This film was shot in 2008. I was 20 years old, it was year 2 of freedom and by dint of working I had managed to buy myself a small camera and to put 1000€ aside. On the 21st of January, Interrail ticket in hand, I were off for 50 days of solo travel between Ljubljana, Istanbul, Odessa, Dublin and Lisbon, with the idea of ​​enjoying the moment and, by the way, to film a few clips where people would talk about their country to future travellers. The plan was to launch a website that would list all the interviews on a large crowdsourced map, where anyone could then add their own videos.
  But during the trip I also filmed the towns and landscapes and, when I got back, I finally decided to do a big report. A change of idea that inaugurated my way of making films: trusting fate and then manage. Traveling according to desires, interviewing according to the random of encounters and, once in front of my editing software, finding the link that will make it possible to produce a coherent film. And it is precisely to give chance what is due to it that the title of the film is January 21st; simply because I leaved off that day. The result is a kind of anti-thauma, this ancient style of writing which had an annoying propensity to add marvelous to attract the curiosity of readers... a principle taken up in many modern documentaries but here, nothing fantastic and no embellishment; the aim of this first film is to show raw reality, highlighted by a shoot under the patronage of Tyche, the Greek goddess of Fortune.

  Tyche (...). It is you who make the light vessels fly on the waves; it is you who preside over the bloody combats and the wise deliberations of mortals. You play with their deceiving hopes: sometimes you carry them to the top of the wheel [of fortune], sometimes you precipitate them from it. Never had any of them received from the Immortals a certain omen of their future: their spirit, shrouded in darkness, cannot look beyond the present. Often unforeseen misfortunes deceive their expectation and their desires, while others, beaten by the storm, see happiness suddenly smile on them,and their destiny change in an instant.
Pindar, in Olympics

  Because the Greek pantheon allows beautiful metaphors, and because it's fancy, this will therefore be my cinematographic genre: Tychean reports, where the absence of preparation makes it possible to catch the most of the essence of a place at one moment. A method as idealistic as it is practical, since it has the advantage of not requiring much organizational effort...

Clément Elbaz, april 2008
  This film of my 20, if I redid it after having exceeded 30, it is because in my opinion as an author it deserved a slightly better finish (parts of the original version can be seen following this LINK). What was tolerable in 2008 is no longer; at the time YouTube only allowed to upload 10 minute videos, in half-HD and without subtitles... the film was therefore divided into five over-pixelated parts and, as with 2882 views, I had no not much to lose, I resolved to remaster it... without really redoing it. If the image has been improved, the order of the shots has remained almost completely identical to the original version, just like the music; I simply stabilized what was shaking too much and corrected the colorimetric errors of my camera's autopilot... leaving some imperfections on the way. Because they fit well with this somewhat grunge atmosphere of the Eastern European winter, and also because one day's flaw often becomes the next day's charm. This charm was all the more felt as by immersing myself in these old rushes, I had the pleasant impression of opening a door to a past that is close but already different from the present, an era without smartphones and without social networks - at least for Eastern Europe and for me, who had opened my first mailbox only six months ago. This film is therefore also about a trip to the very end of the disconnected days, at a time when paper maps had not yet been replaced by Google Maps, and when travel remained the best tool for hearing others speak.
  At last, if the voice-over has also been reworked, it's only partly, to re-express in a slightly more fluid way what I thought at the time. As when we give our opinion on the work of a friend, I took the liberty of making some corrections to my old self... taking care to leave this touch of tart idealism from my 20 years old, that the somewhat misanthropic - realistic - thirtysomething that I became judge with a touch of envy.

  In the end, here is the result! A report that is starting to date, already. Amateur, idealistic but realistic and remastered in the form of a cinematic styled-tousled. Testimony of a moment in history lived at the age of 20, but carrying a reflection that wants to be timeless, since it only describes this oceanic feeling that can take us on the discovery of a continent. Because in reality, if I (re)made this film, it is above all to confirm the desires of those of the young generation who, having just fallen from the nest and regardless of the year written on the calendar, are taken by the very personal desire to travel.

No comments:

Post a Comment