MESSAGES FROM THE BASEMENT
The filing cabinets and their contents are in my basement. In front of the basement windows are bars. Nobody can get in, and I can only look outside through the bars. What else could be said about this?
Never ever have I thrown out so much paper as in the past year (i.e. 2002). Perhaps hundreds of plastic bags full. I only want to save what I find really important. My cabinets do not look emptier than before. And: what is important? In the security of my souterrain I hesitate between the notion that I find everything increasingly quite unimportant, and find the most trivial things the only thing of importance. My grandmother used to say: look, how beautiful the clouds are today. And that everything is implied by that one sentence. The notion of a whole life: beautiful clouds today.
So, perhaps finally my archive consists of only one small sheet of paper. With only one word written on it. And that this is everything that was important enough to save.
I have also
cleaned out the office. The archive of Studio Nieuwe Gronden, the
movie production company that was once, long ago, established by
my beloved. The Film Museum's van has brought two full loads of
files and file boxes to the depository.
Thousands of sheets of paper that was important once. All humanly made.
Someone has given it serious consideration, has written things down, and once in a while has spent nights working. And then the next moment it is all over.
people gain from all the toil they toil under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun goes down and hurries to the place where it rises.
All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full.
They continue to flow to the place where the streams flow there
And everything the Film Museum didn't want to have has disappeared in the wastepaper bin. Old movie magazines, daily papers of movie festivals, leaflets of hotels in Cannes or Berlin, business cards, sales slips. But everything went through our hands and we looked at everything. And that which was important enough was saved.
This has been thrown out. A page from the Filmkrant of September 1987. One half has been exposed to light all the time, the other half hasn't. But it was only thrown away because I have another not discoloured one in my archive (in chest G). But also a not discoloured photograph of Wim Verstappen and Huub Bals with the heading "Europe is almost dead" is history to everybody who knows anything about history. I actually feel the pedantic inclination to explain all this, and also to tell something about the way in which film has changed. But right at this moment I don't have the time for it. I have to clear out other things. In order to remain with that one sheet of paper.
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