Toujours et Près de Moi
Patrick Eakin Young
Toujours et Près de Moi is based around a 19th century theatrical technique called Pepper’s Ghost. It creates the illusion that people are on stage using mirrors. Here the technique has been updated with the use of projected film, so that tiny figures are seen moving and interacting on a table.
These holographic figures are projections, memories inside the heads of the two real characters who are unable to let go of the emotional upheavals they keep, metaphorically, in their own wooden boxes. Released from their confinement, the figures replay the scenes of love and betrayal, miscarriages (maybe abortion) and resentment.
The technique is very clever, and requires precision in moving and placing the boxes. However, the music is heavy, almost oppressively dramatic, and besides the clever illusion this is not an engaging narrative; it tends to fall into clichés and, besides some striking images, it fails to elicit empathy with the characters.