The Great Wall of China” provides a key to considering the contemporary multiplication of interstate and intercontinental walls, especially around Fortress Europe.

9 LOS (DE)PENDIENTES (Sebastian Wiedemann) Using footage from Argentinean political cinema from 1956 to 2005, Colombian filmmaker Sebastian Wiedemann show us not only the ghosts of historical struggles but the very reason we need images so badly.

10 PETER WHITEHEAD, TERRORISM CONSIDERED AS ONE OF THE FINE ARTS: THE SCREENPLAY and CROSSWORDS: ALL-OUT WAR CONSIDERED AS ONE OF THE FINE ARTS (both Hathor Publishing UK) Peter Whitehead is now publishing the screenplay and archival material pertaining to his 2009 inquiry into the French state-sponsored terrorism that destroyed Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior in 1985, and novelistic memories of his travel “on the run from war in the Nafud desert” in Saudi Arabia: two explorations of the relationship between phantasm and disinformation.

Nicole Brenez is a professor of cinema studies at the Sorbonne and curator of the avant-garde film series at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris.