Soothing ocean swells, industrial silence, deserted wharves flickering in the distance. Life on a cargo ship appears in Transatlantic as a conscious desertion of the world. In the Canadian director's view, the sailors locked in a confined space are like hermits of late capitalism, and the deck of a container ship sailing to an unknown port is their refuge. In isolation they focus on their daily strenuous work or, when their shift ends, they indulge in little pleasures. Some play cricket in the big hangar, others watch old Bollywood movies. All the time they are accompanied by the steady, regular hymn of the ship's machinery. In this black-and-white essay, Dufour-Laperrière looks at this life with a surprising tenderness, bringing out the melancholy through long shots of cabins and vast spaces contrasting with the disappearing silhouettes of people. Swinging to and fro, Transatlantic - presented at the Rotterdam IFF - is a lesson in attention and a contemplative journey that is possible only in the cinema.
Félix Dufour-Laperrière is a Canadian artist and filmmaker who was born in 1981 in Quebec and studied in Montreal. Over the years, he has focused on making experimental short films screened at many festivals. Transatlantic is his full-length debut, which showed at the Rotterdam IFF. In 2018 he made the animated film Ville Neuve, which was entirely drawn with ink on paper.
2003 Encre noire sur fond d’azur (short)
2008 Rosa Rosa (short)
2012 Parallèle Nord / Parallel North (short)
2018 Ville neuve