Film still of the film The Cobbler of Stalingrad Street, directed by Romane Schirm, Magali Fouquet, Visions du Réel 2012

The Cobbler of Stalingrad Street

Le Cordonnier de la rue de Stalingrad

Romane Schirm & Magali Fouquet
France, 24 min

Monsieur Bennoit is an old-fashioned cobbler. In his workshop in the suburbs of Paris, the locals come and go, talking about their lives. Meanwhile, the cobbler works on methodically. Voices and gestures, materials and faces give substance to this cleverly fragmented picture of a disappearing world, served by remarkable photography.

Monsieur Benoit is an old-fashioned cobbler. In his workshop in the suburbs of Paris, the locals come and go, talking about their lives. While lending an ear to these delightfully humdrum conversations, the craftsman goes on hammering, scraping, gluing, cutting and sewing, smoothing and polishing. In the dreary, anonymous, geometrical world shown at the beginning and at intervals throughout the film, the little shop – a vestige of times past – provides a refuge. A “local shop”, we would say nowadays. A fine exercise in fragmentation, served by magnificent photography, the film takes a magnifying glass to this microcosm, gradually laying it bare. The noises of machines, voices. Feet, hands. Gestures, materials. Only then, faces. A bit of worn leather, viewed in close-up, turns into an apron. Subtly working on the framing, multiplying the camera angles, the two young filmmakers create an admirable Impressionist painting. A portrait of a trade – and a world – that is fast disappearing.

Alessia Bottani

Translation BMP Translations

Duration
24 min
Year
2011
Country
France
Section
Premiers Pas
Language
French
Subtitle
English
Production
Magali Fouquet

Premiers Pas

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