The presence of Time in the cinema is the focus of the latest book in the Punto de Vista collection, a volume entitled TIME, which includes a series of essays written and prepared to mark the tenth anniversary of this film festival in Navarre. Nicole Brenez, Jonathan Rosenbaum and Georges Didi-Huberman have also contributed essays, along with John Berger and Víctor Erice, with texts that examine dialogue, dance, and the battle cinema has been waging right from the start with one of its primordial elements, and which the festival is dedicated to this year: Time.
Why don't cows think about tomorrow and why don't they need philosophy? This is one of the questions pondered by British art writer and essayist John Berger in an interesting dissertation on the relationship between time and space. Where is the beat of time today? This is the question posed by Spanish filmmaker Víctor Erice, who offers a beautiful essay that unveils the essence and secrets of his film that is most closely linked to time: El sol del membrillo. The great American critic Jonathan Rosenbaum shares his memories as a moviegoer to show how personal time in one's own life is also marked by the films one has grown up and developed with. From France, the art historian Georges Didi-Huberman offers up six fragments about Time, like six flashes that burst into questions of time such as similarities and preventions. And Nicole Brenez, professor and expert in avant-garde film, talks to us about the different contretemps posed by film in the passing of hours, minutes, and days.
The book TIME, from the Punto de Vista collection, has been directed and coordinated by the festival's artistic director Oskar Alegria and also features a large graphic section dedicated to and produced by Jean-Daniel Pollet, whose work features in one of the retrospective exhibitions included at the festival this year. They are posthumous photos taken by the French filmmaker, from the graphic diary he kept day after day after his retirement in Cadenet, following the accident that left him immobilised, registering very precisely the passing of time in his everyday life before he died: a still life of oranges in the snow, the benevolent look of his dog, a withered leaf, or the mystery of his cat. The photographs appear by courtesy of the association Les Amies de Jean-Daniel Pollet and are accompanied by text written especially for the occasion by the filmmaker and close personal friend of Pollet: Jean-Paul Fargier.
By way of a final coda, TIME, the volume that this year will be on sale and distributed at the festival in February 2016, also features a selection of poems on the subject of time, from José Emilio Pacheco to José Manuel Caballero Bonald, illustrated with a series of drawings of watch and clock faces made by elderly people and patients at a workshop about memory loss, which has altered their sense of time. The book has been designed by Santos Bregaña Etxeberria (a designer with atelier laia).
This book about time continues with the tradition begun at previous editions of the festival of producing volumes that, year after year, create a very special Punto de Vista library. Found footage, the aesthetics of Japanese film, the delicacy of Ermanno Olmi's films, the fleetingness of Jem Cohen's films, the poems of Margaret Tait... these are a few of the other subjects examined in the volumes produced at previous editions, with the firm idea of taking the festival beyond simply showing films. Since it first begun in 2005, the festival has always striven to offer something extra to think about and discuss through meetings and encounters with other people or through the reflection of ideas in the publication of a book. Indeed, the virtue of this festival is that the films shown are always accompanied, either in the flesh, or in paper.