One day after : the audience, the movies , the prizes…

…and the summary !

so there we are : the palmares has been officially announced and only a couple of the movies that I have seen got prizes or mentions. Of course we all love this game, like lottery, where you try to guess which horse will arrive first, or which movie will be last. I kind of lost..

I won’t comment if prizes were deserved or not. This edition had an average quality , which I believe is the case of most festivals nowadays.

What caught my attention during these days is  the fascination that you could perceive from the movie directors towards their subject. On one side it is the proof of their interest and curiosity, on the other, like friends told me, a misunderstanding that an interesting image doesn’t make an interesting movie, and if so you have the unpleasant feeling that the filmmakers are taking you to a zoo tour, or a freak show. What stroke me is this position of many of the directors – through their movies – to be just observers of the situation they see. I know it is a controversial point of view  when I compare it to just another consumer’s attitude : if you don’t get involved in what you do, if you don’t put your certainties in danger or if you don’t put yourself at the level of the person / situation you have in front of your camera, you only consume images and situations, maybe with a highly personal satisfaction but then please think twice before sharing it further. That dynamic of consumption we artists highly criticize is as well an underlying dynamic in our environment . We do this job – in documentaries – with the high responsibility of sharing the world / emotions / situations / people’s lives and therefore it asks a higher involvement than the romantic heritage saying the artist’s vision prevails. Too many times this week I had the feeling, in the movies and in the discussions that what matters is how you can express yourself, and only a few times I heard about the space that was given to the movie’s topics / subjects. But does this hurt anybody strongly ? I mean is it really so terrible that it will affect the tides or the trajectory of the earth ?

Of course not, but when you spend a week in this immersion, where all what you have is just the ” vision of the reality”, you start to get tired of feeling that what we are more interested in is the vision of the person than the reality itself. It is hard to reach the level where you can see the vision of a person magnifying and enlightening the reality, when instead of the vision of a moment of reality, the director connects all the dots with the rest of the reality that stands outside of the movie.  To me it takes or a lot of years or a lot of work or a lot of humility…or a lot of all that. You wanna be an artist with your own vision ? fine – no prob…but in that case work hard and the moment you have your vision, please  be able to use it to humbly serve your movie. It ll be even stronger and you ll move from the posture where you are recognized as being an artist, to the one where what you do is artistic no matter the recognition. Don’t think about first fitting to what is recognizable, let them create a new qualifying grid that will have your shape….or the difference between having an identity or simply existing.

The other point that comes to my mind is the concept of diversity. Each festival decides to have a certain editorial line, and if more and more festivals are created for a well defined type of movies, there is less and less gatherings where you would find a true diversity. It is as the image of our societies ; how much do we scream to have every single community to be represented or to have a place for existence ? How much do we segment to have happy but lazy / captive merchants and consumers ? I am a bit concerned by this need for segmentation of identities that overrules the idea of coexistence of them. After a week in the festival, I had the feeling there is no room for other ways of making movies. Of course , and again there is an editorial line, if you go to the fishermen’s movie festival don’t expect to see movies about pottery. However the feeling topic wise you have the entire globe, is that there is a main recognized way of showing the world in a clever way. Some movies where defying that rule, but you could still feel this need for a recognition so they were somehow closing the gap between mainstream and marginal pieces. In a bell shaped distribution curve, they would be somewhere the second and fourth fifth. Where the bell gets hurt ! Asking for innovation is absurd and we all know it, but asking for diversity seems pretty fair. Maybe is it linked again to the need of first getting the identity and then to feel free to be…so to do.

Overall I enjoyed my week and all the movies I watched gave me a lot. If my comments might sound a bit negative, it is really not the case ; at the opposite what I have watched (apart from some people in the audience…) really pleased me and gave a an incredible energy for the oncoming projects.

So thanks to all of you guys …now time to work on the ” Un décors naturel” project”…I might tell you more about soon.

Let’s enjoy the sun, go outdoors and don’t think about your identity….just feel fine with who you are !

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