Screams of death open Resonating Surfaces on a whitened and scratched film. It is upon that bearer of images where no image is to be found that the two female voices – opera parts of Alban Berg’s Lulu and Wojzzeck – act out a bodily vibration, a pure vibration which manifests life and which is succeeded by silence and a dark screen. The darkness slowly gives way to takes of São Paulo, searchingly gliding over the surface of the elusive city and skirting around the rhythmic bodies and portraits of some individuals. All the while there is a song-like voice, voices loosely uttering words and memories, making the sound have its own mental room which never derives from the one that is occupied by the image. A voice of an individual starts telling a story and becomes language as well as text while, in a punctuated off-beat rhythm, the image moves to the portrait of that individual. As Suely Rolnik’s personal story grows, the voice comes to the foreground and the image vanishes into dark takes of her and bright takes of Paris, into under and overexposure so as to give room to that voice, its physical presence and the images it summons.
Resonating Surfaces is triple portrait, of a city, a woman and an attitude to life. For the personal story of Rolnik, who is a Brazilian psychoanalyst currently living in São Paulo, involves the Brazilian dictatorship of the sixties as well as the Parisian intellectual climate surrounding Deleuze and Guattari in the seventies. The film is woven through by different themes: the other and the relation to otherness, the connection between body and power, the voice and, ultimately, the micropolitics of desire and of resistance.
Resonating Surfaces won Best Experimental Film at Vila do Conde Film Festival (PT, 2006), Prix Marseille Espérance at FID Marseille (FR, 2006) and Fair Play Film & Video Award (DE, 2007).
With Suely Rolnik
Image Sébastien Koeppel
Editing Manon de Boer
Concept soundtrack Manon de Boer & George van Dam
Composition & Violin George van Dam
Sound recording Manon de Boer, Bastien Gilson
Sound editing Bastien Gilson, George van Dam
Final sound mix Christian Cartier – Le Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains
Produced by Blitz vzw/ Manon de Boer
Co-produced by Le Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains, Jan Mot, Transmedia – LUCA Sint-Lukas Hogeschool Brussel
With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund