L'écran des profondeurs
Although trained at an art school, Clément Cogitore seems to have nothing but cinema on his mind, and his ability to freely circulate between the world of galleries and art centers and that of film festivals and art house cinemas is representative not only of a growing indifference to categories, but also of a broadening of the definition of auteur cinema. Perhaps the documentary realm is where filmmakers and visual artists connect. Cogitore’s well-observed documentary on the Bielutins—a Russian collector-couple living midway between reality and fantasy—reveals his interest in belief and what sustains it, a more or less direct reflection of the activity of a shadowgrapher. The film that earned him the 2016 Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard carried out a veritable reconstruction of reality, mixing a news item with unrelated archive images that produced an amplified reality in contact with one another. This is the same principle behind « L’Intervalle de Résonance » (presented the same year at the Palais de Tokyo), his most ambitious installation to date, but in that case he openly dove into science fiction, and set out to broaden cinema and make it into an immersive sense experience. There was no attempt to compete with James Cameron, but one is reminded of the wonder inspired by a few classics of that genre. It is probably this sense of wonder and this (recent) memory of cinema that explain why it is that for his first feature-length film, « Ni le Ciel, ni la terre » (2015), Cogitore chose to make a genre film, a war film—but a western also—trolled by virtual reality and portable phones.
Frédéric Danos is a poet and performer.