Simon Gaillot

Penthésilée - Film - 1h52min - 2019

présenté dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 21


Talking about a poem in itself, judging a poem in itself has no real, precise sense. The poem is an abstraction, writing that waits, a law that only lives in the mouths of a few people,” wrote Paul Valéry in De la diction des vers.
This cinematic adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s play Penthesilea (1807) was intended to be as simple as possible in order to find this law.
Joyfully shot on an island in Brittany, between two sand dunes and some cliffs, in the winter light, the film focuses in particular on that moment of raw speech borne by a face in the hope of allowing the text to breathe again.

Simon Gaillot

Simon Gaillot was born on December 15, 1994 in Woippy.

He studied art history and film history at the Sorbonne, then aesthetics and philosophy at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, where he worked on Friedrich Hölderlin, before joining Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains.

At the age of twenty he decided that every summer he would shoot a film outdoors, based on a theatre play.
In keeping with Jean Cocteau's idea that cinematic art is above all a craft, he works to establish a close relation in which text, face, body and landscape are united by need, and always with a sense of economy.
In this way, he was able to make very adaptations of works by Julien Gracq, Heinrich von Kleist, Jean Racine, Robert Walser, Oscar Wilde and Fernando Pessoa.\
With Clément Vieille, he is now working on Intérieur, after Maurice Maeterlinck, in 16mm and is writing a serial, with Yuna Alonzo, based on Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy.


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing