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Vagabonding Images

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Visions du Réel Nyon 1998

Vagabonding Images

CH 1998 48'

Director: Nicolas Humbert, Simone Fürbringer
Script: Nicolas Humbert, Simone Fürbringer
Camera: Nicolas Humbert, Simone Fürbringer
Sound: Nicolas Humbert, Simone Fürbringer
Editing: Nicolas Humbert, Simone Fürbringer
Music: Guy Klucevsek, Glenn Branca, Artbears
Production: SIMNIC FILMS


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Nicolas Humbert, Simone Fürbringer CH 1998 48'

A film that ressembles a dream. Shot over a period of several years, it is composed of fragments of memory and moments of life woven together to create a sequence of microscopic stories. VAGABONDING IMAGES is a film that plays with the forms of cinematic language inspired by the poetic collage techniques of the French Surrealists and Japanese Haiku poets.

This is the story of a couple, a family, the ages of man, from birth to death. It is a very simple history of cinema, weaving together images and sounds which are as fragile as hidden memories. From the indecipherable visual signs sketching shapes which gradually take form during a fragmented account up until its concluding return to the initial enigmatic images, VAGABONDING IMAGES is composed primarily of penetrating images. Shot over a period of several years, these images are for the most part fragmented. They cut up bodies, faces, an animal, a forest, heavy snowfall, and waves on a beach into details. The legs and buttocks of a woman swimming, the feet of a child, the ears of the animal. These images, these film shots, act like small stories of perception which consist of capturing shapes and light with the creative openness required by improvisation. The images flicker, and dots of black, white and color give the film its frailty and allow it to confer a fascinating density upon the subjects it portrays. The Super 8 film transferred to 16 mm proved to be an important aesthetic choice, avoiding the academic constraints of other formats.
The filmmakers have associated visual fragments with one another, thereby suggesting very short stories which they immediately leave suspended, available and accessible. Fade-outs, surprising combinations of heterogeneous images, sounds and music out of sync, the fitting intrusions of voices reciting texts by Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost and André Breton all create a poetic sense of time. VAGABONDING IMAGES is a film inspired by dreams, by memories which, as they emerge, weave together the stories of lives as they unfold in intimate detail. Important in the making of this film, which Simone Fürbringer and Nicolas Humbert qualify as a cadavre exquis, was the fact that the two filmmakers working together sought to keep control over the element of chance. Working first separately, then together, they looked among the thousands of possible combinations of fragments for the best place for each image so as to imbue their film with the same density as a haiku. The rowboat on the grey lake, the black bird in the sky, the village in the Siberian rain, the stretched belly of the pregnant woman, and the old hands cutting an apple combine to tell archaic stories for which the inspirational vagabonding images are the magnificent secular icons of our dreams and our nightmares.
Jean Perret, Visions du Réel Nyon 1998