Other gems 2020 / PS
Joachim Gatti, Gaël Marsaud

In The Middle of the City There Was the Desert

France / 2019 / Color / HDV, Stereo / 13’
World Premiere

“In the middle of the city, there was a desert”, says a woman’s voice while the camera is filming rubble and heaps of rock through the fence of a construction site. The tone is set: for Joachim Gatti and Gaël Marsaud, the building site of la Plaine, an urban renewal (aka gentrification) project, means the destruction of a lively place in Marseille, the likely death of a shared piece of urban fabric. The camera alternates shots of the building site stolen through railings, showing both the ongoing wrecking and the effort to protect property investments, with lateral tracking shots of the surroundings of the square, revealing its new inaccessibility. Off screen, a woman is reading The Desert, a short story by Elio Vittorini, describing how a group of men realise that the city they think they inhabit is actually a dead city, already desertified, regardless of its apparent signs of activity.
It comes almost as a surprise not to find Tacitus’ quote, “They make a desert and call it peace”, as an epigraph to this pamphlet of a film. But it is only because, in all its strong opposition to the desertification of la Plaine, the film also documents the resistance to the project. On every wall, we can read graffiti and posters detailing the latest fights in Marseille: Zineb Redouane, police brutality in general… The desert awaits, but it is not yet victorious. (N.L.)

Technical sheet

Original version: French.
Subtitles: English.
Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing: Joachim Gatti, Gaël Marsaud.
Sound: Jean-Baptiste Leroux, Alexandre Frigoult.
Cast: Stéphanie Béghain.
Production and distribution: Dekadrage (Stephanos Mangriotis).

 

INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTORS

Directors

Joachim Gatti
Gaël Marsaud

Filmography

  • O Terra, Addio, 2020 (co-réalisation Gaël Marsaud, Alex Frigoult, Stephanos Mangriotis).
  • La Patas en la tierra, 2020 (Gaël Marsaud).
  • Une tempête..., 2015, (co-réalisation Joachim Gatti, Olivier Derousseau, Tristan Varlot, Jean-Baptiste Leroux, Jane David).
  • Manuels pour les habitants des villes, 2003-2011, (co-réalisation Joachim Gatti, Pierre-Vincent Cresceri et Thierry Braibant).
  • Magume (Crise), 2001, (co-réalisation Joachim Gatti et Jean-Baptiste Leroux).

Other gems

Synopsis

Igor et Ivan Buharov Ayahuasca, radio waves, paranormal phenomena…Here are some of the ingredients of this new work filmed in 8mm by the Buharov brothers – an unfettered fantasy. In...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
23.07.2021 - 16:00
Vidéodrome 2
24.07.2021 - 10:30
La Baleine
21.07.2021 - 21:30
Variétés 1
Synopsis

Jorge Leon “February 2020, a man is giving his testimony. His words are being collected by an inspector, and unveil the implacable alienation which has been informing his lived experience...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
21.07.2021 - 21:00
Variétés 2
22.07.2021 - 16:00
La Baleine
25.07.2021 - 16:30
Variétés 2
Synopsis

Alain Mazars The title says it all: the future articulated through the past. Filmed in 16mm, against the backdrop of ruins in brilliant light, a little mute boy and a little girl who doesn’t...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
21.07.2021 - 21:00
Variétés 3
23.07.2021 - 20:00
Variétés 2
24.07.2021 - 16:00
Vidéodrome 2
Synopsis

To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the Saumery psychiatric clinic is organising a conference on the theme of “traumatic intelligence”. “ While preparing for the party, patients and...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
21.07.2021 - 16:30
Vidéodrome 2
24.07.2021 - 14:00
Vidéodrome 2
25.07.2021 - 18:00
La Baleine
Synopsis

Guillaume Lillo In the cars that pick him up as he hitchhikes, the voice of a young man we’ll never – or hardly – see, describes in detail the depression that brought him to the medical...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
21.07.2021 - 12:15
Vidéodrome 2
22.07.2021 - 16:00
Variétés 3
25.07.2021 - 14:00
Variétés 3
Synopsis

Maxime Martinot “One day, on the coasts of Morocco, some one hundred and fifty years ago, thousands of antelopes threw themselves into the sea.” Thus begins a two-page text from a...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
20.07.2021 - 11:00
La Baleine
22.07.2021 - 14:00
La Baleine
25.07.2021 - 11:00
Variétés 1
Synopsis

Clemente Castor A white drone moves through a corridor whose walls seem to be liquefying into a digital ooze. A metallic voice, perhaps that of the drone, questions the reality of what it sees....

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
20.07.2021 - 11:00
Variétés 2
23.07.2021 - 16:00
La Baleine
24.07.2021 - 11:00
Variétés 2
Synopsis

Lucas Camargo How could we forget the razor-sharp writing of O pequeno mal (FID 2018), directed with Nicolas Thomé Zetune, which explored the secret shortcomings of a relationship. The same...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
Synopsis

Anja Dornieden Juan David Gonzales Monroy Although aurochs, the ancestors of today’s cattle, died out in the 17th century, some people have tried to resurrect these legendary,...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021
20.07.2021 - 18:30
Théâtre de l'Odéon
25.07.2021 - 11:00
Vidéodrome 2
Synopsis

blanc In a small town in northern Senegal, two brothers are at odds with each other. Tierno, an imam by trade, a friendly and moderate traditionalist, does not share the ideas of his older...

En savoir +
Other gems 2021