The impact of this annual project snowballs every year, all the while gaining in cultural momentum. An ambitious itinerary was agreed encompassing one authentic Parisian experience after another and all 11 boys (sadly 3 didn’t make it) responded with gusto and appreciation. They absorbed a range of new and enriching experiences over the course of their 2 days in Paris: sights, sounds, smells, the metro, French food, grumpy waiters, sustained exposure to several languages and a mammoth display of mutual respect for a dozen foreign films.
Their film was well received in the auditorium and, as I saw it, it came as something of a relief for the assembled European young people to follow a clear narrative rather than a series of meditations on a theme that many participants had offered. The group from Guadeloupe said ‘No Escape’ was by far their favourite film – we didn’t have time to discuss this further (…which is a shame in itself… there could be more built in opportunity for cross-cultural chat), I’m guessing they loved seeing the ‘real’ insides of a Victorian school. Their film was set in a real street carnival – a wandering individual dressed in yellow amid girating dancers festooned in red and black. It’s always fascinating to see how the brief is interpreted and re-presented. Our boys’ film was shot through with a very real sense of barrier-busting liberation, transgression and storming of forbidden zones. The French struggled to reconcile this with their notion of ‘the real’ in film which they perceive as more to do with the incorporation of material, uncontrollable, found elements in a mis-en-scene.
Here’s the trip in pictures, and I think you can feel the bonhomie shining through. The photos can be seen in gallery format on the boys’ film club blog.