Shirley: Visions of reality

Shirley: Visions of reality

(Fiction, Autriche, 2013, 92’, C, VOSTF)

de Gustav Deutsch
avec Stephanie Cumming, Christoph Bach, Florentin Groll, Elfriede Irrall

 

Shirley est actrice. Elle vit dans l’Amérique des années 30, 40, 50, 60. Elle n’accepte pas la réalité des années de Dépression, de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, de l’époque McCarthy, les conflits raciaux et de droit humain comme réalité allant de soi mais s’engage pour changer le cours de l’histoire.
« … Shirley est un film d’une telle beauté que l’on pourrait être pardonné de rejeter sa narration entièrement, afin de plonger dans cette riche simulation de tableaux de Hopper, épars mais totalement captivants. En imitant avec succès les lignes, vives et brusques, et les couleurs, audacieuses et fortes, de sa peinture, Deutsch et son photographe Jerzy Palacz ont réussi à calibrer l’éclairage distinct et minimaliste et la composition des originaux et à façonner un monde qui semble enseveli dans l’histoire.
Combinez ce superbe travail visuel avec la bande sonore sombre et éthérée et vous avez un film qui crée la réverbération onirique de l’histoire récente, qui résonne à la fois d’espoir et de découragement.» Patrick Gamble, Cinevue.
Prix du meilleur film de la Viennale en 2013

Shirley is a woman in America in the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s, and early ‘60s. A woman who would like to influence the course of history with her professional and socio-political involvement. A woman who does not accept the reality of the Depression years, WWII, the McCarthy era, race conflicts and civil rights campaigns as given but rather as generated and adjustable. A woman whose work as an actress has familiarised her with the staging of reality, the questioning and shaping of it; an actress who doesn’t identify her purpose and future with that of solo success or stardom but who strives to give social potency to theatre as part of a collective. A woman who cannot identify with the traditional role model of a wife yet longs to have a life partner. A woman who does not compromise in moments of professional crisis and is not afraid to take on menial jobs to secure her livelihood. A woman who in a moment of private crisis decides to stick with her partner and puts her own professional interest on the back burner. A woman who is infuriated by political repression yet not driven to despair, and who has nothing but disdain for betrayal. Shirley, an attractive, charismatic, committed, emancipated woman. eastwest-distributioncom

“A textured animation of life, Deutsch’s Shirley is a film of such aesthetic beauty that one could be forgiven for dismissing its narrative entirely, in order to solely become immersed in this rich simulation of Hopper’s sparse, yet enrapturing oil paintings. Successfully imitating the sharp vivid lines and bold prominent colours of Hopper’s work, Deutsch and director of photography Jerzy Palacz have managed to calibrate the distinct lighting and minimalist composition of the original paintings and fashion a world which seems entombed in history. Combine these lush visuals with a darkly ethereal score and you have a film that paints a dreamlike reverberation of recent history – echoing with an equal mix of hope and despondency.” Cinevue, Patrick Gamble