What is Hollywood, you ask, dear children? A quorum of whores babbling endlessly on about fucking while the bordello is razed for a penny arcade -- Paul Bern

Monday, November 22, 2010


Whatever I had imagined – despite my direct experience contradicting those visions – simply did not exist.  The camera stayed in the trunk of the car as we meandered from Messina to Milazzo to Enna, to Cefalu, and Palermo.  Yes, I took a lot of stills – competent images of no creative import at all – but the video camera, except for a few desultory shots, stayed unused.  With each passing day it became clearer that whatever it was I had intended to make, the actual material in images did not exist, and not being Hollywood, I could not pay to construct them to exist.  Instead what existed was a floundering and confusion, and a hard-nosed acknowledgment of a kind of defeat.
In such a world, it seems that another image, however well crafted, however deep in intended meaning or however well “artistically” conceived, becomes merely another instantly discardable commodity – as at a festival, where “serious” film aficionados flit quickly from one film to another, rushing to cram as many difficult-to-see films in a day or week as they can.  To feed this frenzy seems to me an increasingly dubious matter pointing to a logic in which perhaps the proper response is renunciation – to simply stop, to withdraw, to be silent.  Perhaps though, these are merely the thoughts of an older man who is soon to be made permanently silent, like it or not.  Or perhaps the ruminations of an experienced soul that finally, as the closing comes, must acknowledge that it’s all really for nothing, a way to bide the time before the extinction of one’s self, or in the longer view, one’s entire culture, and finally universe.
- Jon Jost, 2010

And if until now my films have been different from those of other directors, in that they were an expression of my inner worlds, were counterworlds to the world as it exists and to the world as it is ordinarily portrayed on movie screens and theater stages, then what I was presently creating would also be different.

BC: How so? What's different about it?

HJS: Well, I abandoned the character from Parsifal, called Kundry by Wagner, and played by Edith Clever, who at the beginning and the end defined the limits of my film's cosmos, who contained it in herself, and yet who, when everything is over, will still be what she had been before it began. I chose instead a single human being to embody all the possibilities of expression, to express that for which in my films I needed design, music, words, and sound effects. In this human being, herself a different score for each of several texts, worlds were originated and expressed that contained those texts, on stage as on film.

This was more realistic than any reality, but it was realism of the inner sort, expressed through the face and through movement, whose various manifestations represent the coordinates of the spiritual realm; through light changes, through the eyes, and through the props and gestures otherwise necessary to the performance. Everything in one human being: cutting and close-ups and long shots of landscapes; ubiquity of place and simultaneity of time; stairways and doorways; chases on land and chases on sea; heroes and beasts; nightmares and fantasies: all the images and the figures that populate the arts and with which we fill our films and plays. The same goes for rivers and walls, stones and trees, clothes and the elements, for everything from a storm to deadly silence: it was all able to be encompassed in a single human being.

Hans-Jurgen Syberberg, 2010

No comments: