DAPHNE AND THOMAS
What is the plot of this story ? It opens with an account of the life of Thomas, a frustrated artist who was unable to attend art school during German Democratic Republic, narrated by his daughter Daphne, who turns out to be a taxidermist in Berlin’s Natural History Museum. During a chance meeting there with a novelist whose life is peculiarly marked by corals, Daphne tells her the story of this creature with an extraordinary presumably posthumous destiny, while… But let’s not reveal any more about this disconcerting collection of destinies. This is the skill of Assaf Gruber, adept at eliciting or inventing these tales and discerning their most secret connections and matrices. Daphne and Thomas unfurls as a diptych in which echoes reverberate from one part to another.
A web is woven in which the bodies, materials, devices and places all play a mysterious role… a spa with colonial decorations, glass panes with multiple functions – to protect, to divide, to display – the Museum’s teratology “cabinet of curiosities”, an Alpine diorama or archived films from the DEFA, (the GDR’s state-owned film studio). These diffracted perspectives allow porosities to emerge, through which these micro-biographies collide with major moments in history, where institutions play a role in shaping destinies, while areas for art are obliquely challenged. Orchestrating a subtle play of contrasts and mirroring, Gruber highlights the entangled intricacies of time: retrospective, prospective, encapsulated, with its bifurcations and entrenchments. This is a political project, the challenge being to reconnect all that is disjointed and to trace the invisible subterranean fault lines while, as Daphne frets, “Maybe our world is just fine without intrigue”. (N.F.)
Original version : english, german. Subtitles : english. Script : Assaf Gruber. Image : Jutta Pohlmann, Frank Meyer. Editing : Janina Herhoffer et Assaf Gruber. Sound : Franck Bubenzer, Jochen Jezussek, Igor Klaczynski. Casting : Thomas Rudnik, Tina Pfurr, Caroline Clifford.
Production : Assaf Gruber. Production direction : Talking Projects (Barbara Simon), Eyal Vexler. Distribution : Assaf Gruber.
Filmography : The Conspicuous Parts, 2018. The Calling, 2017. Story of a Scared State, 2016. The Right, 2015. The Guardroom, 2015. Citizen in the Making, 2015. The Anonymity of the Night, 2014.
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 +