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OUI NON

Italy / France / USA, 2002 (MIFF 2003, International Panorama)

Director: Jon Jost

Celebrated experimental director Jon Jost has created an arresting and challenging film that plays with the form of the burgeoning digital medium and its content, for Oui Non is not easily categorised—it is neither drama nor documentary. Screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival this year it is an exercise in improvisation that was shot on location in Paris and pays homage to the myth of Parisian romance, the French impressionists and French cinema.

Oui Non charts the creation of an acted story between a pair of young performers, whose tale increasingly encroaches on real life. While, on the one hand the film tells a classic love story between a boy and a girl, Jost eschews narrative conventions and creates a wholly original work.

For Jost Oui Non is about "looking, not story­telling; it's about the people who exist outside of film. ... It asks the viewer to set aside the habits of a spectator; the expectation and anticipation of 'a story', of 'narrative tension' and instead to simply look and observe as life. For me, it is very much a transitional dim, a step from one place to another."

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