HERMES ART STUDIOS - cinema & ThEATRe
“New Year at MacDonalds in Arles” is the story of a journey, of more than one journey overlapping another.
NEW YEAR AT
MACDONALDS IN ARLES
Capodanno al Mac Donald's di Arles
Written and directed by Federico Caramadre
An actress leaves for work, her destination Portugal but due to a broken down car is forced to stop in the south of France.
Arles, December the 29th. The broken-down car in the vicinity of a desserted shopping centre, where only the lights of a MacDonalds restaurant continue to shine until 1 o’clock in the morning.
Here our protagonist begins her real journey, internal yet real at the same time. Half way between narrative events from the script of the film, in which she should have worked on. Her immagination thinking about the middle of the ocean which she must reach.
The characters of the text,of whom she is reading from the script and the people coming and going from MacDonalds, begin to take on similarities. Almost as if bringing her fantasies to life. In the area are two couples. Two suffering lovers appear in the background, evoked by the loneliness of the woman and the decorations of MacDonald’s.
These first two meet every morning, without ever getting to know each other, in a carriage of an underground train, for a ritual date of caresses witout exchanging words, identities or addresses. They brush against one another. They touch each other like passionate lovers and partners. Then their paths divide at the same place, always the same shopping center, where they both return to their normal lives.
The second couple are two young fiancès, who meet every day at the usual bar - MacDonalds - where they act-out a strange erotic game. Like two perfect strangers. They meet. They seduce one an-other. They love one an-other and in the bathroom, quickly consume the act of sex.
A game of evasion. Leaving they pretend not to know each other and they separate, only to meet up again on the underground where their lives cross with the first couple, almost by chance. Like destiny’s game, the same stop, the same carriage, there right next to MacDonalds.
During this forced stop the woman tells about these people, about these four lives so different, yet so similar. Building up images and circumstances as if she were looking through a video camera, Making them live and move to the rhythm of her narrative.
The carriage closes and the train departs again. The couples will possibly return to their usual games. The film will maybe see the light of day, maybe not and the protagonist remains alone in the studio, which she has never left. Where she is writing the script. Wrapped up in a morbid and desolate whirlpool. Dreaming of erotic journies and incredible love. A sweet sour ending, just like all love stories.
A New Year of fast-food, eros and solitude.
There is a lot of fantasy. There is a sincere need for a narrative. There’s a peep at a piece of cinema. There’s a cry of pain for the loss of humanity in personal realationships. There is all this and much more in the art of Federico Caramadre and in partcular in this piece “New Year at MacDonalds in Arles”.
CINEMA AND THEATRE
This piece, orginally thought of for the big screen is perfect for the theatre.
The initial choice makes you feel that the show is an un-interrupted assembly, at times coherent, at times voluntarily wrong, of cinematographic images and film clips. Of intense frames as if someone had animated flesh and skin, thoughts and sensuality into film reels.
Like a chronical of our daily exsistance, a radio transmission begins the action.
The performance looks at the theme of realationships. Giving place to an original diary of a journey, where moving between erotic situations and thinking about existance and above all, fantasy.
This is done using a fast and successful rhythm in a sort of game like Chinese boxes that open in moments of complete madness. We are struck by the immediate and direct language, above all attentive to female psychology, espically where erotism is more present.
Striking are the scenes which talk about events and feelings. The setting is un-real and artifical with primary colours and strong lighting, more fitting for a cartoon than real life but perfect for describing the extreme personality and grotesque characters animated through a perfomance built comic like through 3D images.
We are struck above all by the ability of Caramadre, whom we hope to see soon on the big screen, to unite profound thought and light narrative in fooling the audience by using easy to use language and content that strike us deep down and leave us breathless and powerless in letting ourselves go with a fear of losing in every realationship.
“New Year “ is a fragmented journey. Is what we think of while travelling on the motorway or when we watch the landscape pass by through a train window or the varied humanity phtographed at an underground stop.
Translated by Clare Vallis
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