“ The hour rings. Let the barque and the wave run away! Don’t let love run away. The wave, the thick cloud and the hour, everything passes, and we all together cry !”

Oars exposed

Diary of a triple portrait

Notes from Jean Seban on the film” Danube, prelude for three faces and two brothers” 2008, 27 min. From the revue Geste #6, Fall 2009.

Slowing down every second the painting of the portrait, in order to the death not to seize it. A painting never finished to resist the end that roves, because if “finishing a painting is to conclude it”, it’s also giving the model the same ending.

To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture. Pablo Picasso

However, slowing down is not necessarily winning on the death; the chaos created by the slowing down, if it drives away a representation at the same time of the destiny and the anecdote, suppresses the life itself, from slowness to slowness.

So, here is the story of the film:

A man had to do a film, a portrait on men in canoes

But already he is afraid of leaving, of drowning. He had before all, to slow down the year, slow down the year in order to not choose between the stars of the river and the sparkling china of the sink.

To eventually decide to go, not stopping

The speed invents the story of the river, they say.

So, it will be the story of a film, a film in canoe, made with the rowers cadavers.

To row with the hope they slow down, to see them alive also. A portrait to save the man from the cataracts. A film, drop to drop, that will sift the time.

Slowing down the river, drop to drop….

But in the film, there is a harpsichord, from which the black sounds white, and when they slow down, there already were dead.

It was just left to let slip the river without pronouncing anything, while under the water, among the bones,

We saw life:

To paint a portrait is to paint life, a fragile life that contains in its splendor the mechanics of its fall. To paint a portrait is to paint somebody dying.

To paint a portrait is also to knowing that the painting telling this life will exist after the disappearance of it, knowing that this depiction, tiny witness of a life, will later take the place of life. Designed in a lightning haughtiness, the portrait will often be contemplated only in its anecdotic living.

Countdown, the merciful portrait, the film that won’t condemn the one to death during its own life, could be the one that will not cease slowing down, from which each layer of colors will question the previous one, a painting that will auto destruct itself as far as it paints and look at itself, in order to not jeopardize the life it suggests to paint.

Danube: Prelude for three faces and two brothers

A film

Revue Geste N°6, 

automne 2009, p147

Opening of the film


2008-2014, 27min (extract)



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L'invention de l'année
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Flagrant délit de

Screening of the movie and the sketches

Danube, Prélude for Three Faces and Two Brothers

Articles, publications, entretiens

La Matrice 11/11/11

11 novembre 2011, 11 rue des Martyrs, Paris

Espace Jemmapes

20 janvier 2008, 116 Quai de Jemmapes, Paris

Maison d’arrêt des femmes,

6 janvier 2012, allée des Thuyas, Fresnes

Goa Short Film Festival,

Juin 2015, 10 Paschima Nagari Kothrud Pune – 411052 Maharashtra, India

Oregon Underground Film Festival

Clockwork Film Institute

  14 August -28 August 2015

3 janvier 2016

Sher-e-Kashmir, Auditorium 2

7th Main #28, 15th Cross, Lakkasandra

Bangalore, Karnataka 560030, India

   Voices from the Waters 
International Film Festival 2015          http://www.voicesfromthewaters.org/http://www.voicesfromthewaters.org/http://www.voicesfromthewaters.org/shapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1

Bangalore Film Society, No.33, IVth Cross

Bangalore 560 033, Karnataka/India


Juillet 2016, Dixie Productions, Ozark, Lamar, MO 64759, Missouri

U. S. A.