is an on-going series of video dispatches from critics Michael Pattison and Neil Young.
As the sun sought slumber behind the Mediterranean in one final, slow-motion plummet, two thick-twanged film critics from North East England sat down to record a chat. There was no script, but their topic was clear: FIDMarseille, France’s most eclectically programmed and well-respected film festival. The idea of a video blog had been posed to us as far back as February, at this year’s Berlinale. Conflicting schedules and a comically limited knowledge of how these things work prevented this, our first dispatch, from happening sooner.
Under its current artistic director Jean-Pierre Rehm, FIDMarseille eschews convention. Now 26 editions old, the weeklong event has no qualms when it comes to programming—often in competition—those medium-length works of an experimental bent that few other festivals seem to touch. As I have written elsewhere, Marseilles itself is a promisingly rough-edged city. For these qualities alone, the fuzzy image here seems appropriate: we want our emphasis to be on content rather than presentation. Speak, so went our presumption, and they will listen.
There are no introductions, there is no wrap-up: the length of our video was determined by an apparent glitch in software. We want this to be an ongoing series of such dispatches. Watch the first, below, to hear our thoughts on the main prizewinners at this year’s FID. Among other things, we discuss Meurtrière, Philippe Grandrieux’s follow-up to White Epilepsy, and why we think Toponomy, by Argentine filmmaker Jonathan Perel, is the best picture of the year. —Michael Pattison