Entirely composed of short films made on live video streaming app Periscope – where users send messages and comment while streaming – National Narrative is simultaneously poetry of everyday life and a unique depiction of contemporary France. As the film probes the exhibitionist norm of the enhanced selfie, it also engages some of the preoccupations of In formation III, including the nature of intersubjective consciousness.
Far from sparking viewers’ derision, Beil’s montages point to Periscope users’ self-derision and the paradoxical coyness of a space where people claim to show everything. National Narrative asks how the immediacy of a playful and exaggeratedly quotidian chat between strangers integrates the incommensurable horror of a tragic event. Beil's playful editing poses important questions about modes of representation while creating a mélange that captivates the viewer and challenges our exhibitionist impulses.
The screening is followed by a conversation with director Grégoire Beil on notions of national identity, co-creation and intergenerational discourse.
National Narrative (Roman National), Dir. Grégoire Beil, France, 2018, 65 mins, French with English subtitles