Frans Zwartjes. The Holy Family

Book coverFrans Zwartjes. The Holy Family
Book coverFrans Zwartjes. The Holy Family
Book coverFrans Zwartjes. The Holy Family
Book coverFrans Zwartjes. The Holy Family

The format of this book is quite large, with a soft cover and relatively thin leaves that don’t turn particularly well due to the DVD pasted into the back – always a difficult problem. Still, both the format and the matt paper work well with the raw, coarse, monochrome photographs.

One of these intriguing grainy images appears on the front cover, with the book’s title for some reason printed at an angle. Publishing details are on the inside back cover, larger than is customary, and on the outside back cover there is a piece about the importance of Zwartjes as an avant-gardist of arthouse cinema.

For the rest the book consists entirely – apart from an occasional black page – of photographs taken by Zwartjes while shooting his films. As the photographs have enough to offer, nothing more is required. It begins with a full-length portrait of Zwartjes with camera, and from there we are drawn in as visitors via the other protagonists, human details and empty rooms.

The only colour is the red on the spine, you think, until you have a look at the DVD: a soundless short film in which somewhere out in the open a difficult-to-identify crawling figure ends up strangling a woman and roping her to his (or its?) back. Here the colours change from lilac to yellow to pink. Bizarre and fascinating.

Edition: 2012
Language: English
Final editor: Jasper Zwartjes, Willem van Zoetendaal
Publisher / commissioner: Van Zoetendaal Publishers, Amsterdam, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague
Designer: Willem van Zoetendaal
Lithographer: Shinji Otani (digital imaging)
Printer: Lecturis, Eindhoven
Binder: Hexspoor, Boxtel
Dimensions: 240 x 340 x 8
Amount of pages: 144 p.
Number of copies: 1,000
Price: € 35
ISBN: 978 90 72532 20 6
Font and foundry: Univers
Binding style: sewn Otabind
Material: 90gsm Cyclus Offset (interior), 350gsm Cyclus Offset (cover)