A theme: coffee with(out) cigarettes.
A place: the Interville café in Roubaix. Such were the initial elements conceived by Béla Tarr for the workshop run with the ten or so students he is mentoring at Le Fresnoy this year. Moments of concentration and mental freewheeling, kicking off from the real and the imaginary, putting personal and collective stories into a joint film.
While the ensemble is itself an exercise, the photographs taken during the workshop reveal an exceptional moment in the life of Le Fresnoy. This confirms, too, that nothing here is arbitrary or left to chance. The cosmic, that essential connection to the world, joins the anecdotal. Placed under the unstated sign of a song by the Platters, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, connecting the different parts of the film, the heart, as evoked in the ritornello, is consumed in the present of cinema and of life itself.
To this precipitate we can apply the words of Jacques Rancière about the images at work in the films of Béla Tarr: “(…) More than any others, his images deserve to be call timeimages, images in which is made manifest the duration that is the very matter from which are woven those individualities that we call situations or characters. (…) Each moment is a microcosm. Each plan-sequence must be in the time of the world, in the time where the world is reflected in intensities felt by bodies.” (1)
- in Béla Tarr, le temps d’après, Paris: Capricci, 2011, p. 41.