“The things one can express with the hand, with the head, with the shoulders! …how many useless and encumbering words then disappear! What economy!”
Notes on the Cinematographer
Robert Bresson, 1975
The aim of this project is to visualize my idea about a certain gesture which one day suddenly captured me while watching Louis Bunuel’s Belle du Jour (1967). This brief gesture, a couple walking down the street, the man putting his hand on the woman’s neck, strongly triggered one memory. As I have experienced this gesture a while ago, I found myself suddenly questioning it, thinking about the high level of ambiguity and contradiction it implies. This gesture somehow kept reappearing in films from the 1960’s and 70’s and raised questions on its possible meaning and impact. This body of work explores the gesture in relation to the notion of reality and fantasy. Relating to the surrealistic work of Bunuel, I aim to point at Buache’s idea that “past, present, future, memory, imagination and immediate sensation all dovetail together and sometimes seem to fuse without really doing so.” Instead of having a single, absolute meaning, this gesture’s shifts after the ephemeral event of its happening. Key to this project is therefor the vagueness and the impossibility of reading the gesture correctly, because of the complexity of interpersonal relations in society.