Hommage Au Sauvage - A Portrait Of Henri Pousseur


Sub Rosa re-releases the 2005 documentary of Belgian theoretician and experimental/avant-garde composer, Henri Pousseur. Over 15 years ago, the Basel-based Fondation Paul Sacher, which preserves archives related to 20th century music, sent its best expert, musicologist Dr. Albi Rosenthal, to Henri Pousseur's home. Upon finding out the scope of documents Pousseur had kept, the musical antiquarian's eyes widened. Now, Pousseur's past, present and future archives can be found at the Foundation: magnetic tapes, scores, correspondence, etc., along with his most complex research work, his most obscure sound materials, and his most random memos. This documentary film is part of that archival body, in the form of a "road movie," if you will. Henri leads a convoy en route to Basel. For hours on end, the footage conjures up far-away and ancient places, but we know nothing of the moment, the location, or the context of their emergence. The enclosed and moving space of the car is the only thing you can hold on to or believe in. On the way back, after sitting in the car for hours, the setting sun illuminates Pousseur's face. He remembers his first glimpse of Mount Fuji and carefully shows the viewer where he was sitting on the Tokyo-Kyoto train, years ago: "Right there, like that. My wife was there and I was there." Through the window, he shows us where Mount Fuji stood. And suddenly, we can see it too, silhouetted on the horizon. Thanks to what happens off-camera, the filmed reminiscence turns into Presence. As we capture the tale of this vision, we can see what Pousseur sees. And yet, beyond that, and that light: nothing. This is a powerful documentary, which manages to change sensations simply by recording a living, direct, and unpredictable narration. It is also Henri's last voyage. Directed by Dominique Lohlé and Guy Marc Hinant. 52 minutes; double-sided DVD in both NTSC & PAL formats, region-free; in French with English subtitles.