CRITICISM WEEK-Two brothers, one love, all covered in the pain of separation is always postponed. Our Ceremonies is Simon Rieth’s feature debut. And it already has a disturbing beauty in the eternal twilight.
Run faster, climb higher, desire harder, love better; the fraternal relationship that binds Tony (Simon Baur) to his younger brother, Noé (Raymond Baur), is ruled by one necessity: to be the best. But then one summer afternoon, the momentum exceeded the limits imposed on the plot – family and cinematographic – and Tony fell from the top of a cliff to crash a few ten meters below, into the rocks. The eldest draws the love of a brother with the face of an angel – highlighted by Simon Rieth’s strict plans. “Stay with me”, hardly to write Noah on the side of the bed of his brother’s body. Three words that sounded like an incantation, sealed with a kiss that revived the child.
Passion according to Simon
Our Ceremonies thus tracing a unique path-halfway between the mythical narrative and the sociological picture of a perfect age of youth. The first thirty minutes of the film impresses with their skill and sensuality. After a horrific accident, the two brothers were forced to relocate and leave their native Royan. The film sees them a dozen years ago, on the occasion of the death of a surviving father. The opportunity for Tony and Noé to reconnect with their past – especially with Cassandre, the former eldest lover. The opportunity for Simon Rieth to define, not without specific grace, is the circulation between bodies of an unconditional brotherly love.
This circulation passes above all the bodies, with the image of Simon Rieth and his chief op ‘Marine Atlan, carved with unspeakable joy. Under the scorching heat of the sun that was all over, the dry bodies of our two brothers showed up in almost every shot. In the fictional space opened up in the original fall, Noah and Tony become demigods. Either way, they are not dead or alive. And it’s no surprise that grace will flow when the two heroes perform athletic choreography on the waterfront.
A grace that also comes from the young director’s joy at playing with textures. From the blood of the brotherhood to the sacrificial stone, the division takes place between mineral and organic matter. It found its resolution in a strange final shot where the two materials finally matched. But the texture is above all the bright colors that enliven the frame. Blood red, sunny yellow, sea blue, Simon Rieth is also an artist. This shot proves that Cassandra and Noé were seen exchanging some gentle gestures at the end of a night. As the frame slowly tightens, the grains thicken and the outlines sink. The red and yellow in the jackets of the young lovers and the green of the plants remained; flat areas in a composition inclined towards impressionism.
However, there are some inevitable lengths in the first part of the film. After the first accident, the sacrificial act had to be repeated when the two young men left. It became an act of faith. Simon Rieth like his characters believe in the power of cinema to heal the rest. But this iteration is also consistent with a scenario that didn’t address all the tracks launched at its opening. Our Ceremonies indeed rich in a full-fledged imaginary imagination illuminating its plans in deep light. But it also ended up imploding under the pressure of a unique branch that was too large for its creator.
That won’t stay that way Our Ceremonies marks the birth of a true cinematic craftsman, molding each of his shots using iron that is sometimes too hot for his nimble fingers. Proceed then.