Les États généraux du film documentaire 2008 Scam: Radio Night

Scam: Radio Night

Standing in front of our sound library. On the shelves lie dormant sounds. This Radio Night like the six previous we have proposed, is an invitation to leaf through the pages of time. An invitation to rediscover forgotten works and sounds, some sprinkled with what seem to the contemporary ear like mistakes... but packed with such emotional power. Radio is only a hundred years old, but this one hundred years is peopled with the voices of writers, filmmakers, artists, actors, politicians...
In scarcely a few decades, generations of voices have sat before the mike. Voices from the fifties coloured with the accents of working class Paris like Arletty, sixties voices, voices from today... Contemporary naturalness has replaced the naturalness of the post-war period, the rules governing dialog and interview have changed. Forty years separates us from the news show where a cavernous voiced Hitchcock answered the rough and rude questions of a journalist. In our world dominated by the image, does sound not have a singular presence?
We are living an extremely fragile moment for public service media, therefore for creation, therefore for the exploration of the world, therefore for cultural sharing..., we should double our respect and attention for these treasures and for the public service which allows us to conserve them and to keep them alive. Let us protect the capacity to produce creative radio for it protects us.
Christian Clères from the Scam sound commission along with Yves Nilly, administrator of radio repertory at the SACD in collaboration with Véronique Jolivet, an impassioned sound librarian at the Institut national de l'audiovisuel, have re-written a history of the medium: based on programmes produced in various contexts and having nothing in common, they propose a series of sound images, little mouthfuls of sound history, confronting different times and contents.
A stroll through the world of sound-fiction and sound-documentary where, to our surprise, the disparate elements form a whole. The infinite night of the astrophysicist, whispering within a forest, the steps of a blind horse in a mine come together to form a coherent new work in the dark. We hope that many among the Festival audience will risk losing their bearings in this night of sounds and whispers.

Eve-Marie Cloquet
Scam Cultural Action manager.

Suggested by Christian Clérès, a member of the sound commission of SCAM and by Yves Nilly, vice chairman of SACD, in charge of radio.
A programme carried out with the participation of Véronique Jolivet (INA archives) and of François Godefroy (mixing).

On the large terrace, a programme to listen with headphones on the ears

Inferno (1st excerpt)
Christine Bernard-Sugy
The story or the “novel” Inferno was written by Strindberg in French in 1897. Strindberg narrates partly in the form of recollections, partly as extracts from his own personal diary, or texts which are presented as such, the series of psychic crises he suffered from the summer of 1894 after his return from Paris to the autumn of 1896. This troubled period during which he seems to have come very close to madness, resulted in a radical redirection of his life and his work and had a particularly fruitful impact on his creative powers.
Fiction, 2’07
Author: August Strindberg
Adaptation: Juliette Heymann
Interpreting: Jean-Michel Dupuis
Sound effects: Jean-François Bernard-Sugy
Music: Dominique Massa
Diffusion: France Culture

L’Hôtel des Belges
Thierry Genicot
2001, 6'33, Belgium
Running side by side, the description of the atmosphere in a hotel on the Somme estuary, managed by Belgians, a place of leisure and gaity, and the daily work of the eel fishers and shellfish gatherers of the region...
Production: La Chambre d'écoute asbl, avec le soutien du FACR
Broadcasting: RTBF

Christine Bernard-Sugy
Fiction, 2005, 3'31
Author: August Strindberg
Broadcasting: France Culture

La Lumière dans le noir
Elyane Milhau
In search of the first working draft... The colour black, in its extreme simplicity, allows Claire Illouz to lay on paper a primaeval form. The black of the drawing charcoal is the remains of combustion but bears nothing sinister... Partisan of a Black Renaissance, the philosopher Bruno Pinchard evokes the black sun of melancholy. In his text Quelque Chose noir, Jacques Roubaud speaks of the impossibility of speaking about the death of a loved one. Sonia Rykiel defends her adoption of black, its flag, the blackness that can kill, black as an indecent colour.
2000, 13'12, programme La Matinée des autres
Text by Jacques Roubaud : Quelque Chose noir
With Pierre Soulages, Claire Illouz, Bruno Pinchard et Sonia Rykiel
Production: Michel Cazenave
Broadcasting: France Culture

The Lady from Shanghaï
René Wilmet
Radio adaptation of Orson Welles' famous film which was itself adapted from Sherwood King's novel, If I Die before I Wake.
Fiction, 1949, 3'28
Authors: Orson Welles, Sherwood King, Jacques Marcerou
Interprétating: Arletty, Roger Pigault, Marcel Dalio, Louis Seigner, Jean Temerson, Jean d'Yd, Louis Arbessier, Jane Marken, Gaëtan Jor, Pierre Olivier, Pierre Michau, Geneviève Morel
Broadcasting: Chaîne nationale (Radio diffusion française)

Paris vous parle
Interviewed by Pierre Dumayet, Brassaï remembers… His beginnings in photography at the age of 30, his memories of Paris by night, his nocturnal visits to strangers, his taste for chance encounters.
1952, 2’25
Journalist: Pierre Dumayet
Contributor: Brassaï
Broadcasting: Chaîne nationale (Radio diffusion française)

Les Aveugles
Brice Cannavo
Maurice Maeterlinck's text deals with symbolic blindness. What is left of humanity when light suddenly ceases to illuminate our consciences? The radio play was read and acted for the most part by blind children and adolescents. This rereading of Maeterlinck's material thus highlights another symbol, no longer on the level of humanity and its relationship with the immaterial nature of a guide who has disappeared, but on the scale of life. The listener is here the third link in the chain of darkness: characters—interpreters—listeners.
With the voices and the participation of the Institut Alexandre Herlin’s students
Prix SACD, Festival Radiophonic 2007
Fiction, 2007, 4'23, Belgique
Author: Maurice Maeterlinck
Production: Halolalune asbl
Broadcasting: RTBF

Inter Actualité
New York, 35 degrees in the shade. Suddenly a general power cut plunges the city into darkness...
1961, 2'07
Journalist: Pierre Crenesse
Broadcasting : Paris Inter (RTF)

Trois Semaines après le paradis
Christine Bernard-Sugy
In this text written “as it happens” and in the first person, the American playwright Israel Horovitz communicates not only singular and exceptional testimony on the day of September 11th, 2001 (as an inhabitant of the neighbourhood where the tragedy took place, for a moment he feared for the life of his son), but also the reflections and questioning which, beyond the emotion of fear, arise when facing such an event.
Fiction, 2007, 4'10
Author: Israël Horovitz
Assistant producer: Alexandra Malka
Interpreting: André Dussolier
Translation: Jean-Paul Alegre
Music: Sylvain Le Provost
Broadcasting: France Culture

Le néo-Polar, vingt ans après
Bruno Sourcis
Born in 1947, the writer James Ellroy was the son of First World War soldier and an alcoholic mother. Coming home one day, he found his mother murdered. The murderer was never found. He enters the programme singing and remembers... Even when he was homeless, he never stopped devouring crime novels...
1990, 5'05, programme Les Nuits magnétiques
Contributor: James Ellroy
Production: Colette Fellous
Broadcasting: France Culture

Le Dahlia noir (The Black Dahlia)
Claude Guerre
Los Angeles, 1947, the body of a young starlet, Elizabeth Short, is found atrociously mutilated. This horrible crime, the most sadistic the city had seen in the forties, was never solved. Forty years later, with The Black Dahlia (published in 1987), James Ellroy seems to have begun to exorcise the murder of his own mother.
Fiction, 1991, 3'38
Author: James Ellroy
Adaptation: Michel Quint
Interpreting: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Christian Ruche, Marcel Tassimot, Caroline Chaniolleau, Jean-François Delacour
Translation: Freddy Michalski
Broadcasting: France Culture

Plein Feu sur les spectacles du monde
Interview with Alfred Hitchcock recorded just after the release of Psycho. “Why do you want to frighten the spectators?” - “... People love to be frightened.... For what reason? That remains a great mystery for me!...”
1960, 3'22
Presenter: Jacques Marcerou
Contributor: Alfred Hitchcock
Production: René Wilmet
Broadcasting: RTF

Le Brame du cerf
Stéphane Dupont
Two youths in the region of Ciney go off to join those who listen to the troating of stags. Whispers in the forest...
1996, 4'42, Belgium, programme Quatrième Dimension
Sound: Jean Franchimont
Broadcasting: RTBF La Première

Fred Vargas ou le polar d’anar
Didier Lagarde
Fred Vargas speaks of the crime novel and the frontier between Man and animal. A two voice reading of an extract from L'Homme à l'envers.
2000, 5'36, programme: Attention à la littérature
Presenter: Claude Mourthé
Contributor: Fred Vargas
Production: Claude Mourthé
Broadcasting: France Culture

Un an à Thulé
Interview by Carole Pither of Jocelyne Olivier-Henry, ethnologist and dietician who spent a year with the Innu of Greenland, sharing the life of a community of sixty inhabitants, seventeen houses, living off the hunt and supplies provided once a year by boat. The ethnologist speaks of her way of living among them, the role of women, food and life under the polar night.
1992, 3'15, programme L'Échappée belle
Journalist: Carole Pither
Contributor: Jocelyne Olivier-Henry (ethnologist)
Broadcasting: France Culture

Pascale Rayet, Cécile Koenig
On the meaning of the writing and inscriptions on the walls of the catacombs.
1999, 2'17, programme La Vie comme elle va
Presenter: Francesca Piolot
Report: Monica Fantini
Production: Francesca Piolot
Broadcasting: France Culture

Michel Siffre : l’expérience du gouffre de Scarasson
Pascale Rayet, Cécile Koenig
Michel Siffre narrates his experiment in underground isolation carried out in the Scarasson cave where he spent sixty days during the summer of 1962. Conditions of isolation, visual problems, the cold, dampness, darkness, biological time. Readings of excerpts from his diary.
1964, 6'35, programme: Au seuil de l'aventure
Journalist: Victor Azaria
Contributor: Michel Siffre (speleologist)
Broadcasting: France Inter

Les Taupes humaines
Elizabeth Miro
In darkness, everything visible is erased, the miners are alone with one another and their solidarity. You have to produce to obtain more pay. Solidarity is the only guarantee of survival for the teams working the face. In the galeries, down under, they share life with their horses, companions and tools. The life of a miner counts less than that of a horse. Kneeling or lying on his back, the miner digs out coal in appalling conditions. Confronting unbreathable heat, naked as a worm, he has only one trace of an identity: the immatriculation number engraved on his lamp.
2003, 5'37, joint publishing: France Bleu, Frémeaux et Associés et le Centre historique minier de Lewarde
A pack Paroles de gueules noires, directed by Janine Marc-Pezet
Production : Atelier de Création de l’Est, Radio France
Broadcasting : réseau France Bleu

La mariée était en noir
Pierre Billard
At the beginning of the fifties, crime novels appeared in every shape and form. Broadcast in 1952, Pierre Billard's first programme was an original crime story. Little by little, he gathered a team of writers including people like Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac, Jean Cosmos or François Billetdoux. In 1957, he asked them to participate in the production of his new programme: Les Maîtres du mystère produced with Germaine de Beaumont. At the start, the idea was to adapt crime novels for the radio. But quickly Billard perceived that good novels do not necessarily make good radio adaptations and decided to concentrate on the production of original plays. In 1958 he commissioned Pierre Rolland to adapt William Irish's magnificent novel.
Fiction, 1958, 4'15,programme: Les Maîtres du mystère
Authors: William Irish, Pierre Rolland
Interpreting: Louis Arbessier, Roger Carel, Rosy Varte, Jean Brunel, André Var, Marie-Jeanne Gardien, Henri Virlojeux, Jacqueline Rivière, Jean Ozenne, Lisette Lemaire, Jean Mauvais, Lucienne Givry
Production: Germaine Beaumont, Pierre Billard
Broadcasting: France II régionale (RTF)

L’Humour noir
A verbal joust and several definitions of dark humour by Yvan Audouard, Robert Beauvais, Jean Effel, Henri François Rey.
1949, 10'07, programme Tribune de Paris
Journalist: Paul Peronnet
Broadcasting: Chaîne nationale (RTF)

Pascale Rayet, Cécile Koenig
1st excerpt
Intimate reflections by Father Gérard Beneteau of the Saint-Eustache Church in Paris on the atmosphere of the church at night and the intimate obscurity of the confession box
2nd excerpt
Daniel Kunth, astrophysicist, speaks of the astronomiers' vision of blackness and of his reflections on the obscurity of the universe, the obscurity, of Man's origin, the obscurity of the future.
1999, 5'07, programme La Vie comme elle va
Report: Monica Fantini
Presenter: Francesca Piolot
Production: Francesca Piolot
Broadcasting: France Culture

Inferno (3rd excerpt)
Christine Bernard-Sugy
2005, 2'07
Author : August Strindberg
Broadcasting : France Culture

At the city hall, two integral pieces

Un soir de demi-brume
Pierre Billard
A precocious writer, François Billetdoux made his début as a playwright for the radio. Un soir de demi-brume is the work of a young author where we find all the characteristics which make up the originality of Billetdoux's theatre: a sharp sense for strong situations, a human approach to all the characters, brilliant writing with surprising twists and a poetic dimension to the images and words which is his stamp alone. One foggy evening... The reference to Apollinaire's poem sets the climate of the play...
Fiction, 1954, 50', programme : Les Maîtres du mystère (complete programme)
Author : François Billetdoux
Interpretation : Jean-Marie Amato, Maurice Biraud, Jacques Duby, Guy Decomble, Jacques Dynam, Martine Sarcey, Tania Balachova
Production : Germaine Beaumont, Pierre Billard

Le Cas Jekyll
Christine Bernard-Sugy
The writer Christine Montalbetti discovers the art of writing for the voice, writing for theatre, via this long monologue inspired by Stevenson and written for Denis Podalydès:
“Jekyll reconsiders his life. His youth both hard working and erratic; his scientific discoveries, up to the fantastic gesture of dissociation. Expressing both his suffering and a desire to be pedagogical, he oscillates between an autobiographical narrative and an effort at scientific summary which is the way he finds to keep madness at bay at the same time as it is an expression of this madness itself.”
Fiction, 2008, 59' (complete programme)
Author : Christine Montalbetti
Broadcasting : France Culture

Guests : Un programme Scam/Sacd/Ina en partenariat avec Radio France.
photo : © Photographies de Brassaï (dit) Halasz Gyula (1899-1984). Dernier métro, station Palais Royal vers 1930-1932Avenue de l’observatoire (phares) ©Estate Brassaï - RMN – Gestion droits d’auteur