Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Ne Change Rien

Coffee-table art book meets musical documentary in this enormously satisfying endeavor.

Nov 2, 2010

-By Eric Monder


filmjournal/photos/stylus/156274-Ne_Change_Rien_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

With Ne Change Rien, cinephile favorite Pedro Costa (Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?) takes a recording session and turns it into a dream-like journey. Actor/vocalist Jeanne Balibar ( Va Savoir) is the arresting subject of this unusual film, which should attract a solid and enthusiastic art-house crowd.

The Portuguese Costa filmed the French Balibar during the rehearsals and recording sessions for her album, which includes an operatic number from Jacques Offenbach’s Le Perichole. During the painstaking process of making the recording, we witness Balibar singing and working closely with the studio musicians and technicians. Later, we also see Balibar performing in concert.

Shot by Costa himself in ultra-stylish black-and-white, Ne Change Rien seems less like a traditional documentary and more like an avant-garde film from another era (or another world!). Indeed, Costa’s digital camera turns the simplest setting, the recording studio, into a dark, hypnotic place with a seeming reach into a spatial infinity. Balibar’s voice is equally “dark” in its way, as we hear her meticulously yet almost effortlessly master each section of the challenging composition.

The deconstruction of a scant number of musical passages might remind some of One Plus One (aka Sympathy for the Devil), Jean-Luc Godard’s controversial 1968 documentary of the recording of a Rolling Stones album. The difference here is that Costa is more interested in formal beauty, both visually and aurally, and does not seem to be making a political statement—Godard’s raison d’etre (at least in 1968).

As dense or heavy as it sounds, however, Ne Change Rien also contains a few lighter moments, such as Balibar’s banter with her musicians, notably guitarist Rodolphe Burger, and an unexpected segue into Victor Young and Peggy Lee’s classic, “Johnny Guitar.” But even without this relief from the aesthetic austerity, Costa’s film is never dull. From the mellifluous vocalizing to the textured chiaroscuro, Ne Change Rien should put the most restless viewers into a healthy trance.


Film Review: Ne Change Rien

Coffee-table art book meets musical documentary in this enormously satisfying endeavor.

Nov 2, 2010

-By Eric Monder


filmjournal/photos/stylus/156274-Ne_Change_Rien_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

With Ne Change Rien, cinephile favorite Pedro Costa (Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?) takes a recording session and turns it into a dream-like journey. Actor/vocalist Jeanne Balibar (Va Savoir) is the arresting subject of this unusual film, which should attract a solid and enthusiastic art-house crowd.

The Portuguese Costa filmed the French Balibar during the rehearsals and recording sessions for her album, which includes an operatic number from Jacques Offenbach’s Le Perichole. During the painstaking process of making the recording, we witness Balibar singing and working closely with the studio musicians and technicians. Later, we also see Balibar performing in concert.

Shot by Costa himself in ultra-stylish black-and-white, Ne Change Rien seems less like a traditional documentary and more like an avant-garde film from another era (or another world!). Indeed, Costa’s digital camera turns the simplest setting, the recording studio, into a dark, hypnotic place with a seeming reach into a spatial infinity. Balibar’s voice is equally “dark” in its way, as we hear her meticulously yet almost effortlessly master each section of the challenging composition.

The deconstruction of a scant number of musical passages might remind some of One Plus One (aka Sympathy for the Devil), Jean-Luc Godard’s controversial 1968 documentary of the recording of a Rolling Stones album. The difference here is that Costa is more interested in formal beauty, both visually and aurally, and does not seem to be making a political statement—Godard’s raison d’etre (at least in 1968).

As dense or heavy as it sounds, however, Ne Change Rien also contains a few lighter moments, such as Balibar’s banter with her musicians, notably guitarist Rodolphe Burger, and an unexpected segue into Victor Young and Peggy Lee’s classic, “Johnny Guitar.” But even without this relief from the aesthetic austerity, Costa’s film is never dull. From the mellifluous vocalizing to the textured chiaroscuro, Ne Change Rien should put the most restless viewers into a healthy trance.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Rudderless
Film Review: Rudderless

Well-done indie drama about a lost-soul house painter reborn through rock ’n’ roll is a nice actor’s showcase for star Billy Crudup and an impressive directorial debut for actor William H. Macy. But in spite of some good work onscreen, both hero and story lack the edge and originality to carry this drama beyond respectability. More »

Camp X-Ray
Film Review: Camp X-Ray

Army guard and Guantanamo detainee form a grudging relationship in a thoughtful but far-fetched drama. More »

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Film Review: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

As charming as it is delicate, this unusually low-key, if a tad overlong, animated feature brings yet more prestige to the famed Ghibli output. More »

Dear White People
Film Review: Dear White People

There won't be a smarter or funnier screenplay this year (or more striking feature directorial debut), and that is just the basis for this surprising, wonderful and quite definitive college film. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Birdman
Film Review: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Virtuosic camerawork and a stellar ensemble of actors more than make up for the occasional moment of portentous twaddle in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's latest—and maybe his best—film. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here