Bring Me the Head of Henri Chrétien! from Sonic Acts on Vimeo.
There’s no sentiment as bold as the one in a duel shot in cinemascope. There’s no emotional drop height as big as in abstract vertical movies.
Billy Roisz and Dieter Kovačič explore the world of cinematic formats based on the genre that experimented with the width of the screen to display spectacular landscapes: Western movies and their wide span of (male) heroism between life and death. The music and imagery of Bring Me The Head Of Henri Chrétien!
are thus based on Westerns and their soundtracks. Spaghetti Westerns such as Once Upon a Time in the West with their distinct epic atmospheres were a great source of inspiration and artistic booty. The largely abstract soundtrack amplifies and structures the story of challenge, conquest, success and failure.
Visually, Billy Roisz’ disquisition about the colours of 1960s and 1970s movies layers harmonically with Dieter Kovačič’s mostly monochromatic research into structural patterns in duels and carriage rides. The film is screened in vertical cinemascope and takes the format into account in several ways – e.g., the opening shot (pun intended) that morphs from horizontal to vertical cinemascope, or the panning shot across a horizontally mirrored landscape that makes the vertical display window act as a scanner – amplifying details in a decelerated movement. Finally, and in spite of all formal and aesthetic playfulness, Bring Me The Head Of Henri Chrétien!
is nevertheless a classical Western movie. And its sequel could be a zombie movie with a similar title – who knows.
Commissioned by Sonic Acts and Kontraste for Vertical Cinema.
12 October 2013
24 January 2014
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
20, 21, 22 & 23 February 2014
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
7 & 8 November 2014
Leeds International Film Festival