Follow Nina Menkes

A friend shares his thoughts about the movies

July 9, 2017

Thank you so much, Marcus, for this note which surely cheered me up during a very dark time….
“I really did want to communicate in earnest how moved I am by your films and the innovation of your aesthetic economy. I’ve never seen images/pace/duration like they way you craft them. I’m blown by your sense of rhythm, the way you use negative space (I get delusional flashbacks to my Japanese film history, because you reinvent negative space in a different way for yourself), and your completely unique means of synthesizing dream and reality. I think a lot of the power in cinema’s fabric lies in the ability to fuse real/fantasy and life/dream. I find the two greatest powers of film are empathy and escape – and you combine the two in an inspired way. To me, your work is radical, and, in a word, I haven’t seen anything quite like it. There’s something in it that we can all connect to – for Berenice Reynaud, its the jiang hu, for Robert Koehler its Bela Tarr and Jean Cocteau, for me, it’s like a fusion of Japanese film and something like Barbara Hammer, but it’s also something quite unfathomable, just – new, and original. Reynaud wrote that you have “no master and no disciples,” so that would make some sense. In the 21st Century, I think it’s extraordinary then to have created something different – when a lot of cynical thinking is that “it’s all been done before”.
-Marcus Sudac


February 23, 2017

Happy to participate in the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Deutsche Film-und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb) in Berlin, Germany (March 21-27, 2017). I will be presenting the feature QUEEN OF DIAMONDS (1990), discussing the film with REVOLVER’s Nicolas Wackerbarth; giving a public talk entitled “Cinematic Images of Women” and holding a master class for the DFFB students. Queen ofDiamondsburningtree

Nothing ever falls short of its own completeness.

June 17, 2016

Once Zen master Baoji of Panshan [Ningji] went to the marketplace and overheard a customer speaking to the butcher. The customer said to the butcher, “Cut a fine piece for me.”

The butcher threw down his knife, folded his hands, and said, “Sir, is there any piece that is not fine?”

Upon hearing these words, Panshan had an awakening.


Panshan unexpectedly stumbles upon something extraordinary. Although the butcher does not look like a lion, he nevertheless roars like one. But tell me, what awakened Panshan? Haven’t you heard the Diamond Sūtra’s saying, “All things are equal: not some things high and other things low?” This being the case, why then are the Rocky Mountains high and the Catskill Mountains low?

You should understand that no thing ever falls short of its own completeness. Wherever it stands, it never fails to cover the ground. Since the totality of existence is contained in each and every thing, what is the origin of the scale that you use to evaluate? See into it here and you’ll have seen into Panshan’s awakening.


If you speak of gain and loss,

you are a person of gain and loss.

Don’t you see? The tall one is a tall buddha,

the short one is a short buddha.

Skype with Villa Aurora

May 21, 2016

skype villa aurora pic

Nina Menkes speaks on Skype from Tel Aviv to a meeting of women film directors at Villa Aurora, Los Angeles