F.: Nestor Almendros, Emmanuel Machuel; Mo.: Véritable Silve, Colette Le Tallec, Dominique Taysse; Su.: Michel Brethez; Prod.: Jacques Grandclaude/La Communauté De Cinema, Con La Partecipazione Del Ministère Des Affaires Étrangères Per Adpf / Création 9 Information-Film Jacques Grandclaude; 35mm. D.: 57′.
(…) The singularity of Le Centre Georges Pompidou is the fact that it is a film without actors. Thus it serves as a revealer and as a magnifying glass, showing us Rossellini at work soley on the conception and creation of the shots. I imagine that on a set with actors everything pertaining to the relationship with technicians, the movement of the camera, the speed of travelling, the shots, etc. would be much less obvious. Here we see, in an almost experimental manner, a creative process perfectly leggible in all of its phases. We see Rossellini make all of his decisions in real time, carry out his choices, share them with his technicians, change them during filming. In short, we see with rare clarity not the exterior forms, but the act of creation in all of its steps, all of its components. I can’t think of a more pedagogica! film on what thinking of and creating a sequence entails. For the first time I understood in a concrete manner how a cineaste himself uses his famous camera (pancinor) to zoom during filming. Not blindly, as one would think considering that at the time no video control of the sequence being filmed existed. Rather, with great precision thanks to his perfect understanding of the lenses and of their effects. In these rushes we seem him select with great precision, for each of the camera’s postions during a trial run of camera movements, the focal length corresponding to the shot that he wants to obtain in that moment in the sequence. When the filming begins we can view his command of the zoom, not moved randomly but following precise references written in pencil on the zoom: he knows exactly what the cameraman is seeing at 30, 50, 80 mm. We discover a filmmaker completely at odds with the legends about his technical nonchalance, a director who knows and dominates all of the technical aspects of the creation of a film perfectly. A great technician and a great team player, capable of getting across his artis- tic decisions to all of the members of his équipe gently and with no external displays of authority.(…)
Alain Bergala, 17 maggio 2007