Christophe, a ghost in the night

March 12, 2023 by No Comments



Christophe had not been on stage for a quarter of a century when he called on two plastic and video artists to film him and compose the visual atmosphere of his appearances. Olympia 2002 and 2009, a summer night in the park of the Palace of Versailles and a magical concert at the Palais de Tokyo were the scene of this reconquest.

The emaciated face of an ascetic, the hair of an old lion that cascades over the shoulders and over the leather jacket, the profile of an eagle and the mustache of a gypsy, tinted glasses and enigmatic silence, Christophe warms up his voice, his signature, pushes it into the treble, try guitars and basses, give light indications.

Hand-held camera, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Ange Leccia stand as close as possible to the sacred monster, brought up from the depths. They envelop her in an oversaturated glow, reinforce her silhouette and her presence, focus on her aura. Return of a Specter.

Shaky snapshots of a perfectionist at work, with extreme precision, who puts himself in a position to face the public again, to tame it. In his dressing room, he grows annoyed, disillusioned, with the constraints imposed on him by the production, the special effects and the spectacular machinery he doesn’t want, as if the show escaped him, while he controls every detail.

We follow him, from the stage to his lair as a night owl fleeing the light of day. The camera slides, meanders in its dimly lit interior which is only revealed in bits and pieces: jukeboxes, photos and film reels, models of beautiful Americans, mythical posters. Worried, impenetrable, this hermit with hidden eyes punctuates his sentences with: ” You see ? You see ? » The grain of the image adds to the fascination emanating from this fragile tightrope walker of dreams who only advances in the dark.

Pay homage to Christophe by listening to him

Riveted to the center of its canvas, this twilight film captures the last flames of a popular and mysterious singer who gives everything. Motive and voluntary actor of an artistic experimentation. A prince of darkness, seized in his solitude. A ghost of light, iridescent with shades of blue, mauve and pink, caparisoned with melancholy, piercing the chiaroscuro of a moving and stroboscopic staging. This lunar crossing has the testamentary brilliance of a lost star.

Daniel Bevilacqua (1945-2020), alias Christophe, the recluse, will be one of the first victims of the Covid. During the general confinement.

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