Darkness, Darkness Burning Bright


Star & Shadow Cinema

French filmmaker Gaëlle Rouard presents her two-part handmade 16mm film Darkness, Darkness Burning Bright in this special screening.

Darkness, Darkness Burning Bright (Gaëlle Rouard France 2021 69′) explores a rural landscape with mythical connotations. 

“Unfolding across two acts, Prelude and Oraison, Darkness Darkness, Burning Bright is a personal and poetic work full of expressive solarized nightscapes and pastoral unreality. The film draws us into a  crepuscular landscape, where animals and plants appear luminous and rendered in chiaroscuro, with the movements playing out through a series of tableau vivant composed from the combination of photochemically manipulated still and moving images. Produced using found sounds and drawing on the traditions of musique concrète and cinéma pour l’oreille (cinema for the ear), Rouard’s soundtrack oscillates between supporting ambience and pronounced narrative emphasis.” —Oliver Dickens, Sonic Cinema

Darkness, darkness, burning bright
In the forests of the night
Vast flowered paths, fresh branches,
Groves full of perfumes, birds and whispers,
Site often seen again, and always contemplated


Darkness, darkness, burning bright
In the forests of the night
And the mad impulse of this distraught soul,
And that had, the forehead circled in copper, under the moon


Frail herbs, tender branches, hollyhocks,
And the shadow that brushes and the wind that knots,
And strongly, with the fists of its clouds,
On the greenish horizon, crushes suns.

Gaëlle Rouard (1971, France) is a filmmaker, alchemist and performance artist. Since the early 1990s, Rouard has been making handmade films, specialising in film processing. She is a longtime member of Le 102, rue d’Alembert, a venue dedicated to diffusion and creation of experimental music and film. She also facilitates workshops in different contexts, from art schools to individual teaching.

Rouard develops and explores various methods of chemical processing of film. With performances around the world, she experiments with the possibilities of live multi-projection, both in collaboration with various people and in solo acts. She led the do-it-yourself film lab Atelier MTK in Grenoble for 12 years, until 2006. Her work as been shown in various screens all over the world, such as Centre Pompidou Paris, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Syros International Flm Festival, Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, and many others.

Gaëlle Rouard will also present the Darkness, Darkness, Burning Bright diptych at Cafe Oto (London) on 31 January and with BEEF at Cube Microplex (Bristol) on 3 February.

Generously supported by Institut français du Royaume-Uni


Warwick Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1BB

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7 February 2024


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