PANORAMA: JUST DON’T THINK I’LL SCREAM BY FRANK BEAUVAIS

This entry was posted on February 17th, 2020

By Mónica Delgado

In the marvelous Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle (Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream, 2019), French filmmaker Frank Beauvais is on the hunt of something that seems imperceptible to us in films. He recovers those moments that aren’t meaningful to us in the narrative logic of films, since there almost aren’t faces or emblematic takes. Shots that observe ornaments in some bookcase or table, shots of steps, of wheels or flowers, hands that touch something quickly, or some arbitrary detail, too arbitrary to be taken into account. But, under Beauvais gaze, all these instants become extraordinary, unique, even if they were extracted from more than four hundred films. Events of the quotidian that become unexpectedly new, revivied, strange in this “second use”.

The filmmaker, who tells intimate passages through the film in order to overcome a love depression in some place in Alsacia, uses the technique of found footage to recover very precise fragments of different films, which we recognize under the authorship of filmmakers of every caliber: Angela Schanelec, Eli Roth, Martin Scorsese, Leni Riefenstahl, Nicholas Winding Refn, Lucio Fulci, Stuart Gordon, King Vidor, Bertrand Bonello, Vittorio de Sica or John Carpenter. Hundreds of images that are being brought back to life, to give account of different events that the filmmaker narrates from his stay at a rural town, to the reflections about his father, or about his very own cinephilia as an act of survival.

Beauvais’ film seems to paraphrase the title of a feature film by German filmmaker Frank Vogel, 1965’s Denk bloß nicht, ich heule. Even more, the filmmaker uses a shot of this film from the RDA times, which has as a lead character a declassed adolescent of proto-punk influence. But beyond that, Beauvais strips naked in his deception, pessimism and search of memory. Because, overall, Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream is a materialization of memory, of his memory, plagued by fragments, through a montage that achieves joining two shots that could be mutually repelled or monstrously attracted, to achieve a personal ode about uneasiness and the possibility of cinema as a real personal memory. What is cinema with the passing of time but a memory that replaces our own memories? Because of that, for a cinephile, the impact of Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream is especially intense. There’s an implacable certainty that we share with the filmmaker, in his effort to reconstruct a life and question it, or love it, through this visual recomposition of images that others devised, tracing a new imaginary for a memory that maybe we want to reconstruct and, especially, re-edit. Without a doubt, one of the best films of 2019.

Writer, Director: Frank Beauvais
Production Company: Les Films du Bélier, Les Films Hatari, Le Studio Orlando, CNC, Région Grand Est,  Strasbourg Métropole, Ciné+
France, 2019, 75 min