À PLATE COUTURE
General Picture - Episode 2

by David WHARRY
1979 / 16mm / b&w / silent / 1S / 4' 40




Speeding towards Marseille, the train whistles as it enters a tunnel. Light at the end of the tunnel…and a corpse in the restaurant car. This is how Phil Rocca’s holiday begins. Other corpses litter his path from Marseille to Cannes. Amidst this carnage, Phil and Tom are pursued by both the police and the gangsters. They wonder what haute couture could possibly have to do with the twin killers and the sinister black Cadillac. The attacks, the kidnappings, is their motive really the recovery of a few fashion sketches signed by the great Sarah Balbi? Or do these shady dealings in elegance conceal more obscure and more murderous transactions? For the two friends, these questions soon become a question of life and death. Who has the answer? Sarah Balbi herself? The enigmatic Isabelle? Caroline the pickpocket? Or Sophia la Superbe?

“In A Plate Couture, David Wharry, whose recent films cultivate a very post-modern kitsch style, parodically gives us the elements of the kind of pulp crime novel sold on railway station newsstands. The narrative, consisting of a series of silent movie intertitles (the only visual synecdoche of this film), may only last three minutes forty, but to give this fiction its appropriate theatrical setting, David Wharry adds a stage curtain that opens at the beginning and closes at the end. (…) Inviting us to make our own cinema is what David Wharry has been doing in a variety of ways in numerous films. In A Plate Couture he is proposing that we watch the projection of a film noir after the curtain opens (the only filmed “action” included in the film). But in a sense, we are seeing the film because we are reading it on the screen. We are being given merely a vague plot, not even the synopsis of an imaginary film that we are being left to (re)constitute ourselves. Playing with the codes of classical cinema, David Wharry is formally asking us to mentally make our own film, or more exactly our adaptation of the screenplay he is giving us.” Yann Beauvais, Des mots, encore des mots (in Mots : dites, image, Scratch, Paris, 1988)

3 PRINTS IN DISTRIBUTION


distribution format 16mm
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound silent
original language French
rental fee 34,00 €

distribution format Digital file on server (HD)
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound silent
original language French
rental fee 34,00 €

distribution format DCP on server (SMPTE 2K)
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound silent
original language French
rental fee 34,00 €