Canada, 18 min
Action stations in a cinema’s projection room: the film roll has got mixed up in the middle of a screening! The projectionist has no time to lose and must repair everything before the reel change. He calmly explains the required movements to his apprentice, complete with anecdotes… This passionate and mischievous tribute to a dying skill shows a genuine “performance” in a single long take.
Action stations in a cinema’s projection room: the film roll has got mixed up in the middle of a screening! With no time to lose, the projectionist must repair everything before the reel change. He calmly explains the tricks of the trade to his apprentice, complete with anecdotes: “All the movements you see me making here are movements that are about to disappear.” Filmed in the theatre of Montreal’s National Film Office just before it closed its doors, this black-and-white race-against-the-clock film pays tribute to a declining profession, at least in the form we knew until the recent "switch to digital”. Our heroic projectionist, more craftsman than technician, transmits his know-how, learnt on the job, to his sidekick: “It’s a real performance, man!” But through a mischievous "mise en abyme", the whole film is a performance here. In a single long take, larger-than-life actors play out a formidable documentary on cinema, from the projection room. An exhilarating short film. Alessia Bottani