DOCVILLE d’août: Entretien avec Tinatin Gurchiani / The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear
À l’arrivée du prochain Docville d’août, les RIDM ont eu la chance de s’entretenir avec la réalisatrice du film The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, Tinatin Gurchiani. (Traduction française à venir)
Le documentaire prend la forme d’un casting imaginaire qui initie le portrait bien réel et tout en délicatesse de la jeunesse géorgienne. Il sera présenté en première québécoise le jeudi 29 août à 20 h au Cinéma Excentris et sera suivi d’une séance de questions et réponses par Skype avec la cinéaste. Il s’agira de l’unique chance de voir le film au Québec. Plébiscité dans le monde entier, le film a remporté de nombreux prix, dont celui de la Meilleure réalisation en compétition internationale au festival de Sundance, le Prix des cinéastes à Hot Docs et le Prix du meilleur documentaire international à It’s All True International Documentary Film Festival (Brésil).
Synopsis: En Géorgie, un casting commence. De jeunes gens défilent, intimidés, endimanchés, ou cabotins. Ils rêvent de faire du cinéma. Ils rêvent aussi d’autres choses, d’ailleurs, de demain, et c’est ce sur quoi la cinéaste les interroge. Organiser un casting a permis à Tinatin Gurchiani d’aller à la rencontre de la jeunesse géorgienne : le projet fictif d’un tournage se transforme alors en film réel. Au gré des rencontres, certains liens se tissent, et le film se met à vagabonder, en accompagnant celle-ci à son mariage ou celui-là dans son village. Les personnages se dévoilent alors dans la réalité de leurs vies, offrant une nouvelle perspective aux paroles qu’ils avaient choisies pour se présenter devant la caméra. The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear est ainsi un portrait par petites touches d’un pays et de sa jeunesse. Un portrait tout en délicatesse, imprégné de mélancolie, mais aussi porté par l’impressionnant désir de vivre de ses jeunes « acteurs ».
1. RIDM: Where did the idea and the desire to portray the Georgian youth come from?
Tinatin Gurchiani: It was not my main goal to portray Georgian youth directly and this isn’t about them only. My POV is too subjective for it. I just wanted to make a film about destiny, desire, futility, transience, about life as a human being and reality. And I wanted to show that the real life also can be very emotional and interesting for film – not less as a fiction stories. I could do this film in every other country in the world, I don’t think it would be very different. But in this time I wanted to make my first film in my home country. And because I needed big emotional energy, authenticity, rebellion in my film, I decided to invite to auditions first at all young people.
2. RIDM: Why did you choose this casting process to approach and film the protagonists of the film?
TG: This film had already fixed dramaturgy, fixed structure before we started with shootings. Casting as a part of the structure was also fixed from the beginning. But it was a blind casting and I didn’t know, who would come concretely to auditions and which mood and feelings they would bring in. But everybody knew from the beginning that this casting would also be part of this film, it was standing in the casting call. And everybody knew, that they had to come with their true, real life and make for a part of the film.
Why I have chosen casting as the form? I wanted to have an abstract, homogeneous background, the same context for all, where people could feel alone with themselves and eternity and could concentrate on the essential things in their lives.
3. RIDM: Did some of the protagonists react when knowing they weren’t auditioning for a real role in a fiction?
TG: All protagonists knew before, that they had to come with their true, real life and make it as part of our film. We were looking for authentic people, the people had to come when they thought, their own lives would make a touching, moving, simply good film and they had to come ready to share their stories. And all of them knew before, that also casting itself would be part of the film, but when we followed them in their lives next days, their families didn’t heard about it before and it was really big adventure for everybody.
4. RIDM: How went the movie shooting? Which type of relation were you trying to establish with the young Georgians, knowing the casting process is an intimate yet also distant experience?
TG: For me it was important, that people came emotionally charged, with a tension (for example the last guy in the film came with such a big tension, that he collapsed 3 times but nevertheless continued and spoke without a break for 3 hours long). They had a need to share their stories with eternity, what magic of cinema is able to give. And everybody trusted me fully. They knew that this was their only chance and I knew about it too. I felt responsible for these people to help sharing their very essential moments – their main thing – to tell it in few minutes, without editing. So it wouldn’t be the right setting the comfortable setting, where people can relax. Their tension was important, also their authenticity, honesty, shyness, pauses etc. I wasn’t afraid to support the people with my questions, to provoke them sometimes and don’t let them to lose their paths, because otherwise they would miss their chance. And I thought, that best attitude from our crew would be the distance, but this distance of respect – necessary distance in this case, because when you go too close with people in their private field, they will run away. I tried to keep this distance not only in camera position, I tried to keep it in my voice too and tried not to be like a mother for my protagonists. I tried not to interpret these people, not to show my feelings to audience to let them get their own.
5. RIDM: In the movie, you chose to follow some protagonists in their every day life, others not. Which reason guided your decisions? Were some of the decisions made while editing your movie or during the shooting of the film?
TG: No, the decision who I would follow was made during the shooting. We shot the whole movie in 20 days. As I mentioned, we did blind casting, I didn’t know before who would come. And we decided always in the end of the day, who we would follow next day in his/her reality. And the point for the decision was this: when I had feeling, that my protagonist could use his/her time and could give us in a short fragment a feeling for his/her life, if they were able to share most essential thing, if they gave magic moment to us, than for me it was enough to have this person only with a monolog in a casting. I didn’t need to repeat in the reality what I had already in casting. But sometimes it was not enough to have somebody in auditions, we needed to compare or to supplement the reality, to show the difference or to add something very new. But sometimes we had different reason to follow: in case for the girl, for example, we had feeling that she needed our help, which would change her life. Without us was the change not possible. She used us to change her life.
6. RIDM: Does Georgia offer a place in society for the young generation of today? Is this generation even taken into consideration?
TG: I mentioned already, that this film isn’t about Georgia or about Youth in Georgia. But when I decided to have the young people as main protagonists, I wanted to give the voice to them, who has to survive and start adult life in permanent changes and challenges in my country. I think youth is in general the best catalyst of society, they show in this case in the best way the tiredness from instability. The young people are always rebels, in this case- rebels in their emotions. All my protagonists are fighting for their life, even when they can’t change circumstances they are born in. For me this is an optimistic film, because when somebody has strong emotions, even negative emotions, he has also need and potential to fight and to change. They are optimistic in their actions.
THE MACHINE WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING DISAPPEAR – de Tinatin Gurchiani
GÉORGIE, ALLEMAGNE – 2012 – 97 mins – V.O. GÉORGIENNE, S-T. ANG.
29 août – 20h, Cinéma Excentris (3536, Boul. St-Laurent).