Wayward Fronds
Fern Silva
2014 - 13 min - Couleur - États-Unis

A small pile of bones. A snake slithering over the carpet. A mermaid, wrapped around a net, smiling at regular intervals. A deep purple liquid on the boil. Shot with a silent 16-mm Bolex, this film mixes sound recorded in the landscape and postproduction sound. The filmmaker, whose names echo woodland flora, mixes documentary material from the Everglades park in Florida’s immense wetlands. The greenery is advancing (as the title suggests). The humidity permeates humans and the atmosphere, offering itself as a (science-)fiction-like pulp. Image and sound conspire to produce a geological story in which nature encroaches on a decrepit “civilisation”: has the mermaid escaped from a theme park that values nature by aping it? Why, in this omnipresent greenery, is the only standing wall of a crumbling façade superfluously decorated with painted...plants? Each shot, and even each movement inside the shot, may give a different view of what the eye saw previously—an eye that would do well to follow the example of the alligator’s eye, sunken into the bark-like skin. Often overused in writings about documentaries, the notion of “immersion” is stripped bare here and made all the more threatening for the human race now in danger of being submerged.
(Charlotte Garson)

Author-Director : Fern Silva
Photography : Fern Silva
Sound : Fern Silva
Editing : Fern Silva
Delegate Producer : Fern Silva


Distributor : Fern Silva


2015 - Cinéma du réel, Paris (France) : Compétition Internationale courts métrages