Parallellogram

Kladaradatsch! Palace

10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 Mei/mai/May 20:00
11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 Mei/mai/May 18:00
Duur/Durée/Duration: +/- 45'
Wereldpremière/Première mondiale/Worldpremière

"Mum stares at dad. Dad seems strange. Brother is pleased because his sister is crying. Mum is leaving. Now brother is strange too. Dad and sister watch mum who is crying because brother is crying because she is going." In their film, Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys amuse themselves by revealing things that have gone skew-whiff, but still believe themselves to be normal. A family of four is laid bare. In a cramped environment, that of their mental space, the characters slip into each other. Their words and gestures slip and slide, out of sync with what is intended and desired. The result is Parallellogram, a geometric shape that seems to be an unstable rectangle. It is an ‘oblique' tale about the difficulty of speaking and being heard.

Een film van/Un film de/A film by: Jos de Gruyter, Harald Thys
Acteurs/Actors: Christoffel de Gruyter, Ryan de Gruyter, You Kuyl, Marianne Thys
Productie/Production: GYPEX (Brussel/Bruxelles)
Coproductie/Coproduction: Jan van Eyck Academie, Fine Art Department (Maastricht), KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Met de steun van/Avec le soutien de/Supported by: Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest
Distributie/Distribution: Argos (Brussel/Bruxelles)
Presentatie: Kladaradatsch! Palace, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

Back to top

"Mum stares at dad. Dad seems strange. Brother is pleased because sister is crying. Mum is leaving. Now brother is strange too. Dad and sister watch mum who is crying because brother is crying because she is leaving." In their film, Parallellogram, Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys have fun by revealing things that have gone skew-whiff but still think that they are on the straight and narrow.

Now for a quick lesson in geometry. "The parallelogram is a variant of the rectangle or, if you prefer, a deformed rectangle. The left and right sides (width) and the top and bottom sides (height) come in pairs, always parallel. But whichever way you look at the shape, it always has two oblique sides. These look as if they are about to collapse but the other two stop that from happening." This fixed state of collapse applies to the characters in Parallellogram - they fall down on their horizontal foundation because the structure to which they subscribe, their family, is a deformed plane. This oblique structure is their mental space, in which the characters slip into each other.

Lost, they try to communicate or avoid one another, using a language of impenetrable banality. The long dialogues persist in taking up where they left off - they stunt the characters and prevent any sort of development. « An apple tart is taken to be a pear tart because mum thought that's what it was. A cousin has something wrong with his voice, it is claimed, so he can't phone. The brother sometimes has the father's face, the sister at times has the mother's voice. Their words and movements slide, detached from how they are intended to be. The events take place in practically empty rooms. There are some functional objects, a cupboard or an armchair claim a place in the space, giving them a presence almost as prominent as that of the characters. The constellation of the members of this family was predetermined before they were even born. »

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys like experimenting with the computer. They program their characters in a way they have not chosen and from which they are unable to deviate. The style is minimalist. Thus their characters are determined by the structure. The filmmakers remove all thinking from them, so that they appear ‘autistic' to the world, the mind deteriorating. Harald took inspiration from the experiences he had working in the field of psychiatry. But it is all far removed from establishing a cold medical protocol of disturbed patients. The two collaborators shift their framework. "It is their (in)human environment that presents the afflicted people as ‘strangeified' and ‘abnormal'. It is an environment lacking spirituality and love."

Back to top