Close Up

26 July 2019: Frans Zwartjes: Masterpiece


Masterpiece, Frans Zwartjes & Lodewijk de Boer, 1977-2018, 14 min, pitch-black listening
Frans Zwartjes, Filmmaker, René Coelho, 1971, 31 min
Portrait of Frans Zwartjes, Stanley Schtinter, 2017, 9 min

A launch event for the first catalogued record on the "anti-record label (anti-everything)", by Frans Zwartjes & Lodewijk de Boer. The rarely seen 1971 documentary by René Coelho, featuring Zwartjes and his regular collaborators: Lodewijk, Trix Zwartjes and Moniek Toebosch, will play alongside Portrait of Frans Zwartjes, by his collaborator and founder of, Stanley Schtinter.

Coehlo's film captures Zwartjes at an early point in his career as a filmmaker, providing unprecedented access to the unconventional practices which would come to define Zwartjes' reputation as "the great cinema magician". The film demonstrates the collaborative core of Zwartjes' work, showing extensive film experiments with Moniek Toebosch, actor in many of his films, singer on much of his music, and in her own career as a visual artist, known as "fearless, provocative and absolutely unconventional". Additionally, we see Lodewijk de Boer and Frans Zwartjes composing music – understood to be the only filmed evidence of the sessions which led to Masterpiece, the 14 minute synthesiser piece at the centre of the evening's programme.

Between 2014 and 2017, Schtinter took regular trips to Zwartjes' home in The Hague to source audio materials by him. In the run up to Frans' 90th birthday he documented one of their meetings, without the ambition of "making a film". In this is much of its strength, conveying an intimacy and a truth rarely evidenced on film: captured are the musings of a man looking forwards, and inwards, in what would prove to be the final months of his life.

All ticket holders will be able to access a discount on records purchased on the night, with a "secret" addition prepared by Schtinter to mark the event at Close-Up.