Free Screening: UN LAC, with director Phillippe Grandrieux in person, Q&A to follow
Thursday, November 1, 7 pm
Harvard Film Archive
A Lake (Un lac)
Directed by Philippe Grandrieux. With Dmitry Kubasov, Natalie Rehorova, Alexei Solonchev
France 2009, 35mm, color, 85 min. French with English subtitles
If Sombre is a fairy tale inside a horror film and New Life a modernmyth about a trip to the underworld, A Lake has the profound simplicity of a folk tale. A family of woodcutters lives in an isolated cabin in the mountains until one day a young stranger arrives who is the same age as the two oldest children in the family. The calm and quiet of A Lake is just as radical as the audiovisual assault of Grandrieux’s first two films, with a number of extreme close-ups used to capture the intense tenderness of liveslived with much unsaid, but not unexpressed. The precursors of such cinematic attention to affect are Murnau, Dreyer, Bresson and Tarkovsky, but the use of light and shadow, sound and silence is uniquely Grandrieux.
VES Faculty Screening, co-sponsored by the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, and the Harvard Film Archive.
About the Director
Grandrieux works in film, experimental television, video art, documentary, and museum and gallery installation. His uncompromised vision leads him to push the boundaries of each medium, resulting in a truly inventive cinema. Grandrieux’s first two full-feature films, Sombre and La Vie Nouvelle (A New Life), demonstrate his profound and radical exploration of image, sound and narrative structures. Drawing on both genre movies and experimental film, and using narratives and an iconography that draws on archetypes (often from fairy tales and legends), Grandrieux’s work offers the viewer intense sensorial experiences and a deep psychological involvement.
For his complex and highly developed soundtracks, Grandrieux has worked with legendary New York artist Alan Vega (Sombre) and the musicians, poets and performers Étant Donnés (A New Life). In 2007, Grandrieux directed singer Marilyn Manson’s promo video for Putting Holes in Happiness from the album Eat Me, Drink Me. In 2008, Japan honored Grandrieux’s work at Tokyo’s famous Uplink movie theatre, under the title Extreme Love – Philippe Grandrieux. Also in 2008, the Tate Modern screened Putting Holes in Happiness, A New Life, Late season, and an excerpt of A Lake, at that time a work-in-progress, as part of the major retrospective Paradise Now! Essential French Avant-Garde Cinema 1890-2008.
Grandrieux’s most recent feature, A Lake, has screened a at festivals worldwide including Venice, Pusan, London, Manila, Montreal, Marseille, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Prague, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Las Palmas. It was awarded Special Mention prize at the 65th Mostra de Venice in the Orizzonti (New Horizons) category, for films that “initiate new trends in cinema.” The film also received awards for Best Photography and Special Mention for Innovation at the Las Palmas. The Pompidou Centre in Paris presented a pre-release screening of A Lake in December 2008 in Festival Paris-Berlin-Madrid; followed by screenings at Filmoteca Española in Madrid and the Haus der Kulturen in Berlin in 2009. Programs devoted to Grandrieux’s work screened in 2009 at the Cineteca of Mexico, Guadalajara Festival, INDIE Festival (Brazil), Cali Festival (Colombia), and CPH:DOX (Copenhagen), and in 2010 at Lincoln Center, the Harvard Film Archive, and at Las Palmas Festival in Spain.
In 2011, his documentary It May Be That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve – Masao Adachi (co-authored with with Nicole Brenez) screened at over 35 festivals, universities and museums, and was awarded the New:Vision Award at CPH:DOX. In 2012, Grandrieux finished White Epilepsy, a film/installation of 69’ which is scheduled to screen at FID Marseille, UNDERDOX Munich, at FNC Montréal in a Grandrieux retrospective, and in 2013 at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR).
Gallery Hours Please note that Main Gallery and Sert Gallery have different viewing hours.
MainGallery: Monday–Saturday 10:00 am–11:00 pm; Sunday 1:00–11:00 pm
Sert Gallery: (third floor, at the top of the ramp): Tuesday–Sunday, 1:00–5:00 pm
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
About the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
The only building in North America designed by architect Le Corbusier, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) is the home of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies for undergraduate study in the visual arts and a graduate program in film and visual studies at Harvard University, two public art galleries, and the Harvard Film Archive. The Carpenter Center hosts a Thursday night lecture series that brings renowned contemporary artists to Harvard to speak about their work, as well as Visiting Faculty artist talks, and a wide variety ofexhibition-related programming and film screenings. The Carpenter Center celebrates its 50th anniversary in May 2013, with special programming throughout 2012-13.