Occupy the Pool: Moments suspended between light and dark
by Muriel Del Don
- With Occupy the Pool French-Swiss artist Kim Seob Boninsegni (who was born in Seul) brings us a sincere portrait of generation Y
Screened in its world premiere (international competition) at the Geneva International Film Festival Tous Ecrans, Occupy the Pool [+see also:
film profile], by eclectic French-Swiss artist Kim Seob Boninsegni, is a direct and slightly acidic portrait of contemporary youth.
Conceived as a piece that plunges the viewer into the world of a group of young people who belong to what we might call generation Y, Occupy the Pool describes the relationships forged between its characters with surgical precision. Together, they embark on a journey towards an increasingly uncertain future, between parties they wish could go on forever and relationships that are volatile yet bind them to one another. Boninsegni follows a group of young people seeking an antidote to the indifference of reality in the euphoria of living in the moment.
Occupy the Pool is a fictitious story about a very real generation, one which is hyperactive and well versed in technology but fragile and toeing a precarious line between being carefree and full of anguish. They (voluntarily) give up their private lives, their right to intimacy, to make way for a hypothetical reconstructed family in which the common good of the group reigns supreme. Kim Seob Boninsegni follows the amateur actors in Occupy the Pool (most of whom are active members of the cultural and artistic community in Geneva) from 2010, although filming for the film only lasted two weeks. The relationship forged between the director and his actors is strong, at times uniting them, a sort of hybrid artistic project in which reality merges with fiction. The film focuses above all on the sense of community that unites the actors, on the key moments when the sometimes destructive strength of their friendship reaches breaking point.
Occupy the Pool can be considered a hybrid artistic project somewhere between contemporary art and film. The camera stalks the protagonists in a seductive whir of euphoric, calm, collective and intimate scenes. What really matters is the experience of the characters, their personal vision of the “pack”, a sort of substitute family that tries to shelter itself from a distant and indifferent, or at least inadequate, society. The protagonists of Occupy the Pool seem isolated from the world, as if they’re in a bubble protecting them from the harshness of reality. Boninsegni creates a world on edge, in which endless clubbing and nightlife becomes a necessary and frenzied way of life.
Occupy the Pool is at times reminiscent of the artistic world of Larry Clark, the American spokesperson for young people who have chosen to live, each in their own way, outside society. What sets them apart, however, is the relationship forged between the camera and the protagonists. In Boninsegni’s film, sensuality (of perhaps it would be more accurate to talk about sexuality) is almost entirely absent, and only briefly alluded to. This “sexless” aura of Occupy the Pool is symbolic of a generation of people who have a sometimes clinical, utilitarian relationship with one another. Pleasure is sought more in a community style of living, in the hypnotic power of the loops in electronic music than in an intimate connection between two bodies. From this point of view the young actors in Boninsegni’s film are more like the punk generation than the hippie generation of their parents. Mechanical bodies in a technological society, perhaps this is (also) what the future hold for us.
Occupy the Pool is being sold internationally by Paul-Aymar Mourgue D'Algue.
(Translated from Italian)