‘Cees’, 2010, 7’
“ « Cees » is a short docu-fiction that came out of several months, which I spent with my grandfather over the last year. Since two years he found himself increasingly isolated from the outer world, confronted with the acute deterioration of his body, loneliness and longing for intimacy. In my turn, I felt the need to spend time with him and look at him from up close, without keeping any kind of distance.
I looked at the dust that gathered on the plastic plants in his house and at his kingsize bed, now only prepared and slept on one side of the mattress. He asked me to read Everyman of Phillip Roth with him and we spoke about what he sees himself confronted with most as his thoughts have so much time to run through his head. Mostly, he repeated that what he missed most was the lack of intimacy.
I spend much time filming his body as he was resting. Somehow, it was the trembling of tiny muscles under the almost see-through skin on the sole of his foot that touched me most. I saw in it simultaneously a relentless, obstinate, immensely powerful liveliness, and at the same time its undeniable passing by. It was such a minute trembling that I could see it only when I got extremely close and when I gave it all the time and attention it needed to be noticed. When looking at him in this way, I could see the life in him both at its most crude and its most tender.
I have the impression that we live in a time and place in which we have grown to look around us with a certain distance, insensitivity and indifference. As if we have already seen and understood everything. I can’t shake the impression that this way of looking intensifies a sense of detachment between ourselves and our surroundings and between ourselves and others. « Cees » grew from the desire to become curious, honest, and up close and personal again. ”
Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains
Portrait of a dying man.
|Written & directed by: Viola Groenhart|
|Man: Cees Oosthuizen|
|DOP/Camera operator: Erwan van Buuren; Viola Groenhart|
|AC: Nicolas François|
|Grip: Floriane Medal|
|Equipment: Le Fresnoy; Golden-Eye|
|Editor: Viola Groenhart|
|Post-production: Karim Touzene|
|Sound design: Viola Groenhart; Damien Tronchot|
|Mixage: Damien Tronchot|
|Auditorium: Le Fresnoy|
Nominations & awards
Nomination Prix Fresnes
Nomination Prix Université Paris XII