Panta Rhei (All Things Pass, Haanstra, 1951)

While I have a stronger connection with Mirror Of Holland, Panta Rhei (All Things Pass) is, quite definitely, a more masterful piece of work. Every shot is amazing, unlike Mirror of Holland which has some mediocre parts towards the end. Panta Rhei is a 10 minute short of images of nature. There is a lot of superimposition, dissolves, some speeding of the image, etc…. Essentially, everything in the picture is moving, to show how all things in nature flow – water, trees, clouds, the sun, everything.

The most incredible aspect of the film is how Haanstra uses light. In just about every frame there is a vivid stream of flowing light. If you’re into these kind of films (something like Baraka or Man With A Movie Camera, etc), definitely check it out. It’s become an instant favourite of mine. And, just as I recommend with Mirror of Holland, it’s even better viewed with your own choice of music as a soundtrack. My favourite is to play Pink Floyd’s Cirrus Minor then Cluster One. Perfectly relaxing.


About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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