Collyrium – The synestethic cinema of Hélène Cattet e Bruno Forzani

It’s now time to debate about some young independent directors. Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are two filmmakers that have a completely new cinematographic vision. But why is the style of the Belgian duo so innovative and visionary? Well let’s start analyzing the two main aspects:

Their works are strongly characterized by rigorous stylistic choices such as obsessive editing and the chaotic use of light and photography. With sounds, noises and unsettling music the spectator is thrown into a stunning hypnotic vortex while entering an unknown world where a majority of images are violently impressed in his mind. All such purely formal ingredients disorient and play with the viewer’s unconsciousness, just like in David Lynch‘s movies (in particular Inland Empire). Behind these films, there is a considerable psycho-aesthetic exploration.

The second research area embraced by the young couple is mainly anthropological. All their films revisit the Italian cinema of the past decades (that has been so passionately loved around the world). But their investigation does not stop at affirmation. Cattet and Forzani reinvent an almost disappeared genre, evolving and deepening it in such a way they completely transform it into something new.

Amer (2009)First feature film starring Ana, From childhood, through teen to adult age. The entire story is set around an old seaside villa in which the protagonist grew, matures and returns. These distinct movie stages are intertwined in a narrative tangle where the presence of a bloody murderer, but above all, a malignant entity wondering around the house, is seen. But the centerstage remains Ana, her memories and experiences.

Il cinema sinestetico di Hélène Cattet e Bruno Forzani | Collater.al 1 Il cinema sinestetico di Hélène Cattet e Bruno Forzani | Collater.al 2

The Strange Colour of Your Boody’s Tears(2013): In this second film the directors minimize the horror parts to obtain a genuine Italian thriller. Upon his return from a business trip, the search for his disappeared wife will lead out hero to explore the hidden meanders of the wonderful Art Nouveau building in which he lives. If for Amer, Cattet and Forzani introduce us gently into their own universe, here, we will embrace it violently although almost approving it. The protagonist insanity will become our own madness.

Il cinema sinestetico di Hélène Cattet e Bruno Forzani | Collater.al 3 Il cinema sinestetico di Hélène Cattet e Bruno Forzani | Collater.al 5

Let the corpse tanthe Belgian duo’s last work changes slightly from previous movies. This story is an unconventional spaghetti western. Set in an abandoned bastion in southern France, a gang of thieves is confronted by a group of police officers. The whole film is punctuated by a ticking clock giving us a 360-degree overview of the events. Although the plot and narration are different from the previous films, the aesthetic and directorial cut continue to be a coherent alternating raw reality with moments of allegorical fiction.

Il cinema sinestetico di Hélène Cattet e Bruno Forzani | Collater.al 6 Il cinema sinestetico di Hélène Cattet e Bruno Forzani | Collater.al 7

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