Le Skylab (2011, Julie Delpy)
Written & Directed by François Ferracci
A Century of Cinema
Everything in cinema begins with that moment, 100 years ago, when the train pulled into the station. People took themselves, just as the public cried out with excitement, actually ducked, as the train seemed to move towards them. Until the advent of television emptied the movie theaters, it was from a weekly visit to the cinema that you learned (or tried to learn) how to walk, to smoke, to kiss, to fight, to grieve. Movies gave you tips about how to be attractive. Example: It looks good to wear a raincoat when it isn’t raining. But whatever you took home was only a part of the larger experience of submerging yourself in lives that were not yours. The desire to lose yourself in other people’s lives… faces. This is a larger, more inclusive form of desire embodied in the movie experience. Even more than what you appropriated for yourself was the experience of surrounder to, of being transported by, what was on the screen. You wanted to be kidnapped by the movie… and to be kidnapped was to be overwhelmed by the physical presence of the image. The experience of “going to the movies” was part of it. To see a great film only on television isn’t to have really seen that film. It’s not only a question of the dimensions of the image: the disparity between a larger-than-you image in the theater and the little image on the box at home. The conditions of paying attention in a domestic space are radically disrespectful of film. Now that a film no longer has a standard size, home screens can be as big as living room or bedroom walls. But you are still in a living room or a bedroom. To be kidnapped, you have to be in a movie theater, seated in dark among anonymous strangers.
- Susan Sontag