A film by Benoît Labourdette (3’23s, 2010).
26 December 2010. Published by Benoît Labourdette.

Musical nostalgia in the subway in Toronto.

Film structure

The initial title of this film was “Souvenir.” The film consists of two parts : the first, a woman from behind in a hallway, a nostalgic blues music in the distance. And then the woman goes into the material of the image, as she started to run, and we arrive at the musician. Then you realize, by the image, by choosing to give money to the musician, the music is very present, the axis is reversed (it was traveling before it goes Tracking back), that the first part of the film was actually a fantasy, a memory, at least not the reality.


This is the music, far, which materialize this image of this woman. This music, just heard, had the effect of putting us in the exact sensation of the past.


This reminded me, of course, Proust’s madeleine, the famous scene in which he describes that eating a madeleine revisits the exact feelings of his lost childhood.

That’s why I named this woman Madeleine ... a film about the feeling of nostalgia.

This film was born from the real encounter with the musician and this woman, in which the camera, mobile, was present, active. The film is thus based on the truth of a moment shared. And it took a considerable amount of post-production to build the form.

The work of the picture and sound

On the theme of nostalgia, there is in this film is very precise work on the black and white (which is not exactly black and white, but worked very sepia), the grain of the image (which is animated different movements based on moments of emotion), movement (frame rates vary all the time, depending on the emotion and synchronization with the music), editing and calibration (which also varies across very high proportions in this short film).

But the truth of the moment of capture, the strength of the subtle encounter with the musician, this fragility that makes the beauty, is not betrayed by the work of post-production. There is a significant post-production, but there is always the anchor points to the real, including the exact point of synchronization between picture and sound, which is in the middle of the film, around which the film “turns back”.

The project of this formal work is to feel the nostalgia in the present time, the loss that occurs from the characters that we are seeing. Trying to build the physical sensation of this paradox by audiovisual form.

Additional Information

I shot this film in Metro Toronto - Canada, November 2010.


I make short films as a painter makes paintings, usually in a lonely way, away from academic practices of making cinema. Some films are made in a very spontaneous way, others can take years to mature. I explore the meeting between the image and the world. These are experimental works, which often also tell stories...