A propos de la section parallèle: Rejouer – Reconstitution, représentation, réinvention dans le cinéma documentaire

« La répétition de situations, de gestes et d’histoires est une pratique qui remonte aux prémices du cinéma documentaire. Pourtant, il n’a jamais semblé aussi nécessaire d’en dresser l’histoire. Le fait de « rejouer » un événement ne produit pas une simple confirmation du passé ; il permet au contraire d’en prendre la pleine mesure et de l’observer à distance, dans le but d’interroger radicalement le présent, en travaillant sur le traumatisme, la mémoire ou l’archive. Cette rétrospective se veut un geste historique et critique pour découvrir et raconter la longue histoire du rejouer, ses métamorphoses depuis les années trente jusqu’à ce jour, et espère ainsi jeter un pont entre des formes et des époques diverses en mêlant films de propagande et films d’artistes, films militants et réflexions sur les mass media.[…] »

Federico Rossin, programmateur de la section


 

Quelques éléments sur les films de la section REJOUER:

The Truth About NO LIES (If you can believe it.)

nolies3
Sur le blog de Mitchell Block, réalisateur de No Lies…

It’s July 2002 and I am observing a photo shoot for a new “reality” program that will air on TNT in 2003 called (working title) THE RESIDENTS. R.J. Cutler, produce of THE WAR ROOM, and most recently, the Emmy Award-winning series (FOX and PBS) AMERICAN HIGH, is the show’s executive producer and his company, Actual Reality Pictures, has been making this work for the last year. THE RESIDENTS follows a year in the life of surgical and family practice residents at UCLA’s medical centers in Los Angeles. They each allowed a film crew to shoot them at home and in the hospital. In most cases they even recorded themselves on a portable video “diary” camera, “private” moments which, if selected, will be included in the television show possibly seen by millions of people. This is a publicity photo shoot of the “real” doctors who participated in sharing their real life adventures with Cutler’s two (sometimes three) crews. Gathered around a real hospital gurney, with the green leatherette pad, are nine doctors. Some are wearing scrubs and others are in nice office clothes. They have all been to the make-up and hair stylists who are working in an adjoining room. The PR staffers from TNT coordinating with their photographer who is shooting large format still shots on a large photo stage of the doctors, carefully approving the look of each of the doctors, nodding as they are made up and their hair is styled. What is striking to this observer is that this multi-cultural group of attractive men and women could be actors playing doctors but they are actually made-up doctors playing themselves. They are “real”!

>> Lire la suite sur Docunomics


 

PERFORMER L’INTIME : LE FILM LOCKE’S WAY DE DONIGAN CUMMING

par Florence Le Blanc

01 Locke's Way FINAL

Si la filmographie de Donigan Cumming est reconnue pour révéler le quotidien des exclus et des miséreux, le film Locke’s Way s’en distingue en se référant à la vie personnelle du vidéaste. Considérant cette œuvre à la fois comme autofiction et comme performance, Cumming y raconte un récit familial à partir de photographies anciennes. Pleinement intégrée à la diégèse de l’histoire, l’image personnelle est alors déployée en tant qu’écriture de l’intime. Puisque la démarche du vidéaste s’inspire de celles de Marcel Proust et de Samuel Beckett, l’étude de Locke’s Way permet ainsi de révéler d’autres parcelles de la portée interdisciplinaire qu’auront eue le romancier et le dramaturge sur l’interprétation fictionnelle de la matière personnelle. Quarante-cinq ans avant Cumming, Beckett est lui-même inspiré par À la recherche du temps perdu lorsqu’il écrit la pièce La dernière bande. La présente réflexion est donc menée avec l’intention de mettre en lumière certains rapports de filiation entre Locke’s Way et La dernière bande, en tenant compte des variations qu’occasionne ce passage de l’influence proustienne par-delà le théâtre, la vidéo et la performance.

D’origine américaine, Donigan Cumming naît en 1947 et vit à Montréal depuis les années soixante-dix. C’est d’abord à titre de photographe qu’il s’intéresse aux existences troubles de gens rejetés de la société à cause de la maladie ou la pauvreté. À partir des années 1990, il choisit d’employer aussi la vidéo pour poursuivre sa démarche auprès des mêmes individus. Se qualifiant de mauvais farceur, il leur demande d’interpréter ses histoires au sein de leurs espaces réels, souvent des appartements misérables ou encore des chambres aseptisées d’hôpital, laissant brutalement transparaître leur réalité. Pour lui, ce passage à la vidéo devient l’occasion de s’impliquer de manière plus directe dans les histoires qu’il révèle à la caméra. À titre de réalisateur et de narrateur, il intervient souvent lors de ses captations, formulant des commentaires qui s’adressent aux comédiens ou aux spectateurs.

Fortement inspirée par le théâtre et la performance, la démarche de Cumming vise à produire une relecture vidéographique du théâtre de l’absurde. Le citant parmi les dramaturges l’ayant particulièrement influencé, il partage avec Samuel Beckett une vision inusitée de la misère humaine en présentant des univers où la décrépitude semble contaminer les êtres qui les habitent. Si plusieurs pièces de Beckett comportent des stratégies énonciatives visant à abolir les limites entre l’espace de représentation et celui du spectateur, pour sa part Cumming accentue cette ambiguïté en demandant à ses sujets d’interpréter des fictions qu’il a préalablement scénarisées à partir de leurs péripéties réelles.

C’est en 2003 que Donigan Cumming réalise Locke’s Way. S’inspirant de sa vie personnelle, le film présente l’expérience d’un homme qui, à la mort de sa mère, fouille les archives familiales pour enquêter sur son frère, interné depuis l’enfance à la suite d’un incident cérébral. Considérant que le souvenir se nourrit autant de la connaissance que de l’imaginaire, Cumming a choisi d’élaborer le récit de Locke’s Way en confrontant les idées qu’exprimait John Locke sur le savoir à la démarche mémorielle que mène Proust lorsqu’il écrit À la recherche du temps perdu.

>>>Lire la suite sur Revue Chameaux


Daughter Rite, Living with our pain, and love

Par Jane Feuer

daughter's rite

Michelle Citron’s film DAUGHTER RITE commences with the voice of a narrator, speaking in a dull tone as if reading from a diary. At the age of 28, the voice tells us, she began working out her conflicting feelings toward her mother. Now, two years later, she is able to dedicate this film to her mother, « a woman whom I am very much like and not like at all. » Presumably the 50-minute film we are about to see will detail this process. Under the voice, however, we receive a different message. In a blown-up home-movie image, slowed down to a crawl and printed over and over again, a little girl and her mother run toward each other, always missing each other’s embrace. Finally, the mother grabs the daughter and the film’s title comes up. A curious « daughter rite, » indeed. For the remainder of the film, similar narrated home-movie footage alternates with « documentary » segments (described below) in which two grown sisters discuss their mother. Each « story » expresses with visual and verbal force the schizophrenia every woman I know feels toward her mother: total hatred amidst total love. The diarist appears to move toward a resolution of this conflict; the sisters in the documentary do not.

Throughout the film, the diarist speaks directly of her ambivalence. As home movie images of the two little sisters carrying suitcases appear to float slowly off to screen-left (as if trying to escape their mother’s grasp), the voice intones: « I hate my weaknesses…, my weaknesses are my mother. » The image switches to the little girls, dressed daintily and identically in blue dresses, leaving the house. The voice continues: « I hate … my bitchiness and my selfishness. That part, too, is my mother. » The little girls come toward the camera as the voice finishes: « And in hating my mother, I hate myself. » Yet later in the film the diarist deals with that other side of mother-hating which is mother-loving. The home-movie footage is of a baby buggy race in which dozens of little girls in lace dresses are socialized into frilly feminine roles as their mothers cheer from the sidelines. And yet, over this scene, which would appear the ultimate in indoctrination into passivity and weakness, the voice speaks of forgiveness: « I am not the angry one. I am filled with sadness and love for this woman. » In the final home-movie sequence of the film we see the mother as a young woman, laughing with her daughters, walking across a green field with her arm around the older daughter. The narrator tells of a dream in which her sister dies and the mother helps clean up the remains. The sequence ends with images of reconciliation and the words. « She holds me in her arms and I start to cry. »

>>Lire la suite sur Jump Cut

 

Et une interview de la réalisatrice Michelle Citron:


Song of the Shirt

THE FILM AND HISTORY PROJECT AND THEIR ATTEMPT TO MAKE A RADICAL, FEMINIST FILM ON THE NEEDLE TRADE IN BRITAIN IN THE MID NINETEEN HUNDREDS.

song of the shirt Courtesy of the BFI National Archive

“Would that its tone could reach the rich”: The Song of the Shirt

The Song of the Shirt was first presented at the Feminism and Cinema event at the Edinburgh Film Festival. It was produced in London by the Film and History Project and co-directed by Sue Clayton and Jonathan Curling. The film is about the history of dressmakers and seamstresses in the England of the 1830’s and 40’s and the reform movements and appeals to bourgeois conscience and philanthropy that addressed the problems of these “Distressed Needlewomen.” During this period, which saw the repeal of the Corn Laws and a shift in power from the aristocracy to merchant capitalists, thousands of single women whose labour had been integral to family agricultural and artisanal production moved into the cities to take up industrial and servant work. However, many of them became engaged in the produdction of clothing, a trade with the uncertain status of mass non-technical labour. The terms of employment ranged from independent dress-makers who began as apprentices, to “slop-house” workers who did the rougher sewing on a piece work basis as it was distributed to them by middle-men. 1 The media of the period, serialized novels, magazines, newspapers, cartoons and even songs, took up the case of these workers. The “slop-house’’ workers were a favourite of both the bourgeois and radical presses. They were horrified by the picture they saw of the single woman in this casually organized and over-supplied trade. Her independence and misery disturbed the hypocritical convention of the “protection of women” in the family and in the Law. Her person, as it was waged, starved and sexually active, disturbed the womanly ideal, the passive domestic consumer, that accompanied the rise of the bourgeoisie. She presented problems for the propaganda of social reformers and conservatives alike. However, the film is not a piece of historical detective work, awarding the unknown figures their proper (and final) recognition. The presence of the seamstresses was acknowledged in certain ways: the film is concerned with the forms which that recognition took. The motivation for making the film lies partly in the persistence of comparatively bad working conditions for women in the garment trade. But in addition to its specific historical material, The Song of the Shirt also constitutes a confrontation with a problem-area which has arisen within the economic and cultural conditions of independent filmmaking in England, and within feminist film analyses and practices of the past few years.

>>>Lire la suite sur Ciné-Tracts


 

 Traitors and Translators: Reframing Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Surname Viet Given Name Nam

Surname Viet Given Name Nam 4 (c) Moongift Films

This essay examines Trinh T. Minh-ha’s 1989 film Surname Viet Given Name Nam through the thematic of treason and translation. Looking at the acts of treason and translation undergirding Trinh’s film, I demonstrate how these axes of analyses intersect with the very terms that structure the film—that is, gender and nation. For feminists, such junctures have been critical in order to interrogate representations of women in history and language. Among other feminist theorists, Norma Alarcón has insightfully investigated the ways in which the primordial figure of the traitor in Chicana/o culture is both a woman and a translator; since she serves as a mediating body between the colonizer and colonized, La Malinche’s betrayal is not only cultural and sexual but also linguistic. Being both a traitor and translator is a dynamic, I argue, that plays out in Trinh T. Minh-ha’s work, as well, whereby the female translator (Trinh herself) is a traitor to the documentary form and ethnographic mode of inquiry. Expounding upon the idea of feminine betrayal, Surname Viet also exposes the ways in which translation and treason are tied to the female body within a nationalist context. Situated in the frames of the film, Trinh betrays the notion of feminine authenticity by rendering inaudible the women’s heavily accented speeches and by providing subtitles that elucidate little about the women’s speeches. Although subtitles are a translational operation that typically try to effect a « cultural affinity » between West and East, Self and Other, Trinh problematizes the idea that translations and subtitles as « visualized speech » and refuses the idea that translation guarantees access to the female Other.

>>>Lire la suite de l’extrait sur Project Muse