Une lente introduction

(silent film)
date de creation: 

choreography and filmmaking: Boris Charmatz
with: Julia Cima, Vincent Dupont, Myriam Lebreton, Sylvain Prunenec, Boris Charmatz

‘Film muet' reads a caption at the beginning, as if to stipulate the work's medium - silent movie. As if to make sure that ‘this is not a dance film!' Though the French choreographer Boris Charmatz has created several ‘dance films' before, he always remained faithful to his belief that dance is not a pictorial medium. Une lente introduction is a film in collaboration with the film maker Aldo Lee, and it stays indeed silent throughout its 34 minutes. The end titles remind us that the film is based on Charmatz' 1997 choreography herses (une lente introduction); they even list up the credits of that project, including, curiously, the titles of the compositions by Helmut Lachenmann used in that earlier work. Still, Une lente introduction is not so much an erasure of Lachenmann, nor of herses (une lente introduction). The film's silence insists that it is not just a registration of a dance piece, but a work in its own right: the choreography does not happen in the image, but is taken elsewhere by the sound of silence.
Where does the choreography actually happen? Although with the silence, you seem to be immersed in the film already before the first images appear, it will take a slow introduction to find out. Even after 34 minutes that slow start is still about to happen without quite happening - it is a start that has already happened unnoticed and requires endless stretches of time to be traced. As if its secret were swallowed by the silence. Une lente introduction is certainly Charmatz' most meditative work, allowing for a distant contemplation of the imagery. But the film also intoxicates you through the ears, making audible the muttering of your own thoughts and desires, as if their volume were cranked up by the silence.

Jeroen Peeters in corpusweb.net, October 2007

durée : 34 minutes
support : 35 mm couleur
caméra et montage : Aldo Lee
directeur de la photographie : Madjid Hakimi
sol : Gilles Touyard
régie générale : Gilles Gentner
régie plateau : Alexandre Xenakis
direction de production : Angèle Le Grand et Sandra Neuveut
chargée de post-production : laura Beurdeley
moyens techniques : tsf camera et tsf lumière
conformation et étalonnage : Sylicone
kinescopage : Laboratoires éclair
production Association edna ; Musée de la danse
coproduction : Centre chorégraphique national du Havre Haute-Normandie
avec le concours du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Centre national des arts plastiques et de la Mairie de Paris / département de l'art dans la ville avec le soutien de tsf camera et tsf lumière.