Les Maliens (a script), 2006

16mm film transferred to DVD. Color. No sound
3 min. 49 sec. Ed. 3 + A.P.

Les Maliens (A Script) starts with the idea of making a film about Mali, to produce a visual journey after experiencing a new, different place. Thinking about it, studying the project, the way to approach it, trying to construct images and ideas, elicited a mental construction. The idea became then to work out this mental construction, process it and project it on pictures without having recorded any mental image. It consists of 62 drawings grouped in 20 connected sequences. These sequences do not build a narrative. They are drawings of atmospheres, fragments of natural elements, buildings, figures, night scenes, landscapes, aereal views. They are not story-board-like schematic drawings trying to break down a story with accuracy in a linear flow, nor representations of precise images. There are few elements on which to hinge a narrative, rather a loose, stream-of-consciousness series of images is presented. A series of images with no logical sequence, suggesting the imagined visions that could emerge from Mali. The sequences formed by one up to five drawings have been conceived separatedly, with no relation to each other and connected later in the editing process. The film is approached as a projection of still images barely animated representing a subjective vision of a non visited place, only based on memories from visual, documentary or literary references. Any visual research on Mali has been avoided to produce this work. The drawings are created as cinema shots. Most of them are steady shots in which no action takes place, except for a minor camera movement, light change or a time-lapse inside one same sequence. They are like snapshots taken by a traveller when discovering a new territory. There are aereal views (two first sequences) images drawn as filmed from a car in motion, changes in light in long exposures at dawn or dusk, close-ups of natural elements (leaves, palms), partial portraits of men, views of buildings. Some of the drawings and specifically the fusion of frames in which different drawing sequences overlap give a sort of dreamy dimension to the film, a silent, almost abstract quality. The idea of trying to make a representation of an existing place does not necessarily involve wanting to make a realistic representation of it. The idea of place, even the own “real” experience in the actual territory can occur through the author's look, in a non-documentary way.

Les Maliens (A Script) is thus a totally subjective, ficticious approach both in content (none of the images represented are based in any reality) and form (drawing) of a real place not experienced physically. The idealization of an existing territory but also an experimental exercise on the idea of shooting a film.