Meditations on Revolution, Part V: Foreign City
The final film in Fenz’s series Meditations on Revolution. Dedicated to the director’s father, who immigrated to the United States after WWII and died in 1999. Foreign City studies New York as a place of immigration and displacement. Using abstract black and white images and actual city sounds which come in and out of synch, Fenz creates a magical foreign landscape in which the city is reconstructed through an imaginary plan, built on sensation. At the film’s center is a monologue by recently deceased artist-musician Marion Brown (1931-2010), whose proud, fatigued monologue fuses with haunting imagery of an alienating landscape.
The rushes of a news report on the assassination of Malcolm X, just as they were found on a bin. “A lot of film is perfect left alone, perfectly revealing in its un- or semi-conscious form. I wish more stuff was available in its raw state, as primary source material for anyone to consider, and to leave for others in just that way, the evidence uncontaminated by compulsive proprietary misapplied artistry, ‘editing,’ the purposeful ‘pointing things out’ that cuts a road straight and narrow through the cine-jungle, we barrel through thinking we’re going somewhere and miss it all.” (KJ)
Vakantie van de Filmer (Filmmakers Holiday)
“In a small, depopulated village of the Aude province of France, an elderly couple confides to the ‘vacationer’s’ camera their memories of the past: war, illness, death… The film is put together as a collection of autonomous images which, once combined, make up van der Keuken’s mental universe: family happiness, fragments of some of his earlier films, a homage to the saxophonist Ben Webster, two poems by the great contemporary poets Remco Campert and Lucebert, a portrait of the director’s grandfather, who taught him photography at the age of twelve… One of those small masterpieces one encounters by surprise…” (Jean-Paul Fargier)