Playing with archive footage
Benoît Gisler from the band yokonoe has published a new album in 2021: Núrhea. Ben proposed three songs from the new album to be translated into a video. I chose the longest one from the list. The video is over 10 minutes long! Yes, it is not the best idea to promote a new album through a very long song, but this was the song that spoke to me the most. And since Ben gave me “carte blanche” for the creative process I put aside any commercial and promotional consideration and dived into this wide open creative space.
Exploring creative processes
The music is about death and how to deal with the loss of someone close. Mixed into the songs are excerpts from news reports on the general strike in 1936 in France. The kaleidoscope has been another inspiration for this album.
The historic excerpts directed me towards images of steal, of steam, of industrialization. Here the Prelinger Archives on the Internet Archive is a source I very much recommend.
The longing for someone lost I translated into images of a woman walking away from the camera. Her face is never seen clearly. A love story that is no more.
These two image ideas - industrialization, lost love - came to me very early in the process. I decided to play with them, mix them without knowing where it would lead me. This creative process is in contrast to how I usually approach films for my clients, where I fix the story and images before production starts.
I let myself be influenced by the music and the images without any intellectual thought on what the mix might suggest. While playing with the footage I realised that a third element is necessary: Ben, the singer, as the actor and counterpart to the actress.
The result is a spiritual trip into melancholy, longing, as well as live’s reality of symmetry and asymmetry.