Jan Lauwers has been working on the C-Songs since 2001. He wrote and directed a short film without words about violence, C-Song 01. C-Song 01 found its way independently around the short film and visual art circuits.
‘This short ten-minute video is in fact the beginning of a new feature film. But what I like about it as a project in its own right is that it becomes more of an installation-object for a big screen in a small space and has a confusing narrativity. So this video is at the same time both an art-object and the conventional beginning of a film. C-Song 01 is composed as a sensory entity that elicits quite specific feelings from the viewer in an almost abstract way. This is in part due to the soundscape, which plays a very important part and creates a tremendous density, obviating the need for a story. It is a story without words, or an image, that forces itself into the viewer’s memory.’
This film has already been shown to limited audiences during the Needlapbs at the STUK in Leuven and the Kaaitheater Studios in Brussels, as well as during War is Not Art at the Vooruit in Ghent. Its official premiere was at the Courtisane short-film festival in Ghent in 2004. It was then selected for the 2004 Hamburg International Short-Film Festival and in July can be seen in the old water-tower in Bredene as part of Grasduinen 02/ SMAK-aan-zee.
In addition to its independent existence, C-Song 01 is also part of Jan Lauwers’ play The Lobster Shop.
A film by Jan Lauwers
Title C-Song 01 | Director, Scriptwriter Jan Lauwers | Actors Victor Lauwers, Jelle Vercruysse, Hans Petter Dahl, Jan Lauwers | Camera Maarten van der Put | Editor Nico Leunen | Sound Designer Senjan Jansen | Producer Needcompany in association with Cobblersson inc. & Senstudio
(10’26’’, beta sp or digital beta, stereo)
C-Song 01, 02, 03, 04 and C-Song 05 are part of a cycle about the sea. Together, they form a linear story. They were integrated into Jan Lauwers’ play The Lobster Shop, which premiered at the 2006 Avignon Festival. C-Song reached its climax in the creation of C-Song Variations (2007).
“When a theatre-maker like Jan Lauwers turns to the art of film making, the act of performing continues to be the focal point but it is redefined in a new and different lexicon. Compared to an action on stage, when a camera zooms in on the same action it becomes more highly charged and easier to see. This is probably why Lauwers opts for the bare semiotics of interacting bodies. He works with gestures rather than characters. Text and word make way for the pure image, with no special effects or cosmetic graphics. At the same time the familiar registers of Lauwers’ theatre work are also kept under restraint. The distinct and polyphonic narrative structure bends in the direction of a linear story. The paradoxical sense of irony and seriousness, rebellion and resignation, is drowned out by a flat, unmediated tone. The actors focus on each other and appear not to realize they are being watched. They do not snub or appeal to the spectator but perform actions that exist in their own right, and are not addressed to anyone. The nostalgic poetry of props is replaced by the militant prose of simplicity. However, a loving humanism and mature psychological insight are given undiminished free rein.”
No beauty for me there where human life is rare.
Academia Press, 2007
Series: Studies in Performing Arts and Film, nr. 6