Directed by: Tobias Nölle | 29 minutes | short film | Actors: Hans Birrer, Urs Jucker, Silvan Kappeler, Arthur M. Miranda, Hans-Rudolf Twerenbold
There are two roads to the White Land. One through the forest, the other through a snail’s hole.
The season of the falling leaves. The landscape lies under a blanket of fog. Uncanny piano playing can be heard in the background. There is a car with a breakdown on the side of the road. Although plenty of other people drive by, no one comes to the rescue of the unlucky one. He’s on his own. With that realization, he gets back into his car. There appears to be no bad luck at all. Calmly the car continues on its way.
The driver is 36-year-old Swiss René. The bearded man lives in a drab apartment building. His profession is piano tuner. To get rid of his loneliness, he creates personal ads, recorded on a cassette tape. Any comment is welcome, he hastens to add. If only there was something that could bring him back to life. His family hardly cares about him. He hardly has any friends. Love is an unexplored territory.
René dreams of a different, better world. A world in which he is the boss. The White Land, that’s what he calls it. His own utopia. He continues on the cassette tape, skilfully avoiding a voice-over. Moreover, he can here explicitly address the only listener of the tape: the spectator. The only person who does not disappear from his experience world. By simply looking, the viewer becomes a part of his world. His friend in the White Land.
With the short film ‘René’, filmmaker Tobias Nölle (‘Aloys’) shows a beautifully nostalgic and alienating test of his abilities. Characters are more than just that. Unbeknownst to them, with us, the spectator, they always have a faithful friend by their side.