Coming to NYC’s Film Forum for a one-week run beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, May 9: PATIENCE (AFTER SEBALD)
Grant Gee’s unique exploration of WG Sebald and his adherents had its world premiere at a special Sebald fest organized by Aldeburgh Music in Suffolk, UK. It came stateside this past Fall at the New York Film Festival, with additional screenings at the Vancouver International Film Festival, Rotterdam, and San Francisco.
While not a household name, German author WG Sebald was acknowledged by many literary critics as one of the world’s premier writers and a potential Nobel laureate prior to his death in 2001. His 1995 work, THE RINGS OF SATURN, centered on a narrator named WG Sebald taking a walking tour of Suffolk, is the basis of Gee’s documentary. The film revisits locations discussed in the book, and turns to critics, authors, and admirers of Sebald to offer their at times obsessive insight into this seminal work. The result is decidedly unusual, but oddly engaging. Slightly reminiscent to Rodney Ascher’s ROOM 237 in its focus on responses to a work of art – though Gee’s subjects don’t engage in nearly as over the top musings as do Ascher’s – the doc may not suit everyone’s tastes but serves as a creative approach to adaptation, eschewing a literal translation to the screen in favor of something more intelligent and challenging.