Je suis resté dans les bois – a collective, participatory project
by Aurore Engelen
- Vincent Solheid, Erika Sainte and Michaël Bier are co-directing an unusual comedy teetering between film and modern art
Je suis resté dans les bois (lit. “I Stayed in the Woods”) tells the story of a visual artist, Vincent Solheid, who will reconstruct moments from his own life as part of the creative process for his new video exhibition. He is backed up by a small team that includes Erika, his partner, and Michaël, a director friend of his, and is helped out by close family members, acquaintances and complete strangers who will take on the roles of his parents, his first love, his parish priest... He faces up to situations from the past, alternately shameful and comical, and relives them with utter honesty in 12 video-tableaux. While these situations often appear insignificant when taken one by one, they all have one thing in common: they caused pain either to him or to his loved ones. As Vincent naively and shamelessly plunges himself back into his past, the image that his colleagues have of him begins to become tarnished. Even worse is the vision that he has of himself, which slowly transforms, bringing him face to face with what he was, what he is and what he wishes to be. This artistic device, and the human material it makes use of, will therefore lie at the heart of Je suis resté dans les bois, co-directed by Vincent Solheid, Erika Sainte and Mickaël Bier.
The project claims to have a documentary-like approach that aims to capture – in a fly-on-the-wall style and by means of improvisation – the real lives of the characters. Walking the fine line between film and modern art, this sort of filmed and re-enacted “extimate” diary will apparently take the guise of a dark and moving comedy. In real life, Vincent Solheid is also the author of the film Le Grand’Tour [+see also:
film profile], which adopted a similar style. Erika Sainte is a young Belgian actress who has appeared in such films as She’s Not Crying, She’s Singing [+see also:
film profile] and Brabançonne [+see also:
film profile], and Michaël Bier, a renowned Belgian casting director (he was involved in the upcoming film by Jaco Van Dormael, The Brand New Testament [+see also:
interview: Jaco van Dormael
film profile], among other titles), has already directed four short films.
This low-budget film is produced by Eklektik, which a few weeks ago launched a lucrative crowdfunding campaign to contribute to funding the shoot, which will take place until 22 May. It should get a release next autumn, in parallel with the exhibition that the movie revolves around.
(Translated from French)