The Cutting

11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 Mei/Mai/May 20:00
10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 Mei/Mai/May 18:00
Duur/Durée/Duration: +/- 1:30
Wereldpremière/Première mondiale/Worldpremière

A deep track, two cars, headlamps lit, engines dead, three men lost, bleeding stomachs and a total mystery as to why they are there in a wood at night. Peter Missotten has directed The Cutting which can mean a cut in the skin, a deep track or film editing. It is a philosophical and zany thriller about the loss of causality. Paul Pourveur wrote the script, applying theories of quantum mechanics and relativity. Three characters provide three different reactions to the loss of all logic. It is a case of the Spice Girls and Sherlock Holmes versus Albert Einstein.

Een film van/Un film de/A film by: Peter Missotten, Bram Smeyers

Scenario/Scénario: Paul Pourveur
Acteurs/Actors: Geert Vaes, Benjamin Verdonck, Joost Wijnant
Fotografie/Photographie/Photography: Jan Dellaert
Montage/Editing: Nico Leunen
Geluidsband/Bande Son/Soundtrack: Klaas Verpoest e.a.
Regieassistent/Assistant à la mise en scène/First assistant: Stoffel Van Verrewegen
Electro's/Electriciens/Electricians: Tom Reniers, Jan Van Ghysens
Opnameleiding/Régisseur/Location manager: Johan Ghysens
Assistent opnameleiding/Régisseur adjoint/Assistant location manager: Gunther Robeets
Catering: Dirk Gillis
Visual Fx Supervisor: Wies Hermans
Visual Fx make-up: Fransesco Rossi
Productie/Production: Hans Bocxstael - De Filmfabriek (Bierbeek)
Coproductie/Coproduction: Fonds Film in Vlaanderen, Folkwang Institut für Medientechnologie (D), KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Presentatie: Kladaradatsch! Palace, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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The scene is a dense forest with a deep track cutting through it. It is dark. There are two cars in the middle of the forest, their headlights on but the engines off. First one man, then a second and a third come and go in the light. Drawn to the glare like insects, they keep trying to escape, crawling away but quickly ending up back where they started. It is a scientific, absurd and ludicrous tragedy, set in a space-time whose eternal curve turns back on itself ad infinitum.

"The Cutting is a philosophical thriller about relativity and uncertainty. Its title is ambiguous. It can mean a cut on the skin, a deep track through a wood and film editing which can vary the viewpoints and create relative space and time. The Cutting is a sharp analysis of eternal thoughts, dreams and human behaviour."

With a background in theatre, Paul Pourveur wrote this zany and caustic script that has now been made into a film by Peter Missotten. His dramatic writing is inspired by a new perception of the world that has come from quantum mechanics and relativity. Evidence of this is that reference material for The Cutting comes from the pages of Heisenberg, Einstein and Jung.

The Cutting starts with an everyday event. Standing on a ridge dominating the industrial landscape, Wout and Frank are chatting like old friends. Wout says he does not want to die because of misplaced causality and that Einstein maintains it is illusory to make a distinction between the past, present and future. Frank agrees, quoting the Spice Girls - « far more fuckable in his view than that old codger Einstein » - « if you want my future, forget my past ».

Suddenly paranoia sets in. "We're an easy target here, we have to split up" - obviously fearing the consequences of something they did in the past. They decide to go on the run in opposite directions - one heads south, the other north - before turning back in the opposite direction to savour the pleasure of meeting up again in an idyllic setting - the Gileppe dam, their Niagara. Three months later, without having changed direction, they meet up by accident in ‘the cutting', a track enclosed by the darkness of trees, wild rabbits and strange moaning sounds. There they bump into Paul, their supposed assassin.

Peter Missotten says, "I wanted to make a film with a deep track and two cars, putting in three wounded men who are trying to confront their anxiety by talking and closing up their deep wounds with traditional stitching. With these scientific discussions containing a background of philosophy, Paul Pourveur has created characters with different types of behaviour. There is Wout who relativises everything, Frank who is obsessed with sex and Paul, the narrow-minded determinist persuaded by the logical connection between cause and effect. Their crisis - a loss of blood - allowed the development of the heroic naivety of their male solidarity, this element of ‘conquering one's limitations', the obsession of wanting to understand everything."

"The fate of these three characters is predictable," says Paul Pourveur. "They're in a causal reality. But inside this reality, this empty nowhere, uncertainty rules. Past and present coincide, north and south are in the same place. They receive no further explanation and this loss of causality becomes a nightmare, like a bad gash in flesh. We're familiar with the skin on the outside, but once you cut the surface you discover an organic interior that appears chaotic and abstract. This strangeness is terrifying. The wound has to be closed up, whatever happens. It's the same in the film - they have to get away from the illuminated track cutting through the forest where they are in. Hiding in the dark ends up being more reassuring than giving in to this prison-like situation governed by randomness."

"What I like about Paul's dialogues" Peter Missotten says, "is that the young actors in it can carry off his scientific dialogue in an extremely natural way. Their conversations are disarmingly simple because they are convinced of the danger they're in. Besides, theories on relativity and synchronicity are at the heart of all thrillers. An image alone says nothing and means nothing. It is waiting to be connected to sound to have any meaning. If we split sound information from picture information, then tension mounts and suspense is created. If we upset the connections between cause and effect through editing, then anxiety is experienced because the consequence of a piece of evidence emerges where we least expect it. If a fragment of reality shown is replaced by another that bears witness to a different version, then perception is disturbed and doubt sets in. It's fascinating. In this respect Paul's scenario shows a rigorous construction. As a matter of fact, history - the who, what, how and why - is outside film. In film, there are only consequences and the only result of their brilliant cogitations is the pathetic death of three blokes who can't laugh because their wounds hurt."

Paul Pourveur says, "Theatre has evolved towards new forms of drama that are no longer based on psychology alone, while television has remained terribly traditional. It gives the illusion that everything is understandable in a few minutes because it is has a duty to be relaxing and comforting. The Cutting tries to escape causality and create uncertainty."

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