Es ist immer Krieg.

    21/05  | 19:30
    23/05  | 19:30
    25/05  | 17:30
    26/05  | 21:30

€ 8 / € 6
92 min
IT, DE, NL, EN, IS, FR, Lomongo > FR / NL

Meet the artist after the screening on 23/05

Somewhere between speculation and reality, Annik Leroy’s installation and meditative films explore the dark areas of European history. At this year’s festival, the artist is premiering her latest film, a very personal work packed with references to history and the history of art. TREMOR is driven by the voices that run through it – the voices of poets and madmen, of a mother or a child. From reflexive thought to spontaneous account, from witness statement to fiction, in turn they talk about their experience of violence and war. We listen to them while our gaze is taken to places and scarred landscapes that are impossible to place. Noises from elsewhere filter through. The image becomes distorted and porous. Music starts to play. The film hones in on the presence of a pianist, before diffracting again... TREMOR is a sensory journey between memory and nightmare. An act of resistance.

A film written & directed by
Annik Leroy

Johan Bossers, Séraphina De Breucker, Guy Wouete

Camera, sound & editing
Julie Morel & Annik Leroy

Additional camera
Els van Riel

Sound editing
Julie Morel & Frédéric Furnelle

Sound mixing
Frédéric Furnelle, A Sound studio

Sound effects
Philippe Van Leer

Color grading & titles
Michaël Cinquin, Charbon studio

Sublimages & Boris Belay

Giacinto Scelsi, Suite N°11 for piano, performed by Johan Bossers; Jupiter & Okwess International, Djwende Talelaka

Pier Paolo Pasolini, Profezia; Ingeborg Bachmann, Malina; Fernando Nannetti; Barbara Suckfüll

With the voices of
Maurizio Guerandi, Rúnar Bogason, Pungu Aaron, Ingeborg Bachmann, Alberto Moravia, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sigmund & Anna Freud, Friedrich Zawrel, Herbert Fritsch

Thanks to
Sven Augustijnen, Christophe Slagmuylder, Corinne Diserens, Stoffel Debuysere, Jean-Pierre Rehm, Eva Houdova, Michela Alessandrini, Isabelle Rey, Patrick Taliercio, Hans Martens, Félix Blume, Véronique Du Moulin, Jana Renate Illge, Rúnar Bogason, Simona Denicolai, Giulia Angrisani, Barbara Schild, Ruben Diwantessa, Vera Schlusmans, Marie Vermeiren, Alain Marchal, Fredji Hayebin, Alain Pinpin, Jana Coorevits, Sophie Gayerie


Kunstenfestivaldesarts, CINEMATEK, Flagey

Cobra Films (Daniel De Valck & Anne Deligne), Auguste Orts (Marie Logie & Anne Goossens)

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Centre de l’Audiovisuel à Bruxelles

With the support of
Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie

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Es ist immer Krieg.

At the beginning of TREMOR, the rough and wild beauty of Iceland is experienced as a very intense physical immersion. These deserted, sometimes even devastated places are places of resonance for certain voices in the film. They refer to the subjective experience of violence, destruction, and conflict. Strange and powerful sounds erupt in every direction. Cracklings, blasts, squirts, creaks … These terrestrial noises arouse intranquillity and fascination.

The ‘tremor’ designates, on the one hand, the imperceptible vibrations that signal the imminence of a volcanic eruption, and on the other, the involuntary trembling of the human body. The camera becomes a terrestrial and sensitive object capable of capturing these two external and internal dimensions of the vibration. The camera body is unbalanced, it loses its centre of gravity, it sticks to surfaces or sinks into spaces whose contours are lost. The film reacts physically to the innumerable variations of light and allows the light to capture with great subtlety the depth of the places and the bodies. The black and white images plunge us into a dimension other than that of realism. To record a film in black and white is to switch to another dimension and open a vision in the artistic sense.

TREMOR is animated by the desire to make singular voices understood, voices from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, each having its own poetic strength. The voices were chosen according to the literary, artistic, and intimate encounters that have marked the creation of the film. Spontaneous speech, socio-political analysis, elaborated or literary vision – each voice tries to make a place in the world.

Es ist immer Krieg (‘It is always war’) serves as a subtitle for TREMOR. These four words, this short sentence from the novel Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann, gives rise to numerous interpretations. It speaks of internal conflict and non-reconciliation in the wars of the past and the present. Here, there were no images taken inside the conflicts because one has to create one’s own images.

“Malina: So you will no longer say: war and peace.
Me: Never again.
Here, it is always war.
Here, it is always violence.
Always the fighting.
It is eternal war.”
Ingeborg Bachmann

In the film, the voices are conveyed in five languages. Some are famous, such as those of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ingeborg Bachmann, Sigmund Freud, and his daughter Anna. Others are less so, like that of Fernando Nannetti and Barbara Suckfüll, crazy artists whose works have been revealed recently in the field of art brut. Some are fictional voices like that of the heroine in Malina or that of Ali, two literary characters. Others are the voices of unknown witnesses such as Friedrich Zawrel, persecuted by the Nazis, or Runar, living on the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) ravaged by a volcano eruption. There is also a voice of the intimate, that of Séraphina, whose narratives oscillate between nightmare and memory. Sometimes their appeal comes via scribbled notes, letters, or engraved inscriptions. Fragile signs of their daily struggle for life.

“I really believe in something that I would name ‘a day will come’ … It will not come, and despite everything, I believe in it, for if I cannot believe it, I cannot continue writing.”
Ingeborg Bachmann

And then, there’s the music.

Pianist Johan Bossers is a character in the film. In the image, he appears to play, in its entirety, some of the movements from Suite N° 11 for piano by Italian composer and pianist Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988).

Johan Bossers writes: “Giacinto Scelsi notes, in the middle of the 20th century, that he hits a wall. According to him, our Western tradition is always trying to exert rational control over musicianship. It freezes music into words and meanings, into images and musical notation, with, as the highest good, control over the performer’s expression and technique. Scelsi himself has never dared confess that his compositions are often ‘merely’ free improvisations, intuitive and purely by ear. In this way, Scelsi is like a sculptor who chisels a piece of marble on all sides, hammers it and works it, in order – through endless, obsessive, repetitive motions, as it were – to grasp the material itself. He works like an alchemist or an Eastern magician who transforms one material into another, such as the crystallisation of air into stone… We see obstinate choreographies of arms and hands, we hear mesmerising meditations on the resonances of sensual sounds, but despite this, Scelsi knows that his ear will never achieve full control over the universe that continuously unfolds within a sound. So he does not look for (self-)control but for an irreplaceable and unrepeatable physical-ecstatic experience. He finds it the moment he exceeds the bodily limits of performer, imagination, ears, sound and instrument, time and space… He becomes an extension of his instrument, he embodies his instrument… Scelsi confronts us with the fact that no one naturally possesses a musical language, or has to. And that is fortunate. If one dares to set body and senses in motion, every performer already ‘dancing’ with the things can experience a boundless, never-to-grasp world of sound.”

“The act of speech or of music is a struggle: it must be economical and sparse, infinitely patient, so as to impose itself on what resists it, but extremely violent so as to be a resistance itself, an act of resistance.”
Gilles Deleuze

We listen to these voices as our gaze plunges into places impossible to locate in any fixed way. Noises coming from elsewhere interfere and transfigure the voices. Porous and unstable, the material takes over the image. The music happens. Everything tightens on the presence of the pianist before diffracting anew.

Annik Leroy & Julie Morel
April 2017

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Annik Leroy (1953) is a film-maker, photographer and teacher at ERG who lives and works in Brussels. She started out making short films, including Le paradis terrestre, Undermost #1, NBC and Ekho. In 1981 she made In der Dämmerstunde Berlin de l’aube à la nuit, which was presented at the Berlin International Film Festival and screened by the German TV channel ZDF. In 1999, her feature-length film Vers la mer was presented at the Berlin International Film Festival and won various international prizes. In 2000, she made the short film fffff+ppppp with music by Galina Ustvolskaya as part of “Muziek in beeld” with the contemporary music ensemble Q-O2. In 2006, her video Cellule 719 was presented at the Rotterdam and Amsterdam festivals. Her book of photographs and texts Danube-Hölderlinwas published by Editions la Part de l’oeil in 2002. In addition to her filmography, she has also worked on photography exhibitions and audiovisual installations. These include Isolés, Ici (2003-2004, Galerie Balthazart, Tournai, Librairie des Quartiers Latins, Brussels), (Psycho) Zerreisswolf (2005, Versus III, Oudenaarde – 2006, exhibition “Fractions lentes” Brussels, with Marcel Berlanger and Julie Morel), Lieber wütend als traurig (2006, De Markten, Brussels), Unheimlich schwer/politisch (2007, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin), Meinhof. (2007, M HKHA, Antwerp – 2008, Kunstenfestivaldesarts), and the installation/performance Regarding with Isabelle Dumont and Virginie Thirion (2008, Kunstenfestivaldesarts).

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