Romans, 2001

Philippe Terrier-herman
Romans, 2001
Video installation
42 minutes


This film is half way between conventional film and opera. The film is set inside an Italian palace called the Villa Medici. A group of Italian actors appear for an indefinite time to act out different cinematic cliches related to American and Italian cultures. In fact, the characters of this film seem as if they are prisoners to sentiments that have nothing to do with their real life. They flirt and separate, speaking in beautiful Italian, but the translation is bad, unfaithful to the script's original

The events, without any apparent interruption within the narrative economy thus proclaim an unjustifiable superficiality. Amorous conversations in their Italian tongue lose much of their pure flavour because of this misinterpretation in translation, so they become marginal literary texts, of a kind of brash, New York "America no", that loses value and submits to some regular life banality. Such fake atmosphere is reminiscent of boring content, and deadpan or stereotyped acting styles such as directed by Antonioni, Bunuel, Duras, Resnais, Visconti in the cinema of the 60's and 70's.