In the middle of a house filled from floor to ceiling with musical instruments of all eras, from old lutes to massive electronic consoles, an old man wanders around. He is at his desk, pencil in hand, he strolls in the garden, he eats frugally in the kitchen. He seems preoccupied, in search of something. But what? Let’s take a guess: inspiration. We gradually understand, without absolute certitude (because this first film by Gwendal Sartre marvellously cultivates both discretion and ambiguity), that he may be a composer who has been commissioned to write a score. But where is the divine manna to be found? Here and there, in slight sounds, whistling kettles, the chewing of nails, teeth being brushed, the vibration of insects and, on the edge of drowsiness or in some diurnal thoughts, the fleeting apparitions of a young woman as a silent muse. The important thing here is not so much the (potential) solidity of a conventional narrative, but to situate us somewhere unknown, in a fantastical land, the terra incognita of the “creative act”. As a result, all contours are clouded, those of the characters along with those of the decors they inhabit. The challenge magnificently asserted by Gwendal Sartre is to render visible and palpable, with as much modesty as precise sensuality, not so much the music as what precedes its tenuous and always unlikely advent. Jean-Pierre REHM
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.