film May 9, 2012 By Sophie Mollart

<em>Patience (After Sebald)</em> screening at Film Forum from May 9

Patience (After Sebald) screening at Film Forum from May 9

Displaced in a post-industrial topography, the book traces Sebald’s quest to infuse meaning in ruins, posing discursive journeys through history and violence, interwoven with poetic departures into silkworms, Rembrandt, or the luminescence of the dying herring. “The notion of place – and this destruction of places poses a kind of psychological catastrophe – this destruction does not necessarily have to be environmental; Sebald’s writing is profoundly aware of landscape, the dialogue between personality and place.’’

Gee crafted the project on Sebald’s pre-worn coordinates; his footsteps are seen intermittently, in colourful contrast to the grainy black and white photography, juxtaposed with Sebald’s words, as passages from the book are fleetingly recalled. “The walk at the core of the book became how we structured it – the walk has a beginning, middle and end – the book mirrors that – those are two very strong non-narrative devices, so once we decided it would be a walk through the rings of Saturn, we were free to let the interview material and the archive material drift around – that gave it a really solid spine.”

Sebald departs at the beginning of the book with a sense of lightness, a disburdening – yet throughout his walk he accrues a soulful affliction, is seemingly shadowed by an ever-present sadness. Adam Philips describes Sebald’s melancholy as: “this inexplicable sense of loss; trying to locate this in history – the feeling is, somehow,

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