RIP: Frans Zwartjes, nestor of Dutch experimetal film

edited November 2017 in International
Sad news. Dutch filmmaker Frans Zwartjes has past away last 18 November 2017.

Please read:


  • edited November 2017
    - Reposting in memory of Frans Zwartjes 1927 - 2017:
    (From july 2, 2017)

    "This is a very odd thing. I first heard it on a tape, issued by Stanley Schtinter. I spoke to him about it, how odd and interesting I thought it was.  I then started investigating the weird, wild cinematic / art world of Franz Zwartjes. Have a look around yourself. Google him. YouTube him. This album is Tapes 1. It is music form his archived tapes, of his noises and film music and sound recordings. Tapes 2 is on the way."
    Trunk Records

    Zwartjes is new to me and I couldn't find much written about him in english
    - Maybe @rolandkuit knows more than I was able to find out. (just a thought)

    - So "we" will  have to do with a google translate from dutch:
    Frans Zwartjes (Alkmaar, 1927) is a composer, photographer, draftsman, painter and sculptor. However, he acquired the most fame as a filmmaker.
    In 1968, Zwartjes began to experiment with film as an artistic medium. Short films, mostly in black and white, with high contrast, a very own narrative and often without any text. "I'm someone who thinks you should look at the movie, not what's being filmed."

    Everything that happens when making a movie is done by Zwartjes himself. From camera mood, direction and assembly to the music, the sound and the development of the movies. Also internationally, the style of Zwartjes is considered to be influential. Susan Sontag (1933-2004) - author of, amongst others, the famous essay bundle On Photography (1977) - called him the most important experimental filmmaker of his time.

    The films of Zwartjes are characterized by unexpected perspective and image changes, which gives them an alarming and somewhat psychedelic character.
    Extreme close-ups of eyelashes, lips and shadows are interspersed with Spectator (1970) with recordings that also portray the persons to whom they belong. In Living (1971) Zwartjes filmed himself and his wife Trix while rubbing through an empty house. The recordings are made with a wide-angle lens. The film is not spoken, it is a combination of sounds, perspectives, empty spaces and facial expressions. "The eye moves, the ear is moved," said Zwartjes.

    Zwartjes studied music and played viola at the Dutch Opera. In 1990 he was the first winner of the Ouborg Prize. Werk van Zwartjes was exhibited in, among others, the Fotomuseum The Hague, GEM (The Hague), EYE (Amsterdam) and ICA (London).

    - Really fascinating stuff and a must check out for all interested in the history of electronic music.

    July 5 edited July 5

    I know Frans Zwartjes from the Vrije Academie Den Haag were he teached experimetal film. 
    At that time I was teaching Sound Art there. Before filmmaking, he studied music for 5 years. Especially of interest was his cooperation with France's-Marie Utti, the cello player. Film: Confidential.
    More on Frans Zwartjes:

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