Toni Bestard’s short film Background, broadcasted on Arte this month, radiates a poetic understanding of cinema. It is a meta-narrative, telling a love story on a film set. In a way, the filmmaker and cinephile is making a declaration to the cinema, indirectly expressing his passion for movie making in this short taste of life. Background personifies film itself.
The black and white atmosphere creates a wide-ranging interpretative space: we are free to associate our own colours with the feelings depicted in this meta-narrative.
The actors inhabit each other’s cinematographic space, crossing paths repeatedly. Their love is artificially narrated, yet it unfolds tangibly beyond the horizon of the camera.
Bestard’s short film could be perceived as a succession of paintings, where actions pause as if life were to stop for a moment. In the hectic pace of daily routines, beauty must be enjoyed secretly. In fact, the secrecy of the actors’ crush opens towards a sort of reverie. Perfection lies in the unsaid and the unrealized.
Background ends with an open field of desires, since the actors’ love has been merely platonic. In that sense, Toni Bestard may suggest that a love story, like one’s passion for an art form, is an endless game.