La forêt, une fois (2010)

“The forest runs around the hunting dog.”
— Dogen

Losing one’s way in a forest, on a mountain, by the sea, in a city…

Metaphors for the impossibility of experience, and the irretrievability of memory.

First prize, Festival Toma Unica, Madrid, 2010

La forêt, une fois, was commissioned as part of the AJC!’s 2009 call for experimental Super 8 film projects. I sent out a call to all my friends in Belgium and France for stories about occasions in their lives when they had believed they had got so lost, they might never get found again. They circulated that call for me, and over a period of several months I recorded stories from ten different people, of which I was able to use eight in this film. (One of them would later become the narrative core of Dieu est dans les racines). I then spent the summer going out with my Super 8 camera into landscapes analogous to those of the stories I had been told – a mountain, a forest, a tidal estuary, a seaside resort – and accompanying it while it “got lost” in its turn… A performative investigation by an inanimate object into the fragility and force of human narratives.

This film was made under the watchful eye of Bruno Tracq, and in close collaboration with the sound designer Olivier Touche.

Stories by Pierre Deruisseau, Donya Feki, Murielle Magellan, Olivier Magis, Karim Olabi, Annick Vellut, Olivier Vuylsteke, and Claudine Welter.
Recorded and translated into images by Peter Snowdon.
Sounds composed by Peter Snowdon and Olivier Touche.

Super 8/DV, 22 mns, AJC!

Released under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA licence.

This film was made possible by the Creative Commons spirit, as embodied in particular by, ccmixter, the Internet Archive and Magnatune.