The Mexican film director Carlos Reygadas did not even make an attempt to indicate a story in the summary for his film project Post Tenebras Lux when he presented it at CineMart 2011. Instead he wrote: “it is a feature film with a loose plot link in its discourse, but really clear in its poetics. It is not united by the plot, but by the harmony in the expression of the feelings.” And later, in his director’s notes: “The film’s objective is not to make sense from a particular story, but to make sense by association of emotions and ideas between the film and the spectator.”
Erlebnis, on the other hand, cannot be communicated, it is more wary of words, it is the experience while it is being made. It is about being in the moment, as an undivided and non– expressable present existence in time. The Erlebnis I have when I put my hand into the fire is subjective and time-bound, it can’t be narrated later through words as easily and precisely as my Erfahrung of that act.
It seems to me that an emphasis on Erlebnis comes close to the interest and fascination of many filmmakers from around the world who want to share with their audience not a
preconceived causal unspooling of story, of experience as knowledge-passed-on, but are searching for ways to touch the emotion of their audience and connect it to their own moment of experience.
‘First: there’s a tree. Ten seconds of silence, and then this sound comes, and then that comes afterwards. And then there’s a cut. And second: there’s a mountain, and blah blah.’ It’s like I am describing a film that I am watching, it’s being projected and I am describing to you what I am watching, as if you were blind. Somehow that’s the idea. You weren’t at the cinema and I would write down for you everything I saw. That’s the way I do it, and probably that’s the way it should be done, so we would make cinema instead of illustrated literature. … It’s not so important to know what happens in the end, because it’s not about telling a story but rather about looking into a moment of life.”
La naturaleza te enfrenta cara a cara con el miedo al olvido, te habla de esa parte inxeplicable de la existencia. Lo que no se comprende, lo desconocido genera miedo. Quizás sea tan solo cuestión de comprender…Que parte de nosotros queda, cuando ya no hay memoria…
THE STORY BEHIND THE FILMING OF ‘ESPOIR, SIERRA DE TERUEL’
The republican government in Spain decided to give economic support to this cinematographic project as it would show in film theatres around the world the heroic defence of the Second Republic and the need to have more resources and help from those foreign powers that did not want the triumph of fascism.
The filming began in the summer of 1938 and stopped at the beginning of the next year after Franco’s troops entered the city of Barcelona, forcing the production team to cease filming.
The war was lost, they had not finished in time. The oeuvre was left half finished. Faced with this scenario, André Malraux and Max Aub decide to finish it in Paris despite the opposition of French authorities and without any help from the republican government in exile.
Once finished, in July 1939, the initial premise that justified the filming of ‘Espoir’ was lost, it wasn´t so urgent to show a defeated government than prevent the consequences of an imminent Second World War.
Much like what happened in Spain with Franco’s troops victory, the fierce German army occupation of France wiped out all plans of the film’s distribution and release. Despite the great efforts of the German troops to destroy the original negative and all the existing copies, one negative stored in another film’s case remained intact. Thereafter the copy was miraculously conserved at the Pathé laboratories in Paris.
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