|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—No Future is shown in a small square room made of cardboard onto which the film is projected directly and to which the spectator gains access via a narrow, roughly cut doorway.
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NOFUTURE: MANIFESTA X, St. PETERSBURG (RUSSIA):
video and projection room
master HD CAM
With: Caroline Garçon
People: Sébastien Jolivet, Pia Delplanque, Jérôme Décultot, Céline Gutman, Elisabeth Corblin
Image: Antonio Cortés
Sound: Albert Royo
Editing: Adolf Alcaniz
Executive producer: Julien Lemétais
Production assistant: Jonathan Lebourg et Grégory Liard
Costumes: Najette/Casablanca, Paris
Make-up: Charline Charassier
Car prepared by: Rémy Julienne, Universtunt, Chalette sur Loing (France)
Light sign made by: Didier Rouy, Publidéco, Caen (France)
Production: Le SPOT, Le Havre; Arts Le Havre 2006, biennale d’art contemporain; Maravills (Barcelona)
Acknowledgements: Jérôme Bonafous, Frédérique Brault, Laurent Bréart, Anne Broudic, Jeanne Busato, Philippe Cam, COCO, Alan Fatras, Marie Gaimard, Soliman Gharram, François «Dalton» Grenier, Claire Grivel, Dominique Julienne, Régis Lebras, Thomas Lepillier, Elisabeth Leprêtre, Céline Mazurier, Elise Parré, Jean-Charles Phillippe, Elian Pilvin, Mme Quevillon, Thierry Rault, Mathieu Simon, Jean-Marc Thévenet, Gwennael Toulouzan, Mairie du Havre: Pierre Debru, Dominique Goupil and Christian Jouen.