Everyday Wonder: The Humanist Vision of Nicolas Philibert, week 2

1 Nov

Well. It can truly be said that Nicolas Philibert knows how to draw a crowd. Last week’s Melbourne Cinematheque was a full house, and most stayed around for the second screening as well. Get in early this week folks if you want your usual seat (which I totally do because I am neurotic like that). For our viewing pleasure this week is Return to Normandy (2008) and Every Little Thing (1997).

Return to Normandy follows Philibert as he does indeed return to Normandy 30 years after being the assistant director on Rene Allio’s film I, Pierre Riviere, Having Slaughtered My Mother, My Sister and My Brother (1976). Allio’s film reconstructs the true-life events that happened in Normandy in 1835 after a farmer murdered the majority of his family. Philibert’s return to the village sparks an investigation into what the non-actors of the original film are now doing as well as looking at time. Philibert also looks at philosophy, nostalgia and the concept of time within small agrarian towns.

Set in the Loire Valley, Every Little Thing follows the patients at La Borde psychiatric institution as they prepare for their annual play which this year will be the modernist play ‘Operetta’ by Witold Gombrowicz. By simply observing many of the patients Philibert is able to highlight his interest in communication and interaction, capturing life from another’s view.

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