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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Georges Schwizgebel "78 tours" (1985)

Reading comments on YouTube about movies that could in any way be deemed art is dispiriting. Unless there is a definite linear structure, allied to a clear story, then works are scornfully dismissed. Therefore if that is your preference you should not view the great Swiss animator, Georges Schwizgebel's  78 Tours.  A lone man is pensive at the table, drinking his coffee, listening to the music from his transistor radio. Memories are triggered. The framing of the film is very precise, the stationary children's roundabout, the accordion player poised to play, a still crowd of people from which, panning out, we see they are but mere decorations on a woman's dress.  When the action occurs it blends together like cream in coffee, sumptuously - Georges is so easy in his control of his medium. (I have written about his technique elsewhere on the blog.) In fact his film does have a definite narrative, that of life itself, revolving in circles or rings, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, in an ever repeating pattern across the generations. The director bases his work on circles, a park roundabout, fairground rides, spiral staircase, cup of coffee. There is a rapturous scene as young man and woman dance. Pierre-Alain Besse and Jacques Robellaz were responsible for the atmospheric soundtrack, accordion music being so capable of evoking nostalgia. At the close of the piece, notice that the staircase down which the man descends is more square than circle.

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