Always and AgainSempre le stesse cose
FRANCE / 2015 / Italian, Neapolitan / Color / Blu-ray / 79 min
Directors, Sound: Chloé Inguenaud, Gaspar Zurita
Script: Chloé Inguenaud Editing: Elisabeth Sacier, Chloé Inguenaud
Production Company and Source: Teorema Films
In the Neapolitan district of Sanità, there is a room where female members from four different generations of the same family live. In this small space with only simple furniture, a window, and walls, they spend most of their time chatting about family affairs while doing things around the house such as preparing meals or sweeping the floor. Their voices expressing their dissatisfaction about housework or anxiety about their daughters’ relationships create a magnetic drama full of rich emotions without once showing the world outside of the room. This is a cinematic quest, bringing us face to face with uneventful daily life itself.
[Director’s Statement] This film had, as its starting point, the idea of shooting the daily life of a family in Naples: Five women, four different generations living together in a basso, a type of cramped apartment found in that city. What interested us was the chronicle of their everyday life together in this space, what we called their daily ballet: as the housework, repeated endlessly.
Little did we know that we would end up filming for over six years. We kept going back there, somehow the film felt incomplete, until our last trip, when it seemed it was the life in the house that was at the end of a cycle. The girls had left the house and had babies, the long gone son had just come back from prison . . . and finally the eldest women remained alone.
Throughout these years, most of the events that impact their lives (births, deaths, imprisonments) remain out of frame. They are brought to light in conversations and sensed by the changes in the décor. These events are like missing images, revealed by ellipses. No matter how dramatic these events were, they always seem to be absorbed, swallowed even, by their daily routine. Their continuous repetition of gestures is transmuted into a sort of ritual, the housework as ceremony and the living room as chapel.
Since these women spent most of their time in the house or just outside—the street felt as an addendum to the house—we decided that, as a metaphor to this confinement we would have only fixed wide-angled camera shots, within these same limits. As for the close-ups, they only appear later in the film, as an attempt to switch from their life together, to their individualities.
Chloé Inguenaud was born in Paris in 1982. She studied anthropology in Paris and philosophy in Naples where she also led her field investigation in anthropology about the stereotypes of Naples. When she came back to Paris, she specialized in documentary cinema. For a while, she worked as a script doctor within a production company in Paris. Since then she has collaborated on writing and directing mainly documentary films for cinema and television. During these years Chloé developed her own film project. In 2008 she shot the first part of the film. In 2010, she met Gaspar Zurita and they began their artistic relationship. The film was shot over six years. Always and Again is her first feature length documentary.
Gaspar Zurita was born in 1974 in Chile, where he studied cinema. Then he worked as director of photography and for film post-production before launching into documentary production and directing. He arrived in France in 2001 where he directed short films and music clips while pursuing writing screenplays and poetry. In 2006, he created his own documentary production company, Ancora Films. In 2009, he studied in the European documentary production training program, EURODOC. In 2010, he began working with Chloé on Always and Again, as co-director, director of photography and in charge of the film’s production.