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“Carrying on Luc Moullet’s unfinished screenplay about the theft of ‘la pénélope,’ a camera created by Aaton and capable of recording equally well in 35 mm and digitally, LA ROUGE ET LA NOIRE is a film in kaleidoscope form. The portrait of Aaton’s founder, Jean-Pierre Beauviala – creator, inter alia, of the ‘time-code’ and the light cameras used by the New Wave (in particular the ‘bush camera’ specially designed for Jean Rouch) – is centered around the basic plot introduced by two women thieves who talk as voice-overs, and whose identities will only be revealed at the end. The film weaves its canvas through many different styles of imagery: Beauviala’s private archives shot in 16mm, images that the artist produces in Aaton work areas, digital inlays of a little monster who metamorphoses on the screen. The latter, a variant hailing from the Aaton advertising icon of the ‘cat on the shoulder,’ permeates and interferes with the film, embodying potential menace and representing the narrative thread. Through an operation involving the desynchronization of sound and image, Isabelle Prim creates a gap between the plot and her commentary, and increases the number of image-related signifiers, to the point of introducing doubt about what we are being shown. Right up to the final slip, when the thieving women get in a muddle over the camera, and make off with the one used by Beauviala himself to produce his archives. Full circle.“ (Mathilde Villeneuve France)

Production: Le Fresnoy with support by Aaton
Script: Luc Moullet
Director of photography: Alexandra Sabathé
Music and sound design: Géry Petit
Actors: Jean-Pierre Beauviala, Luc Moullet, Thora Van Male, Julien Anselmino, Arielle Dombasle, Raymond Depardon
Format: HDCAM
Running time: 74 min

Isabelle Prim was born in 1984 in Paris. Her artistic practice encompasses experimental film, video installations, and animation. Her film Mademoiselle Else (2010) premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. CREAMY KRIMI (2008) was presented in the Forum Expanded. Other films and installations: CLIPEATA (2009), ET ORNEMENT (AND ORNAMENT) (2008), LET'S SCORE (2007), THE WET INDEX (2006).

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur