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Balifilm

Visions du Réel Nyon 1990

Balifilm

CA 1997 28'

Réalisation: Peter Mettler
Scénario: Peter Mettler
Image: Peter Mettler
Son: Peter Mettler
Montage: Peter Mettler
Musique: The Evergreen Club Gamelan
Production: Grimthorpe Film


Internet:
Visions du Réel Nyon 1997: Fiche BALIFILM (BALI 1990, 1992)



Peter Mettler CA 1997 28'

BALIFILM was originally commissioned as a stage performance, created from diary images and sounds collected in 1990 and 1992 by Peter Mettler on the island of Bali. The soundtrack is a live recording of eight Gamelan musicians playing the bronze and wooden instruments of Indonesia during the projection of the film. BALIFILM is a personal, lyrical observation and expression of the creative pulse of an extraordinary culture.

"bali 1990, 1992. Setting the film so precisely in time may seemsurprising. For what it shows belongs to the eternal dialoguebetween the visible and the invisible, the audible and the inaudible,the temporal and the timeless. In other words, to the scintillatingto-ing and fro-ing of the intangible, to the perpetual motionof that which escapes from every attempt to pin it down – evenphotographically. It amounts to a simple dance – the highpointof a solemn religious celebration, the preparations for which arerecorded by the filmmaker's camera under an open sky. Withoutcomment, unless one counts the music (composed elsewhere),which is both empathic – making use of the island's traditionalinstruments – and remote, and which composes a haunting andrepetitive incantation, slightly out of synch with the images.It is a dance, then, but a dance between shape and light, bodyand soul, the earthly and the celestial, the human and the divine.Nature, crops and then the elements are summoned beforegiving way to the ceremony proper. On temple friezes, gods andgoddesses abandon themselves to their symbolic dances. Menand women follow likewise. The shapes of the stones give substanceto the flesh of bodies which are sublimated into puremechanical movement and grace. The struggles or the stylisedembraces between beings become one and the same.Eurhythmics. The film has no pretensions to didacticism, or evenethnology. What interests Peter Mettler is the interplay betweenlines, the potential time-lags, the pauses, slow-motions and slightjerkiness that the editing inserts to hypnotising effect. And then,at the height of the celebration, amidst the offerings and thesolemn processions, the camera seizes upon a face, and thenanother. The face of a young woman, smiling, standing outsidethe action, the face of a tourist, camera in hand. Finally, serenenature reappears to reclaim its rightful place. Thus the film isdoubly structured: on the one hand through a great unity in itsprogression – the preparations for the briefly presented ceremony– and on the other through these evocative little slips whichgradually enable the film to escape the precise time of the hereand now. Hence the film in turn becomes offering and donation,the link between being and its transcendence."
Visions du Réel Nyon