Suzanne has had enough of her boyfriend Albert. The drama unfolds in fifteen tableaux, in which she goes over to Albert’s friend Emile. Still, these romantic worries go hand in hand with insatiable boredom. Through a delicate storyline and minimalist cinematic gestures, an ironic game of temporality is played. In this headstrong masterpiece, filmmaker Jean-Marie Buchet makes fun of cinematographic etiquette. La fugue de Suzanne is a rare gem in Belgian film history. Self-financed by the director, it creates an absurdistic reality with minimal cinematic gestures.
“Jean-Marie Buchet is Bresson or Duras as seen by Henri Rousseau. He is our very own Eustache, stripped from his Parisianism.”
“Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience.”
“Those are the mysteries of La fugue de Suzanne: a description of the crisis of the intellectual, but also an exercise in non-violent, spiritual and lofty recitation. Leaving from the port of Beckett, via the intermediate port of Tardieu and passing Eustache, Buchet runs aground on a beach that is clearly his, populated by grey shadows and palpitating unspoken but no less vivid feelings. The gestures and words have the somewhat sleepwalking economy of Eastern pantomimes, but Suzanne and her “old men” between two ages are closely related to our daily conflicts, to our inner torments. Buchet aims high, but fortunately feigns irony and provocation; his extreme distanciation is not the only merit of this quite extraordinary film.”
“Five characters, in search of themselves, in a film by Jean-Marie Buchet, who turns out one of the most representative works of a certain ‘70s school of cinema. The setting is, for the most part, limited to a handful of rooms, stripped to their basics – chairs, tables, carpets, sofas. The characters verge on the autistic, dysfunctional: through their utterances, wilfully and utterly banal, they bracket themselves out of any potential conversation. Their meetings form the object of lengthy, static shots, a vacuum whose metaphysical presence creates a comedy of the non sequitur, the deliberately irrelevant. Meeting, visiting, trying to locate the others: they run around in circles in a clinical game of desire seemingly robbed of affection. These characters are the spokespeople for an aspect of the human which in its pared-down simplicity of expression is more violent than the furious action which overwhelms our screens. Their conception of time is an interior time, the time when people are levelled, without an adequate response. The introspection, the expressions of inner distress, all are faked. All the characters are waiting for Godot, once again, and it is wonderful.”