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The Devouring glances

Focus #11

Thu 14 October 202114.10.21
20H00—22H00
5 rue des Ecoles
75005 Paris
Reservation
Fee
Single price: 5€
UGC/MK2 and CIP cards accepted

Programmed and presented by What's Your Flavor?

The fifty years of existence of the CJC echo with the fifty years of the creation of the Front Homosexuel d’Action Révolutionnaire (FHAR), which claimed to confront the hostile eyes of a homophobia that was then institutional, rushed into the exploration of the devouring eyes (escaping secret closets to claim their voyeuristic desires) and invited to the chance of sensual explorations, where eyes only are no longer enough to experience passions. More than an account of an era, this program explores the CJC’s catalog in search of films that take on the legacy of those homosexual perspectives and use the eyes as a tool of transformation. A whole history that waters and fertilizes cinema, trickling from one film to another until it rinses our eyes.

Boxing match
Isobel Mendelson

France
1976
Digitized Super 8
15’

Dans le village
Patricia Godal & Laurence Rebouillon

France
2009
16mm
6'

Shape Of The Gaze
Maïa Cybelle Carpenter

United States
2000
16mm
7'

Mâne
Laurence Chanfro

France
2005
Digital
2’30

Les Garçons de la plage
Louis Dupont

France
2003
Super 8
6’

Blind Porn
Emilie Jouvet

France
2005
Digital
3’30

Quand la mer débordait
Laurence Rebouillon

France
1996
16mm
5’

Sur mon cou
Stéphane Marti

France
2009
Digitized Super 8
4’

Le Troisième œil
André Almuro et Jean-Luc Guionnet

France
1989
Digitized Super 8
22’

Nu lacté & Kitsch-net
Lionel Soukaz & Xavier Baert

France
2002
Super 8/16mm double screen
6'30

Les Regards dévorants

The fifty years of existence of the Collectif Jeune Cinéma come along the fifty years of the creation of the Front Homosexuel d’Action Révolutionnaire, the FHAR, an iconic group in French activist history, which wrote in its founding text, Rapport contre la normalité (Report against normality) :

“We are nothing, let us be everything.
This demonstration of May 1st  was the beginning of a festival for us, the “social scourges”. In this classic procession, there was a liberated zone: that of the M.L.F. and the F.H.A.R. […] we danced, we kissed, we caressed each other, we sang: “The faggots are in the street! Long live the total revolution! “and the songs of the M.L.F. to those who looked at us passing by with empathy or horror [1] »

It would seem that throughout the ages, the filmmakers of the CJC have proposed their responses to these gazes - to gazes of empathy, desire, horror and disgust. From pixels and film, worlds were created that fit their desires to substitute them for the gaze of all [2]. Each of the films in this program has its own substitute project.

The experience of marginality passes by the confrontation with hostile looks, those well installed in their normality and quick to express their disapproval under frowned brows. To these, some choose to respond with indifference and to counter these hostile looks with clever mirror effects (In the Village). Others capture this shooting with their eyes and extract from it a capacity to make the illusions of the genre waver (The Shape of Gaze). Others finally explore the transformative possibility, where the initially recalcitrant public succumbs to its curiosity and joins a spectacle of desires a priori doomed (Boxing Match).

While it is well known that good manners forbid deviating, we can count on a different cinema to rush into the exploration of devouring eyes. In turn, the furtive glances carried on candid bodies and their improbable anatomies (Mâne), the longer glances showing in the exhibitions of male performances (Les Garçons de la plage), those which split in a photo-chemical ball to better inspect an offered nudity (Nu lacté & Kitsch-net) and those definitively voyeurs which seek any evocation of sexuality, especially when it  escapes the frame (Blind Porn).

While cinema feeds our wide eyes with staged glances, there are also films that let go of its guidance, of the action of directing, abandoning themselves to chance. Which offer the choice between the power of the shots in Jean Genet’s Un Chant d’amour (a pioneer of French homosexual cinema at the heart of the CJC’s catalog) and the attraction of a naked body, caught by surprise looking at one when we thought we were following the other (Sur mon cou). Who welcome the disproportionate upheavals, whether the object of desire is absent (Quand la mer débordait) or omnipresent (Le Troisième Œil), writing a subjectivity with multiple pairs of eyes, polyvisual, omniscient.

If the sexual encounter is a political fusion of the bodies, arousing our desires to transcend the sufferings, the fears and the embarrassments which separate us, let this orgy of the eyes be the delicious preliminaries of it.

- What’s Your Flavor?

1

FHAR, Rapport contre la normalité, 1971.

2

Cinema substitutes our gaze with a world that matches our desires. Michel Mourlet quoted in the opening of Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mépris.