Curtocircuito Review: Kacey Mottet Klein, Birth of an Actor

After its good reception in several festivals including the Berlinale and the Sao Paulo Short Film Festival, Kacey Mottet Klein, Birth of an Actor by the French-Swiss film director Ursula Meier was screened this week at Curtocircuito International Film Festival. This atypical short documentary (14-min long) revolves around the personal and artistic growth of young Swiss actor Kacey Mottet Klein, who at the age of 16 is already an extremely promising artist with several awards and some prodigious performances throughout his short career.

Of course it is not the first time Mottet and Meier have worked together,with the latter being the person who offered Kacey his film debut with Home (2008) along with his most remarkable and best acclaimed parts - such as his role in Sister (2012), where the actor played one of the two main characters opposing Léa Seydoux. But how was this process for such a young professional and what did it mean to Kacey? That is Meier's real motivation behind her new film.

Through a brilliant use of montage, combining footage from different shootings and periods, we follow Kacey's professional life during three important stages (at 8, 12 and 15 years-old), in order to see his birth and evolution as an actor. The very first few minutes are arresting as we see one of his first rehearsals in front of the camera, consisting of the child cursing out loud, getting ready for a really intense scene. During the movie, merged with the wonderfully chosen music, we hear Kacey's voice from an interview, explaining his perception about performing, and how it has changed over the years. From a much mature perspective, he recalls how it was to get into a certain role when he was just a child, to push his own limits while interacting with other actors and the camera itself.

With Kacey Mottet Klein, Birth of an Actor, Ursula Meier gives us a genuine meditation about the process of acting from a very early age, exploring the borders between a child's-game and the conscious work of an actor.

Though those who find are fans of Meier may get slightly more out of it, even the unitiated should find plenty to enjoy here.


Title: Kacey Mottet Klein, Birth of an Actor (Kacey Mottet Klein, Naissance d’un Acteur)

Director: Ursula Meier

Year: 2015

Country: Switzerland

Run Time: 14 mins

10 October 2015, by Jesús Silva