Critical       The intimate cuisine of an "Exile"                Marcelo Novais Teles has compiled twenty-five years of images of his life as an aspiring actor in Paris in a filmed diary where we meet French filmmakers like Mathieu Amalric.


TheExile belongs to a genre not very visible in cinemas, because a priori intended to remain confidential, as an intimate archive of a very small group: it is a home movie, a family film, tape. The spectator stranger to the connivance that cements these moments rather ordinary, these impromptu conversations, these parties watered, these transfers between friends, finds himself witness of a story that was neither lived nor filmed for him. And that is precisely what can make such images, even a little staged, so precious, as is often the case here: they were first filmed to be filmed, with the primary goal of documenting a simple joy. to prolong a happy complicity.

Among Marcelo Novais Teles' close associates, we regularly meet famous faces, Olivier Broche, Jeanne Balibar and especially Mathieu Amalric, who is 20 years old at the very beginning of this film compiling about a quarter of a century of Super 8 and video recordings. It is difficult to see the latter evolve, mature, become a father, without thinking about the roles he held at the time among Larrieu or Desplechin. The exile It fits into the margins of French cinema at the time, in the salons and kitchens of movie-actors-filmmakers who are the exact contemporary when they are not really central figures.

Joy and melancholy

For Marcelo Novais Teles, who knows what cinema is for having already made many short films, been screenwriter (for Amalric) and actor (at Amalric, Jean-Claude Biette or Bertrand Bonello), the film also responds to a feeling more singular: exile. As a Brazilian, he is first of all a geographical exile, but this state seems to be declining in all aspects of his life: in love, because he lives only love in the midst of more durable couples; professionally, because, as an apprentice actor, he sees his friends succeed where he still trains; in paternity (a subject that runs through the film), since he is perhaps the involuntary father of a little girl he does not know, while around him are born legitimate and happy children.

The distance of the exile, of the one who thinks he has not yet found his place, who perceives himself as an offset from the others, becomes here the point of view of the filmer, and perhaps the very definition of his gesture. This is why in the midst of so much joy emerges also a form of melancholy that will be explained in a short and beautiful conversation at the very end of the film. Amalric thinks that life "Has a good duration" and does not think much about death, while Teles expresses his constant fear of disappearing. Should this fear paralyze him or, on the contrary, motivate the need to create? Does it require leaving traces or making them derisory? The film is marked by this existential uncertainty, in its amateurism itself, in its fragile strangeness of unclassifiable object. And also in the strange time that he invents, a kind of perpetual present, where the friendly fidelity challenges the chronology.

Marcos Uzal

The exile of Marcelo Novais Teles (1:30)



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