Mars&Venus, opposition phases
Directed by Julien Audebert
Director of PhotographyAntoine Parouty
Choreographers Alice Renavand and Alexandre Gasse
Dancer Alice Renavand, principal dancer of the Paris Opera
Composers Kerwin Rolland and Julien Audebert
MARS & VENUS opposition phases, is an unique sequence-shot about the machinery of cinema and celestial mechanics. It is a sound film about appearances and reality, an experience about the place of the viewer.
Beyond the geometric and scientific project basis, the film develops a tension between the relentless astronomical measurement, and the body of a dancer. The body and the machinery (incarnation of the celestial mechanics) are caught in a dialectical relationship of agreement and struggle.
Interview with Director Julien Audebert
Describe, in as many or as few words as you see fit, the genesis of or inspiration behind Mars and Venus, Opposition Phases?
Some sources of inspiration beyond Mars&Venus…
Astronomy, mythology, rites to seduce gods, running into somebody several times in the subway, dolly rails.
How long did this project take to film? How long was post-production?
From the first drawing to the shooting, almost one year was necessary to turn the project into a film.
It required a narrow connection between calculation (scaling to human proportions the astronomic phenomenon), to realize the machinic device, create the choreography, find financing and partnerships and the right place (long space with columns…)
There is very little post-production because the film is a single shot. All the photographic work on colour variations, light flares… where made during the shooting, without any digital effects.
The main aspect of post prod was sound mixing (effects and mix on the different live mics) and colour timing.
All the technical aspect is about changing scale. In my film, the astronomical phenomenon is a kind of diagram, literally a floor plan for the dancer. But all the subject consists in translating it (in space and time) in the most direct human expression, and maybe the most ancient medium : dancing.
If this is your first dance for film production, what are a few things you learned about making a dance for film that surprised you? If this is not your first dance for film production, what are a few things that you are continually trying to refine or learn as you have sought to work thru this medium of dance and film together?
The movie is a single shot and, as regards the shooting conditions (very physical and mentally hard performance, with cold conditions in March) we were constrained in a unique shot with only two try outs. No room for mistakes, and very fine coordination between all the staff members (camera operators, technicians, sound engineer…)
In order to shoot the ‘opposition phase’ (the moment when Venus falls into line with Mars and the center (virtually the Sun) we needed to simulate more than one hour of cycle. We shot only a sequence of ten minutes when the phenomenon occurs 2 times (the first time at 5:07 min is a kind of « missed opportunity ». They don’t fall in line perfectly, but we perceive Venus retrograde. The second time (at 7:40 min.) matches the perfect encounter where the 3 bodies fall in line perfectly.
What is interesting or intriguing to you about dance for film vs. dance for stage? Or, if you are coming from a film background and working with dance is a more new medium for you, what drew you to wanting to capture and work with dance?
My interest in dancing is recent, and started with a very cinematographic approach, because the camera is like a second « actor » or « dancer » for the eye we see from. It is the central aspect of my approach. Dancer and camera create a third movement, the very one the spectator can see.
Ì am currently working on another project but it is too early to speak about it.
Julien Audebert – Interview by Art : Concept