Programmed by Caroline Châtelet
“In 2015, we were given carte blanche to film choreographer Jérôme Bel at work. But making a film about Bel involves embarking on a paradoxical project: how do you dramatise and direct the work of an “anti-director”? How do you remain an author when faced with an artist who’s known all over the world for his research into the “death of the author”? During the entire time spent shooting, we waited for an unexpected event, an event that pushed Jérôme Bel out of the character we were building. The event took place. We seized it.”
From 2015 to 2019, the two co-directors shadowed Jerome Bel, recording all the phases of his work, from rehearsals to performances via discussions with his collaborators. Except that making a film about the choreographer, a major figure of contemporary dance since the mid-1990s, means bowing to some of his demands and dealing with his intuitions… or risk having some of the documentary work confiscated! Fascinating in its way of expanding on some of the issues raised by the choreographer’s shows – manipulation, the matter of who wrote the work and the author’s role and so on – “Being Jerome Bel” offers an uncompromising portrait. By exposing all Bel’s paradoxes, the film skilfully incorporates the artist’s demands and his awareness of his ambiguities.
Journalist and critic