• Flash Competition

ZEHN MINUTEN VOR MITTERNACHT

TEN MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

Mario Sanz

Ten Minutes to Midnight asks the question: how do you meet other people? Like an invitation to rediscover Levinas’ ideas, the film traces a path towards a face, the revelation of the infinite and the home of the whole of humanity. Text card: a gentle, manly voice addresses a man named Pascal in the voice-over. The delivery is hesitant. The words stumble and stutter in broken German. Out of the density of the mumbled words, bodies emerge, drawn out from the darkness by fragments electrified in beams of blue light. They dance. The camera then picks out the various different bodies and faces that make up the RambaZamba Theater troupe. Some display the distinctive features of Down’s syndrome. One shot dwells on the face of a young boy who we see experiencing ticks and the extreme mobility of his features indicative of disability. The film thus presents an enigma : Whose voice is expressing the fragile lament in the voice-over? Is it the young boy’s? The voice tells us that Pascal, to whom the words are dedicated, has left the theatre company and is a musician. Bluish smoke rises up from a concert venue, as the young boy’s handsome face and muscular body emerge in a musical epiphany. Ringing in our ears is the heavy, deep sound of 21 DownBeat, his band. We realise that this is Pascal, to whom Mario Sanz is speaking. This belies the film’s delicate tour de force: the director has entangled Pascal’s presence with his own voice, in the raw precariousness of the stumbling delivery. In the course of moving performances, Mario Sanz turns the portrait on its head, gracefully reversing its movement. The director, resigned to the fact that he will never see his protagonist again, turns his disappearance into a philosophical and sensory experience. A remarkable, poetic lesson on the gaze – Ten Minutes to Midnight restores its subject to the complete enigma of otherness and allows us to come face-to-face with this original encounter with the irrevocable “Other like a face”, who always eludes us. (Claire Lasolle)
(Claire Lasolle) Mario Sanz

  • Flash Competition

Technical sheet

Spain / 2022 / Colour / 17’

Original version : german, spanish
Subtitles : english
Script : Mario Sanz
Photography : Mario Sanz
Editing : Mario Sanz
Music : 21 Downbeat, Xabier Erkizia
Sound : Xabier Erkizia, Martin Scaglia
Avec : Pascal Kunze, Hieu Pham, Leo Solter, Heiko Fechner, Moritz Höhne, Sebastian Urbanski

Production : Mario Sanz (Orna Cine), Luis Cerveró (Terranova).

Filmography : ΕΥΡΩΠΗ, 2016.

INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR