Loosely-linked scenes in the hall of Paris’ Orly airport. A man and a woman, both French but living abroad, meet each other by chance. He has just decided to move back to Paris and she longs to return there. A mother and her almost adult son are going to the funeral of her ex-husband, his father. A young couple is embarking on its first big trip. And a woman reads a letter from the man she has recently left. They are all waiting for their flight.
The departure hall is a place of transit. People are between the here and there, between the “not yet” and the “no more”. Schanelec places four couples amid the crowds of waiting passengers; the camera observes them, often from a distance. But their conversations can be heard; the ear is closer than the eye. Intimate islands of dialogue amid hectic activity. The tremendous background noise does them no harm until the music comes and infects the whole room. Cat Power sings “Remember Me”, reinforcing the atmosphere of longing, separation and transitoriness that already lingers in the air. Later, the off-screen monologue of a dying, loving man adds to it. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – that’s what’s written at the beginning on a record cover. A farewell film. –Berlinale
Angela Schanelec was born in 1962. She studied Acting at the College of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main and worked at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, Berlin’s Schaubühne and the Schauspielhaus in Bochum. She studied at the German Film & Television Academy (dffb) in Berlin from 1990-1995, graduating with Das Glück meiner Schwester/My Sister’s Good Fortune, winner of the German Critics’ Prize 1996. Her other films include Schöne gelbe farbe (1991), Weit Entfernt (1991), Prag, März 92 (1992), Ich bin den Sommer über in Berlin geblieben (1993), Plätze in Städten/Places in the City (1997/98) at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 1998, Mein langsames Leben/Passing Summerr (2001) presented at the Berlinale’s Forum in 2001, and Marseille (2004) also at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard. —Goethe-Institut
The film is quite honest in its approach of this time suspended, of this temporary site that marks the non-presence, the transitory. The dialogues, short, long, unfinished, banal, depict the transience of such situations and the relation between public space and intimacy. In the stillness of waiting, only and outside factor is able to break such passivity.
no need of a close up to get close to a character; an arm reaching for a shoulder, the head that turns to look that hand put on your shoulder... just medium shots, or maybe close up of a place. great!
Orly’s opening cause an estrangement: the opening credit sequence is audacious compared to Schanelec’s previous films and resemble the opening of Godard’s films. But we then see the familiar face of… read review