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Au fil du son - Un portrait de Yann Paranthoën

Pilar Arcila
France, 2007
Production : Mille et Une Films


A man gathers sounds and leaves us to guess the images. He’s neither sound engineer nor archivist nor composer – but probably all these things at once. Describing what Yann Paranthoën does requires several inseparable terms – he’s the radio producer of a reality that, in his hands, becomes fiction. He claims to be as wary of the definition of documentary as that of music. Pilar Arcila captures the images surrounding this sound craftsman who was born, the son of a stone mason, in 1935 on Brittany’s Île Grande and who died in 2005. Arcila also gives us the intimacy of the voice of this master of the tape recorder that reproduces the accents and local dialects of the people he meets.

Avec le soutien de la Sacem

Tënk's film review

Yann Paranthoën didn’t talk about documentaries – he used to say that he fictionalised reality. He worked without headphones, so as to be at one with the sound universe he’d chosen to capture: the voices of a people, the one with a good set of lungs, forced to raise his voice above the noisy workplace. “I’m looking for colours that I cannot name, yet on which everything depends”…Van Gogh’s phrase was his motto, says his partner, the director Claude Giovannetti.  Shrewdly, the film decides to halt the movement of its images to let us hear extracts from sound pieces so that we can go and listen to them in their entirety elsewhere…

Daniel Deshays
Sound engineer

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Pilar Arcila

After studying Psychology at the University of Bogota in Colombia, Pilar Arcila then graduated from the École Nationale de la Photographie in Arles in 2001. During her studies, she discovered sound documentaries and met sound artist Yann Paranthoën whose portrait she offers in her film “Au fil du son” (2007). She then directed the documentaries “Le Pendule de Costel” (2013) and “El Tigre, Pirata del Cine” (2014), the portrait of a film buff who sells pirate DVDs in Bogota. Arcila also works as a photographer in various collectives that use the pinhole technique. She lives and works in Marseille.

Other films in the collection: Listen