• French Competition



Pierre Voland

“I saw a deer”, says a male voice at the beginning of the film. The tone of the voice and the crunch of steps in the snow set the person in a wintry landscape, walking tensely towards the animal. The viewer sees only the scenery, the dark curves of the mountains cutting into the sky. The grain of the black and white 8mm film blends with the winter mist to blur the visible into shades of grey. This captivating opening formulates the highly poetic question that underlies Pierre Voland’s film. Should we desire to see the object of our desire? With what eyes? Do we ever reach the goal of our quest? The image and sound seem not to want to touch each other, nor the three quests that the filmmaker weaves into this space. The first quest is tracking wild animals in a snowy forest. The second is the knight’s quest for his Queen during a marvellous recital in Old French of an episode from Chrétien de Troyes’s masterpiece Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart. The third, more carnal quest takes place in the virtual space of a gay dating app, invented for the occasion by the filmmaker. The exchange of messages on the black screen of the telephone alternates with the transcription in modern French of Chrétien de Troyes’ verses, printed onto the spectacular black and white shots of the Jura. In this dizzying discrepancy between the centuries, between the origin of French literature and digital messaging, words begin to pass, to be exchanged. The words of courtly love and the mystical quest end up winning over carnal desire, and today’s landscapes become those of medieval adventure. No GPS tracking can lead to the object of desire. And this is the poem’s message – you have to get lost, lose your bearings, your sight and, like Lancelot, even forget your name. And then, besotted knight, you can walk barefoot on the edge of the sword. Who knows, at the end of the path, you may see deer snuffling in the snow. (Cyril Neyrat)

  • French Competition

Technical sheet

France, Belgium / 2022 / Black & white / 8 mm / 43’

Original version : frenchs
Subtitles : english
Script : Pierre Voland
Photography : Pierre Voland
Editing : Sébastien Demeffe, Pierre Voland
Sound : Pierre Voland, Cyril Mossé, Thomas Ferrando

Production : Ellen Meiresonne (Atelier Graphoui)
Distribution : Valéria Musio (Atelier Graphoui).