Utrecht CS (2007)

A documentary by Annette Apon

Stations are among the few “heterotopia” we still have left, places used intensively by different groups of people and where no single group dominates. The station offers people from various origins, ages and social backgrounds an opportunity to meet each other. People get to know the other while the unknown (and threatening) slowly becomes predictable. This doesn’t engender profound encounters, but it does help reduce the fear and uncertainty borne of social change. In a time when society is increasingly becoming fragmented, places like this have to be cherished.

The film describes 24 hours on the concourse of a large station. The point of departure for the film is the observation of the people waiting (in two different senses: the camera observes the people waiting, while the people waiting observe their surroundings, the other users of the space including the camera). Waiting there, introverted, the subdued fear of all those strange people, the self-conscious haste of the commuter… Images that reveal the complex way in which we relate to each other in our society and how we experience the presence of other people.

The hectic coming and going of travellers sauntering and hurrying past ensures that the gaze of the people waiting registers while it’s also turned inwards. People are distracted by the scenes involving passers-by, but there are so many of them that people can also concentrate on their own inner world. The presence of the camera is often recognised without people feeling caught out or adapting their behaviour. The film can be characterised as a series of “moving photographs”; the shots depict moments of reality in the same intensified way as photographs.

 


Credits


Direction and script: Annette Apon
Camera and editing: Jan Ketelaars
Music: Harry de Wit
Sound editing: Erik Langhout
Colour correction: Peter Brugman
Producer and production: Leen van den Berg

© Van der Hoop Filmproducties 2007