“Often when we go to the cinema we feel like we’re being taken for fools because things we have instantly understood are laboriously explained. Here it’s a little the other way round.”–Olivier Smolders
DIRECTED BY: Olivier Smolders
FEATURING: Fabrice Rodriguez, Yves-Marie Gnahoua, Iris Debusschere
PLOT: A solitary entomologist works at a natural history museum in a world where it is only light for fifteen seconds a day. One day, he comes home to his empty apartment and discovers an African woman sleeping in his bed. She is ill and pregnant and eventually dies, leaving him to deal with the body.
- Olivier Smolders was born in the Congo, which explains the source of the film’s African imagery.
- A prolific short film maker, Nuit Noire is Smolders’ only feature film to date.
- The movie received a very limited theatrical release even in its native Belgium, and did not appear in U.S. theaters (outside of a few film festivals) at all. Little has been written about Nuite Noir in the English language (an only a little more in French).
INDELIBLE IMAGE: The African woman’s dead body turning into a pupae, then splitting open as a new life emerges.
THREE WEIRD THINGS: 15 seconds of sun; elephant in the alley; African corpse cocooning
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Set in a world of eternal midnight, with troubled dreams of dead children and troubling realities of sick foreign women who mysteriously show up in your bed, Nuit Noire manipulates time and concepts in ways that only film can. One woman changes into another, and then into another. This story could not take place in the light of day.
Short clip from Nuit Noire
COMMENTS: Closeups of squirming bugs a la Blue Velvet. A reserved protagonist taking care of a sick charge in his isolated apartment a la Eraserhead. Billowing red curtains a la… every Continue reading 274. NUIT NOIRE [BLACK NIGHT] (2005)