Christopher Small

In a Year of Six Kostrovs

By Christopher Small / January 4, 2022

“The fact that at one time there was a camera in front of some people, which made them act in a certain way, and everything they may have thought or said or done at that time no longer has any importance. It is dead and gone; the only thing that counts is what remains, and what remains is a crystallization of it…It’s the moment when you pass from the stage of raw recorded reality into the dimensions of a film…”

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Festivals | Doclisboa 2018: A Scream into the Void

By Christopher Small / January 2, 2019

By Christopher Small  Almost anyone who has spent a prolonged period at a film festival understands the soothing familiarity of a good pre-movie festival spot, those throwaway bits of business that bleary-eyed delegates sit through upwards of 40 times over the course of a week. Everybody reading this doubtless has their favourites; my sense is…

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Mrs. Fang (Wang Bing, France/China/Germany) — Wavelengths

By Daniel Kasman / September 2, 2017

By Daniel Kasman & Christopher Small Published in Cinema Scope 72 (Fall 2017) An old face—skin drawn tautly over jaw and cheekbone, thinning grey hair, eyeballs quivering like tadpoles—is the central image in Wang Bing’s Golden Leopard winner Mrs. Fang. The naked, sober image of this face, which belongs to Fang Xiuying, the film’s bedridden…

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Secrets: Il Cinema Ritrovato 2017

By Christopher Small / July 20, 2017

By Christopher Small Pondering some of the most memorable events of my fourth visit to Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato, I find myself embarrassingly drawn to some of the most slavish metaphors of film criticism: film as a magician’s art, the cinema as a séance, and “the magic of movies.” Self-induced nausea aside, this lingering metaphor…

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