Is Dead (Portrait incomplet de Gertrude Stein)
Arnaud des Pallières
France, 47 min
The life and work of Gertrude Stein are conjured up by superimposing a montage of her autobiographical writings on images of past and present. More than a portrait, the film is a fragmentary and provisional document – in which traces of the late writer are as important as what remains of her (her presence on the screen and her words) – as well as a true act of creation on the part of the filmmaker.
The life and work of Gertrude Stein are conjured up by superimposing a montage of her autobiographical writings on images of past and present. From her tomb, at the Père Lachaise cemetery, a voice tells of her childhood and adolescence in the United States, her arrival in Paris at the age of 30, her love for Alice Toklas, her friendships with Picasso, Apollinaire and Matisse. But these episodes are merely the backdrop to her amazing adventure as the author of novels, plays, poems, opera librettos, portraits, short stories, screenplays, detective stories and even children’s books, each renewing the literary genre that Stein was exploring. More than a portrait, the film is a fragmentary and provisional document, as well as a true act of creation on the part of the filmmaker. “Some directors are always making the same film, digging deeper into something. I feel more akin to someone like Gertrude Stein, who said something that has become for me a sort of motto: ‘If you can do it, why bother?’” (AdP).
Luciano Barisone (Translation BMP Translations)
Atelier Arnaud Des Pallières