“Finite Rants” is an online project curated by Luigi Alberto Cippini and Niccolò Gravina, a series of 8 visual essays commissioned by Fondazione Prada to filmmakers, artists, intellectuals and scholars.
The first authors include German director and writer Alexander Kluge, Japanese photographer Satoshi Fujiwara, French director Bertrand Bonello, and Swiss economist Christian Marazzi.
As stated by avant-garde director Hans Richter in 1940, the film or video essay is a form of expression capable of creating “images for mental notions” and of portraying concepts. Starting from Richter’s ideas, some later theorists identify specific traits in the video essay, such as creative freedom, complexity, reflexivity, the crossing of film genres and the transgression of linguistic conventions. “Finite Rants” aims to test the versatility of the visual essay in expressing thought images and demonstrate its relevance in contemporary visual production.
The aesthetic and theoretical roots of “Finite Rants” can be traced back to the experimental work La Jetée (1962) by French author Chris Marker. Defined by its creator as “photo-roman”, La Jetée is described by its voice-over as “the story of a man obsessed with an image of his childhood”. Set in a fictional Paris almost destroyed by a future nuclear holocaust, this dystopian, intimate and theoretical film expresses its distance from later narrative experimentations. The film thus integrates science fiction and obscure psychological introspection into a hybrid form, eliminating every concept of space and time, and freeing itself from a form generally considered definite. The authors of “Finite Rants” are therefore invited to confront themselves with a radical model of cinematic experimentation such as La Jetée, a fragmentary and dispersive story, consisting of a single short film sequence and a succession of static frames, which questions the very idea of cinema, understood as a set of moving images.
Following a process of creative collaboration between the authors and Fondazione Prada, the visual contributions featured in “Finite Rants” analyze social, political and cultural issues that have emerged in our present time and are normally addressed by the media with a documentary approach. Through the creation, editing and post-production of raw, heterogeneous and diverse images and visual materials, the authors are able to express personal visions and poetics that involve the viewer in an active and reflective role.
Satoshi Fujiwara, Alexander Kluge
A sublimation of intent and suppressed violence, obsessive skipping and mytomania, with no focused prayer. Satoshi Fujiwara elaborates political content amassed and originally sourced from videos created by Alexander Kluge into the vortex of mixed-media image democracy, conspiracy videos. An essay into overdosing and obsessing over collective thoughts and political figures, an overlayed black box of recent political traumas.
Editing and soundtrack by Francesco Tosini.
OÙ EN ÊTES-VOUS? (NUMÉR0 2)
Bertrand Bonello reworks the last minutes of his 2016 film Nocturama, which documents the logistical operations and the organization of terrorist attacks in Paris by a group of teenagers. His project is an ideal challenge to the canons of arthouse cinema, a true genre and production threshold of the French film industry. Starting with Où en êtes-vous?, a video commissioned by the Centre Pompidou in 2014 and conceived as a letter to his then eleven-year-old daughter, the director makes a new work altering the final sequence of Nocturama and completely modifying the textual component and the soundtrack.
Warning: This video contains violent images that may be disturbing to some viewers.