Something in the Way (2008) – By Joshua LeSuer

 "I’m alone in my world, where things make complete sense to me. In reality, things happen and sometimes we can’t let go. That’s why we can’t all be in the same moment at the same time, that’s why we judge too quickly, making up our minds about others, even though we don’t know what they’re feeling, even though they don’t know what I’m feeling. They don’t know what’s going on in my mind. They just can’t feel me…Maybe you don’t understand me, because we can’t all always be in the same moment at the same time, but one day you’ll feel it and you’ll come to the place I am right now, where things make sense and it will be my pleasure to look at you and see you discover the world."

                                             – From "Something in the Way"

Pascal Payant’s short "Something in the Way" is a translucent butterfly wing of a film, creek water sluiced with silk, crystalline and sharp, like snow in a tin cup or the crush and crackle of gutters heaped with autumnal leaves, a song of the senses, sad and sweet, and real in a most unreal way, a movie about poles and the people between them. It’s a brief film, quick as a candle flicker, yet it slips you out of yourself, jangles you nerve and soul, leaves you broken and breathless.

I think I kind of loved it.

It’s about suicide, I think. Then again, I’m still not sure, mere moments after, what I think, or this film thinks. It wears its thinks on its sleeve, but they’re riddled with riddles, pretty, little hieroglyphs you poke at and wonder.

And wonder. And wonder.

Two girls, one dying before the other’s eyes, totally here and alive and, yet, gone in all the ways that really matter. And yet, it never occurred to me, before seeing this film, how beautiful it could be to be in love with someone who’s suicidal. It’s like falling for a ghost, a delicate creature of mist and cobwebs, here with you one moment, nothing but nothing the next, banished to the oblivion they came from.

This film pulls you, so gently, into places you never thought you’d be willing to go, coaxes you out of your own comfortable cocoon, then abandons you in a world of warm darkness. It takes you softly by the hand, draws you with its sweet smile, says, "Come, let me show you, it’s okay, I’ve got you."

I can think of much and much (and much) that I loved and little, or none, that I didn’t:

The otherworldly, waterfall ripple of piano chords brooming through the brain, like the murmur of a phantom at your bedroom window. The wash of white in the outdoor scenes, the pools of darkness in the indoor ones.  The voice overs, ice caverns deep with longing, bewildered and bitter at how impossible life is, intimate as a whisper in the ear and baffling as a yogi’s explanation of existence.

Credit the actors, Nadja David and Christine Beaulieu. Their faces are dreamscapes and mystical, midnight worlds we lose ourselves in. There is subtle magic in their smiles and deep eyes. Credit the filmmaker, Pascal, who doesn’t shoot these women, so much as conjures them. Credit the musicians, Draft Krimmy, Rim and Apalusa, so soulful and elemental.

Gentlemen, ladies, I thank you.

If you’d like to peek into this pocket world of quiet wonders, go here: