Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Fil Rouge"

          In German, there is a phrase: “Roter Faden.”  It comes from Goethe’s novel “Elective Affinities.”  It has the same meaning as the English phrase: “common thread.”  In French, it would be translated as “le Fil Rouge.”  “Fil Rouge” is also the title of a great short film from 2008 written and directed by Luc Plissonneau.  It has made some appearances at festivals, and is available to view online.  Plissonneau has another film about to start making the festival circuit.  He is a talent to keep an eye on.

          In “Fil Rouge” the common thread binding a man’s story together is the wine that his family has produced his whole life.  In the film, his daughter sets up a blind tasting of his families vintage that leads us on a journey through the important events of his life through the flashbacks that the taste memories produce.

          Wine is an amazing substance.  What other product do we make that is so completely influenced by where and when it was made that people can recognize the year and vintage simply by tasting it?  Not only that, but it has been such an important part of human culture for thousands of years.  It is perhaps no coincidence that the Bible gives wine such high symbolic value.

          “Fil Rouge” ends with a wonderful scene of father and daughter pruning the vines.  As the father teaches the daughter the art, we are reminded once again of the Biblical picture it conveys.  I don’t know if Plissonneau is a man of faith or not, but he has created a story with a lot of spiritual imagery.

          That and it is a well made piece of visual storytelling.

Fil Rouge - "The Red Thread" (2008, 17 min) Short Film by Luc Plissonneau from Luc Plissonneau on Vimeo.

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