A spacious bourgeois house becomes the scene of a strange ceremony, a filming and locating operation, a mechanical ballet. Gallerande is this setting, suddenly seized by a small group of cameramen chasing something: an image, an event, or perhaps a narrative without an object… Just because the object of one’s desire is missing doesn’t mean any object will do. For these men, these women or this child, as long as an image is alive, as long as it is looking at us, something in or around it is functioning which echoes the image’s original enunciation. A little device repeating the Lacanian phrase: “You want to have a look? Well, look at that!”

Here the image is probed by the power which allowed it to be, which wanted it to be. The image is this thing which some people enjoyed making and others enjoyed seeing. And the pleasure itself remains: “the image is the eye’s tomb.” To watch a Marina Faust film is to face something that’s been seen before, seen by others before — and what’s already been seen has already been caught. Within this history-steeped décor, one must establish the memory of other film houses (Duras’s houses, Pasolini’s), the narrative of class and of the difference between the sexes, the gap between the grain and the sound of the picture; one must establish the present of bodies, a kind of eroticism which discreetly emphasizes the most neutral parts. One must note all the “moving” aspects of rigged bodies, bodies tied to objects and furniture, in order to show that each and every element needs to be taken seriously, like the fact that such an image is possible here and nowhere else.

Gallerande is a French novel title for a realist Italian film, infused with a certain taste for the trivial. I use realist in the strictest sense. Marina Faust tells us about covering a space, about the everyday experience of a band of technicians, artists, extras, professionals (it doesn’t matter), caught between the troubling desire to wield one’s power and the pleasure that comes from shedding it. And so she tells us about spectacle, about a reality-haunted theatre which allows distance, which conceives of time as an immeasurable treasure, which is neither life nor its opposite, which is just like life, which binds itself down to life, not transfiguring but continuing it. Continuing also a certain history of modernity, where movies were always more or less documentaries about the state of the material to be filmed.

Stéphanie Moisdon