PD Smith

The Pixels of Paul Cézanne

04 February 2018 | film, Guardian, photography, Reviewing | Post a comment

I loved Wim Wenders' exhibition of polaroids, Instant Stories, which I saw recently at the Photographers' Gallery. There was a beautiful line in the exhibition by Wenders about polaroids:

"You couldn't help feeling
that you had stolen this image-object from the world.
You had transferred a piece of the past into the present."

Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire - the German title is so much better) has always been one of my favourite films ever since I saw it at university as a student of German.

So for all sorts of reasons I was delighted to be able to review his collection of essays, The Pixels of Paul Cézanne.

It didn't disappoint! Here's the first paragraph of the review:

Just like the camera in Wim Wenders’ films, his writing demands the “freedom to move”: “I need to be able to ‘circle’ an idea”. For this reason he chooses to write in free verse – or what he modestly refers to as “my odd verse” – for many of the essays in this illuminating collection. In his hands it becomes a playful and wonderfully malleable literary form that allows him to create a flow of images and ideas, a kind of rhythmic thinking: “visible blocks of thought”. Each line becomes a separate tracking shot as the writer-director moves restlessly around his subject, words crystallising into ideas in the same way as a narrative emerges during the editing of a film.

Read the full review at the Guardian.

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