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  A look at Pierre Coulibeuf - short and Medium-length films  

 
  > Klossowski, peintre-exorciste (1987-1988)   > Le Démon du passage (1995)
  > Le Gai savoir de Valerio Adami (1989)   > Insomnie (1995)
  > Divertissement à la maison de Balzac (1989)   > Rubato (1995)
  > La Chambre des muses (1990)   > Cartographie (1998)
  > Alechinsky sur Rhône (1990)   > Michel Butor Mobile (2000)
  > PAB l'enchanteur (1991)   > Lost Paradise (2002)
  > Le Temps de voir... (series of 11 films) (1991-1992)   > Amour neutre (2005)
  > Samout et Moutnefret (1992)   > Pavillon noir (2006)
  > L'Oeil du poète (1992)   > Magnetic Cinema (2008)
  > Le Bureau de l'homme noir (1993)   > Dédale (2009)
      > Crossover (2009)
       
> Feature-length films    
 
Klossowski, peintre-exorciste

Klossowski, peintre-exorciste

1988, 25 mn starring Jean-Emile Genvrin, François Mussard, Sybille Grimbert, Pierre Klossowski, Lucie Lens

At the gallery: A short fiction with three characters that takes place primarily at the Galerie Beaubourg in Paris, during a Pierre Klossowski exhibition on the theme of Saint Nicholas's Day.
The fantasy of François, provoked by reading La Ressemblance, unfolds round the specular-and delighted-contemplation of paintings that present three young boys as victims-or heroes? -of a popular fiction.

Mirror-Images: The reading of Pierre Klossowski's The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes brings François to the Louvre, in front of La Grande Odalisque. Then François goes to a gallery in Antwerp , guided by an obsession... With a camera, he endeavours to surprise the 'spirits' that inhabit the contemplated figures. François gradually lets himself be seized by the demons who provoke his successive framings and reframings... He is finally 'possessed' in turn. Upon returning to Paris , with the help of the snapshots he's brought back, he attempts to reactivate the sensations felt in the gallery. Would the devil that inhabited him in Antwerp consent to showing itself in an identifiable form?

The coloured pencils: A parodical fiction based on literary and pictorial figures drawn from the works of Pierre Klossowski. The fantasy of the female character shows the spectator different masks from Roberte, behind which the adolescent figure appears, in mirror... Pierre Klossowski is presented in his studio under the mischievous regard of François. The fantasy is thus transposed to the artist's studio.

> Filmmaker's note (pdf)

> Summary
Le Gai savoir de Valerio Adami

Le Gai savoir de Valerio Adami

1989, 11 mn,
starring Valerio Adami

'The tragic artist is not a pessimist: he says yes to everything, which is problematical and terrible; he is Dionysian' (F. Nietzsche).

The portrait of Nietzsche, drawn by Valerio Adami in 1966, appears as the frontispiece for Carnets de notes de l'artiste. Throughout the film, reflections on the genesis of his paintings punctuate the different sequences.

Adami's free associations escape from immobile historical time; in each painting they organise past and current signs, visual souvenirs called up by the memory and reinterpreted by the artist's imagination. Coulibeuf's film simulates this mental process.

In the film, Adami's work in progress (he is painting a fresco for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris), along with recently exhibited works or those yet unpublished, give rise in turn to this memory work that nourishes the artist's paintings.

> Summary
Divertissement à la maison de Balzac

Divertissement à la maison de Balzac

1989, 12 mn
starring Pierre Alechinsky, Michel Butor, Sybille Grimbert, François Mussard

In the Passy quarter of Paris , there is a crush of visitors before the entrance of Balzac's house. One perceives the hubbub of a lively evening. The reading of Balzac's Treatise on Modern Stimulants inspires 'illustrations' by the painter Alechinsky: linocuts in the bibliophilism work, etchings and large-sized India-ink drawings exhibited at Balzac's house. In his studio, the painter executes watercolour variations of his linocuts; in the garden, writer Michel Butor meditates, imagining his 'scenes of exciting life'. The painter's representations blend with the writer's, and sheets of dream stretch away.

> Summary
La Chambre des muses

La Chambre des muses

1990, 25 mn
starring Gaia Riposati, François Mussard

At the Villa Médicis in Rome , in the universe of the cycles of the Eternal Return... The hero: a traveller attracted by the spirit of the place, as a movement happens to carry him off, bringing him back in various places in the Villa and modifying his identity without his understanding the law. 'This life, such as you are living it now and have lived it, you must live it once again and countless times,' a voice whispers to him when, for the first time, he contemplates the ceiling of the Chamber of Muses. He feels haunted by the strange impression of reliving things that had happened to him in the past.

> Summary
Alechinsky sur Rhône

Alechinsky sur Rhône

1990, 23 mn
starring Pierre Alechinsky

Pierre Coulibeuf stages different moments in the creative work of Pierre Alechinsky in his studio near Arles in the South of France.

The painter's works seem to imitate the forces that make up and transform the natural elements, especially water, the power of metamorphosis that inspires the works carried out.

 



> Summary
PAB l'enchanteur

PAB l'enchanteur

1991, 30 mn
starring Pierre-André Benoit

Far removed from the usual publishing circuits, Pierre-André Benoit - or 'PAB' as his friends call him - stands out as a 'singularity': a poet himself printing books that unlike any others: 'les minuscules'. Not taking himself seriously, the man presents his books as trivia, pure amusements. His playmates are René Char, Jean Hugo, Picasso, Braque, Miro, Dubuffet, Picabia or Alechinsky . Portrait of a dilettante artist.

> Summary
Le Temps de voir... (series of 11 short films)

Le Temps de voir...

1991-1993, Series of 11 short films

The singular viewpoint of eleven contemporary artists on a work of art of their choosing.

This series constitutes a preparatory work that found its definitive form in the director's feature-length film C'est de l'art.

 




1.     Le Vase de Fleurs (1924) by Francis PICABIA   with Jacques MONORY                    
2.     Le Nu dans le Bain (1937) by Pierre BONNARD  with Henri CUECO
3.     Le Grand Sanglier noir (1926) by Jean FAUTRIER  with Pierre BURAGLIO
4.     La Pisseuse (1965) by Pablo PICASSO  with Ernest PIGNON-ERNEST                
5.     L'Oiseau (1962) by Georges BRAQUE  with Pierre-André BENOIT
6.     Rythme n°2 (1938) by Robert DELAUNAY  with Jean LE GAC
7.     Two Black Angles (1944) by Kurt SCHWITTERS  with Gérard TITUS-CARMEL
8.     Autoportrait (1924-26) by Chaïm SOUTINE  with Gérard FROMANGER                    
9.     Les Loisirs (1948-49) by Fernand LÉGER  with Jean-Pierre PINCEMIN
10. Les Nymphéas (1914-26) by Claude MONET  with Louis CANE
11. La Vierge au Chancelier Rolin (v. 1435) by Jan Van EYCK  with Christian JACCARD 
> Summary
Samout et Moutnefret

Samout et Moutnefret

1992, 9 mn
starring Jean-Pierre Bertrand

In the Egyptian Antiquities department of the Louvre Museum, a statuette dating from 1450-1420 BC and depicting a couple: Samut and Mutnofret. Artist Jean-Pierre Bertrand tells about his encounter with the Egyptian statuette.

(This film is autonomous but also part of the director's feature-length film C'est de l'art).

> See the film

> Summary
L'Oeil du poète

L'Oeil du poète

1992, 7 mn
starring Pierre Alechinsky

Film poem. Pierre Alechinsky's oeuvre inspired a poem by Jean Tardieu. Le Portrait à la diable, read by the author, lends itself to listening as if composed of music, sensations and significations. In counterpoint to the pictorial work that unfolds before the viewer, the poetic text offers us new visions and paths to follow, suggesting figures and landscapes and opening up spaces. The film creates a universe in constant transformation.

> Summary
Le Bureau de l'homme noir

Le Bureau de l'homme noir

1993, 20 mn
starring Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jean-François Chevrier, Maria Pioppi

The character of the dark man - a figure detached from Pistoletto's early self-portraits - is the role played by the artist when he is freed from his works and begins to administer the images of the past, the images of memory.

The troubling presence of the dark man haunts the film like the shadow of the past mingling with the present - inspiring a time out of a joint, a world of illusion where things are constantly doubled, redoubled.

(This film is the first part of the feature-length film by Pierre Coulibeuf L'Homme noir).



> Summary
Le Démon du passage

Le Démon du passage

1995, 14 mn
starring Kristina Solomoukha, Aude Du Pasquier Grall, Delphine Doukhan, Pierre Thoretton, Xavier Noiret-Thomé

Is it a detective enigma or else a love game?... Something is in the process of being created on the surface of the chaos, according to an obscure, incomprehensible puzzle that is striving towards its solution... insinuating an Idea... drawing a Figure... A series of strange signs join together in an atmosphere of a (false) treasure hunt... Sorts of hieroglyphics appear here and there, fortuitously making contact and drawing moving Figures...

The film reconstructs-fictitiously-the chain of mental images that surge up from the visions of photographer Jean-Luc Moulène.

> Filmmaker's note (pdf)

> Summary
Insomnie

Insomnie

1995, 28 mn

Filmed in residence at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec in Brittany during the 1995-96 meetings between visual artists and theatre, dance, cinema, music, literature, song and photography, this film is the first part of the feature-length film by Pierre Coulibeuf Le Grand Récit, released in 1997.

> Summary
Rubato

Insomnie

1995, 6 mn
starring Cristina Pistoletto, Denys Zacharopoulos, Xavier Noiret-Thomé, Marie-France Eriau, Alain Benoit, Cécile de Beaulieu, Jenny Coroner


Experimental fiction. This film has been conceived in the scenery of the large lounge at the Domaine of Kerguéhennec's castle (Brittany, France), from a few works by Michelangelo Pistoletto and a performance by Cristina Pistoletto.

The work "Rubato" is part of a cross-disciplinary project which, in this case, makes the connection between cinema, sculpture, poetry and performance.

> Summary
Cartographie

Cartographie

1998, 30 mn
starring Isabelle Delamont, Pia Viewing

Two young women travel up and down the Limousin region of France by car, looking for art works located in public areas. They are equipped with maps, guides and information cards. A journey In the form of a treasure hunt - between the real and the imaginary...

The film constructs a pluridirectional space, a circular narrative structure in which the works blend with the landscapes - nature, cities, villages - that both separate and bring them together. The works infer a new regional map - but a map that is still evolving for it is always being started over. The film surveys, the very cartography of countries to come.

> Filmmaker's note (pdf)

> Summary
Michel Butor Mobile

Michel Butor Mobile

1999, 61 mn
starring Michel Butor, Mireille Calle-Gruber

An attempt at reconstructing a visit with writer Michel Butor.

A few clues: a book: La Modification; a group: the nouveau roman; a trip to America ; a border.

The film's 'serial' structure induces combinatorial activity and free associations, proposing numerous playful itineraries and suggesting a universe based on fragmentation, repetition and modification.

> Filmmaker's note (pdf)

> Summary
Lost Paradise

Lost Paradise

2002, 33 mn
starring Jean-Marc Bustamante, Karine Jovelin, Marc-Ernest Fourneau, Agnieszka Slosarska


A fiction (mental journey), Lost Paradise was based on the work by photographer Jean-Marc Bustamante, in particular, starting from a production of the artist: La Maison close (2001), an architecture-sculpture located in Orléans (France).

The film tries to simulate a spiritual arrangement, a movement or attitude, a turn of thought and circumlocutions, a feeling or sensation; in other words, simulating (communicating) an invisible agitation.
If the relationship of Man to the world can be sensed as problematic, and the world itself as uncertain, enigmatic and elusive, the plastic work, and therefore filmic, far from pretending to give meaning to the world can only echo a strange familiarity.
A feeling of melancholy accompanies the little bit of the world's reality, its silent, enigmatic presence: 'the restraint of things in their latent state' (Maurice Blanchot).
Lost Paradise suggests this distance between Man and the world, this state of vague melancholy provoked by a longing for infinity and the abolition of limits-a longing doomed to never being assuaged.

Three places. Three situations with characters.

> See the film
> Filmmaker's note (pdf)

> Summary
Amour neutre

Amour neutre

2005, 28 mn
starring Chloé Aujard, Eve Bitoun, Thomas Clerc, Marc-Ernest Fourneau

« The neuter does not seduce or attract: therein lies its dizzying attraction against which nothing preserves. » Maurice Blanchot.

A fictional process. An amorous relationship in the process of falling apart? A semblance of narrative, a sketch of diegesis, the fragments of an encounter between a man and a woman: an 'encounter of the crossing', marked by return, splitting, distance. Indecisive attitudes suddenly suspended or contradictory, toneless voices. Figures, and not characters. The figure is this form that approaches and frees itself from the notion of character, which reduces presence to a borderline state and ruins representation. The figure strays from the real. This obliteration and ambiguity of the figure signal the vagueness of the subject, the loss of its unity, a relationship to the world of order and enigma. The figure as a simple appearance, a mental projection. The faces, like strange apparitions, separated from the setting, capture almost all the attention. Here, the faces, like the landscapes, are the site of sensation. The immaterial voices are free of all psychological expression. Amour Neutre: the proposal of a world that is not the representation of what is real but its reflection.

> Summary
Pavillon noir

Pavillon noir

2006, 23 mn
starring Angelin Preljocaj, Graig Dawson, Sergio Diaz, Céline Galli, Thomas Michaux, Lorena O'Neill, Zaratiana Randrianantenaina, Nagisa Shirai


Parodic fiction with special creations by Angelin Preljocaj. The seven characters who move in the architecture of Rudy Ricciotti's Pavillon Noir break shamelessly with the codes of choreography and cinema: contamination, overflow, distance, - fiction tests reality.

The film Pavillon noir is part of a cross-disciplinary project that, in this case, brings together architecture, choreography and cinema. The work aims to create a space "on the border" (of artistic disciplines and categories as well as of genres of the moving image), exactly where the individuals and things transform themselves, change their status, their identity. As a double or an mirrored image of reality. The disinclination becomes their main characteristic. This other reality is made at times visible by obscure forces in the individual: the drive world causes brusque disturbances to reality, multiple incidents, abrupt breaks of the narrative's flow. The film's reality is at the same time strange and familiar. Like little "demons", the characters parody with drive the fictional stereotypes of cinema or films for the television (sitcom, etc.).

> Summary
Magnetic Cinema

Magnetic Cinema

2008, 33 mn
starring   Germana Civera, Hanna Hedman, Saskia Hölbling, Benoît Lachambre, Moravia Naranjo, Fabrice Ramalingom, Stephen Thompson

Inspired by Lugares Comunes by Canadian choreographer Benoît Lachambre, the film touches on the sphere of the supernatural. An interplay of multiple energies links the film's characters to the natural elements-air, water, plant and mineral-leading to strange, instinctual body movements. These characters have an android double, haunted by another, non-human will. They move about in a magnetic space where corporal language takes the place of the verbal. Cinema - as the art of suggestion, the art of dark, obsessive forces - attests to the cyclical nature of existence. Thus do waves live...

> See the film

> Summary
Dédale

Dédale

2009, 26 mn
starring   Vania Rovisco, Matheus Walter

Experimental fiction inspired by the universe of the Brazilian painter Iberê Camargo as well as Alvaro Siza's building in Porto Alegre. The particular, labyrinthine shape of the building conceived by Álvaro Siza for the Iberê Camargo Foundation determined the actual form of Dédale*. In the film, this building represents a mise en abyme.

The work of Iberê Camargo appears here as a living nucleus, a 'nucleus in expansion', to borrow the title of one of Camargo's paintings. The female character of the film, like Ariadne in mythology, guides us - and loses us - in this place. Thanks to Ariadne, this place attracts an Outside which doubles, extends - as a mental projection - the labyrinth induced by Ariadne's movements within Siza's building. Ad infinitum. Ariadne's thread - the cinematic continuity - is a deception. This time, there is no happy ending. Like another version of the legend, Ariadne does not leave the labyrinth (nor does Theseus): instead, the female character undergoes a strange, endlessly renewed experience of loss of identity, passing from one world to another... *Dédale (in ancient Greek: Daidalos, meaning 'artistically worked') is an Athenian character from Greek mythology, a member of the royal family descended from Cecrops, the founder of Athens . Daedalus was a reputed inventor, sculptor and a great architect, combining aesthetic genius with technical ingenuity. He was sent by King Minos to conceive a labyrinth to imprison the King's monstrous son, the Minotaur. In French, dédale also means labyrinth.

> Summary
Crossover

Crossover

2009, 28 mn
starring  Erna Omarsdottir, PONI, Rodolphe Coster, Lieven Dousselaere, Marc Lallemand, Kate McIntosh, Frank Pay, Charles Blondeel

Pierre Coulibeuf projects Erna Omarsdottir into her own imaginative universe and composes a character through the looking-glass. A manifold identity, Erna combines innocence and perversity-her Lolita side-, excess and cruelty. A body, a face in constant metamorphosis...

Extreme plasticity and expressivity... Sometimes the face of an angel, sometimes that of a demon. In the film Crossover, the rock band Poni appears from the point of view of the character played by Erna Omarsdottir: Poni is both an imagining of Erna and (almost) a recorded reality. In fact, it is on the borderline between the real and the imaginary: the shots featuring the musicians of Poni of course bring to mind a concert, but the daylight that lights them, conceived for the film, a light without any theatrical effect, 'de-realises' them and plunges them into an imaginary world. This de-realisation effect is reinforced by the use of very long focal lengths (150 and 300 mm ), which give the two singers, Erna Omarsdottir and Kate MacIntosh, an exceptional presence that is nearly unreal. In fact, the shots with Poni simulate the concert: they play as if they were in concert but on a stage turned into a film set. This thoroughly strange situation gives their music a tension or a particular intensity. It is in that context that Poni produced their music: both the same and another, different. The sound of the film is live (without any miming or re-recording).

> Summary