Documentary Features Live Action Movies

Fantastic Machine
(original title:
And the King Said,
What a Fantastic Machine)

Directors – Axel Danielson, Maximilien Van Aertryck – 2023 – Norway, Sweden, Denmark – Cert. 15 – 88m


An idiosyncratic history of moving image technology and its increasingly pervasive role in human society, from camera obscura to smartphones and social media – out in UK cinemas on Friday, April 19th

To understand what this movie is about, which I’m not sure I did going in, you have to understand its title. The fantastic machine in question is, in part, the camera. That might lead you to anticipate a history of photography, but that’s not quite what this is about. You’d be forgiven for believing that, though, for the first few minutes when we see a contemporary, on the street, walk-in exhibit of the camera obscura or pinhole camera, a natural optical phenomenon whereby light passes through a simple pinhole onto a surface or screen beyond to recreate an inverted image of where the light came from. As a visitor marvels of the resultant, real time moving image of people outside the exhibit walking around, “it’s upside down”. As a human guide to the exhibition explains, that’s how the human eye works. Our brains correct the upside down image so that appears the right way up.… Read the rest

Features Live Action Movies

Krzysztof Kieślowski
talks about
Three Colours: Red

Transcript of interview from 1994 when Kieślowski was promoting Three Colours: Red. At the time, the other two films in the trilogy had by then been screened to press.

You intend to make no more films after Red. So what do you plan to do now?

“I want to live.”

What about artistic – or other – work of any sort?

“No, I can’t say.”

When we spoke about Blue, you told me how in many ways you found literature more interesting than film making. We discussed Blind Chance in terms of the conditional imperfect tense. Red seems similar out of the whole body of his work – closer to Blind Chance than anything else.

“Yes, maybe, in a certain general way of thinking, in construction.”

Not in the sense of three parallel “what if?”s, but more – if one comes at Red from a literary perspective – as a conditional tense.

“No, I don’t think it’s conditional. In fact I think it would be quite difficult to find a literary explanation there. That sort of thing I think has been tried out and discovered by the cinema rather than literature. Of course, it has been used in literature, but it’s a very much more suited to film than it is to fiction.… Read the rest