Georges Perec’s Movie

Via RSB, I find this nice report from The Auteurs on Georges Perec’s 1974 movie Un Homme Qui Dort. The movie is based on Perec’s early novella of the same name (published in English by Godine as A Man Asleep.)


The occasion of this report is Dort’s release on DVD (although currently unavailable through Amazon U.S. Based on The Auteurs’s description (and some of the stills), Dort sounds somewhat similar to Robbe-Grillet’s experimental film, Last Year at Marienbad:

In the early ’70s Perec and his friend Bernard Queysanne, a filmmaker
whose experience had heretofore been as an assistant director, teamed
up to make a film of the book. While much of the film’s narration—which
comprises the entirety of the film’s verbal content; there is no
dialogue—is taken directly from the novel, Perec jettisoned the book’s
linear structure in favor of, Bellos explains, "a mathematical
construction. After the prologue (part 0, so to speak) there are six
sections. The six sections are interchangeable in the sense that the
same objects, places, and movements are shown in each, but they are all
filmed from different angles and edited into different order, in line
with the permutations of the sestina. The text and the music are
similarly organized in six-part permutations, and then edited and mixed
so that the words are out of phase with the image except at apparently
random moments, the last of which—the closing sequence—is not random at
all but endowed with an overwhelming sense of necessity."

For anyone who has seen Marienbad, this still will especially resound:


All in all, sounds like a worthwhile film. I’ll be looking forward to its appearance on these shores.

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I read Un Homme qui dort recently and it was tremendously good. Perec is such a star. haven’t seen the film, however.


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