Le Verbe Être

15'', 2017 / Fiction / Format: S16mm

At night, bodies approach. Our senses are sharpened, the sight leaves room for touching. We enter the realm of dreams. The reality is far away, postponed until the next morning.

As long as the darkness reigns, the room can be guessed only through the dim blue lights of the moon, forms mingle and unravel. The imaginary takes over.

But when the sun rises, one opens the eyes on the disappeared dream. It is no longer time to talk with caresses: they look at each other.

A poem from André Breton was my departing point. It enabled me to search in a more specific direction for the form and content of my film. The film is about thoughts, emotions and the distance between the other. I wanted to transform these abstract terms and ideas into the concrete; therefore, I played with the physical aspects of film that are time, space and image.

Au bout d’un certain temps, on glisse doucement vers quelque chose d’abstrait. Mais pas toujours. On ne voit plus un couloir, mais du rouge, du jaune, de la matière, comme par exemple dans Hotel Monterey. La matière même de la pellicule. Dans une sorte de va-et-vient entre l’abstrait et le concret. Mais le concret, j’ai l’impression, n’est pas le contraire de l’abstrait. La matière de la pellicule, c’est concret aussi. Et d’ailleurs au bout d’un moment, on se souvient que ce jaune luisant, c’est un couloir et que ce rouge foncé, c’est une porte. Quand on montre quelque chose que tout le monde a déjà vu, c’est peut-être à ce moment là qu’on voit pour la première fois.  -Chantal Akerman, excerpt from autoportrait en cineaste

The space is obscure thus our senses are sharpened. The room can be guessed only through the dim blue lights of the moon. Forms mingle and unravel, the imaginary takes over. The 16mm film makes the images tangible, they are becoming the material.
Sometimes in cinema, it's just as important not to see, to hide, as it is to show. The cinema is made for concentrating our vision. To concentrate means also to hide.

With this thought I brought my film to a bare minimum. We are going towards simplicity, the human, a couple and a room. Complex feelings are expressed through physicality, by the placement of an actor, a movement of a hand or a look. The rhythm, the time taken in this film, is a subtle play between distance and rapprochement.