Daniel Kemény’s Supertempo has entered post-production
- The Swiss director’s second film (a fifty-minute medium-length movie) was born out of the pandemic, but it doesn’t allow itself to be dominated by the topic
Supertempo (whose working title was I coroneri [“The Coroners”]) is the latest work put forward by Daniel Kemény, a Swiss director of Italian descent who’s mostly known for his documentary debut sòne [+see also:
film profile] which scooped a Special Mention in the Solothurn Film Festival’s First Works competition in 2021, following its presentation in a world premiere at the prestigious Visions du Réel Festival the year before. Now in the final editing phase - and much like its predecessor - the present project is produced by Michela Pini of Ticino-based firm Cinedokké.
Born out of the pandemic, as if an unexpected by-product of a forced and dystopic-flavoured sociological experiment, Supertempo thrusts a couple into the spotlight: the director himself and his real-life partner Laura (Marzi). Light years away from the traditional picture-postcard heterosexual couple bordering on caricatural, the pair wrestle with the vital need for freedom which has always set them apart, and the relentlessly overwhelming and draining feeling that comes with forced intimacy.
Without homing in on the pandemic directly, but using it, instead, as a backdrop and a random factor which is injected into a loving relationship which seemed to have found a balance, the film sets itself the task of reflecting a fragile, incredibly intimate and constantly fluctuating reality. Daniel Kemény and his partner offer themselves up as two guinea pigs wrestling with an extremely urgent situation. In this sense, the camera becomes a “witness observing a couple going about their daily lives”, to borrow the director’s words; daily lives which are banal, but which are lived in extremely close quarters, and which highlight the contradictions inherent to living together and to living up to the “standard model” of what a couple should be.
An advocate of the hypermobile lifestyle which had, until then, always allowed him to live various lives at the same time, freely choosing which context to evolve within depending on the needs of the moment, Daniel Kemény, from one day to the next, found himself totally deprived of his inner modus operandi: “the cogs and gears of my life were suddenly brought to a standstill”, he openly admits. It’s a situation he found himself getting to grips with alongside Laura, whom he’d been in a relationship with for several years and who had also been very mobile for a long time but was then quite settled in Rome.
From the first Italian lockdown in March 2020 up until May 2020, the documentary’s protagonists lay themselves bare (metaphorically speaking) before the camera (manned by Daniel) which captures their life as a couple, but also immortalises a spectral and sublime version of Rome, as well as an external world of which we only catch small and nigh-on imperceptible glimpses: the few words they exchange with their neighbour, phone calls, video calls and infinite video conferences. The question which Daniel and Laura ask themselves at this point is what it is exactly that really ties them together. Looking beyond the spectre of the pandemic which has lent character to (and devastated) a multitude of projects, ultimately, according to its supporters, it’s “the intimacy and exhaustive exploration of the couple’s feelings and states of mind” prioritised by the film which sets it apart from all the others.
(Translated from Italian)
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