Coffret DVD David Williams: Lillian & Thirteen

Ein Hinweis aus der Liste von Jonathan Rosenbaum: In Frankreich ist bei ED Distribution vor einem Jahr eine Box mit dem Werk des amerikanischen Filmemachers David Williams erschienen. Neben seinen Kurzfilmen aus den 80er Jahren ( SHADOWS (1982 – 5 min.) DREAMS IN THE NIGHT (1983 – 11 min.) THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (1984 – 11 min.) THE LAST OF SUMMER (1985 – 14 min.) TRANSITIONS (1987 – 16 min.) WAVING (1987 – 3 min.) stehen seine beiden dokumentarischen Spielfilme „Lillian“ (1993) und „Thirteen“ (1997) im Mittelpunkt, zwei faszinierende Arbeiten über die innere Stärke ihrer jeweiligen Protagonisten, einer 57jährigen Pflegerin und eines 13jährigen Mädchens.

„Lillian“ lebt von seiner Hauptdarstellerin, die sich selbst spielt:

„Like its subject, „Lillian“ is a film that moves slowly and surely, but ultimately has a remarkable impact. A „fictional documentary“ whose inspiration is portrayed by its very source, David D. Williams’s film documents a day in the life of Lillian Folley, a 57-year-old African American caretaker whose Richmond house provides a hopeful start for foster children and a dignified end for the elderly.

On the surface, the things that happen in the course of Lillian’s long day — she is first up and last to sleep — are mundane events. Williams’s triumph is not that he ennobles Lillian — she doesn’t need that kind of patronizing — but that he recognizes the quiet strength that allows her to function in the face of others‘ constant needs…

Melding cinema verite and fiction, director Williams opts for the naturalist feel of a documentary (undercut only by a cheesy synthesizer soundtrack) and an unhurried but active pace that reflects Lillian’s dawn-to-dusk commitment. It’s a bold hybrid that succeeds because of the immense power of Lillian Folley herself. „Lillian’s“ small budget is evident, but so is its heart. “ (Richard Harrington: Lillian. The Washington Post, March 18, 1994)

„A word about the filmmaking. Except for the lack of explosions and A-list actors, and some art-film interludes (Williams was a painter and photographer before exploring film), „Lillian“ is indistinguishable (visually) from a „real“ movie. Shot on Super-16mm and blown up to 35mm, „Lillian“ makes judicious use of cranes and tracks, all while exploring the confined spaces of Lillian’s actual house and the environs of Richmond’s North side. This film is a real treat that few have seen. Just as Williams‘ follow-up film „Thirteen“ (which also features Lillian) resonates with anyone who’s ever been a girl, „Lillian“ will find favor with anyone who has a mother. “ (dearborne: Best African-American female character in film. IMDb)

„Thirteen“   beobachtet mit dokumentarischer Genauigkeit ohne jede Wertung eine Dreizehnjährige in ihren Widersprüchen . Obwohl sie von zu Hause ausreißt, bleibt sie Ihrer Mutter innig verbunden (gespielt von der Hauptdarstellerin aus „Lillian“).

„David Williams‘ movie „Thirteen“ belongs to a burgeoning genre that determinedly blurs the line between fiction and documentary filmmaking. Largely improvised, with no screenplay and featuring a cast that includes untrained actors as well as professionals, this portrait of a sullen, quirky 13-year-old black girl growing up in Richmond, Va., feels utterly real during much (though not all) of its 87 minutes. ..

For all its narrative glitches and its homemade quality, „Thirteen“ evokes the rhythm, texture and tone of Nina’s world in a way that a more carefully scripted film could never do. It reminds you of how mysterious and complex individual character really is. Nina’s obsession with cars and her way of suddenly bursting out with blunt observations and demands make for a fascinating portrait of a shy, strong-willed girl whose mind is churning as she tries to figure out the world and her future.“ (Stephen Holden: ‚Thirteen‘: Improvising a Troubled 13-Year-Old’s Mind. The New York Times, April 4, 1998)

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