Baroque suites


The video editings of the Baroque Suites are made exclusively from clips from L’Innocente (1976), the testamentary film of Luchino Visconti. Each of them redeploys one or more excerpts of the film in an organization which, more than it does not seek to respect the sequential development or the chronology of events which structure the scenario, strives to identify a palette characteristic atmospheres and highlight the marked presence of perfumes which contribute to the oppressive atmosphere of the story.

These olfactory presences appear not only induced in the film by motifs making a more or less strong incursion into the image (abundant floral presences both in interior and exterior scenes, fragrances used by the characters, scents of alcohol served), as well as elements that can be figuratively associated with them (embroidered designs on furniture and hangings, details of clothing and accessories worn, hanging fabrics and veils). They can also be signified by the intervention of purely plastic and cinematographic processes inducing the floating of these essences or their interposition between the bodies and the camera (color dynamics, modulations of light, work on blurs and depth of field, use of optical tracking shots, etc.).

While emphasizing the richness of this palette of sensory effects, the five sonatas which served as a framework for the creation of the editings offer different forms of correspondence. They thus engage the public in a double movement of analysis which contributes to illuminating certain aspects of the works associated with them.

In the same way that the concertos contribute to highlighting the musicality of the Viscontian filmshot, itself exalted by the nature of the work carried out around the images used, the editings strive to restore dimensions specific to the music performed, both in matter of timbres, rhythms, impulses and articulations than through the nature of diverted gestures. Here, the falling of a glove discreetly recalls the phrasing executed by the harpsichordist on his keyboard. There, a sustained kiss evokes the movement of the flautist’s lips on her instrument. At yet another moment, the deployment of a fabric underlines the fluidity of the execution. The sequence of images, mainly reworked by back-and-forth movements in the unfolding of the Viscontian filmic material, makes it possible to structure an autonomous musical score which, more than it illustrates, converses with that proposed, in the duration of the concert, the sequence of associated pieces by supporting it or on the contrary proposing forms of counterpoint. This comments or replays differently the relationship that is established between the instruments, even moving it towards other colors once the music has ceased to be emitted to materialize something specific to the emotion that it is expressing, has generated the trace of what it was able to produce in the mind of the viewer, like the trail of a perfume.

If a form of duality is systematically at the heart of each of the editings to refer to the dialogue engaged in the different concertos between the flute and the harpsichord, the systematic intervention of the three main characters of the film (played respectively by Giancarlo Giannini, Laura Antonelli and Jennifer O’Neill) constructs in the sequence a form of choreographic trio which refers to that offered by the association of music, images and scents. The expression of desire which occupies a central place and imposes forms of articulation between the concertos is therefore a commentary on the possible interactions between these different registers and the viewer’s ability to articulate them to others.







Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet