On UN/RELIABLE UN/RELIABLITY by Thomas van den Berg

By Miklós Kiss

Curated at [in]Transition, 1.3, 2014 by Miklós Kiss

Extract from ‘The Audiovisual Research Essay as an Alternative to Text-Based Scholarship’

I see the audiovisual essay by Thomas van den Berg, that I have curated as part of my contribution to [in]Transition, as a worthy attempt not only at transferring text-based academic qualities to an audiovisual container, but also at addressing [Raymond] Bellour’s frustration [about the ability to adequately quote from films], and supporting [Erlend] Lavik’s ideal [with regard to a “material equivalence between film and film criticism” in audiovisual forms of film studies]. During Spring term 2013 Thomas, a research masters student at the University of Groningen, produced this work as a final assignment for my course ‘Arts and Cultural Change’. The fairly extensive, more than half an hour long, essay consists of two main parts: after a brief introduction, the video offers a rapid walkthrough of the differences between ‘essay(istic) films’, ‘video essays’, and ‘essay videos’ [01’10” – 3’54”]; this is then followed by a thorough audiovisual research essay about the various techniques of unreliability present in Michael Walker’s puzzling film Chasing Sleep (2000) [3’55” – 35’53”].

READ THE REST OF MIKLÓS KISS’S ESSAY  AT [IN]TRANSITION, 1.3, 2014. Online at: http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/intransition/

REDA THOMAS VAN DEN BERG’S ESSAY ABOUT HIS VIDEO AT THE AUDIOVISUAL ESSAY WEBSITE HERE: https://reframe.sussex.ac.uk/audiovisualessay/reflections/intransition-1-3/thomas-van-den-berg/

Works cited

Bellour, Raymond. “The Unattainable Text,” ScreenVol. 16, No. 3 (1975): 19-27.

Lavik, Erlend. “The Video Essay: The Future of Academic Film and Television Criticism?” Frames Cinema Journal #1.(2012). Online at:http://framescinemajournal.com/article/the-video-essay-the-future/.


Biographical note

Miklós Kiss is Assistant Professor of Film Studies in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media Studies at the University of Groningen/Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands. He has been an assistant and researcher at the University of Pécs, Hungary, and the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, where he received his PhD in Film Studies.