VIA (19’, France, 2010)

 

Starring the versatile Denis Lavant (the fetish actor of Leos Carax), VIA is both a charming sample of meta-cinema and an intriguing journey of self discovery. During the shooting of a silent black and white film, an actor successively plays different characters. What he doesn’t know yet and gradually discovers is that the film carries on, in colour, in his private life, which turns out to be just as fictional. The new world that unravels to him is confusing, aggressive and frightening. He soon understands his predetermined condition of prisoner of the cinematic frame, which triggers in him a deep identity crisis, a strong need to break free from the script.

Director: LEONORE MERCIER

With the support of:

 

Cast: DENIS LEVANT

Screenplay: LEONORE MERCIER

Cinematography: SYLVAIN BRIEND

Editing: NICOLAS PELTIER, LEONORE MERCIER

Music: LEONORE MERCIER

Sound: LEONORE MERCIER

Production: LE FRESNOY



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Director's contact: pileo[at]hotmail[dot]fr

 

 

Graduating cinema at The Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne University, and studying piano at the Bourges Conservatory, the visual artist LEONORE MERCIER (b. 1985, Paris) has a very particular artistic background, obvious in the musical quality of her cinematic work, in the key role played by the soundscape in her films. In 2008 she won a residency in Bourges, offered by The Electro-acoustic Institute. In 2007 she obtained a creativity-focused scholarship offered by Phonurgia Nova. She made numerous radiophonic works such as POINT DE COTE, SO and A COMME ANIMAL, widely screened in music festivals in France. She also contributed to CHARITE, a documentary initiated in collaboration with The Pougues-les-Eaux Center of Contemporary Art, screened during the Charite-sur-Loire Festival.

 

Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, South Korea 2011 / Festival Européen du Film Fantastique de Strasbourg 2010

 

“The story is based on the dichotomy between a predetermined sequence of events and the question of existential freedom. In a film-set situation, a man becomes conscious of himself and his status. He is formatted, framed, dependent on cinematographic elements, lives a life where a certain sound register, a certain visual field, a spectrum of restrained colors are imposed... Yet, he looks for a psychological freedom out of the written script, in order to exist.” (LEONORE MERCIER)

 

VIA playfully reflects both on film as a medium and on the philosophical debate on destiny vs free will. The cinematic illusion is constantly broken by the very elements of the film language, which start to intrude the protagonist’s life - the frame margins move till they squash him, the letters of the subtitles have a life of their own, the plot elements make his life miserable, he starts to hear voices which dub his conversations in many languages. By experiencing these strange symptoms, he soon becomes aware of his being a prisoner of a scripted reality. Which, if initially frightens him, in the end makes him take the responsibility of rewriting his own script in order to gain his personal freedom.” (Adina Pintilie, BIEFF 2012)

 

“Avoiding dramatically correctness and classical Aristotelic mechanics of telling a story, VIA gains a unique freedom of storytelling. An impressive ars combinatoria of perspectives, it takes the spectator both into a new type of audiovisual experience and into a beautiful journey of self-discovery.” (Ioana Mischie, BIEFF 2012)

 

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