Long Live Lubricity
Brais Romero Suárez
We are rational animals. The first thing we do when observing a work of art is to try to rationalise it, to channel it through our knowledge and prejudices in search of a compensation that sometimes actually penalises the work of art. Yann González's cinema, on the contrary, appeals directly to the viscera, to the most aesthetic side of human beings: it does not want to explain society, relationships, or the night; it wants to make us feel. In contrast to an increasingly explanatory and unprovocative cinema, Yann's night envelops us in red and blue, taking us to the shadows of the big metropolis where all the sins that the city cannot digest take place.
Self-defined as a disciple of Almodóvar, Yann González draws on all possible references. There is no "model to repeat" or filmmaker to imitate, there is just art and a strong intention to achieve as much as possible. That is why he devours himself and destroys references to later spread them throughout his filmography. Here and there one can find traces of this French director's films, all of them explicit and easily identifiable. Like a blender that nobody wants to get close to so as not to get dirty, Yann Gonzalez soaks, stains, and spreads his crushed idols in a body of work that is fragmented, but behind which stands a clear author.
The creative world of Yann Gonzalez is the world of the night. A night in which bodies merge into each other on stage, where the physical matters little, if at all, next to the carnal. In Les îles, we see how a deformed being joins a couple in bed. Later, in the same film, we see how a park at night becomes the scene for a group masturbation. Violent images for the spectator, who sees his own prejudices signalled out in the face of purely hedonistic sequences. There are no differences in Yann González's films, praxis unites us all.
If the purpose of life is to enjoy it, then there should be no room for possessive thoughts either. Thus, the love between Anne and Loïs in Un couteau dans le coeur cannot flourish because it implies the possession of the loved one; just as Ali reminds Matthias at the beginning of the trial in Le recontres d'après minuit that "this night cannot be sweet". Yann González appeals to the freedom of self-definition and self-exploration. It is only us that can label ourselves according to the way we feel, and only us that are the masters of our body and our actions. Outsiders are, and will always be, the others.
By the Kiss shows us a loop of passion: a woman, against a wall, receives different lovers with no time to breathe. Pleasure becomes pain. She no longer receives, she endures. Yann Gonzalez's cinema moves like a metronome, between pain and pleasure. Again, and again. Just like we can talk again and again about the night, sex, violence, or the underground. We can continue to put labels on the indescribable and, indeed, continue to do a disservice to what is a hyper-aestheticized experience where pleasure is the ultimate goal.
If you know the password, you can walk through the door and enter this strange and exclusive place where, amidst the darkness, our wildest and most carnal side is accepted.