‘Patrice Énard was a French filmmaker, born on September 17, 1945 in Bordeaux, and deceased on June 1, 2008 in Paris. He was also a researcher/iconographer, theorist and film critic.
‘An avid patron of Henri Langlois’ Cinémathèque Française, Énard developed a particular appreciation for Russian cinema — especially the work of Dziga Vertov — the Lumière school and the French New Wave. Those influences led him to conceive of an activist, subversive and deeply political form of cinema. Following studies at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français, he directed some industrial films and news reports on motocross. He completed his military service with the Cinéma des Armées in Baden-Baden.
‘Énard made his first short films in the mid-1960s. From the outset, his provocative style, stripped of all psychology, attests to the fact that he was part of the generation that launched the French protests of May ‘68. Invested in the dialectic of disobedience, his films constantly question their immersion in the ideological context of the time, in order to better escape it. It was as if the genetic codes of that artistic movement were programming the concept of a permanent on-screen revolution.
‘The filmmaker’s work was widely distributed within those circles, as well as in traditional movie theaters that were more open to innovation at the time. The numerous film festivals that had sprung up across Europe and North America also welcomed his films. In 1972, Patrice Énard was honored by the city of Belfort, and Joris Ivens presented him with the Grand Prize at the Hyères International Festival of Young Cinema in 1982.
‘Like all pioneers, Énard often traveled with his films to discuss them with audiences. He encouraged viewers to rely on their own strength and to take power by way of the movie camera. He liked to say, “There are no more filmmakers than films. That’s why the cinema exists.” (“Why Do You Make Films?” Liberation, special edition, 1987).
‘His name is sometimes associated with collectives like Ciné-Golem (with Philipe Bordier), which programmed a radically different form of cinema in the early years of the Sigma Festival in Bordeaux; Cinéma Différent (with Marcel Mazé); and the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative in Paris (with Patrice Kirchhofer). Yet, his career as a filmmaker advanced in opposition to all of those cliques. He rejected the systems and labels of all the trends and artistic movements he rubbed shoulders with — the counterculture, young filmmakers, avant-garde, experimental, etc. In fact, he was all of those things — simultaneously or in turn — but as someone who treasured freedom above all things, he preferred autonomy and continued to produce his films himself.
‘Énard’s cinematic expression evolved toward a fundamentally analytical and experimental form of cinema. Driven by his increasingly personal reflections, he developed his own language and perfected it through the prism of an atypical, radical esthetic. His discoveries and inventiveness were often a source of formal inspiration for commercials and music videos. His later films could be described as a form of cinema-poetry. He raised the bar higher and higher.
‘His deepest desire was always to incite curiosity, to elicit knowledge by way of the big picture. But as time went by, his field of action extended beyond the silver screen, devoting himself to the creation of a network of cinema bookstores (in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Montpellier). One notable example is the legendary bookstore Cinédoc, in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, which Énard crammed full of movie posters, photographs, magazines and books for its opening, to the great delight of cinephiles everywhere and his two bearded partners.
‘Beginning as a researcher/iconographer and special film consultant for Ciné Choc, Fascination, Polar, Cinématographe and Star System, from March 1975 on, Énard served as journalist and editor on several film magazines, including Sex Stars System, Star System, Ciné Eros Star, Ciné Girl, Star Ciné Vidéo, Ciné-Films, Erostory Film. His work as a journalist also testifies to his predilection for the most extreme cinematic forms, from 1970 to ‘80. For example, he applauded the rise of eroticism and the birth of pornography and gore. He shed light on those genres in magazines such as Sex Stars System and Ciné Eros Stars. Interviews by Jacques Rig, one of his pseudonyms, became famous. His critical approach would lead those popular rags, pummeled by censorship, to become cult favorites.’ — Collectif Jeune Cinema
Patrice Énard @ IMDb
Association Patrice Enard
Patrice Énard @ Collectif Jeune Cinema
‘Cinq films de Patrice Énard’
Association Patrice Énard Presents …
Buy Patrice Énard’s complete works on DVD here
HOMMAGE A PATRICE ÉNARD
The cinema of Patrice Enard
from Association Démocraties Nouvelles
Master of education, Patrice could drive a car very quickly. He anticipated curves, turns, slowdowns and had a very elaborate mental setup, which, on circuits enthusiast, led him to surpass his competitors despite a smaller car. He was not at the service of a “bandwidth”, he built the best trajectories in the imposed sequence of each circuit. 12 08 14 09
What he imagined was not just a reproduction of the configurations of the track. The hazard of a latecomer could thus be integrated without causing discomfort, at most an event complementary to this construction of trajectories. This reveals Guy Debord’s cosmographic strolling as a practice insufficient to transform the old habitus: this ethic of film-editing, which was initiated by Jean-Luc Godard, noting the nihilistic outcome of the “situationist drift”. is clearly proposed, with Patrice, to bring the theory of drift to the critical elaboration of the derived meaning.
It is the phenofilm which inscribes us in the awaited continuation of the current plan and we remain ” in plan ” as for the enjoyment of the imaged events of the genofilm. Indeed, to obey the “logical” sequence of the visible crushes the swarming of the observable in favor of what we recognize, that is to say what we think we know, victims of the familyist empathy of food concessions, clan blackmail, class submissions.
Party of the deconstruction, in particular, of the impression of reality, Patrice Enard, like the great poet Paul Celan, works on the awaited continuation, it is to say that it questions the series and thereby wakes us on the contretype, mimetic plagiarism, of which Lacan, reopening the contribution of Jean Piaget and, periming the Catholic conception of the lie as sin, meant that to make it “pretend”, besides it is a fact of “the inscription of the subject in the chain of signifiers “, is not confused with the fact of performing or taking the other than its” spectacular “. The scene of the very long kiss, in Differences and Repetitions I (1970), implied us to see, by the subtle variations of clothing of the so pregnant Michele, that the furious pleasure of embracing, lived by the greatest number, can be to stereotype in “sad passion” and how much this “armored” emotion, covering all other perceptions like a small mental tsunami, can rob us of the multilateral knowledge of the plans of this surinvested scene. This overinvestment, a petty merchant capture of an affective commerce, also becomes a lie and thus a privation of a greater freedom, which would be that of integrating the social determinants to our reduced love affair, a little ridiculous – which is ready to smile – measured against the clashes of our species.
The intrigance is, in Krishnamurti’s way concerning the disabling psychological fear at every moment, made of “conditioning” which reduces our vital field to banal and impoverished repetitions. Patrice Enard, filming the human dependence – which deprives us to deepen our life and that of the other protagonists of the film of life – by its discrete and persuasive demonstration and not by a sterile denotation – this “denunciation” which directs the superego by his On the moralist side, according to the Nietzschean expression, we restore a psychic and sociological capacity for resistance, which is more sympathetic than the learned demonstrations of man. 12 08 14 07
Patrice shows us the everyday gestures we make without savoring the chance we have to be able to execute them fully, for we are small-imperialists even in this sufficient contempt. 13 11 03 11
Were gestures of speech, so daily trivialized, shown just as well as in The Word in Two (1973), to the point of making clear that acting out in our lives is more often empirical than practical that is to say, enlightened by scientific theorizations: if the people were revolutionary without having to practice the revolutionary theory, it would be noticed day by day; instead, a populism covering the consumer addictions of the people insinuates itself into the councilist conventions that had been embryoed to overcome the capitalist lifestyle. It is therefore necessary to break the fantasmatic knots of the conceptions of the people which remove these addicts and those ignorant from the Marxist theory, updated by the distributive or communal polyhumanist ethics. 14 01 04 08
If the passer-by seems to represent the positions and the trajectories, his ethic remains connotatively disposed to fatalism: “everything passes all broken all tired”. And when handing over corporate powers
8 of Patrice Énard’s 13 films
Parcours (1968, 10 minutes)
‘La folie du protagoniste capte l’œil de la caméra et l’entraîne dans son sillage. Ivre de liberté, celui-ci dessine une trajectoire inédite : la sienne. Elle n’est autre que le reflet de son scénario intérieur, à mi-chemin entre fantasme et réalité.’ — democraties-nouvelles.org
Différences et répétitions I (1970, 20 minutes)
‘Le film interroge le spectateur sur sa dépendance au cinéma dominant. Il l’invite à démonter les mécanismes du système pour accéder à une compréhension à la fois différente et infinie des images et des sons.’ — cjcinema.org
Différences et répétitions II (1971, 17 minutes)
‘Le son est entré en rébellion avec l’image. Il y a de l’infilmable dans ce qui est montré. Le film soulève une série d’interrogations sur des questions cinématographiques fondamentales – comment, pour qui, pour quoi filmer, qu’est-ce que le cinéma?’ — CJC
Différences et Répétitions III (1971, 17 minutes)
‘Patrice Enard a mis un pluriel au titre de Gilles Deleuze. Car seul le cinéma pouvait réaliser – au sens de rendre réel – ce lien si étroit qui lie le même à l’autre. Le film est un fleuve d’images avec une bande-son de bruits d’eau. Emportées par les flots, les trajectoires se croisent et se décroisent, échappant à tout scénario. Les protagonistes pourraient être remplacés par d’autres puisqu’ils ne sont que les singuliers figurants de situations répétitives.’ — Le Nouveau Latina
Le Cinéma en Deux, (1972, 7 minutes)
‘Claude Chabrol, très ouvert et intrigué par ce curieux gauchiste, chevelu en catogan et tout de noir vêtu, défie Patrice Enard : comment va-t-il pouvoir tirer parti du tournage de son « Docteur Popaul » ? Invité à porter sa caméra 16 de cinéaste différent sur le film, Patrice Énard, tout en jouant les figurants dans les scènes de cimetière, regarde autrement « l’autre » cinéma en train de se faire. Et il le défait. C’est sans doute là le premier making off, avec deux f, de l’histoire du cinéma!’ — Le Nouveau Latina
La Parole en Deux, (1972, 12 minutes)
‘La mise en scène de la parole à l’écran est le sujet du film. Seul le premier plan est synchrone. Tout ce qui suit est une exploration systématique de la production d’un discours à l’écran. Pour unifier cela et pointer les questions de la prise de parole, il fallait un message politique fort, militant. L’un des deux groupes maoïstes de Bordeaux, celui des théoriciens non rattachés au Parti Communiste, se prête avec talent à ce difficile exercice de style.’ — Le Nouveau Latina
La Vie en Deux, (1980, 15 minutes)
‘Erica Blanc, ou Erica White, ou encore Erica Bianchi possède déjà une filmographie européenne lorsqu’elle rencontre Patrice Énard. C’est l’une des reines de la série B. Elle rédige le texte du film où elle rejoue avec distance et humour sa fameuse « carrière », sa « vie de pellicule ». Au besoin, elle n’hésite pas à réendosser les costumes de ses rôles les plus déshabillés ! Ces scènes sont émaillées de photographies de films dont elle fut l’héroïne.’ — Le Nouveau Latina
POURVOIR (1981, 90 minutes)
‘Le tournage a duré dix ans. Une fois dissipée la fumée des barricades, la libération sexuelle émerge – en particulier celle des femmes – et le discours freudo-marxiste prend le relais. Le bas du T-shirt de ces dames devient pour le spectateur un jeu de ligne obsessionnel qui à la fois montre et cache. Le style de Patrice Énard se radicalise en une sorte de poésie visuelle, répétitive. Cette musique pour les yeux met en valeur autant de charmantes différences qu’il y a de femmes pour se prêter à cet étrange divertissement en vert et blanc… couleur chair.’ — Le Nouveau Latina
p.s. Hey. Starting tomorrow, the blog will be going on vacation for a week, basically for the duration of my trip to NYC. New posts and p.s.es will return on Tuesday, the 11th. Feel free to leave as many comments as you like right here while the place and I are away, and I’ll catch up with everyone and everything come the 11th. ** Amphibiouspeter, Hi. Oh, yeah, that’s the problem when letting oneself rely on the internet to tell you the truth about clubs’ lifespans when you don’t know them personally. Thanks for the alert. Sunny here too, and happily not too, too. Enjoy yours, and take care, and I look forward to talking again in a week. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I don’t know Tamburlaine. I’ll hunt its remnant down. Thank you. ** Sypha, Hi, James. Yeah, sad about those clubs, especially The Palladium, which was kind of an amazing place. It was a few blocks from my NYC pad. NYU has a lot to answer for. Ah, totally understandable and got it about you not getting to New York for the PGL shebang. Maybe the film will show up near you if we get lucky. Very glad you’re enjoying ‘Locus Solus’ so far, obviously. Have a great week! ** Misanthrope, Thanks, and yes. About the ‘dead’ posts. Weird that, about the OMD concert’s youthful draw. I wouldn’t have imagined. Nice news somehow. Dang, nice of you to give up zzz’s to help Kayla. I assume the offending car is home now. See you in NYC, tall guy! ** Bill, Hi, B. No, I had never even heard of No Comment club ever before I searched for club corpses. I’m going ask around about it. I did a Schutt post, i.e. a spotlight on one of her books. It’ll be up once the blog is back in its saddle so to speak. I hope your weekend pulled off every trick, and have the least hellish week possible. ** Jay, Hi, Jay! Welcome back! Wow, that’s wild about your art teacher. I only went to The World once. I think I saw that kind of awful David Bowie hard rock band project Tin Machine there. It was a spooky place, in the plus and the minus sense. Nice thoughts about the club scene. I was living in NYC for some of the golden era, and I wasn’t a clubby guy by any means, but it was pretty charismatic in toto. Thanks! Everything good on your end? Have a great series of days until I get to talk with you next. ** H, Hi! Yes, NYC is imminent. See you in a shortie. ** Steve Erickson, People love that title. People have even asked me if I came up with it. So, is the Troye Sivan album going to be an actual hit, do you think? Maybe it already is. I think the last time I walked by the old Limelight, it was a gym of all things. The publication party for my very first fiction book, SAFE, was held there. Matt Pinfield! That’s a name I haven’t heard in forever. Memory tells me Utah Saints had one very catchy song/hit. I can’t … oh, wait. ‘Something Good’. It used a Kate Bush sample. I saw Ned’s Atomic Dustbin play at Limelight. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I wish I’d come across that Leeds dead club site. Your and Alex’s game plan sounds plenty effective. I hope that goes well and that you fully enjoy it. And that you sell some ‘Compendiums’. Will you accept credit cards? That might help. ** Chris dankland, Hey, Hey, Chris! We’re showing PGL on the 5th, so you have the right ticket. On the 6th I’ll be interviewed onstage about my work and film and will show a bunch of film clips from movies that were important to me or that I was in and a clip from LCTG. So I think the 5th is the preferable night. I’m so happy you’re coming! Things are good here, mostly/predictably preparing for the NYC trip, but, yeah, all is well. With you too, I hope. Great! See you soon! ** Corey Heiferman, Howdy, Corey. Oh, wow, what a great site/setting for a club: Dolphinarium. What a terrible ending. Yeah, I really look forward to seeing David’s show, less so to having to read in the related event, although it’s an interesting challenge to have to read David’s writing. A sold USA dip then. That’s good. Sounds good anyway. Fuck trauma. I don’t know Berlin well. I’ve been there a few times, but I still feel like I don’t get it. Let me ask the others and see if anything comes back. Everyone, Would those of you in the particular know be so kind as to give Corey some tips? Thank you! Here he is with his query: ‘My next big adventure travel wise is Berlin for a week in October, with a possible day trip or two outside the city. Does anyone here have any suggestions?’. Have a good week. ** JM, Thanks a lot, man. You busy and doing great? ** Right. So your final post before the blog falls asleep for a week is a look at the too under-known films of Patrice Énard, and I hope you will explore his goods and enjoy the exploration to at least some degree. I’ll see you guys a week from tomorrow. Have lovely times in between. And if you’re around NYC, come see the ‘Permanent Green Light’ events at Lincoln Center on Wednesday at 6:30 pm and Thursday at 7 pm, if you don’t mind. See you soon!