Excerpts from the book
by Luc Dardenne
I saw Liberty Valence.
I’ve just read Mains élues, one of Henri Michaux’s poems. If "meditation" were synonymous with "vision", then that’s how I’d like films to be. Not all films, but at least one in a thousand.
Leaving an auditorium at peace, cured... the pure feeling of being a man in the company of men. The subsequent memory of this moment as a one of happiness." p. 15
My brother. I couldn’t have made this film without him, nor could he without me. [...] When I write these notes in the first person singular, I’m also writing them in the first person plural. His questions are my questions. It’s often they that force me to write these notes as if they were the transcription of a reflection, a thought shared.
Same thing re-the screenplay. Mine is the hand that holds the pen, but the writing is the work of two hands. Difficult to explain, a stronger and at times overwhelming feeling of loneliness when writing that everyone else experiences, too. " p. 24
"Man flees suffocation", wrote René Char. That’s what we tell, nothing else." p. 60
I am in Hanoi to try to convey something of our experience as filmmakers to our young local contemporaries. I watched our films all over again. Our camera movements stem from a desire to be "in the zone", participating in the relationships between looks and bodies, bodies and decors [...] Maybe that’s where we are, near things, between bodies, sensing a human reality, a fire, a warmth given off, that burns and isolates with the sad cold that reigns in the emptiness, the unbearable emptiness of life. Our way of rejecting despair, of continuing to believe." p.139
Luc Dardenne, Au dos de nos images, 1991-2005 followed by the screenplay of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Le Fils and L'Enfant, La Librairie du XXIe siècle, Edition du Seuil, 2005
Reproduced with the kind permission of Edition du Seuil.