Geneviève Bélanger Genest / 2022 / 8 min. / Canada / Canada
In the stark Québec winter, ice floes cover the St. Lawrence River. Otherworldly, determined silhouettes appear, and we fall into the cadence of ice canoes rowing into an unfathomable landscape. Producing sensations as extreme as the surroundings, the voyage immerses us in the elements and confounds us with a close focus on astonishing, minute details. The film explores how our interior and exterior landscapes shape and define us, bringing humans together in inscrutable surroundings. A synesthetic journey that mirrors the trials our bodies push through.
Cast & Crew
Screenplay: Geneviève Bélanger Genest
Cinematographer: Geneviève Bélanger Genest
Editor: Geneviève Bélanger Genest
Sound: Robin Servant
Sound mix: Bruno Bélanger
Sound editor: Robin Servant
Music: Robin Servant
Production: Geneviève Bélanger Genest
Geneviève Bélanger Genest is a filmmaker based in Saguenay, Quebec, whose work creates immersive experiences that explore the relationship between humans and the territories they inhabit. She has directed two shorts, “Devenir abeille” (Becoming a Bee, 2011), and “Que nos corps traversent” (Pushing Through, 2022). Recent work combines film and digital imagery. Geneviève holds a diploma in Digital Art and works as an assistant director.
Devenir abeille / 30 min.
In competition | REGARD - Festival international du court métrage au Saguenay, Canada
In competition | 12th Athens Animfest
Mot de la réalisatrice
For three winters I followed a women’s ice canoe team based in Rimouski. My filmmaking process was exploratory: I used their training sessions to gather a bank of images and sounds from sources including microphones, contact microphones, hydrophones, and Go Pro cameras attached to the canoeists and their boat. These raw materials inspired an exploratory process in search of new, organic ways to exploit the medium.
In response to the unmediated, larger-than-life forms of the ice floes, I intervened directly on the medium, altering images to craft an arresting, extreme experience for the viewer that recreates what the ice canoeists go through. I then applied watercolour ink to the 16 mm film stock. Some digital images were also transferred to film and manipulated with hands-on techniques. The resulting combination of analogue and digital subverts the expectations of the spectator’s gaze.
The same leitmotif guided the sound design, whose aim was to create emotions, not statements. Though created in distinct parallel processes, the sound and video components grew out of a shared creative dialogue between the filmmaker and sound designer and musician Robin Servant. The sounds of the friction between boat and ice and the rhythmic strokes of the oar or footsteps when running and pushing the canoe were processed with electroacoustic effects, transcending the reality of winter for an enhanced introspection. The sonic experience takes on its full sense in the theater thanks to subtle, finely honed sound spatialization.
Taking these bodies in movement as a point of departure, I invite the spectator to become this body,