A book club… Cal, Evelyn, Chris and a few others meet up on a regular basis to read Dante’s The Divine Comedy, decoding its theological allusions, discussing the translation choices and arguing about interpretations. What then unfolds is the pleasure of hermeneutic discussion, intellectual debate and the entire range of relationships with knowledge, from enthusiastic ingenuity to scholarly erudition, from deep emotional exploration to monopolising the discussion. Little by little, the field of their investigations expands to include drugs, religious wars, modern architecture and Beethoven’s music (which, strangely, gives the film its title). As the delicate scenes progress with their attention to the sunlight and the variations of the conversation, a history of western civilisation emerges; so, too, do the fault lines that divide the characters. For also in play in the oratorical jousting and the ritualised skirmishes of literary criticism is knowledge’s rapport with listening, between language as a vehicle for exchange and verbal virtuosity as a way of shining in society. Ted Fendt alternates wide shots of the group in mid discussion and close-ups of those speaking, listening or merely contemplating. As well as illustrating the pleasures of interpretative debate and literary and historical exploration, Classical Period also o ers a lesson in attentive listening and paying attention to others. (N.L.)
Original version: English. Subtitles: French. Script: Ted Fendt. Image: Sage Einarsen. Editing: Ted Fendt. Sound: Sean Dunn. Casting : Calvin Engime, Evelyn Emile.
Production: Fendt Film Productions (Graham Swon).
Distribution: Ted Fendt.
Filmography: Short Stay, 2016. Going Out, 2015. Travel Plans, 2013. Broken Specs, 2012.
EP - Histoire(s) de Portrait
At FID (2016) we discovered Je rey Dunn Rovinelli’s first film, the unsettling Empathy where we were invited to follow the enigmatic Em, a young sex worker, from New York to Los Angeles. Here Je...En savoir +
To be sure, « chaos » names the cause, the sinister cause, of everything at stake here: war devastating Syria, a country and its people. « Chaos », however, is also the name of its...En savoir +
Wang Bing is one of the greatest documentary-makers alive today, and his films o er a very insightful overview of the transformations occurring in Chinese society. Here, Dominique Auvray conducts an...En savoir +
What could the fate of the Villa Empain, Baron Empain’s crazy project in Brussels, which has gone through a long and eventful journey since its completion in 1934, possibly inspire? Katharina...En savoir +
A sequence shot of the slightly slow-motion movement of hands massaging and caressing the surface, textured with scars like a zebra skin, of a vaguely anthropomorphic wax sculpture. For sound, we...En savoir +
Kain the Poet, the eloquent and loud-mouthed African-American and pioneer of hip-hop, reads accompanied by the experimental percussionist Lander Gyselinck. At the heart of his poem lies a cryptic...En savoir +
At the start, a striking news item: the voluntary destruction, following purchase at a hefty price, of a house by famous architect Richard Neutra in Palm Springs, a much sought-after holiday resort...En savoir +
“An elusive evil has taken over Mexico. Twenty years ago, women’s shouting rang out across the north of the country, as they were the victims of a misogynous unprecedented rage. On the other side...En savoir +
Life analysis and the staging of his own fantasies are Noël Herpe’s subject matter in his work as a writer and a film-maker. Following up on a book about his relationship with his father, his...En savoir +
Colonized Africa, history has taught us, was the cradle of the most disparate fantasies, whether obscure or extravagant. In light of this fact, a distinguished gentleman from Angoulême,...En savoir +