23 MAY — 02 JUNE 2024

23 MAY — 02 JUNE 2024

Cineblog: Creuse, where the sound is present

Creuse is a constant labour of presentification of sound. The deafening thud that emanates from it makes possible the emergence of an exercise necessary for the non-existence of a life. By taking the synaesthesia of the cinematographic experience to the extreme, it is a short film that distends itself. Because it asks for an abnormal kind of understanding, it is screened in a night marathon, in Boca do Inferno, at IndieLisboa.

Guillaume Scaillet, author of En pleine Lulu (2020), Jouvencelle (2021) and Extra Flavour (2021), presents us, this time, with a work markedly his own, a fiction that extends into a reality of horror, showing a routine sprinkled with inner screams and severed images where silence gives way to the limits of destruction. Here, the sound work of Pierre-Louis Clairin, Adrien Cannepin, and Mikhael Kurc, imposes itself over the rest of the production, giving an overwhelming weight to the presence of sound and silence, to sounds that should not or cannot be heard, and to the preponderance that hearing constitutes in relation to the perception of a world and a body.

The spectator enters the narrative through silence, which is easy to access, and then becomes a prisoner of it, even when this silence turns into unusual, unpleasant and deafening noise. There is only one movement of liberation possible, through the stopping of time, an escape from despair, a progressive slowing of the heartbeat – the consoling attributes of which might make the terrible anguish of having to listen to the inside of you disappear.

The simple décors focus attention on the narrative’s only character, Marc, played by Raphaël Quenard, whose role is certainly difficult to digest. The discomfort he makes the viewer feel, transfigured by every fraction of his facial expressions, is also an extremely important element in understanding the relationship between the self and the other, the self and the world, the self and its interior.

The cold, bare walls are covered by slabs of devastating silence, affirming the boundless icy horizon that surrounds the protagonist. Marc, at first, surrounds himself with an attentive endeavour to the healthy practices that nourish his body. But suddenly, his eyes stare into the emptiness or perhaps the hope of the near return of Louise, his girlfriend. In a static movement, the hands of the clock give him a slight sense of afternoon. For a few moments he still has time to breathe, before the blood rushes to his head, before the uninterrupted fires begin to set fire to the interior of his consciousness. The absence of this female figure is a catalyst for the sensation of the angular vortex of agony, so that next to his belly, faint gulps of viscera, more than those of breath or fatigue. She opens herself up inside the screams in a movement that only ceases when the accelerated beat of an anxious heart gives way to the silence that was meant to impose itself in the darkness of the day.

Creuse gives a significance to the sounds deafened by the shell that is the body, being a film that makes heard what is not heard. Being inside one’s own being in the eternal slavery of routine can be an exhausting burden. To be able to hear a tendon stretching or a vein pulsating can be intolerable to the point where it is necessary to be outside your body, regardless of all the care and attention given to yourself.

In a contradictory dialectic that is established throughout the film, there is the passage from silence to noise, from presence to absence, from calm to strange shots. The deep and final breaths make us feel that the day was ending and would have to end at that moment. The sketch of an indecisive smile like that of a child could only exist if there was a surrender of the delirious body to its own unbridled pain. The intensifying hearing would inevitably have to give way to bluish drips of red blood. Life would inexorably fade away to make way for the chirping of birds.

Catarina Gerardo

Text written in the context of the partnership between IndieLisboa and the Cineblog of the Philosophy Institute of NOVA/FCSH.