re-geo-rendering-reconstructions-of-desire-2021-schwentner-recensione

RE-GEO / RENDERING RECONSTRUCTIONS OF DESIRE

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

by Michaela Schwentner

grade: 8

In re-GEO / rendering reconstructions of desire, Michaela Schwentner has fully captured the quintessence of Georgette Klein, she has given us the opportunity to get to know the artist from an extremely intimate and personal point of view and, through her story, she has dealt with an extremely topical discourse concerning, precisely, women within the society in which we live. At the Diagonale’22.

A new Georgette

It is not easy to be a woman. Especially if one was born towards the end of the 19th century and one’s talent is not recognised as it deserves. Swiss artist Georgette Klein (1893 – 1963), to whom director Michaela Schwentner has dedicated the experimental documentary re-GEO /rendering reconstructions of desire, premiered at the Diagonale’22 as part of the Innovatives Kino section, knows something about this. But who was, in fact, Georgette Klein?

A background as a Germanist. Short hair reminiscent of a male cut. A great, great passion for art in all its forms. An overall serene but, unfortunately, loveless marriage. A house on Lake Lugano. Her dream home, almost like a dress for her. In re-GEO / rendering reconstructions of desire we are told about Georgette Klein through her own writings. Her thoughts, her fears, her emotions thus come to life on the big screen thanks to the faces of three actresses (Aurelia Burckhardt, Lisa Hinterreithner and Vivien Löschner), each of whom represents the protagonist in a specific phase of her life.

By building Casa Sciaredo (which became her beloved home), Georgette Klein slowly forged her personality, getting to know herself and her desires better. In re-GEO / rendering reconstructions of desire, therefore, Michaela Schwentner has fully captured the quintessence of her protagonist, she has given us the opportunity to get to know the artist from an extremely intimate and personal point of view and, through her story, she has dealt with an extremely topical discourse concerning, precisely, women and the difficulty of being fully recognised within the society in which we live.

Particularly interesting in this regard is the directorial approach chosen. Women’s hands handle wooden planks, as if to build a structure. One, many pictures of Casa Sciaredo immediately become the absolute protagonists. The actresses, from time to time, speak in front of the camera and confide in it, then remain static to represent images of an immortal past. The protagonists’ faces are thus often covered by photographs depicting now Georgette Klein herself, now her husband Luigi Tentori. Many elements, thanks to a mise-en-scène that focuses first and foremost on the essential and which – precisely in order to reflect the quietness that reigns in the protagonist’s home – is characterised by a constantly static camera and a decidedly calm pace, further enhanced by old photographs.

re-Geo / rendering reconstructions of desire shows us an unexpected, ‘new’ Georgette Klein (just as the title suggests). A vulnerable, extremely human, but also incredibly passionate and resolute Georgette Klein. Michaela Schwentner has given three dimensions to her enigmatic figure in an intelligent and never predictable way. The story of her Georgette Klein is also the story of many other women who have to struggle every day to find their own balance and place in the world.

Original title: re-GEO / rendering recontructions of desire
Directed by: Michaela Schwentner
Country/year: Austria, Switzerland / 2021
Running time: 33’
Genre: experimental
Cast: Aurelia Burckhardt, Lisa Hinterreithner, Vivien Löschner
Screenplay: Michaela Schwentner
Cinematography: Martin Putz, Michaela Schwentner
Produced by: Michaela Schwentner

Info: the page of re-GEO / rendering reconstructions of desire on the website of the Diagonale