Goodbye Francis Reusser

The Swiss film director, Francis Reusser, has just passed away. He was 78. He had been ill for quite a while. To quote Frédéric Maire, head of the Swiss Cinémathéque, (my translation) “He was, without a doubt, one of the key critical Swiss witnesses of the end of the last century and the beginning of this one, while continuing to grumble, to love filming and to love life.”

I first met Francis at the Fine Arts School in Geneva in the early 80’s. I was what they called a ‘mature’ student. He was one of my teachers and head of a cinema workshop with François Albera. Francis wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Maybe that’s why we didn’t always see eye to eye. That said, he had the cinema in his blood and he undertook everything with passion as can be seen in these few photos extracted from my Art Notebooks from 1982.

A week in photos – 13

A week in photos – 12

Unruly minds

This confusion of branches and fallen trees in an abandoned forest boarded by the lake on one side and a psychiatric clinic on the other seemed eerily evocative of the unruly minds that wander the woods… (click any photo to access the gallery)

Listening with fingers and thumbs

Gobi Ensemble performing for the Chinese New Year celebrations in Neuchatel-

Some people when they listen to music do so with their fingers and thumbs. Don’t believe me? See the gallery below. These are all people ‘listening’ to a concert given by the Gobi Ensemble, a Mongolian group playing to celebrate the Chinese new year in Neuchatel. Surprising really, when the sonorities of such music demand to be listened to with your whole body… Click any photo below to visit the gallery.

Touching up reality

A frozen lake. The Lac de Taillères, Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

Who spilt the pot of paint?

I’m beginning to wonder about our penchant for embellishing photos. It is so easy to modified them. The one above looks like somebody spilt a giant pot of rainbow paint on it. The colours are so vivid they make my mouth water. Maybe the question should be: why did I choose to alter it? Well, to be honest, in this case I deliberately exaggerated for the article. But it is tempting to re-touch every photo posted on Instagram or elsewhere on social media, if only a little, for added impact.

A smart reality

Of course, the camera never sees what the eye can and smartphones rework photos in the split second before you see them. The other day, a friend and I were snapping the same scene. His Samsung stoked up the colour saturation while my iPhone looked pale in comparison, even if it was truer to the colours the eye could see. Does that make his smartphone better? I was disappointed with my photo till I realised that the vibrant colours that I momentarily envied were an imposition of the phone-maker. They made the shades of grey and the nuances of pale pastels look unjustly inadequate. Every one of those revved up pics presented an enhanced reality that made the world pale in comparison.

Beyond the postcard effect

Should we be condemning people for wanting a more striking picture to share with friends and acquaintances? Surely not. Pictorial one-upmanship is a part of the social media world where every little like counts. But there is a sort of ‘postcard’ effect. When postcards were launched on the market – and even today – people combed the world in search of potential postcards in nature and tried to snap themselves into such scenes. Now armed with their smart phone people are constantly staging and sharing pretty, tinted shots of the world. Just as postcards permanently coloured our vision, so the ‘Instagram’ photo distorts our world-view. Striking images become common-place, and the mundane sinks into a sea of lassitude. Not everyone can grasp the potential magic of a scene and their failure to capture all but the mundane can be conveniently masked by recourse to effects and colorisation.

Festival of Light, Morat 2020

Light Festival Morat 2020

This year’s Light Festival (Licht-Festival, Festival des Lumières) took place in Morat/Murten from January 15th-26th (6pm-10pm). A truly inspiring light show/performance in various parts of the town that is well worth the visit.


There was an additional video extract of the final scene of the performance, but the rights owners of the song used complained so it has been removed.

Photo gallery

Road Art

The roads in the village are an immense source of artistic inspiration. Recently the talented employees of the local council have created an immense gallery of artwork in an openair setting that is accessible to visitors day and night.