Programmed by Aurélien Marsais
January 2016. The love story that brought me to this village in Alsace where I live ended six months ago. At 45, I am now alone, without a car, a job or any real prospects, surrounded by luxuriant nature, the proximity of which is not enough to calm the deep distress into which I am plunged. France, still in shock from the November terror attacks, is in a state of emergency. I feel helpless, I suffocate with contained rage. I am lost and I watch four to five films a day. I decide to record this stagnation, not by picking up a camera but by editing shots from the stream of films I watch.
Short scenes (sometimes not much longer than two seconds) illustrate Frank Beauvais’ monologue describing a year in his life tormented by the “intoxication of solitude” and scattered with various upheavals both personal and national. The filmmaker looks back over this period when his compulsive consumption of films of all genres became a kind of “film-crazed” addiction. We set off with him into this tunnel lit up by a text in the first person with heartrending clear-sightedness about his own life, skilfully sculpted with a glue-gun. The film clips, snatches of lives other than his own, merge and gather to make a blurred yet very real mass like a lucid dream on tranquilisers. From the depths of the Alsace countryside, “Sisyphus in Pretzel Land”, as Beauvais calls himself, tries to catch a glimpse of the light that awaits him at the end of the tunnel, but it seems to be polluted by the sound of the boots of an ever more abusive police state.