WOMB is a film in motion, a three-dimensional audio and visual cinematographic object. Three characters emerge from a womb and discover the volume of the world. Abstract analogy of the unfolding of life, they move forward from fullness to emptiness.
Directed by Gilles Jobin, WOMB combines stereoscopic images, dance, visual art and music. WOMB is an existential tracking shot, an abstract analogy of life’s journey that draws on the depth of space and the volume of bodies to trigger a contemplative and emotional response. Designed and conceived for 3D technology, WOMB deploys an immersive strategy. Always moving forward, the three dancers Susana Panadés Diaz, Martin Roehrich and Gilles Jobin himself progress through a sequence shot from one stage to the next.
The Swiss choreographer invited a number of leading contemporary artists to join him on this innovative adventure. The luminous set created by Sylvie Fleury and the spatialised composition by Franz Treichler, frontman of the internationally acclaimed rock band The Young Gods, combine with the complex textures of the costumes by Belgian fashion designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard and the choreography by Gilles Jobin to create an unusual dialogue in space.
In the 1950’s, Alfred Hitchcock shot Dial M for Murder in a 3D format.
In order that viewers, equiped with polarized glasses, would be able to see this work in a color style and High Definition rendering, the film was made to be screened with two 35mm projectors. So when Hitchcock invites his audience to sit in the living room of his closed-door movie, he aims that the public can feel the actors’ body and flesh volume. However, at this time and for practical reasons 3D films were only distributed in anaglyph copies. Thanks to digital technology, today we can rediscover stereoscopic films in High Definition, restoring their original highly evocative power.
More recently, Pina by Wim Wenders made me weigh the huge power of three-dimensional cinema as a way to depict movement and, for the first time, dance on screen felt augmented thanks to the camera. I started to imagine new narrative territories and it seemed to me that I could at last be able to tame what I would call the depth of the shot or the volume of the frame. Three-dimensional cinema is opening uncharted lanscapes, and my practice as a choreographer allows me to deploy innovative augmented strategies.
With WOMB, I wanted the volume to become the narrative tension of the film, as well as the choreography, the set or the music.
After its North American Premiere at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, WOMB was awarded Best Art/Experimental Film. According to the festival’s programmers, “the jury was unanimous in their decision to recognize the film for the original concept, fresh styling, and bold experimental approach combining art, dance, and sound”.
Cie Gilles Jobin is supported by the City of Geneva, the Canton of Geneva and Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council
Gilles Jobin is the recipient of the 2015 Swiss Grand Award for Dance, awarded by the Office fédéral de la culture
The WOMB cooperation project is supported by Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council as part of its “Digital Culture” program