- Press "A".
- Ok, I’m in the world.
The Bends is a scuba-dive inside of a wandering camera-body, filming other bodies in motion. Human, animal, vegetal, mineral, or object - all bodies are approached with the same attention, the same fascination at once contemplative and existential for the way things are in the world. Objects and subjects all become "filmed-bodies" in The Bends, beyond any other form of distinction.
The filmed-bodies do what they usually do. Most of them are occupied creating, they produce sounds, dance, draw lines, or attempt to enunciate thoughts which are still under construction. But they create as if to also say that "art is what makes life more interesting than art." Creating here is an ongoing process, a vital one, from which the film only delivers excerpts.
The words, gestures, sounds, or the vibrations that animate these bodies, are what constitute the material of the film. Drawn lines evolve, warping. Materials squeal, voices undulate, temperatures and moods are in constant modulation ... The Bends is a drift from one perceptual and emotive world to another.
Places and time are elastic. Recorded between 2014 and 2015 on three continents, the eleven chapters of the film form a body of work that breaks with linear narrative devices.
Even so, a "binding-substance" seems to be at play, allowing for a sense of unity.
This binding-substance takes different forms. At first through the dialog that de Freitas engages with what he films, through the sometimes obsessive proximity between the camera-body and the filmed-bodies. As if it was about penetrating, capturing the essence of all things.
And there’s the fact that these bodies are first of all sensible, feeling bodies. Senses are invoked, and particularly touch. Neither visual immersion in a virtual reality, nor the medium of film allow for a tactile experience. However, The Bends seems to want to show us that this truth, as insurmountable as it is, is still worth questioning. To what extent can the camera capture or convey senses? The camera might not be a sensible body, but de Freitas positions his own so that it becomes a relay, so that you can almost feel the cold water on his feet, or the smooth texture of kneaded clay. The camera is like a hand that could only watch.
The hands create a bond to the world, the hands want to touch. They want to bend. Othertimes they dance or caress.
- text by aurélia defrance