La Maison de la Radio

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    La Maison de la Radio

    Directed by

    France, Japan

    2013

    103 min

    • French

    Documentary

    Making a film about a radio station doesn’t sound like the most visually compelling of projects. How many takes do you need before the acoustic transition from the opening to the closing of a door is perfect or the reader's voice correctly modulated? Nicolas Philibert (TO BE AND TO HAVE) has accepted the challenge to portray that which cannot be seen. Shouldering his camera, he spent half a year wandering the endless corridors of Radio France’s ‘round house’ on the banks of the Seine where he filmed people who dedicate themselves utterly and meticulously to their work.
    Philibert takes his time, allowing the rich diversity of radio programmes to create a universe of their own, like an echo of the world outside. His film shows the entire spectrum of political and cultural programmes, concerts, readings, location reportage, interviews, and phone-in chat shows. This ‘blind’ medium that stimulates the imagination has always fascinated this image-maker. Philibert’s film is a monument to the diligent creators behind the medium of radio.

    Awards

    • Nominated for Best Documentary - César Awards

    Credits

    Cinematography
    Katell Djian
    Editing
    Nicolas Philibert

    Director's Statement

    One reason why so many people, myself included, love radio - but I didn't realize this until long after I started to love it - has to do with the lack of images, the invisible nature of those who talk on it, just as the innumerable places it takes us to remain invisible. An invisibility that allows us to imaginarily identify with those who speak and which, without our having to leave home, allows us to travel on land, sea, in every strata of society, in every sphere of thought and human activity. But the radio is also our collective memory. Voices that we are familiar with, jingles, songs we know by heart, totally carefree moments, "slots" that shape our daily lives and ritualize them. And sometimes, it's just a backdrop that we do not listen to, a friendly, reassuring presence while we are doing something else.

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    Production
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    Press

    ...an enchanting exploration of the inner workings and tireless professionals whose efforts resound over the airwaves of one of Gaul’s premiere cultural institutions

    The Hollywood Reporter

    ...affectionate, life-affirming

    Screen Daily

    Nicolas Philibert

    Nicolas Philibert

    France

    Born in 1951 in Nancy, Nicolas Philibert studied philosophy before he co-directed, with Gérard Mordillat HIS MASTER'S VOICE, in 1978. He has since signed over ten films including TO BE AND TO HAVE (2002) which was awarded the Prix Louis-Delluc and was nominated for Best Film at the César Awards. In 2001, he directed TO BE AND TO HAVE, about daily life in a "single class" school in a mountain village in the heart of the Massif Central (France) which was screened at the 2002 Cannes Festival. DE CHAQUE INSTANT is his latest film which premiered at the Locarno Festival.

    Selected Filmography