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Living

Franz Zwartjes
Netherlands 1971 / 15’

A psychedelic version of a portrait of a Dutch interior. The last in a series of short films called Home Sweet Home in which experimental filmmaker Frans Zwartjes explores yet another part of his new home in The Hague. Zwartjes films himself and his wife while they are looking at their freshly painted living room. They spin around, roll around on the floor, and set out miniature furniture. The erotic tension and sense of isolation from being inside an empty white interior is intensified by incredible organ music. In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard wrote that it is possible to "read" a house or a room because they are both psychological diagrams that guide writers and poets in their analysis of intimacy. Living is a spatial topography of intimacy and passion, an image both of a home and of the director's relationship with Trix, his wife and muse.

Ewa Szabłowska

Franz Zwartjes

Born in 1927, Frans Zwartjes is a Dutch visual artist and experimental filmmaker. He gained fame as a maker of short, performance-art films in the 1960s and 1970s. His sophisticated, claustrophobic films are full of erotic tension, intimate scenes, and sensual pleasures produced by elegantly dressed and heavily made-up actors who happen to be members of his own family.

Selected filmography

1968 Birds (short)

1968 Visual Training (short)

1969 Spare Bedroom (short)

1970 Toilet (short)

1971 Living (short)

1976 It’s Me

1979 Pentimento