Exalted Mars

© Mars Exalté (Jean-Sébastien Chauvin, 2022)

Exalted Mars

Jean-Sébastien Chauvin is a French filmmaker and film critic who writes for the famous French film magazine Cahiers du cinéma, among others. His most recent short film, Exalted Mars, had its world premiere at the Berlinale.

In that minimalist film, he contrasts the waking city life quite literally with the emotional world of a naked, sleeping man. The juxtaposition gives the images an allegorical meaning, a common trait for city symphony films. But atypical to the genre, here, the city is not given specificity or distinct characters that can glorify its energetic demeanour. The individual components are present – buildings, roads, people (and one particularly present light pole) – but they are almost intentionally generic and lack any allure.1 And then you have the warmth of the bed, and the man's excitement (?).

"A sleeping man dreams of a city at dusk. Or does the city dream of him?," the synopsis reads. Further interpretation is entirely up to the viewer.

The film is part of the short film programme Milky Way at Brussels queer film festival Pink Screens. Filmmaker Jean-Sébastien Chauvin will also be present during this screening.