DISSENT! Jean-Pierre Rehm

Carte Blanche to Jean-Pierre Rehm, in collaboration with erg (école supérieure des arts) and FIDMarseille, in the framework of erg séminaire 2015.

“Moi je pense que l’humain a besoin pour naître de faire naître cette chose incompréhensible qu’est l’art, parce que c’est incompréhensible. L’art est la preuve même de l’inhumanité de l’homme, dans un double sens : d’abord, que l’être humain ne s’appartient pas, et aussi la preuve de son côté horrible, terrible. Dans les films qui m’intéressent, je fuis le militantisme hérité des années soixante-dix où on assène des soit disant vérités sans contrepoint. Les films, ce sont des aventures artistiques, l’art n’y est pas une plus value.”

Jean-Pierre Rehm will introduce each film, followed by a discussion.

Salomé Lamas No Man’s Land (PT, 2012, 72')
“Is Paulo a mythomaniac? We will never know, but it is his stories that lead the danse macabre of an existence guided by arms. Through fixed shots, in a unique and stripped-down interior, the camera records his words and his laddish mask. Starting out as a simple soldier in Angola, he says, but keen to cut off the ears of black people during the war for independence from Portugese colonisation, he then worked as a mercenary here and there, and finally for various European states against the Basque movement. Paulo calmly boasts of his evilness, his efficiency and his skill as a Samurai killer, until the camera cuts away to show him in the middle of African immigrants, cooking under a bridge, a typical pathetic tramp, suddenly disarmed to play housemaid. The real career path, whatever the details, of someone who has always confused horror with the ordinary, and has been fed on obscene and conquering mythologies.” (JPR)

Pere Portabella Mudanza (ES, 2008, 20')
“Mudanza, Grenade, the family home of the poet Garcia Lorca. We see no one there, except the ballet of movers who empty one by one all the rooms of their furniture, pictures, etc. It will remain an empty dwelling, filled with light and traces, that has become the cenotaph for the poet murdered by the Fascists in 1936, and whose corpse was never found. Portabella, with a camerawork of an impressive virtuosity, composes here, seventy years later, more than homage: a funeral elegy.” (JPR)

Apichatpong Weerasethakul Phantoms of Nabua (TH, 2009, 11')
“It’s night, a neon lamp throws light onto a deserted playing field. Off to one side, on a makeshift open-air screen can be made out the image of a village struck regularly by lightning. As night finally falls the outlines of a group of young boys appear. Each one takes turns at kicking a burning ball that makes glowing lines in the grass. All the light, the neon lamp, the lightning and the fire echo each other in the midst of smoke that rises from the ground. The game continues quickly until the ball hits the screen and sets fire to it, causing a new spectacle that the little group will gaze at, stripping away the projector’s beam, a ray without image.
In extremely simple terms, the film aims at evoking a precise historical event: the war and the destruction of a village called Nabua. A short –Thai, if you will – version of an apocalypse of old. That the soldiers represented here by young carefree boys and that the memory of a village are combined with a cinema projection speaks amply of the refusal to simplify that runs through all the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Because these are not so much the events described or the stylised characters that are ghostly, as the title indicates, than the horror itself. One will easily understand that to find today a cinematic form to this massacre, to light up the dark, is to surmount – as much as images can – that which has already been destroyed. It is no doubt worth pointing out that this film was initially part of a group of projections called Primitive Project.” (JPR)

Benjamin Tiven A Third Version of the Imaginary (KE/US, 2012, 12')
“In this very short, very intense film, we see and understand, as we so rarely do. In a place that acts as a film library in Nairobi, guided by the manager of the site, we follow a presentation of the archives shot in Kenya. From the real difficulties inherent to conservation, we suddenly move on to others. The question of language, of the representation of a language such as Swahili, shapes it into those motifs associated with censure, it is the links between image, language and censure that appear. And yet Benjamin Tiven does not consider this complex ensemble as the subject of his work — but as the very material of his very own judiciously enigmatic film.” (JPR)

Lee Lynch et Lee Ann Schmitt Bower’s Cave (US, 2008, 14')
“Bower’s Cave” deals with the history of the Indians and their archives. How to pay tribute to their culture, their history? How to film their handicraft and artistic production? The couple show great rigour here in their treatment of the museography and cinematography. (JPR)

In collaboration with FID Marseille and ERG seminar Feb 4-6 on Page ages page ages page ages* Politique du multiple