This remarkable companion piece to In the City of Sylvia offers a compendium of images recorded by Guerín in Strasbourg while searching for the traces of a (fictional?) brief encounter some years earlier with a young woman named Sylvia. The beautiful black and white digital cinematography alternates between moving and still images, stitching together a unique kind of film journal, a cinematic sketchbook for In the City of Sylvia, a reworking of the photographic and documentary roots of cinema, and something absolutely new. A must-see.
José Luis Guerin was born in Barcelona. He started his career directing experimental films from 1975 to 1983, then directed his first feature film in 1983, Los Motivos de Berta. His film received a special price at the Berlin Forum. In 1988, José Luis Guerin directed the Spanish episode of City Life – the other episodes being directed by Reichenbach, Kieslowski, Agresti, Tarr, Sen et Rijneke. City Life was awarded in Berlin, Rotterdam and Montreal Film Festivals. In 1990, José Luis Guerin directed Innisfree, presented in competition at Cannes International Film Festival. In 1997, Tren de Sombras – presented during the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes – obtained the Golden and Silver Melies awarded by the European Federation of Fantasy Film Festivals. Then, in 2001, José Luis Guerin directed En construccion, awarded in San Sebastian Festival and, in 2007, En la ciudad de Sylvia, selected by the 2007 Venice Film Festival. —dissidenz.com
If In the City of Sylvia brought Rohmer to mind, here the beautiful photos recall Marker. It's fascinating not only as companion to In the City of Sylvia but in its exploration of time, movement, rhythm, memory and space. Delighting in faces, the photogenic magnetic appeal of pretty women (voyeuristically followed yet unattainable). along with connections between various artforms, it reminds us of what is cinema.