Life in text – English version


As usual, when we are dealing with good storytelling, the core of the story is in the feeling that moves it and not in the technology used to convey it . As usual, the achievements of the language are obtained through the linearity of the groundwork rather than through the Baroque unfolding of the research.
“Life in the text” , after all, is not much more than a final exploration of the possibilities offered by the most basic dynamics of film editing: the clear succession of a shot and the corresponding reverse shot . Since cinema was born, since the times in which it took its first steps to become poetry, we have not gone far beyond this simple dynamic of oppositions that binds mysteriously one shot to the next. You can put in all the special effects of “Avatar” and all the best 3D whirls, it does not, cannot make any difference: a film is always the story of “someone who looks at something” and we can measure its poetry by the amount of Sense with which we can fill this simple act of looking.
Kuleshov played with this by putting together the close-up of a person who looks at something and of the objetc that is looked at, dreamt about, thought about. Kuleshov’s game was permeated with irony, but it put the tongue on a sore tooth: when we look (or remember) at something we must necessarily interpret it, fill it with meaning.
“Life in text” tells the story of a boy. A sensitive young man , who is more “eye” than action, more thought than word , more feeling than hormones. His love story has ended recently. He would “gladly” stay at home, alone, though friends call him to get him out, to dissuade him from the uncomfortable warmth of his pain. Alone in the apartment, which he shares with a fish in an aquarium, he picks up his cellphone and he thinks about chatting with his ex, but is undecided , he does not seek more pain . A simple junction binds the ideal extreme close-up of his eyes reading with the screen of his phone. The short movie is all here. A boy looks and an object is looked at. His need to figure out what he is looking, and our need to understand him while he looks at it raise the temperature of the poetry in a simple idea. The green screen technology is only the artifice that projects the character into the screen of the mobile phone and the young man , soon , is wandering through the chat threads and among the videos posted in conversations that one only has to jump in to make them a present that can be contemplated in hindsight.  Thus the dynamics of shot/reverse shot evolves into a tracking shot which is , however ,an illusory movement since there is no exchange of substance between watching and walking. The charm of the special effect thus transforms an actor running on the spot, without moving, in a character walking in his memory and remaining prisoner of his loneliness as the fish in the aquarium in search of oxygen. Both the actor and the character are, therefore, still and it is the cinema, in honor of the roots of its name , which gives them the sense of  movement by creating a virtual setting all around them.
The digital environment in which we now live, unaware, becomes therefore, a truly closed habitat, a cage in which we exhibit firstly ourselves. It is a place that leaves us with the impression of an indefinite opening to the others and to the world even when the starting line of a chat seems to turn into the bars of a cage. But in the short movie we are prisoners of our past much more than we can be prisoners of the technological environment we have created. In fact, the same cellphone can also be used to get an appointment with friends and to go out in search of more real contacts. By extension, you can then get to read the ending of the short film as an invitation to cinema itself not to be locked up in the cage of technological experimentation and to go out, for its own sake, in search of Reality, Emotions and Stories. It is rare for such a theoretical premise to be applied so tenaciously well.
The directors , Laurence & Jessica Jacobs ( brother and sister) accept pander the simple linearity of the premise aware of the fact that, as Kuleshov , they are trusting the juxtaposition of two images to give meaning to a look that is still in love. In doing so, they discover with surprise that the past is a dead-end street, and how a beginning can be the true end of a story because beyond that there can be only future and the hope of a less empty tomorrow .
“Life in text” seems to us a very good meeting point between aesthetics and language, between the need to speak and to understand ourselves.

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