LETTERS ON LOVE AND WAR



A movie for readers and a book for viewers

This website contains different routes, made from the films that compose the audiovisual correspondence featuring Adèle du Lac and Bruno Camino. Their correspondence forms the main body of an extensive production, which includes texts in book form, a photographic essay and other materials that are displayed on different pages of the section “Adrift”.

The prolonged audiovisual epistle of Adèle and Bruno signifies a dialogue, which, before our eyes, takes the form of a film. It involves a dialogue in which the time and space of each partner melts simultaneously nubes possible only due to the new technical narratives that are the fruit of the digital revolution and communications via the Internet.

The effect of simultaneous voices is possible because of a new era in which writing, beyond the use of words, naturally begins to integrate sequences of images in movement and sound, in addition to possessing an almost unlimited capacity to establish interactive relations, thanks to hypertext. Writing that begins to be very familiar, above all to young generations, is a type of language in which they have been made literate. From this language comes a narrative where images, sounds and texts interweave, forming a whole which is inscribed on a new type of page, a fusion of the old book page and the modern computer screens, heir in turn to both movies and television. It is these new page-screens that form the correspondence of Bruno and Adèle as the territory of expression for their stories.

—¿“Wasn’t the cinema screen but a blank page, filled with symbols?” Adèle once asked her friend Lidia, the mother of Bruno. “Your son and I write on the infinite page-screen of the book-movies of the future.”





El poeta iraní Sohrab Sepheri, citado por Adèle du Lac en el fragmento que muestra a Lidia Oliveira en marzo de 2002.
(Para ver el fragmento completo haga click sobre cualquiera de las dos imágenes; active el sonido de su ordenador.
Duración: 2:47 minutos.)




Letters about the present and letters about memory

In these letters, so representative of the early 21st century —really only one letter written by four hands— Adèle du Lac and Bruno Camino exchanged their views and reflections on the most diverse topics. Some of these topics stemmed from the observation of daily life. Others were based on the tragic memories of the 20th century, at which Adèle’s gaze, now in the final years of her life, insisted on glimpsing time and time again. To compose the result of this gaze, in addition to using material filmed by her in the past, Adèle’s story re-appropriates recorded film clips in her memory, as well as vast archival material from diverse sources, accumulated throughout her lifetime. On occasion, Bruno emulates this method, though his interventions are often more recognizable through the preferred use he makes of his own more recent photographs and films. Bruno is a patient observer —something he also learned from Adèle, who is a second mother to him— and especially enjoys filming the long shots over which he later lays the dialogue with his friend.

Another substantial part of the topics that converge in Letters of Love and War come from the pure chronicle of Bruno’s continuous journeys around the world, and the interactions that arise with friends he meets along the way. Instant chronicles, for Bruno always lives in tune with the present, and his stories to Adèle are a true reflection of his immediate curiosity.

This immediacy makes the progression of the chronicles of Bruno’s journeys reach, on occasion, a certain amount of suspense, as is typical of all tales of adventure. This happens with the long search for his lost friend, Rick Crone, an investigation that starts with the first film in the series. If funds together to fund the maintenance of this website, the first installment of the series On the Trail of a Lost Friend should follow other deliveries of correspondence of Adele du Lac and Bruno Camino.



The disappearance of Rick Crone —the Franco-American war correspondent friend of Adèle and Bruno— is a central part of the plot in the first chapters of Letters of Love and War. (Click on the image to see Rick in an unedited clip filmed by Adèle in the Benedictine Abbey of Arles-sur-Tech in the summer of 1999. Duration: 00.27).




Love

Among the numerous themes that interweave in the stories plagued with digressions between Adèle du Lac and Bruno Camino, the most recurrent have left their mark on the title of the work. On one hand is love, as addressed through the chronicle of the affective biography of some of Bruno and Adèle’s friends. This group portrait, that covers different generations in diverse countries, highlights the need that beats in the heart of many of its characters to believe in free love. That is, free from the sense of possession and, therefore, always in an implicit disposition to be shared with more than one person at a time. A desire for free love that contradicts at times the reality of intense, passionate loves that are condemned not to last, are interrupted again and again, or worse, transformed into hurtful indifference. In this sense, extreme cases are the said chained loves of the main character of the two first chapters, the missing Rick Crone.


War

The theme of war appears with its greatest crudeness in the stories that come from Adèle du Lac. An active, militant pacifist since her youth, the elderly Adèle remembers the culture of violence in the twentieth century, whose extreme cruelty and delirious atrocities are also inscribed in the story of her family and many of her closest friends. Conscious of the necessity of testifying to a still-young Bruno about the contemporary stupidity of men, Adèle, in her seventies, insists on putting her friend in front of the cave of terror of a century that she still views with horror; a growing terror which, for Adèle, is the reproduction of the same mechanisms of barbarity that the new century already exhibits without shame.


During his stay in Rick’s apartment in Brooklyn in February of 2002, Bruno finds this map of the United States among Rick’s papers. The map marks in black the zones of US airspace through which cross two or more radioactive clouds from nuclear weapons testing in the Nevada desert (click on the image to see a sequence of images related to this topic).




AN EXPLANATION - In harmony with the ideas and feelings that Adèle du Lac pours out in Memories on Authorship, the members of the team of Caracol Publishers that made it possible for these stories to be published have opted to omit our names from the credits. For those who, for whatever reason, know our identities, we strongly request that you not disclose them and respect our decision to reject any type of public role. We request that exclusive attention be given to the stories contained in Letters of Love and War, without personal references that might be distracting. It is worth remembering that it is within the viewpoint of each of you that these stories acquire meaning and their own lives; each route that readers/spectators trace through these pages is a unique and unrepeatable experience, which then leads to a different story. As Adèle suggests to us, the legitimate author of this story is each pilgrim as they walk their own path.