Le film est déjà commencé? (Has the Film Started Yet?)

Maurice Lemaître

Paris, France, 1926 - 2018
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  • Media description: 
    35 mm film transferred to 16 mm film and video (Betacam Digital, DVD and Hard disk drive)
  • Duration: 
    59 min.
  • Colour: 
    Colour and black/white
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Maurice Lemaître was one of the Lettrist Group’s most active members, and a faithful follower of the intellectual maxims of Isidore Isou. He was also the artist who went furthest with ‘chiselling’ and transgressive manipulation of film stock, a feature he would add to the random component. Le film est déjà commencé? (Has the Film Started Yet?) is one of the movement’s most important films. It was originally conceived not as a film but almost as a happening, in which the act of projecting creates a ‘syncinéma’ (a term coined by the artist as a replacement for the traditional idea of a film showing). Syncinéma can be defined as an artistic or social event based around the modification of the screen and the screening room through the production of movement in time and space, together with audience participation and other elements unrelated to the film itself. The complete lack of synchronisation between the sound and the jumbled, disconnected images, for the most part taken from discarded stock and offcuts of various film labs, along with the performative feel of the direction, push Isou’s discourse to its very limits. Isou himself appreciated the contaminating influences of other sources, in this case theatrality, as previously defined by Antonin Artaud.

Lola Hinojosa