Null Sonne No Point
CH 1997 35'
Director: Nicolas Humbert, Werner Penzel
Sound: Jean Vapeur, Günter Hess, Richard Tratschner
Music: Art Ensemble of Chicago, Hartmut Geerken
This film is the magnificent chronicle of the preparation for a concert by the Chicago Art Ensemble. Shot by Werner Penzel and Nicolas Humbert, it invites us into the studio, into the very heart of the music. During the magic rehearsal period, the directors manage to capture the moments of grace as well as the moments of emptiness and boredom. They convey the laughter, the atmosphere and the state of mind that animates this stage of the creative process via the gestures and faces of the musicians as they listen to each other and improvise. Thanks to a great sobriety, neat and inventive editing, and some remarkably subtle camerawork, null sonne no point seems to melt and blend into the music. The rhythm of the transitions, the cuts and the black or white fade outs concentrate attention on the essential and make the sound almost visible. The very tight framing maintains a constant tension and through its minimalism creates interplay between shapes and light which takes on the role of a visual equivalent to the music. The editing, in the form of non-linear fragments, short cuts, constructs the story as if it were a score. Through poetic texts voiced through a megaphone and a short interview, we are also led to understand the entire spiritual dimension which forms an integral part of this group. NULL SONNE NO POINT is much more than a simple narrative; it is an attempt to compose with film. In a non-conventional and unrestricted way the directors play with their subject, and moving beyond the simple dimension of sound show that music is a way of being and that it is continually overflowing into life.
Visions du Réel Nyon 1997