Silence

Film, 2013
Duration: 65 mins

"This was my first real attempt at making a film with an actual story and where I was trying to realize a script (ie. actually stick to it). It was also the first time I was making a film in French, despite not actually speaking the language at all. When I write, sometimes things can be kind of dramatic, and these things work in my head, but whenever I see any drama taking place on the actual set, my feeling is always one of extreme embarrassment. It just feels wrong. I often cut out all the drama in my films, even if that means that they don’t make sense anymore. I have a weird aversion to it. Same with dialogue — if I feel like if there’s any possible way it can go, then it’s gone. I always try to communicate with emotions, sensations and moods, rather than words. I feel like what I'm trying to express will be able to sink in better that way. During the making of this film, I became obsessed with the idea of removing everything that was not absolutely essential. I noticed that sometimes by removing things, you can set up the perfect conditions to create a kind of brain fire or misfire. Like, you have these two chunks of information, and because of what’s missing in-between them, your mind starts working, firing off all these intangible possibilities. Then the film begins to become something that also takes place inside you and becomes your thing. It mingles with you and exists in a deeper part of you. Silence is a pretty subtle film, kind of gentle on the surface, but with a pretty mysterious and dark centre. The shoot was long and hard, but I was working in the way I like — just me and the actors, no crew at all (though I did have an assistant — my friend, the filmmaker Claude Pérès — to help out and translate for the actors, as the kids couldn’t speak a word of English). There’s many skies in this film. It seems to have one eye on the sky at all times."