A black car drives along the road as night falls on an expressway; mounted on its roof is a blinking neon sign like those of circuses or casinos, with a question and an answer, albeit inconclusive: “No? Future!” As dawn breaks, it stops in the city centre.
The driver, with heavily made-up eyes wearing a military-style jacket, gets out and begins to walk along a main boulevard, to the rhythm set by the drum, which she occasionally stops banging to ring on doorbells. No reply. The city is still asleep, despite the noise. The young woman continues to march along; an impetuous drum beating occasionally accompanied by rhythmic shouts. She ends her march by returning to the car, and climbs up on the hood, continuing to beat the drum. A few passers-by, confused or impassive, watch her until she finally gets back behind the wheel, perhaps to drive to another town.
No Future, which echoes Fuegogratis in which there is also a luminous sign system and a strange vehicle, is just as ambiguous. The motto made famous by the Sex Pistols is radically changed here with punctuation transforming it into a dialogue aping the language of advertising to the point of absurdity, or conversely indicating a refusal to submit that escapes all possible discourse. Different speech registers, some mutually contradictory, are overlaid: the fairground pitch, the hard sell, the official proclamation, the demonstrator’s slogan, the military order, and the religious sermon.
As an activist for a lost cause, an announcer without an audience or an isolated carnival character, the heroine could be a sort of Joan of Arc or Mother Courage for modern times. Despite the fact that her action arouses little reaction, it is worth doing in itself, a gratuitous but resolute act that breaks the silence.
Shot in Le Havre—a city whose centre was rebuilt by Auguste Perret after the Second World War.
With: Caroline Garçon.
Production: Spot LeHavre /arts Le Havre, Maravills / Co-producciones (Barcelona-Paris).
acknowledgements: David Perreau, Galerie MichelRein (Paris)
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