Walden comprises thirteen 360° pan shots of similar duration, ranging from seven to ten minutes. Each one sweeps across the landscape from left to right; their absolutely identical rhythm means they have been cut together in the same slow, peaceful movement that lasts one hour and forty-five minutes. Although not without a hypnotic character, the automated and uniform camera movements – which place Walden alongside other structural gestures akin to those of Michael Snow in La Région centrale (1971) or of Walter de Maria in Hardcore (1969) – hang on an extraordinarily precise mechanism: while leaving the spectator all the time and freedom to explore the signs and recesses of the image, these movements also have a choreographic quality, heightened by an elaborate sound editing, with journeys that enter its field of view, underlining unexpected incursions as much as the movements that these are meant to accompany: the movements of a truck slowing down at the entrance of a motorway service area, of a massive cargo ship exiting a European port or a pirogue in the canals of an Amazon mangrove swamp. For this is indeed a narrative film, a Western story whose direction of reading it adopts. Just imagine, to justify a journey from an Austrian forest to a Brazilian jungle, the most aberrant reason of all is: importing timber – and this will give you an idea of the humour and eloquence that run through Daniel Zimmerman’s film.
– Antoine Thirion
Daniel Zimmermann is an artist, playwright and film director. Originally trained as wood sculptor, he works on film, installation and performance art. He has initiated and realized numerous art projects in museums and galleries as well as in public spaces. His films have been shown at renowned international film festivals, such as Berlinale, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Sundance Film Festival.
- PRODUCTION : Aline Schmid, Adrian Blaser