09 20 Oct '24

Mary Jimenez

21:12 piano bar

Edition 1981
103' - 1981 - Dialogue: French
Director: Mary Jimenez With: Lucinda Childs, Carole Courtoy, Anne Guerin
She studied at INSAS and then made two medium length films: A PROPOS DE VOUS ('76) and LA VERSION D'ANNE ('77) and one short film MISERERE ('77), which was actually a video production. In '81 this belgian filmmaker made her first feature film, first called PAYASAGES DE FLORENCE, then renamed by Jimenez himself in 21: 12 PIANO BAR. Now plans a new video film with Udo Kier.

Somewhere on a terrace, Florence walks on windows, elsewhere, in the dim light of a bedroom, Nathalie is threatened and assaulted by a man. Their cries merge... 21: 12 is the moment of a coincidence, also the story of an investigation. A woman, Florence, was killed, murdered. Another woman takes an interest in this story, which she first hears in the bar where she plays the piano, in the evening. Nathalie will put herself in a position to meet the persons who knew Florence well, she will obtain from them the telling of the pleasure Florence had in hurting herself, in hurting herself. Throughout Florence's story, which she composes back, as the film narrator does, it is her own fantasies, at the root of her sexuality, that preoccupy Nathalie. The story of the film is made by these encounters. Each encounter becomes, for Nathalie, a physical encounter. First there is Olivier, then Yolande, then Mathieu. Each of these encounters, in the beginning caused by Nathalie's curiosity for Florence's history, becomes for Nathalie place of desire, it is in love, with the body of another, - that she gets to know -, it is in her own imagination, in Hef de, that she sees Florence - as herself, that she coincides with Florence -.

The emotion presented to the viewer is this of a pleasure that consists in - giving oneself - in love. A pleasure to its own limit, at the edge of pain. The emotion proposed to the viewer is that of an eroticism that the film tries to give from within the character of Nathalie. Images; hard, dark. Two first names: Nathalie, Florence. People. Presents and absentees who lead the story there through the memory of others, who leave traces in a place, the bar. The film is the representation of the impossibility of experiencing his body. The story puts itself together like a puzzle. And by a juggling act, the last placed piece does not change the film into a whole, which would allow to know who Florence and Nathalie were, but sends the viewer back to his own fragmentation, the complicity or fear he maintains with "being." Such a dive can only be slow.

Time takes its place, becomes a palpably dense thing. Time measures itself not in minutes, but in the sense of duration, moment of resistance or gradual slide of fascination. In 21:12 - PIANO BAR, time is never this of the story, but rather this that each spectator builds around his own emotion whether positive or negative. The images darkened by "flashing" bring about the eroticization of this film-object... revealing the most important, playing on the vague seeing, the partially shown. They become the data of an internal landscape. The framing contributes to this distancing, isolating the main thing, i.e. often a gesture, a body, a vague encounter. Their "Jugend-stil" beauty of a sophisticated barrenness is never gratuitous. Aestheticism has its meaning here. The sound, highly processed, often shifted or repeated, prevents the classical logic from taking post. The sound is there to remind us that the narrative is not the most important thing. What is shown to us: desire and death - death because desire can only enter the body through suffering - belong to the imaginary.

Image gallery

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Mary Jimenez


Lucinda Childs, Carole Courtoy, Anne Guerin


Patricia Canino


Carole Courtoy

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