The Places of a Fugue is the only film entirely shot by Georges Perec. It is an autobiographical account of the writer’s experience of running away from his aunt’s house at the age of eleven, an account he wrote about in 1965. It was the 11th of May 1947. He was eleven and two months old. He had just run away from home, 18 rue de l’Assomption, in the 16th district… Using the images of the actual places where, as a child, he had run off to, a voice evokes his memories. That memory is reconstructed bit by bit, as the images unfold, lending an intimate and nostalgic tone to this film without characters.
A word from Tënk
To introduce Georges Perec’s The Places of a Fugue, we could quote from Chris Marker’s La Jetée : “This is the story of a man deeply affected by an image of childhood”. Childhood and memories are, as we know, decisive elements in Perec’s work. What matters here is not so much the memory itself but rather the various timeframes and ways of remembering it… 1947, 1965, 1978, or even 2022 for those of us discovering or returning to the film today. The separation between image and sound, contemporary with the films of Marguerite Duras and Straub/Huillet, shifting between the places he ran away to and the non-chronological voiceover evocation of this day of wandering and abandon, skilfully reconstruct the child's confusion and the fits and starts of memory.
Under Perec’s gaze, we also explore a city that’s disappeared, transformed since young Georges ran away, as the adult writer and filmmaker portrays it through sound and image and we rediscover it through the strength and simplicity of his rendering.
Programmer at Cinéma Le Bourguet in Forcalquier