86 mins, super 16mm film, 2022.
Both a love letter to the less recognized magicians of cinema and a playful celebration of otherness, Piaffe is an opportunity for the viewers to see with their bodies and touch with their eyes.
When her sibling Zara suffers a nervous breakdown, the introvert Eva is forced to take on Zara’s job as a Foley artist. She struggles to create sounds for a commercial featuring a horse, and then a horsetail starts growing out of her body. Empowered by her tail, she lures a botanist into an affair, through a game of submission. Piaffe is a visceral journey into control, gender, and artifice.
* First Prize Award, Junior Jury of the International Competition, Locarno Film Festival
* Silver Hugo Award, New Director's Competition, Chicago International Film Festival
* Best Director, Achtung Berlin Film Festival
* Best Production, Achtung Berlin Film Festival
* Spirit of the Festival Award, Cork International Film Festival
* Prix du Jury, Gérardmer Film Festival
* Best International Feature Film, Calgary International Film Festival
* Best Film Award from the Junior Jury, Márgenes International Film Festival, Madrid.
* Special Mention, BIEFF Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival
Director: Ann Oren
Producers: Kristof Gerega, Sophie Ahrens, Fabian Altenried
Cast: Simone Bucio, Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau, Sebastian Rudolph, Bjørn Melhus, Lea Draeger, Josef Ostendorf
Writers: Ann Oren & Thais Guisasola
Director of Photography: Carlos Vasquez
Editors: Ann Oren & Haim Tabakman / Editing Consultant: Benjamin Mirguet
Sound Concept & Mix: Robert Hefter / Sound Design: Danilo Okulov
Production Design: Ilaria Di Carlo / Costume Design: Anna Philippa Müller / Hair & VFX: Sada Leigh Sherrin
Music: Daniela Lunelli aka Munsha, äbvsd, VTSS
Production: Schuldenberg Films International Sales: Rediance
Funded by BKM (Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien)
With the support of We Fade To Grey
"With a wildly imaginative and perfectly controlled mise en scène, Oren creates a unique, mesmerising setting that excites our minds and frees our senses... Piaffe‘s hypnotic journey immerses us in an intimacy made up of vital lymph and sexual impulses, where plants, animals, and humans mysteriously reconnect with one another to celebrate life, offering us one of the greatest cinematic experiences in a long time."
Animal transformation - an artist's portrait feature Die Zeit (German)
"...never has cinema felt more like skin contact between the screen and the viewer."
"The film’s provocations have a playfulness and generosity that are enormously appealing."
Robert Abele , LA Times
"The occasional exposure flares and soundtrack sync pops reminds us this is a movie, but also that we’re watching what’s raw and possible in art and life, that it’s good to be open to wherever images and sounds may take us.
Clarisse Fabre, LE MONDE
"In this erotic and sexual neo-Bunuélien "pas de deux"... deploying its surrealist material from a part of the cinema craft: foley artistry..."
"... a debut feature film of radical strangeness and stunning beauty... Icy and sizzling, fetishistic and pansexual, open to all transidentites as well as to all possibilities, this extravagant and wild fable, as if drawn from the entrails of Lautréamont's Maldoror, seduces to the highest degree."
Paul Attard, IN REVIEW ONLINE
"This is about as radical and forward-thinking as contemporary cinema gets."
Thierry Meranger, CAHIERS DU CINÉMA
"A fascinating fusion beyond genre... celebrating the marriage of the human, the animal and the plant.
Nicholas Bell, IONCINEMA
"A fantastical homage to the magical attributes of cinema and the untapped eroticism lurking within our primordial brains, Oren constructs a hypnotic exercise of metamorphic hedonism."
Sophie Monks Kaufman, INDIE WIRE
"A celebration of kink and queerness"
Daniel Kothenschulte, FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU
"Rarely has one seen such free, undefined eroticism in the cinema... What a gift: if Maya Deren, the great American avant-garde pioneer, were alive today, she would probably make a film like this."
Muriel del Don, CINEUROPA
"Ann Oren captures the audience’s imagination by way of an elegant and poetic work which urges us to take a critical look at our relationship with “normality”.