Orly, ready for boarding
by Bénédicte Prot
The press screening of Angela Schanelek’s Orly [+see also:
film profile], presented in the Forum section at the Berlinale, was as crowded as the Parisian airport of its title, which the film practically never leaves. Orly is indeed a French/German co-production produced by the director of Afternoon through her company Nachmittagfilm, in collaboration with Ringel Filmproduktion and France’s La Vie est Belle Films. She has also cast mainly French actors, including Natacha Régnier and Bruno Todeschini.
Very quickly, Schanelek focuses her camera on a few characters within the crowd, as if chosen at random, who suddenly appear clearly. We get to know a mother and son who are in the mood for confiding in each other, quite naturally; we witness the lively and highly personal conversation between two strangers who, in the end, are no longer strangers; we follow a solitary young girl, a dull stewardess, and a German couple, without the camera bestowing an equal amount of attention on all of them. The choice seems to be arbitrary.
However, as is fitting in a place of waiting, where we leave something to go elsewhere, a world of possibilities where so many people cross paths, each of the protagonists experiences a small everyday epiphany, in the form of a decision, a confession, a momentary questioning, within the host of reflections (on encounters, separations, places...) and "little true-to-life events" that the film recounts.
The film, with its wandering camera, absence of music and the realism of the situations observed, offers a very believable approach that transports viewers to that airport, to the extent that we share the characters’ feeling of waiting and eagerness for departure.
(Translated from French)
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