Meet Indie Filmmaker: HIGH/LOW

High/Low, Photo

Fabien Dubois gives us details about his film, recently chosen for the CU 2010 Official Selection. “High/Low” is a short film about two step-brothers living in Tokyo and experiencing the city in different ways: while one works on his decibel map project and thoroughly explores the city, the other abandons himself to a life of confusion and alcohol.

By Maria Gabriella Pezzo

Q: Why did you choose to film in a city? How does the city speak to you?

I fell in love with Tokyo the first time I went to Japan. This city is so fantastic, constantly in movement, day and night. With High/Low, I wanted to give this feeling I had during my first trip to Japan– we lock on to the things we know, while accepting the fact that we’re totally lost.

Q: Why did you choose to approach the topic of grieving in this particular way?

Obviously it’s very personal but these kind of stories move me. I love the treatment of melancholia moreover and I think it s feeling is very cinematographic.

Q: What were some of the difficulties you encountered while filming?

It s always a challenge to shoot a film in a big city so shooting a “short” in a big city far from home was really exciting.The shooting lasted a bit less than one week. We had to race against the clock. Most of the film takes place outside, because I always prefer natural-light. Luckily, I knew where I wanted to shoot.We had a big technical problem: the sensor of the camera was broken and some rushes were unusable. Fortunately (once again) some trademarks are very popular in this country, and the reparation took only a few hours and we were back on track.

Q: What role do you think travel plays in one s personal formation?

I’ve always felt the need to travel, to discover the world. The world is so vast. Today you can learn a lot of things through books, media, TV, internet. But to see things with one’s own eyes is the most rewarding.

High/Low, Photo

Q: What does this film say about family values?

The relationship I chose to establish between the two-step brothers isn t so uncharacteristic. They’re like two friends, they used to know each other but they’ve got an overriding link, which governs both their lives.

Q: What inspires you?

A variety of things, movies, books, but if I had to choose only one it would be music. Music, it can carry tones of different feelings. We re surrounded by music that follows us through each important step of our lives.

Q: Did you intend for this film to feel like a travel journal?

Not completely, it s not about a journey, strictly speaking. It s a short moment extracted from the lives of the two characters when one of them becomes aware of his own pathetic being.

The younger one sums up their relationship. We follow his point of view, the analogy he makes between his silenced relationship with his brother and his sound-project.

High/Low, Photo

Q: I found the choice of music very distinct. How did you choose it?

Since the beginning, I knew music would be an important part of this story.One of the main themes is of course the sound generated by the city and it’s reverberation on mankind.Contingent on sequences, I needed different types of music, some experimental material, when the younger brother’s on his decibel-quest, and some rock n’ roll to emphasize the impact of some scenes.

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