Nothing is extraordinary – i.e. out of ordinary – in Felipe Casanova’s Loveboard, not the love story and even less so its images and sounds, all taken from a personal iPhone archive, and this is precisely what makes it extraordinary as cinema: using bits of apparent nothingness to create broken wholeness. The relationship failed, and, in a way, the images did too, as the film sets up a narrative in which the phone broke down and is getting repaired, with its data storage comprising of an involuntary, second-nature memory of this tender relationship, being recovered but as glitchy and faulty.
Casanova makes use of certain types of material – text, picture, video and audio – that was used as correspondence or souvenir, mostly through WhatsApp, perpetuating its aura of raw intimacy through complicity, of shared messages: a holiday video used as a postcard, nudes – a two-way medium in itself – love letters, etc. In parallel, observational shots of the slow, technical and meticulous repairing process, emphasizing the instability of digital memory, a matter of microchips, but also - for the film - a matter of care. Having the phone repaired is the last caring gesture of this relationship. It’s an abstract montage-collage that transforms into a beautiful peek-a-boo essay on memory (the magnificent obsession of experimental cinema nowadays), irreversibility, and eventually on the heavy guilt of wrongdoing. In spite of that there’s no sorrow without beauty, and the soft images used by Casanova, with their dialectical aspect of overseen (banal) and forbidden to the public eye (intimate), contain a great, imponderable beauty that’s ever-growing on phone screens.
Felipe Casanova | CH 2023 | 17’ | Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur 2023, Solothurner Filmtage 2024
Screenings at the Solothurner Filmtage 2024
Text: Călin Boto