La maison de la radio

(Japan, France, 2013, 99 mins, DCP)
Canadian Premiere
Director:
EXEC PROD Virginie Guibbaud
PRODS Serge Lalou, Norio Hatano, Rémi Burah
CAM Nicolas Philibert, Katell Dijan
ED Nicolas Philibert
PROD CO Les Films d’Ici / Longride Inc. / ARTE France Cinéma
Classification:

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A wonderful film about listening, and about the value of great public institutions. Master documentarian Nicolas Philibert (To Be and To Have) turns his probing, sensitive camera on the inner workings of the inspirational public broadcaster Radio France—the French equivalent of the BBC—to enchanting, enlightening and frequently humorous effect.

Philibert spent half a year wandering Radio France’s massive "round house" complex on the banks of the Seine in western Paris, filming the people who dedicate themselves utterly and meticulously to their work, and allowing the rich diversity of programming to create a universe all its own, a reverberating echo of the world outside. For Philibert, this "blind" medium’s invisibility is key: it "allows us to imaginarily identify with those who speak and which, without our having to leave home, allows us to travel on land, sea, in every strata of society, in every sphere of thought and human activity… The radio is also our collective memory…"

"Ninety percent of the success of any good documentary is in the editing, and Philibert is a master of the art… He is concerned with the emotional cadence of a film that alternates humour and passion, mild on-air flirtations and poignant illustrations of the power of the human voice to warn, charm, inform or entertain."—Lee Marshall, Screen. (Featuring the wonderful a cappella jazz of Quebec’s Les Grandes Gueles.)

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