OFFICIAL SELECTION / INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION   FIDMARSEILLE 2013

World premiere

   

LET US PERSEVERE IN WHAT WE HAVE RESOLVED BEFORE WE FORGET

 


Ben RUSSELL

 

 

USA/FRANCE
2013
Colour
16 mm
20’

Original version
English, Tannese
Subtitles
English & french
Photography
Ben Rivers, Ben Russell
Sound
Ben Russell, Ben Rivers
Editing
Ben Russell

Production
Rouge International

FilmographY
– A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS, 2013
– PONCE DE LEÓN
(2012), RIVER RITES, 2011
– TRYPPS #7, 2010
– LET EACH ONE GO WHERE HE MAY, 2009
– DAUMË, 2000

For a long while now, we have all known of the particular characteristics of Ben Russell to sail unconcerned and without any particular commitment between several genres of work. From the scrupulous ethnographic documentary to the completely uninhibited experimental film, from some cutting political reflexion to the deep contemplation of Nature, from the sequence of shots to accelerated editing, from the short to the long feature film, it is always an exploration moving towards a form of intelligence combined with grace that dictates his contexts and methods. With its title referring to a line in Waiting for Godot, his latest film confirms this movement. Here we are on the island of Tanna, a part of Vanatu, an archipelago in Melanesia. Strange rites are performed (the hoisting of an incongruous flag) and Sibylline words are trotted out. On the horizon of these scenes: the practice of the “cargo cult”. This prevaricated re-appropriation, as we know, of the supposed forces of the Western world by those ethnic tribes convinced of their magical powers, is placed in the heart of an indifferent and luxuriant nature. Yet no analysis is made here, no desire to clarify — quite to the contrary, here we are just plunged into that universe. Only the title appears to offer us a key, for what it is worth: little does it matter what has been decided, as unimportant as always and still on the brink of the forgotten, the importance is at least to have tried. Could the same unpretentious, almost obsessive stubbornness, be present and shared in Russell’s film work?

Jean-Pierre Rehm

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