When the statues of Paris become one with ballet dancers, the viewer can enjoy a moment of absolute beauty.
French film director Valverde is an author of several short films with a special focus on fashion films, commercials and music videos. Whatever genre is he choosing, there is a personal style we can notice across his work: he is aiming to capture the virtuosity of the moment and often chooses to express this in slow motion. His vision includes both directing actors, screenwriting, editing and music composition. As he notes, cinema is his way of expressing himself.
Statures of Gods is a cinematic visual poem starring dancers Victoria Dauberville, Thomas Docquir and Paul Marque from the Opera National de Paris. The film is an exploration of art and movement: both the sculpted one and the one expressed through dance.
The powerful imagery of this short lies in combining extreme slow motion shots of the dancers resembling the most evocative Paris sculptures, creating moments of perfect symbiosis. The various filming locations and costumes, on the other hand, bring a contrast – the dancers are often set into industrial areas or dressed informally. The result is an interesting parallel in visual art and performance art. Arthur spoke about his inspiration for this piece:
I found it particularly interesting to capture the statues of Paris, so full of stories and powerful imagery, in parallel with ballet dancers (from the Opera Garnier and Royal Ballet of Flanders) captured frozen in the midst of leaping and jumping movement.
The viewer will notice that this isn’t one of those videos that seeks attention with complicated choreography, advanced visual effects or melodious music: in Statures of Gods Arthur Valverde rather slows down to let us observe the perfection not only behind each shot, but behind each movement.
I think the statues are the result of a transcended art and it was my intent to portray the dancers becoming like statues in extreme slow motion. In doing so, my hope was also to make a beautiful slow piece that could magnify and combine those two art forms in a meditative film.
Enjoy this short film, which also won the prize for the best cinematography at the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival in Los Angeles!