The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Philippe Grandrieux Day *

* (expanded)


‘The films of Philippe Grandrieux pulsate. They pulsate microcosmically: in the images, the camera trembles and flickers so violently that, even within a single, continuous shot, no photogram resembles another. And they pulsate macrocosmically: the soundtrack is constructed globally upon unidentifiable, layered, synthesised, ambient noises of breath or wind, sucked in and expelled, which underlie the entire film and constitute its disturbed heartbeat, returning to our ear when all other sounds have disappeared. In the very beginnings and endings of his films, over the credits, there is nothing but this strangely bodily sound.’ — Adrian Martin, Kinoeye

‘There is something profoundly new about Grandrieux’s plastic exploration of violence, but also something very contemporary. His approach is not based on such editing and framing effects one finds and admires in Hitchcock and Ray, nor in an exploration of excess as in Tarantino. He works on the inside of an image, on the special relation between the luminous content and the vibrant and fragmentary representation.’ — Christa Bluminger, Parachute

‘Grandieux’s films carefully try to understand the exact inner-working of one’s psychic, and more especially the part that deals with desire and transformation. How does desire work? What are the elements that this energy-matter is using to expand its empire? What are the social repressions that desire has to face? Unlike Pasolini who is really interested in the way that society is theatrically transforming the ceremony of predating into a show, there is here an experimental cinema; it is true; that is trying to register, thanks to the camera, what humans eyes would never be able to see in order to deconstruct and analyze reality. Grandrieux’s films are analytical films, like a microscope, that give the viewer the possibility to see more accurately what is movement, emotion, sensation, colour, darkness and the emergence of the image (either material or thought). What is the process that enables something to become an image in the dark? Why can this process only be seen as a threat?’ — Jean-Claude Polack

‘In his films, Philippe Grandrieux has revealed his startlingly corporeal vision of a world in which the body and its drives remake cinematic form and content alike. Often compared to the work of Stan Brakhage, Grandrieux’s films similarly reject representational cinema in favor of a mode of filmmaking that, in Brakhage’s famous phrase, realizes “adventures in perception.” In Grandrieux’s case, this approach entails a radical reworking of the frame, offscreen space, lighting and even focus, at times edging the image towards the barely perceptible. No less radical is Grandrieux’s approach to sound, which is often distorted and accentuated, with dialogue kept to a careful minimum and music alternately ambient and blaring. Grandrieux’s is a cinema of vibrations and tremors in which image and sound seem to pulsate with a kind of furious life.

‘The subjects of Grandrieux’s first two features, Sombre and New Life – a serial killer and sex trafficking, respectively – quickly gave him the reputation of being something of an enfant terrible. Yet, while Grandrieux’s vision is very dark – literally and figuratively – it is never gratuitous but rather an extension of the French fascination, from Sade to Bataille to Genet, with the body’s potential to undo subjectivity in the gaps between social order and animality, where the body/corporeality itself becomes radically refigured not as the vehicle for consciousness but as flesh with a life of its own. Even those who, like Jonathan Rosenbaum, have reservations about the sexualized violence of Grandrieux’s first two films will appreciate the originality and gravity of their formal audacity.’ — Harvard Film Society

‘Grandrieux’s reflection belongs to the body’s modernity – the modernity of Sigmund Freud, Antonin Artaud, Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, to name only a few – and thus returns the anthropological need for representation to a state of immanence. The image is no longer given as a reflection, discourse, or the currency of whatever absolute value; it works to invest immanence, using every type of sensation, drive and affect. To make a film means descending, via the intermittent pathways of neuronal connection, down into the most shadowy depths of our sensory experiences, to the point of confronting the sheer terror of the death drive (Sombre), or the still more immense and bottomless terror of the unconscious, of total opacity (La Vie nouvelle).’ — Nicole Brenez





Philippe Grandieux Official Website
PG @ Wikipedia
PG interviewed by Nicole Brenez
Magick Mike on PG’s ‘Sombre’ @ EEP
PG’s ‘Un Lac’ reviewed @ Screener
PG @ Facebook
PG @ the Harmony Korine Website Forum
Video: PG interviewed (in French)
PG Torrent Search
PG interviewed @ Rouge

‘Film Comment Selects: Philippe Grandrieux Films’
‘Malgré la nuit’ page @ Facebook
‘La caméra haptique de Philippe Grandrieux’
‘Propos de Philippe Grandrieux’
‘Entretien: Philippe Grandrieux []’
‘Dans une langue étrangère” Un lac de Philippe Grandrieux’
‘ARTIST IN FOCUS: Philippe Grandrieux’



Philippe Grandrieux / films by / extracts

Alan Vega ‎– ‘Les Amours Perdues’ from Philippe Grandrieux’s “Sombre”

Cápsula 04 – Philippe Grandrieux

Oscuro – Philippe Grandrieux

MARYLIN MANSON / Putting holes in happiness // Directed by Philippe Grandrieux

Tristan und Isolde in de regie van Philippe Grandrieux




I was wondering about the dimension of politics in your work. In former films like SOMBRE or LA VIE NOUVELLE you have political references and now with portraying Masao Adachi, one of the most radical and well known activists and filmmakers in Japanese history, of course you created a very explicit context. Do you consider the film as a political film?

Philippe Grandieux: Well, it’s trivial to say that, but all our acts involve politics. You couldn’t be here without thinking about politics. It is much more than ideology; it’s decision in fact. Politics means making decisions about your own life: How you act in the world and how you want to be. So it’s really something very important. In SOMBRE for instance there wasn’t any morality – no good, no bad. It is a decision, a very political decision to let the audience face their own desire, their own unrest. LA VIE NOUVELLE was more or less the relationship between the chaotic historical post-communism in Bulgaria and the chaotic psychic world. You drive inside of it. So ADACHI is politics but a very sensual movie at the same time, I hope. It’s based on emotion and sensation, as my movies generally are. Making movies, like life, is a path. So you’re following your own path as much as you can. Sometimes you’re weaker and sometimes you feel energized. This is always more or less the same question I’m working on.

I noticed as well that you link, in a very interesting way, the portrait of Adachi itself and the formal strategies of the feature films you did before, for example the dissolution of the images which are mirrored in the landscape of Tokyo that you depict repeatedly. I have the impression that the connection of this real political background with your artistic style gives your work a new layer.

PG: You’re right, yes. It’s true.

Do you intend to further follow this direction?

PG: The movie I’ve just finished now is called WHITE EPILEPSY and it’s supposed to be a kind of a tryptich on the question of unrest. This movie is very particular, because for me it’s a feature film, but it’s done out of a very radical position: the frame is vertical. The question of storytelling also became very important to me, in order to understand how I want to work with it. In WHITE EPILEPSY there are no more questions of characters and the psychological map of the characters throughout the movie, of how the story grows out of these characters – instead the question is more about the event: something happens. Questioning the event is rather in the centre of the movie itself compared to the development of the story. This is something that I really want to work on. I also want to further pursue the relation between sensation and emotion. They are two different issues, but not so far from each other. I try to explore the same possibilities over and over through cinema.

I’ve heard that after Masao Adachi you and Nicole Brenez are planning to portray other radical filmmakers as well? Will you be directing?

PG: No. We try to provide the possibility for making other movies but I’m not going to do the other ones myself. Other filmmakers will. We have a project on René Vautier, a french filmmaker. A very strong guy: at 15 he was a part of “La Résistance” in France, after which he fought against the colonization, in Algeria too. Now he’s old, maybe 80-82, but he is an incredibly strong filmmaker. We also plan a project on newsreels in America. Well, we’ll see, because for this series we haven’t got any money yet. We don’t want to write things to get money so we try to keep it very, very free. Because I think this is very important. This movie – ADACHI – as I went to Tokyo, I was facing the possibility that there might have been no movie at all in the end. So it was not necessary to finish something. This gives you a lot of freedom.

Since you were mentioning the money aspect: This is of course closely linked to the fact that depending on your work it is not easy to reach an audience. I have the impression that you’re a filmmaker who seeks to address people through cinema and move something in their way of perceiving the world. Being fairly well known now, is it easy for you nowadays to reach new audiences? Are you actively trying to reach out?

PG: I would like to try to expand the possibilities of cinema with my next feature film. It’s not necessary to reach huge audiences. Maybe the audience will be more important than the other movies had, but I can’t think in terms of that. I really try to follow my own steps.
I’m very interested in actors, stars. I think it could be very interesting to make a movie with no money at all but with very well known actors. Because this is also a part of what ‘cinema’ is. It’s about political problems, agents, lawyers, distributors and sellers. About these very well formed industrial systems and I think they offer a huge possibility for working. I would like to try something alike next.

I’m interested in the relationship between emotion, sensation and intellectualization. How has it changed over the years in your personal view and in the reception of others, in their approach of others towards your work?

PG: I think it depends on where you are, because when you are making movies – as Adachi says at the end of the movie – there is an intellectual aspect, but in the end it must be about the sensation itself. Because sensation is life in a way: something you couldn’t control, that you couldn’t put inside any kind of system. Even if the systems are very, very clever and very powerful. Think of Leibnitz or Kant – even with all these very strong philosophers we couldn’t reach the real point of knowing what life is. Maybe ‘odd’ is a possibility. Maybe it’s the only one. Sometimes I think like this, when I am in a positive mood.

To answer your question: When you do a movie, you organize things, you write, you scout, you cast, you think a lot, you take notes, you write the script, you prepare everything, it’s a very intellectual process. But when you shoot it’s something else. It’s really back to sensation, pure sensation, pure feelings, and pure intuition. A beautiful aspect is that time is an editing process, an intellectual process. You cut things and put them together, and after a while sense appears. But sensation is something else. It’s intuition, pure duration. It’s not any more the time that you can cut into discrete seconds; it’s an eternity inside of yourself. It’s a big question. Maybe the same question as: If you are thinking too much in terms of intellectuality and sense, you’re thinking in terms of immortality. If you’re thinking in terms of duration you’re thinking in terms of eternity. It’s two different ways to be and to me art is really part of these eternity feelings, which are a part of us.

What about the reception that comes from the outside, from theorists or critics? Do you still find something useful, when they interpret your work in a highly intellectual way?

PG: Well, it’s not helpful at all to make movies. It’s helpful for me to be inside of the world. I mean to be with my… I don’t know what to say. It’s helpful, because you see that what you are trying to do is not just ‘nowhere’. Of course it’s important. But after a movie is done, one can write a thousand pages. It’s strange; it’s really something completely different.

And what about beauty? Is this something you are searching for? Have you got a concept of beauty or is it pure instinct? For example Bruno Dumont says that he tries to avoid beautiful images, but that is something I can’t believe.

PG: It’s not beauty at this level; it is not the question of beautiful images. The beauty is something much stronger. When Dostojewski says that the beauty saves the world, the question is not about doing beautiful things. Beauty is a political decision in a way. It’s to be alive with your own self, strongly alive. I mean not under submissions. Beauty is the possibility to feel ‘la force’, the strength of the things, the reality and the real. So beauty is very important of course, but it’s not at all about beautiful pictures.

What about melancholy? When I saw UN LAC it seemed to me that for the first time in your work appeared a very strong sense of sadness. Do you think sadness is a proper way to react to this world?

PG: I think it’s impossible to be untouched by melancholy. We are dealing with time, memories and our childhood. We can’t escape from this and I think these melancholic dimensions are very important. It’s also in terms of politics: All the organizations are transforming more and more into paranoid systems in which you fit in. You fit in via computer, cell phone or Facebook – it’s a paranoid organization of our feelings. Melancholy is something else. Melancholy could be dangerous too, as a tendency you may incline towards. But it’s very important.

Maybe it’s kind of subversive to be melancholic.

PG: I think so, yes. You know these systems to control the streets? If somebody stops walking, after two or three minutes, the computers signal that somebody stopped walking. Something happened. Someone stopped in the middle of the street, but the person shouldn’t be immobile. This is a very interesting conception of your destiny [laughs].

You mentioned that you try to dive further into this field of pure sensation. Now you did WHITE EPILEPSY. I heard it is very focused on bodies. I wonder if it is very important for you to find a certain body. Would you cancel a project if you couldn’t manage to find a certain professional or non-professional?

PG: Absolutely. For this project I worked with a dancer, Hélène Rocheteau. We worked together on what we can call choreography, although I’m not a choreographer. It was a piece of twelve minutes; it was shown in Metz in France and was very interesting. It was a cycle and featured a loop of Joy Division music: a ceremony. We worked on insect movements, on the way insects are completely limited to their instinct. For them there is no possibility to escape their instincts at all. There are very few needs, but these needs are accordingly intense, there is no doubt. We tried to work on these kinds of movements and I was very impressed by her body, how she can move each muscle with such intense possibilities, like Butoh dancers. An when I was thinking about WHITE EPILEPSY I had this idea of this naked body, that I can be with her in this kind of very, very strong relation: very strange way of movement, human but not completely human.

Being a critic and writing about film, I’m more and more doubting that people take out a lot with them, when they leave the cinema. I’m a bit pessimistic about film and the way that it fails to activate something in audiences. Many seem to use these two hours in order to separate themselves from their lives. I would love to contribute to them connecting more to film and I’m trying to do my part through writing. Since we talked about bodies, do you think that using the body and its physicality expands the possibility of cinema to reach people more intensely?

PG: That’s an interesting point of view, the question how cinema is moving inside of us. We never know; it’s strange. Maybe cinema is less powerful than years ago. But I couldn’t really think in those terms, because I don’t like glorifying the past. We are here, just here and now, and we are dealing with our reality. This is nice and it’s strong and I like it. I have no regrets about anything – no regret about the 35mm, no regret at all. I like numeric cameras and if tomorrow there are no more cameras, ok. Then there are no more cameras; who cares. But the question you rose, how the movies are inside of us, or what we can call movies today, I think this is very important. Because I’m sure it is still operating, it is still strong. I mean you are still undergoing a certain experience when you go see a movie. If it’s pure entertainment, you get a good moment with your friends, you have a beer and that’s it. Why not? We shouldn’t be dogmatic in this aspect of the things. But you know, there are some kinds of movies that move you very deeply and sometimes even influence all of your live. Of course, this is what I would like to try to catch with my work. I don’t know if I have success. I would like to put one human being in front of these pictures, inside of this sound, inside of this world to get the possibility to feel something within itself. No words, just the feeling of being alive and of the complexity this situation achieves.


10 of Philippe Grandrieux’s 13 films

Sombre (1998)
‘Philippe Grandrieux’s first full length cinema film has unleashed a storm of controversy since its showing at the Locarno initernational film festival in 1998. It had critics solidly divided into two camps – those who regard it as an obscene, unwatchable mess, and others who rate it as a sublime masterpiece of the psychosexual thriller genre. It is clearly a film which is acceptable only to certain tastes, and many will find the film very hard to stomach. Certainly, Grandrieux’s extremely minimalist photography, much of which involves jerky camera movements and hazy out-of-focus images shot in virtual pitch-blackness, makes few concessions to traditional cinema audiences. To his credit, this unusual – and frankly disorientating – cinematography serves the film well, heightening the menace in the killer and the brutality of his murders by showing little and prompting us to imagine much more than we see. The idea presumably is to show the world as the obsessed killer sees it, through a darkened filter with periodic loss of focus.’ — James Travers, filmsdefrance





La vie nouvelle (2002)
‘Since its premiere screenings in late 2002, Philippe Grandrieux’s second feature La Vie nouvelle (The New Life) has been a cause célèbre. On its theatrical release in France, it was savaged by a large number of prominent newspaper and magazine reviewers. But the film has many passionate defenders. Grandrieux’s work plunges us into every kind of obscurity: moral ambiguity, narrative enigma, literal darkness. La Vie Nouvelle presents four characters in a severely depressed Sarajevo who are caught in a mysterious, death-driven web: the feckless American Seymour (Zach Knighton), his mysterious companion (lover? friend? brother? father?) Roscoe (Marc Barbé), the demonic Mafioso Boyan (Zsolt Nagy), and the prostitute-showgirl who is the exchange-token in all their relationships, Mélania (Anna Mouglalis). Eric Vuillard’s poetically conceived script takes us to the very heart of this darkness where sex, violence, betrayal and obsession mingle and decay. Grandrieux feels freer than ever to explore the radical extremes of film form: in his lighting and compositions and impulsive camera movements; in the bold mix of speech, noise and techno/ambient music (by the celebrated experimental group Etant Donnés); and in the frame-by-frame onslaught of sensations and affects.’ — Adrian Martin, Kinoeye




Philippe Grandrieux, à propos de La Vie Nouvelle


Un lac (2008)
‘How to sum up Un Lac? It’s no easier than with Sombre or La Vie nouvelle, the two last films by Philippe Grandrieux. Suffice to say that Grandrieux has been hotly acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic as one of Europe’s most innovative and uncompromising filmmakers, his visionary films testing the very limits of screen language. This minimalist new work is at once Grandrieux’s most accessible film and his most abstract. The vestigial narrative takes place in a frosty Northern landscape of forests and mountains, where young woodchopper Alexis lives with his sister, their blind mother and a younger brother. Then one day a younger man arrives on the scene… Grandrieux doesn’t make events easy for us to follow, often shooting in near-darkness, with sparse dialogue sometimes pitched barely above a whisper. But narrative apart, the film is distinctive for the unique, self-enclosed world that Grandrieux creates with a palette reduced almost to monochrome: a world of stillness and near-silence, of forbidding yet alluring landscapes whose affinities are as much with the Romantic paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, as with the cinematic ilk of Alexandr Sokurov, Bela Tarr and Fred Kelemen.’ — Jonathan Romney




Making of Un lac


Il se peut que la beauté ait renforcé notre résolution – Masao Avachi (2011)
‘This tribute to the radical Japanese writer-director Masao Adachi is the first in a series of documentaries that Philippe Grandrieux wants to dedicate to deeply political filmmakers. For decades, the eccentric Adachi was a member of the extremist Japanese Red Army. French director Philippe Grandrieux (Sombre, 1999; A Lake, 2009) wants to make a series of portraits of politically committed filmmakers. His film about Japanese avant-gardist Masao Adachi (1939) is the first in this series. In the 1960s and 1970s, Adachi was a prominent film critic and underground filmmaker, with experimental films such as Sain (1963) to his name. He often collaborated with his contemporary and ally Nagisa Oshima, wrote scripts for Koji Wakamatsu and made films in the pink genre. Disappointment with the political direction of Japan made him join the the extreme left-wing Japanese Red Army in the early 1970s and he started making films in Beirut. Grandieux engages in sometimes cryptic conversations with him about film, art and politics and films him in his characteristic style: sometimes out of focus, sometimes under or over- exposed. With a few clips from Adachi’s work, such as The Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War from 1971.’ — IFFR

the entire film


White Epilepsy (2012)
‘Philippe Grandrieux’s work has often invoked the world of Francis Bacon, but in this almost purely experimental piece it is even more pronounced, as he takes Bacon’s fascination with the triptych and the body and insists on utilising only the middle section of the frame. Here are bodies in primordial states, fully formed as muscle and flesh, but as if unformed in the nature of their desires and subsequently somehow closer to nature. Utilising a dense soundtrack that both suggests the internal organs (lungs, larynx and heart) and the extended sounds of the forest, Grandrieux has made a film that isn’t easy to watch but equally not easy to forget. It is a strategy that has worked wonderfully well for him in the past with moments from Sombre (for example, the Punch and Judy contest), La vie nouvelle (the scenes filmed with a thermo camera) and the misty lake in Un Lac all examples of the cinematically unforgettable. Perhaps the images here are too abstract and sculptural to fascinate us fully, without that soupçon of story that can make Grandrieux’s work maddeningly suggestive, but this is is still a film by a modern master.’ — List Film


Watch the film here


Meurtrière (2015)
‘The film opens on the body of a naked woman, lying on her back. Only her flesh, muscles, curves and hollows are thrown into relief against the surrounding darkness. Her face remains invisible. Slowly, to a rhythmic soundtrack of muffled, raspy breathing, other bodies appear, their faces also masked and their nudity on full display. In slow motion, arms, legs, bellies and breasts intertwine, collide, latch together, submit or hold still in a resolutely static and vertical frame. As each scene flows into the next, throbbing and relentless, the atmosphere grows threatening and disquieting. Cinema in its most stripped-down form becomes a pure sensory experience, the stock-in-trade of French director Philippe Grandrieux (Un lac). The second movement of his performance triptych Unrest after White Epilepsy, Grandrieux’s exploration of worry, Meurtrière is a striking tableau vivant reminiscent of Goya and Francis Bacon and populated by the bodies of four dancers: Émilia Giudicelli, Vilma Pitrinaite, Hélène Rocheteau and Francesca Ziviani. Graceful yet ruthless, obscene yet mystical, monstrous yet sublime, the film fascinates by virtue of its hypnotic, unsettling tone.’ — Festival du nouveau cinéma



Malgré la nuit (2015)
‘Early in Philippe Grandrieux’s Malgré la Nuit, Lenz (Kristian Marr) encounters a friend (Lola Norda) in a dark, abstract space illuminated only by a faint copper-toned light as smoke billows around them. They call each other out in diaphanous whispers enhanced by the absence of any diegetic noise, until their hands touch. She asks him what he’s doing back in Paris, to which he plaintively responds, “I’m searching for Madeleine,” crystallizing the film’s axis of conflict: the regaining of a lost love. It’s an unusual start coming from a filmmaker who routinely eschews anything that so much as resembles plot markers or sentimentality. Then again, no one accustomed to Grandrieux’s penchant for disruption should be too surprised by this. Since his startling debut feature, Sombre, Grandrieux has become one of cinema’s most audacious chroniclers of society’s underbelly, maybe even its best articulator of heightened sensations; despair and ecstasy erupt from the fabric of his films with a blistering, almost physical intensity. While Grandrieux’s fourth fiction feature continues his usual investigation into the limits of experience and range of cinematic possibilities, there’s also a strong willingness here to work along a more traditional narrative scheme. Not that Grandrieux has totally softened up. Malgré la Nuit still plays out like a sordid nightmare straight out of Georges Bataille’s imagination.’ — Film Comment



Critics’ Talk: Philippe Grandrieux (Malgré la nuit)


Unrest (2017)
‘In a career spanning more than 40 years, Grandrieux has interrogated the power of images and presented us with every possible permutation of love, violence and life itself, often in its most extreme forms. His latest short film ‘Unrest’ is the final part of a 10 year project, a triptych of short works (with ‘White Epilepsy’ and ‘Meurtriere’) grouped together under the collective title ‘Unrest’. Here Grandrieux strips back his vision to its most minimal form yet to present us with a vision of bare life that evades enclosure within fixed form and meaning. As Grandrieux has written, ‘No narrative link unites the three parts of the triptych, what we have is rather three stages of bodily presence, three affective intensities, three events that we are able to access only via what they make us experience inside of us, our own disquiet’.’ — QAGOMA


Watch the film here


‎The Scream (2019)
‘Split-screen of three identical scenes (the middle offset by 3 seconds and the right by 5) of “cathartic performances” of naked women screaming, laughing, singing, writhing around, banging the walls and floors, allows Grandrieux a more emotive response to his bodily works, even if their derivative form makes predecessors like Meurtrière superior in their quiet resolutions. The Scream probably works better as an installation as it appears to be, so I won’t deride it much for its repetitive nature; however, the distinct lack of slow-motion or ambient noise is disappointing given their effective use in all of Grandrieux’s other works.’ — sky3088

Watch the film here


w/ Lav Diaz, Manuela de Laborde, Óscar Enríquez Liminal (2020)
‘A FICUNAM commission for four directors, Liminal seeks to play with poetic affinities between film and music. Moving across aesthetic and generational differences, the film-makers explore this relationship through four distinct stories as to context and imaginary. Grandrieux’s opening short “La Lumière la Lumière” is the standout. It covers the investigation on the relationship between body and light that Grandrieux has becoming even more interested during the past decade and does so in exciting miniature fashion. It helps that Grandrieux project fits perfectly with the “poetic relationship between cinema and music” thst the movie synopsis claim links the four shorts, so he was very well suited for the commission, while everybody else mostly struggle to fit ideas into it.’ — Filipe Furtado





p.s. Hey. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Yeah, I originally thought I’d only be in Paris for about six months so it was a little easier to think about. Hm, strange choice but maybe I’d like to see ‘The Wizard of Oz’ for the first time for some reason. Not sure why. You: same question? So I’ll see you next time as a Vienna person. A Vienner? Is there a name for it like Parisian or Los Angeleno? Safest, swiftest drive today if you see this before you split, and love slipping ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard’ into your car’s sound system, G. ** Guy, Hi. Oh, I don’t know. I’m actually of the opinion that there’s a ton of really interesting, daring fiction coming out right now, but you have to do your searching in the smaller indie presses. The big presses are largely deserts on that front. Let me have a think as to who as I’m in rushes these current days re: the p.s. because of marathon daily film editing sessions, but there’s a lot of exciting fiction being sprung upon the unsuspecting right now, I swear. I never thought about a career, I just thought of what it would take to pay the bills whilst I did what I really wanted to do the rest of time which, in my case, was write. Any ideas at all? I go to bed at about 10:30 every night and wake up at 6-ish, so I feel you on the all nighter stuff. ** Florian S. Fauna, Hi, Florian! Lovely to see you! We shot in Flamingo Heights, which you probably know is a kind of section of Yucca Valley, but of course we were in Joshua Tree a bunch getting supplies and eating and stuff. I have to say I’m very happy not to be there anymore, ha ha. I’ve been to Salton Sea, trippy, but not Bombay Beach. I’ll look for pix. How are you? ** _Black_Acrylic, Cool that you’re a big Zurn fan. She’s amazing. I haven’t read ‘The Man of Jasmine’. I’ll get it. Thanks, Ben. ** Steve Erickson, That’s curious, apparently there was a big outage in LA yesterday as well according to my friends there. Sounds like a great plan re: the music-only laptop. As far as an initial rough cut, I think we’ll likely have that in about a week, but then there’ll be many weeks of revising and fiddling. ** jack_henry, Hi, jack. Well, I don’t know her personally, but it’s true that I can’t stand her work. The reasons seem obvious to me, but … ha ha. Why do you ask? ** Bill, Awesome, interesting that she’s a big one for you. I would so love to see a show of her drawings. There was a museum in Vienna that had a lot of her work, but my trip was too time-tight to get there. Huh, I’ve never heard of ‘Virtue’. How curious it looks. I’ve never heard of Camera Obscura either. Wow, on the hunt for more about that. Nice. I feel like I should be excited about the Apple VR thing, but I just can’t get it up. ** Darbz 🐦, Hi. Paper writing rules. I always used to write my novels on paper by hand, but then I decided I should write ‘The Sluts’ on a computer since it’s set on a computer, and then I got spoiled, drat. If you need meds, for sure take them. Whatever it takes to feel right. Can you not restart them easily? Yes, I like Tim Buckley a lot too. Deep and adventuring. Yeah, great. Hanging out with friends sounds like a perfect plan, so I hope that goes well, and I’m here pretty much always awaiting any check ins you feel like making. xo. ** Kettering, Thank you for writing all of that. Hugs. ** Right. I decided to restore and expand the blog’s very old and out of date Philippe Grandrieux post. Know his films? Pretty amazing. A good peruse on your parts is highly recommended. See you tomorrow.


  1. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Oh, man, that Monday in-office day was hella boring. Of course, I was the only one there, so I’m sitting there with my light on above me and all the other lights off for most of the day. They have motion-detecting lights and they go on and off as people come in and go out of the area. If you sit still too long without moving a lot, they’ll go off. And strangely, we were quite slow too. So…Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    But I made it through and don’t have to go back in until July 3. And then will have July 4 off.

    Onward and upward.

    Was pretty damn busy yesterday, though, and will be today.

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Does the cinema have a future? I am dubious.

  3. _Black_Acrylic

    I’m keen to see Malgré la nuit, although my DVD supplier reckons I’ve already seen it. Whatever, I’m renting it again anyway.

    Leeds United are on the verge of being taken over by the San Francisco 49ers. I know nothing about American football but I figure this lot cannot be any worse than the clowns we have in charge at the moment.

  4. tomk

    This rules.

    I wish I had more time. It feels like an age since I really dove into a new artist or film maker.

    Watching the Nan Goldin doc tonight though I think, really looking forward to it.

    Glad the editing is going well.


  5. Steve Erickson

    Wild, extremely unpleasant weather in New York today. I wish I’d taken a photo during the period this afternoon when the air was glowing orange. If you go outside, you’ll start to feel short of breath within a block, and even in my apartment, it smells like the Quebec wildfires are just a few blocks away. I was gonna see a press screening of ASTEROID CITY tonight, but I canceled because it’s so nasty.

    Grandrieux’s 2016 REJOUR A SARAVEJO recently turned up on I still wonder why he’s so obscure in the U.S., although the combination of minimalism/abstraction and sexual violence probably explains it (even if the dance films are less likely to offend anyone.)

  6. Cody Goodnight

    Hi Dennis.
    How are you? I’m doing well. What a coincidence you post a day dedicated to Philippe Grandrieux! I am attempting to get into films in the New French Extremity movement! I watched Alexandre Aja’s Haute Tension today. Good movie up until the ending. Really love Martyrs and really want to get into the work of Grandrieux and Catherine Breillat. Which of Grandrieux’s would you recommend? Busyness is very good, i agree. Especially since I have intrusive thoughts. Busyness keeps me occupied. Oh I adore Pornography! Def my favorite Cure record. Not much on the agenda today save for showing Pink Narcissus to friends tonight and seeing Phantom of the Paradise tomorrow in a theater. Currently listening to Skinny Puppy and Sisters of Mercy while walking. Have a good day or night, Dennis!

  7. Mildred

    Hey Dennis, what’s a good film to start with for this Grandrieux fellow? Should I just watch his stuff in chronological order? Very insightful interview, particularly the part about the difference between planning and shooting. I find the best art, or at least my favorite, is a balance of the unconscious and the conscious. On our last record so many accidents would happen in rehearsals that we thankfully recorded and I would listen back and they fit the piece so well they had to be kept for the final recording. Did you have any happy accidents during the shooting that you can share? I think about when the crew member accidentally walked into the shot, realized they were in the shot and quickly walked away in Irreversible and Noé kept it in the final cut of the film. We had this moment on one of the pieces where my drummer who always has the urge to play loudly and fast(he’s both a hardcore and gospel drummer, perfect for us). He was about to crescendo into a loud drum part on the third movement of ‘Crucifixion’ and I gave him this death stare and so he sort of faked it out, listened back and it was really perfect, just happened to sync perfectly with this over the nut screeching motif my guitarist was doing that was also an accidental part from a previous rehearsal I insisted on keeping!

    Anyways hope you’re well.

  8. Guy

    So excited for your film! I was talking to an interesting poet last night, and we decided to read our favorite poems to each other, and I wanted to read him one of your poems, but he wouldn’t let me cause he said he was already jealous of how much I liked you lol! So, I read him a Pasolini instead, and he calmed down. Anyway, not sure why I shared this with you… Yeah, by “career” I meant making money without monetizing my writing. My treacherous work place will pay me until the end of July, so I’ll come up with something after that. It’s so lowly to worry/ talk about money anyway. I think if I become more self-desciplined with my writing, I could get more commissions etc, so I won’t need to do anything else on the side. Alas, I’m feeling rather uninspired these days… Is there still a possibility of you coming here this year?

  9. Dee Kilroy

    Dear Dennis,

    A reader of relatively recent vintage, here, despite having uncloseted myself only seven years ago. It was shortly Bowie’s death I stumbled across ‘The Marbled Swarm’ in a l’il free library in midtown Atlanta, GA. One hell of an intro. ‘My Loose Thread’ came next– another donation to the exact same l.f.l –after which I swam into your backcatalogue, or at least what Fulton Country opted to retain for their generally inoffensive LGBTQ+ section.

    It seems the library system started purging its stacks around the same time as I came out, so the only books in circulation were ‘Closer’, ‘The Sluts’, ‘Smothered In Hugs’, a self-published volume of some of your earliest poetry, and– I reached it at the very end of my reading list –‘Safe’. 1st editions all. Perfect reading for a monstrous year, that was.

    Since then I’ve added you to my home library. I’ve *tried* to introduce my boyfriend to your work but haven’t pushed. He had ‘Safe’ for a minute, yet couldn’t get into it. He’s more of a Michael Nava reader, whereas I was the Burroughs addict from birth, so. Maybe it’s a generational thing. He’s a trifle younger than me, but not much. We were both raised in a world where AIDS was the Gay Plague first & an STD second. I think the big difference is I grew up closer to the Wojnarowicz side of life than he; I definitely have the dimmer view of human nature. Still, it’s nice, being in love with an optimist who doesn’t believe bugchasers exist. That’s a lovely world to believe in.

    Apres Burroughs, I have a comix project on my drafting table. Based on listening to your [1st] Other People interview, I desperately want to ask a personal question, but I don’t want to be a nosy bastard.

    Instead I shall ask (for the same project): can you recommend any queer variations on the tale of Bluebeard’s wife?

    Never cease being fearless,

  10. Jack

    Hey Dennis, thanks for recc’ing “man in the holocene” i’ll dig it this weekend. Time to finally check out Grandrieux. Steve’s right about the smoke digesting New York. When the sensation of burning forest hits its almost funny. It’s a real low rent sci-fi scenario on my end: The building I work out of declared the first floor to have unsafe air quality and sent everyone there home but the floor I was on was declared fine. When I left the building the lobby was filled with atmospheric haze. It is ofcourse both bad and unspeakably cool. Glad editing is going smoothly I can’t wait to see it.

  11. jack_henry

    Hi Dennis, I’m not sure why *that* was the question I felt compelled to lead with. I was just reading the interview you did with Juliet Escoria for Fanzine in 2014 and you mentioned that “people will say ‘Marina Abramović’ to me just to get me to rant for half an hour” and I got curious. She’s no favorite of mine but I’ve never found her work particularly offensive. Do you like performance art in general? Who are your favorite performance artists?
    Cheers from Milwaukee.

  12. Nick.

    Hey! I do not typically ever eat breakfast but if I do it’s like rice noodles + whatever low maintenance protein + seasoning and vegetable tossed in whatever oil feels the fanciest that day. And definitely not coffee for me but like fruit juice so cranberry normally which is the closet to a breakfast I can muster typically. Oh film that makes sense is it fun? I know it could take years which makes sense but I hope it’s fun cause you like the footage. And right what psychobabble it’s so hard to keep up with it and it’s all my own stuff shows how silly it must all be which is good. And yes I honestly agree! A few days ago I went cruising with one of my friends and ugh so much happened all just confirming I’m really crazy and really hot And on top of that while my mind is so over this boy my body is absolutely not which is a new mini nightmare! I so totally feel like it’s the end times now that my city’s smoking one big cigarette together so hopefully my takeover starts soon I think I’m the perfect rockstar for the end of the world! Hope you’ve been sleeping well I have been talk soon!

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