Jungles in Paris have partnered up with record label LuckyMe to create a short film, St Remy, “inspired by scientific discovery, the natural world and harmony,” set to a score by Mathieu Thomas, aka Parc en Ciel.
The short is a representation of natural and global beauty, shot in Quebec, Nantucket, Hawaii, Tanzania and Livingstone. Seamlessly edited, you can’t quite tell which part of the world it is set at one time, celebrating “the beauty and earthly transcendence of a primeval time, when the world was literally one mass, the utopian Pangea supercontinent”.
Peter Marsden, co-founder and director in residence at LuckyMe was given the opportunity to dive into the archives of Jungles in Paris, the well respected sibling documentary duo of Darrell and Oliver Hartmen. “We wanted to work towards something that alluded to the idea of nature existing outside of human observation or interaction,” Peter explains. “It’s amazing to take something that already exists successfully in its own right and repurpose it to make something new, it’s essentially collage.”
The project is an ideal representation of Darrell and Oliver’s vision for Jungles in Paris. “We want to make work that engages with the natural world, in its full diversity,” says Darrell. “Our mode is documentary – we don’t fictionalise – but working with the documentary form in a creative way, telling stories about the planet, there seem to be limitless possibilities.”
The footage featured, most of which is shot by Oliver, is a journey of organic and worldly magic. Washing waves are cut to mountainous views, rivers that steam are juxtaposed against the rain falling on the sea so that it glitters. As the film draws to a close, dolphins joyously bounce in front of a boat. You feel like you’re watching David Attenborough’s Planet Earth but it’s cut to a magnificent and contemporary score. “Going through the vast rushes in the archive while listening to the track, there were a few images that felt like moments that fit perfectly with the track,” reflects Peter. “In particular, the shots of the huge clouds of sea spray off the coast of Maui were really beautiful, they mirrored really well with the spray from the Victoria falls in Zambia and worked as a great pivot point in the edit.”
“The opportunity really found us, not the other way around,” says Darrell on the collaboration. “Left to our own devices, we tend to create fairly firm boundaries around our films. Focusing on one place at a time is one of those boundaries. If LuckyMe hadn’t come around, we may not have ever thought about our footage in quite this way. And had Peter Marsden not edited it as exceptionally as he did, we wouldn’t be as proud of it!”
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