Friday, December 23, 2016

Season's Greetings from Close Watch

2016 has been a year for cinema marked by death. Christmas is shadowed by the passing of Michele Morgan (1920-2016). On another Christmas, already a quarter of a century ago, as a young teenager I received the (much nagged for!) gift of three recently released VHS tapes of French poetic realist films from the '30s. One of these was, of course, Quai des brumes and my consciousness was all set to merge with the atmosphere, aesthetics and sweet despair of these films. Some rare works of art can change you as a human being, cause you to grow. But even rarer are those that you feel were already somehow inside you: the confirmation and recognition of some sort of feeling or suspicion now given form. Discovering Antonioni was such an encounter, Ruiz another. Films we are waiting for. These three French movies also. I never got over them and I never will. And implicit in this admission is the fact that I never got over Michele Morgan...  

But cinema is, after all, death work and it is still very much alive: changing, shifting, mutating, becoming harder to grasp by the minute. Close Watch faces 2017 with exhilaration in the face of a whole slate of exciting projects. Signing off for now, but check back in after the new year for further adventures... And have a great Christmas, one and all.    


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