Dec 09 2009

Station352 – DUST

Published by at 15:18 under Articles,Screening Room

SOURCE: 352 magazine, Stephen Lowe http://www.station.lu

DUST – A film by Luxembourg director Max Jacoby, and shot in the Grand Duchy, is now showing in the Utopia cinema and well worth a watch. Why not go and see it this weekend?

Max Jacoby is a young and upcoming talent from the bourgeoning pool of Luxembourg’s skilled and promising directors. His 3rd short film, the critically lauded and award-winning Butterflies, was a pristine exercise in restraint that is rarely witnessed by fledgling auteurs, but Jacoby tends to take his time rather than rushing. “The hardest part is always the writing of the script, for the shorts it took me over a year each time, in the case of DUST that time-span stretched to 3 years. But on the set the work is still the same, directing actors and setting up shots, which are my favorite parts of the process.”

His first feature length feature, DUST, concerns the survival of Elodie and Elias,a youthful couple who have been living by their wits ever since the disappearance of most of the Human Race. The unexpected arrival of Gabriel, a mysterious young man, threatens to shatter their harmonic and idyllic relationship. DUST is a beautifully crafted character piece and, largely thanks to Jacoby’s eye for framing, contains some truly stunning photography (shot on location in the Grand Duchy). The ambiguous plotting and lack of definite period setting adds to the aura of mystique that Jacoby aims to convey. Critics have, not unusually, picked up on the religious allegory, but this is something Max insists was not in the fore of his planning or message, “I’m aware of the religious subtext, but did not put it in on purpose. The depiction of this empty world that Elodie and Elias are living in is not supposed to be strictly realistic, but rather it reflects their own very idealized view of it, so I can understand why some viewers think of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden when they see the film.”

Jacoby is, oddly, camera shy. He prefers to allow his craft to speak for him and is reluctant to offer anything by way of a traditional profile. In making his new piece, that draws from the eerie quietness of 2001, A Quiet Earth, Solaryis and in some ways the despotic environment he displays has been previously mined in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. “I love some Tarkovsky films like Andrei Rublev and Stalker, but I didn’t consciously set out to emulate him, which I think is impossible anyway.” Emulation may not be on his mind, but comparison most surely will be Polanski, Haneke, Malick and yes Tarkovsky might well bother the former Camera Assistant but will provide healthy points of reference.

On the Luxembourg Film Industry in general, Jacoby is taciturn, “The industry is on the up, but one should not be deceived by the international co-productions with famous actors that are done here, because abroad no one perceives these films as from Luxembourg. That only happens with films made by local directors, so these people need not only be supported, but also encouraged to take creative risks, in the hope that they make films that will attract international recognition.”

His film, for now, remains his focus. What comes next will be interesting to follow. Local praise for his works has been gradually snowballing and internet support is cyberballing (sic), Jean-Pierre Thilges of Graffiti and Revue considers Dust to be “mesmerizingly beautiful.” We at 352 and Station are in agreement.

The latest news is that DUST is now shortlisted for the Lëtzebuerger filmpräis 2009

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SOURCE: 352 magazine, Stephen Lowe http://www.station.lu

DUST – A film by Luxembourg director Max Jacoby, and shot in the Grand Duchy, is now showing in the Utopia cinema and well worth a watch. Why not go and see it this weekend?

Max Jacoby is a young and upcoming talent from the bourgeoning pool of Luxembourg’s skilled and promising directors. His 3rd short film, the critically lauded and award-winning Butterflies, was a pristine exercise in restraint that is rarely witnessed by fledgling auteurs, but Jacoby tends to take his time rather than rushing. “The hardest part is always the writing of the script, for the shorts it took me over a year each time, in the case of DUST that time-span stretched to 3 years. But on the set the work is still the same, directing actors and setting up shots, which are my favorite parts of the process.”

His first feature length feature, DUST, concerns the survival of Elodie and Elias,a youthful couple who have been living by their wits ever since the disappearance of most of the Human Race. The unexpected arrival of Gabriel, a mysterious young man, threatens to shatter their harmonic and idyllic relationship. DUST is a beautifully crafted character piece and, largely thanks to Jacoby’s eye for framing, contains some truly stunning photography (shot on location in the Grand Duchy). The ambiguous plotting and lack of definite period setting adds to the aura of mystique that Jacoby aims to convey. Critics have, not unusually, picked up on the religious allegory, but this is something Max insists was not in the fore of his planning or message, “I’m aware of the religious subtext, but did not put it in on purpose. The depiction of this empty world that Elodie and Elias are living in is not supposed to be strictly realistic, but rather it reflects their own very idealized view of it, so I can understand why some viewers think of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden when they see the film.”

Jacoby is, oddly, camera shy. He prefers to allow his craft to speak for him and is reluctant to offer anything by way of a traditional profile. In making his new piece, that draws from the eerie quietness of 2001, A Quiet Earth, Solaryis and in some ways the despotic environment he displays has been previously mined in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. “I love some Tarkovsky films like Andrei Rublev and Stalker, but I didn’t consciously set out to emulate him, which I think is impossible anyway.” Emulation may not be on his mind, but comparison most surely will be Polanski, Haneke, Malick and yes Tarkovsky might well bother the former Camera Assistant but will provide healthy points of reference.

On the Luxembourg Film Industry in general, Jacoby is taciturn, “The industry is on the up, but one should not be deceived by the international co-productions with famous actors that are done here, because abroad no one perceives these films as from Luxembourg. That only happens with films made by local directors, so these people need not only be supported, but also encouraged to take creative risks, in the hope that they make films that will attract international recognition.”

His film, for now, remains his focus. What comes next will be interesting to follow. Local praise for his works has been gradually snowballing and internet support is cyberballing (sic), Jean-Pierre Thilges of Graffiti and Revue considers Dust to be “mesmerizingly beautiful.” We at 352 and Station are in agreement.

The latest news is that DUST is now shortlisted for the Lëtzebuerger filmpräis 2009

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