Talk as part of the exhibition "Roll Over. Reflections on Documentary, After Richard Leacock"
Valérie Lalonde met Richard Leacock in Paris after retiring as head of the Film Department at the MIT in 1989. Together they filmed "Les Œufs à la Coque" (1991), a delightful travelogue that praises the small things in life. They went on filming, forming an accomplished team, both professional and in the private sphere. Leacock is known as one of the fathers of "direct cinema", a documentary genre that introduced a new way of filming. In 1960 he and his colleagues casted tripods, microphone poles and lights and other paraphernalia aside, so that they where able to move their way into the real world. Bearing a relatively small hand-held synch-sound camera, they where able to film aspects of life that had never been rendered before. That is how we are now able to get a closer look into the lives of, amongst others, the young Kennedys (Hickory Hill, 1968) and a religious family from Indiana (Community of Praise, 1981), on display in the exhibit. Before moving to Paris, Richard Leacock had mainly worked with celluloid film. As professor he develop a synch sound super-8 device that would be economically and practically accessible for the general public. His plan was intercepted by the emergence of video that made film obsolete. In "Les Œufs à la Coque", Leacock and Lalonde mark the death of film and praise the hegemony of video. During the conversation at Temporary Gallery, Valérie Lalonde and Bianca Visser will look back on the influence innovation exercised on the development of Leacock’s career, at a moment in time in which celluloid film is definitively on the verge of disappearing.
Valérie Lalonde is Richard Leacocks artistic and life partner and lives in Paris. Bianca Visser is guest curator of this exhibition and lives in Utrecht.
Photo: Anne Wiazemsky