FOCUS RACHEL LANG

Postcards from a summer

A stolen Porsche, an irreverent grandmother and many doubts about the future.

Summer: a no man’s land and a transitional phase, a pause and a chance to outline the year to come – a year that for us, lifelong students, inevitably begins in September. French director and jury member Rachel Lang seems to think so too. If anything, it’s true for Ana (Salomé Richard), a young woman in search of herself and the protagonist of Lang’s short films For You I Will Fight (2010, Silver Pardino in Locarno) and White Turnips Make It Hard To Sleep (2011) as well as her feature-length début, Baden Baden

(2016, Berlinale Forum). Back to our point: it’s summer, and for Ana, it doesn’t look very promising. It begins with a major telling off on the film set where she works, and continues with an impromptu return to her home city, where she will find her best friend Simon – who’s no longer in love with her and is keen to make that clear – and Boris, an ex-boyfriend she’d be better off without, but somehow can’t seem to leave behind. In between, a stolen Porsche, an irreverent grandmother and many doubts about the future, followed

by an unlikely suitor she meets at a DIY store and a bathroom to redecorate. And so, Ana picks up a sledgehammer and smashes a tiled wall, a liberating gesture that very much feels like a break with the past.  But what will future bring, and will we ever get to Baden Baden? We’ll find out – maybe, or maybe not – come September. In the meantime, Rachel Lang is preparing her second feature, Mon Légionnaire. She plays her summers right, Rachel.

BADEN BADEN

Rachel Lang / 2016 / 96’ / France/Belgium

 

Script: Rachel Lang
Editing: Sophie Vercruysse
Photography: Fiona Braillon, Romain Carcanade
Cast: Salomé Richard, Swann Arlaud, Claude Gensac, Zabou Breitman
Production: ChevalDeuxTrois, Tarantula, RTBF