Curtocircuito 2016 Review: Exodus

The Curtocircuito International Short Film Festival, held in Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain), reaches this year its 13th edition (3-9 October). Among the rich cultural life of this small city, with various annual events, the festival stands out every year as an essential spot for movie lovers, always noted for its commitment to the short format and its audacious selection of films.

As part of its Explora section (focused on experimental cinema), Curtocircuito presented this year the Spanish premiere of Exodus by Nicolas Provost. Best known for his award-winning film The Invader (2011), the Belgian filmmaker and visual artist offers this time an innovative “road movie” edited as a slideshow made of intense and vivid pictures. Exodus is a 15-minute silent film shot in CinemaScope, across four western US states, portraying a selection of vast landscapes of huge cinematic beauty.

During this expedition, Provost reinterprets some of the most iconic American landscapes, freeing his images from any form of dialogue or narrative direction. Although some of these places have been represented countless times on screen, Exodus manages to make a difference thanks to its impressive compositions, which transcend the traditional documentary style. It becomes an immersive and sensorial experience, enhanced by the slow motion shots and the gentle camera movements, blurring the borders between film and pure art.

The impact of the images becomes even more powerful as we perceived living forms interacting with the landscape. Surrounded by monumental nature, different human and animal figures emerge in the frame: a couple of tourists, a women waving from the distance, a group of dogs and even Provost's wife Hannelore Knuts (who also appeared in his feature debut), wander across the scenery in amazement. In some cases we can only identify human action through the glance of solitary roads and utility poles, stressing the idea of a path as notorious as forgotten, with an everlasting charm. Provost manipulates time and space in order to present, in his own words, a “meditative slideshow anticipating a near future”.

Exodus had its world premiere at the IDFA 2015 and is currently competing in the Official Selection of Curtocircuito 2016. It is a Curta Metragens CRL production, with support of The Flanders Audiovisual Fund. Portuguese Short Film Agency is in charge of its distribution.

Film Information
Original Title: Exodus
Director: Nicolas Provost
Country: Portugal / Netherlands
Year: 2015
Run Time: 17:21 mins

10 October 2016, by Jesús Silva