18/09/03 - 25/10/03
Manon de Boer
Sylvia Kristel - Paris

Manon de Boer, Sylvia

Manon de Boer, Sylvia Kristel – Paris, 2003, super-8 film transferred to video, colour and stereo sound, French spoken, English subtitles, 39 minutes, film still 

From: Manon de Boer, 13° Curtas Vila do Conde. International Film Festival, Vila do Conde, 2-10 July 2005, p. 74

Between November 2000 and June 2002 I recorded the stories and memories of the actress Sylvia Kristel, best known for her role in the 1970’s erotic cult classic ‘Emmannuelle’. At each recording session I asked her to speak about a city where she has lived: Paris, Los Angeles, Brussels or Amsterdam; over the two years she spoke on several occasions about the same city. At first glance the collection of stories appears to make up a sort of biography, but over time it shows the impossibility of biography: the impossibility of ‘plotting’ somebody’s life as a coherent narrative.

Kristel’s stories wander through some of the key points in her life, fluidly forming and reforming the narrative elements. The city itself is rarely described directly. She speaks of her films, her love affairs and how these have influenced her life’s trajectory. The cities are co-ordinates to which her memories move to, find themselves within and move away from. This finds a parallel in the image. These images are filmed from high-up and at street level, moving over the cities’ skin: its roofs, apartment buildings and boulevards, intercut by shots of cinemas, publicity images and people. The architecture appears as an interface between interiority and exteriority. Old Paris is intercut with images of architecture from the 1970’s: buildings which didn’t exist when she lived there, but which are as iconic of the period as she is herself.

Manon de Boer