Visions du reel – Day 3

“During World War II, a Lithuanian farmer finds three dead soldiers near his house. Fearing reprisals, he buries them secretly in a ravine and plants a tree in their memory. 70 years on, his son begins an archaeological dig to find their remains and give them a dignified burial. This is where the film begins…”

Only one today. Only you. Like the song.

10 am, after a little queuing with some impatient people who cannot wait for the subtitles to be fixed and that anyway leave the theater after 30 min, there am I sitting on my favorite spot since yesterday. I found a very calm, peaceful away from the dark chatters seat in one of the venues. This morning’s movie, and the only on my today’s to watch list is called Kenotafas. No need to explain you what it is about, you just read the synopsis.

Clearly a movie where you can easily miss the point if making out of it something spectacular or if that bit of History doesn’t have en echo in you. Here, the director made a very interesting choice by being involved in this dig , and at the same time he ‘s a spectator of the plot as he multiplies the cinematographer’s effects by shooting the forest and the nature in a pretty awesome National Geographic IMAX sort of esthetic. Truly, it is impressive and captivating. So are the bits, more prosaic, where those sons of war survivors try to fix a bit of the great History by changing their families fortune. The son tries to fix what the father did. The young ones try to bring justice to the troubles of the ancients. But it is said that the son won’t carry the burden of the father…in litterature only.

If the movie is truly respectful and follows a very natural rhythm (finally a non real tv sort of editing) that goes along the hard work of looking for those burried ones, it does as well show on how much the choices of mise en scene can be tricky, in a world where a steadicam is as available as a disposable lighter. If it is pleasant to watch those admirable scenes where we fly behind the characters (specially one in some German military archives room), the soundtrack used is reducing the quality of the shots. Too many times those long waves of sounds, those bass effects on ants close ups are ruining the visual choices.

Last little thing that, well is it needed or not ? big debate….concerns the quoting inside the movie that…a movie is being shot ?! In a scene that clearly doesn’t bring anything but sort of an excuse for not finding a end to the story ? As I say…to show it or not to show it…?


So for today, only one. Monogamic day as actually I didn’t feel as staying for any other movies, the first one giving me enough food for thoughts. It brought me even more thoughts, as once the movie was over, I decided to read the synpopsis. And if the lines here above totally matched what was on screen…tha last one…made me…pretty doubtful about where I was :

“Stonys [the movie director] transforms the real into visionary vertigo”

WTF ?!!! (sorry for it)

I am less and less a fan of all those emphasised verses chosen by producers or even movie makers in presenting their work. A code exists since long time where a need for giving a richer version of reality is predominant and if you stick to what you see, your work isn’t worth being shared by not being clever enough. I remember my days in major corporations where we simply called this marketing. And the idea of it, to sell your stuff, is to state the right message into the right way so that the consumer will buy it. Well same applies here, despite all the positionning of calling it culture ; it doesn’t serve as an excuse or a magic shield that protects you from recognizing that this is the same sort of claim that in other context makes people buy shampoo. Here it makes you feel like there is something more that just a movie and directs your personal effort of digging into what it could mean by making you as lazy as in front of a shelf. On top, the strength of the words that are used still mean something to me. But if these festivals are mainly visited by an audience that has everything in life, indeed the only way to bring them along is to sell them the beyond life utility of the art pieces…Can’t they recognize it anymore ?

This brings me as well, after seing a multiplication of such sort of synposis that if we say, in economy, that there is a 1% vs the 99% others, I think this kind of verbal trick is as well targeting a sort of 1% population. I ll let this though mature and one of these days I ll come back to it.

But after my grumpy bit…

it has been a nice morning, where reality on screen was more than enough, so thanks to the movie director. Tomorrow some more movies – a big day with 7 or 8 I believe ; and definitely the choice to not read what the synopsis wants to sell me. Why ? Because I’m worth it…




The Movie :

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