JUDEX: There Has Been a Bird

A new video essay by Evan Calder Williams for Criterion Collection, Judex: There Has Been a Bird looks at George Franju’s recently reissued Judex (1963) to think about histories of empire that don’t make it onto the screen and how one dead bird just off to its side hints at a different grammar of history long at work in the cinema.

So we would have to say or write: there has been a bird, like we say there has been a murder, which announces a something that’s already happened or been happening but is just now becoming known to us, rewriting our sense of the present.

There has been a bird, and it is dead.