In his short films, Jean-claude Rousseau, a repeated guest to the Viennale for many years, is known for discovering the extraordinary behind the apparently ordinary. In ARRIÈRE-SAISON, he films an autumn day in a Japanese park: Static camera shots capture the goings-on under the bright red trees, between the well-groomed paths and picturesque bridges. The peaceful late season has already begun, and the place is serene except for the restless crows. Still, the viewer inevitably comes up with personal stories that gradually begin to unfold. In LA VILLA, a still life so typical of him, Rousseau films himself in a room with a table and an open window: Who is the letter he is to write addressed to? It is a tongue-in-cheek reflection on writing and watching. In his sketchy SI LOIN, SI PROCHE, also produced in Japan, Rousseau lets his eyes wander from a look-out to a tree-covered landscape in front of a city sprawling in the back. But what the visitors in the foreground are up to is soon becoming more intriguing. Why seek far afield when the deeper background is close by? (Michael Pekler)
In the presence of Jean-Claude Rousseau.