Prelude #1: The Notebook Film

Jan 16, 2015 06:00 PM

Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square

Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0PD











In preparation for the inaugural Essay Film Festival (24-29 March 2105), BIMI presents the first of a series of preludes to the festival, which will explore different dimensions of the essay film tradition. This first session will feature several examples of “notebook” films presented by Laura Busetta, Marlène Monteiro and Muriel Temple, who organised our very successful “Self-Portraiture in the Moving Image” event last year:

Location notes in Palestine for the film Il vangelo secondo Matteo, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1965, 55mn
Scenario for Sauve qui peut (la vie), Jean-Luc Godard, 1979, 20mn
Letter from a Filmmaker (about Thérèse), Alain Cavalier, 1982, 13mn
Les Années quatre-vingt, Chantal Akerman, 1983 [extracts]

The notebook film is a preparatory essay for another film to come, as well as a kind of foretaste to convince producers to finance the future film. It might typically feature the casting of actors, rehearsals with actors or technicians, exploration of locations, the testing out of ideas and possible narratives, or more general reflections from the director or other members of the team. In short, the film becomes an audiovisual “notebook” in which a future work is sketched out, and in that perspective these films exemplify one of the key features of the essay film, which is to show us the creative process of film-making.