Le Grand Etang - 2x24 Hour Films
Real time. (ProRes 422 Full HD 1920 x 1080)
2x24 hour loops, two screens
The Brenne, located in France’s Region Centre, is a nature preserve, renowned for a lacework of ponds, rich wildlife population and misty, haunting light. In the 12th century, monks devised its system of interconnected ponds, to drain low-lying swampland in an attempt to eradicate malaria and develop arable land. Because of its isolation and dense vegetation, La Brenne has a mystical aura, and retains an historical reputation as a land inhabited by druids and witches.
Le Grand Etang, the 200-acre pond where Blondes filmed from August 2014 to July 2015, is emptied every 15 years so that banks can be rebuilt, and silt deposits removed. By midsummer, when filming began, it had transformed into an enormous field of grasses, flowers and crops. Water was slowly reintroduced in October, and gradually refilled the space until it became reestablished as an enormous pond.
Blondes filmed sunrise for one hour at the beginning of each month, and sunset for another at month’s end, using two cameras facing in opposite directions mounted on a rotating motor that turns 360 degrees in 24 hours. The result is two 24- hour films played as a diptych on adjacent screens - each encapsulating one year. Two slowly rotating pans of the same segment of landscape shot at an interval of six months; so that one screen might show a field in August, and the other the same view in February once the pond refilled.
*Note: This is not the actual film. These sequences are a selection of 20 second segments with no transitions, excerpted from the original work.