Jose Luis Guerin
Guerin revisits Blow Up by way of silent cinema in this haunting investigation of an ambiguous fragment of home movie footage from 1930. Parisian lawyer and amateur filmmaker Gérard Fleury disappeared mysteriously while off looking for a special quality of light. The film visits the now empty, perhaps haunted Normandy chateau. Finally, the archive footage is returned to, though this time treated, reversed and repeated, and new stories begin to emerge. It’s a strange, mysterious, even at times erotic film.
Catalonia’s Jose Luis Guerin is arguably the least well known of contemporary greats; his penchant for teasing poetry out of non-fiction approach has been emulated by many, but rarely matched. Here a professor of philology flirts with his female students and engages in amorous discourse with his wife. "Consistently amusing, frequently stimulating, and occasionally erotic work." The House Next Door
Among the few truly great films of the 21st Century, this is a spellbinding contemplation of contemplation, the act – and the art – of seeing. Guerin’s masterpiece follows a young man as he haunts a café in Strasberg, in search of… Sylvia, we guess. He gazes avidly at women. And we gaze too, watching him watching, seeing what he sees. Reminiscent of a Chekhovian short story, of Vertigo, of silents and musicals and experimental art film, In the City of Sylvia is very simple and utterly transfixing, and it cuts to the heart of what the cinema is about.