dance girl dance
From 'Evil and the Senses: Philippe Grandrieux's Sombre and La Vie nouvelle' by Martine Beugnet:
Highly suspicious of pre-existing screenplays, Grandrieux describes the act of filming as a momentous and essentially sensual experience; the profilmic reality can take hold of the film-maker driven by a desire to make certain images. Rejecting the use of the steady-cam, which would sanitize the movement of a shot, Grandrieux insists on the importance of carrying the camera himself, working in the thick of things, to the point where he feels ‘completely sucked in the field of the shot’. Thus couched in surrealist terms, the definition of the director as author takes on an ambiguous character, as the subject who originates the work and seeks to express a personal vision, yet always seems pulled into the fluid field of the gaze, on the brink of dissolving and merging with the reality being filmed.
The shooting is but one aspect of this practice of cinema as sensual experience, both pleasurable and terrifying, into which Grandrieux hopes spectators will also let themselves be drawn. In effect, the films can be said to be explorations of cinema as, first and foremost, an aesthetic of sensation. Engaging with the legacy of the French surrealist and impressionist avant-gardes, Grandrieux thus equates a return to cinema’s first vocation - the evocation of that which lies at the margins of human consciousness - with the rediscovery of the cinematic image as visual and sound textures - a form of sculpting in movement. Accordingly, although a battery of techniques rendered possible by twenty-first-century technology is deployed, the manipulations are not put at the service of transparent or illusionist effects. On the contrary, realistic aesthetics, psychological elaboration, and narrative logic are abandoned in favour of a celebration of cinema as a visceral, synaesthetic experience, where movement, images and sounds operate as affects that precede the emergence of rational discourse.
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