Le cochon von Jean Eustache und Jean-Michel Barjol

Ein simpler Montage-Dreischritt aus der Weite in die Nahe, mit Auf- und Abblenden verbunden: Eine ländliche Szenerie in Schwarz-Weiß. Ein schlichtes, steinernes Haus. Ein Schwein in einem Stall. Am Ende von „Le cochon“ von Jean Eustache und Jean-Michel Barjol wird dieses Schwein keines mehr sein, die materielle Basis dessen, was wir als „Schwein“ bezeichnen, wird vor unseren Augen eine gewaltsame Metamorphose durchlaufen haben, mit dem Ergebnis einer neue Wahrnehmungsordnung und zum Preis eines Tierlebens. Vorspiel: Alte Männer am Esstisch, ein dampfender Eintopf wird herumgereicht, Gespräche beim Gemeinschaftsmahl. Gleich geht es an die Arbeit. Raus und hinunter über eine kleine Steintreppe, hinein in den angrenzenden Stall. Das Schwein wird unter schrillem Gekreisch aus der Einstreu gezerrt und auf die Schlachtbank gehievt. Kaum ist seine Schnauze zugeschnürt, wird es gestochen. Man weiß, dass es kommt, und sieht es doch nicht kommen. Dampfendes Blut strömt in einen Kübel, während die Männer den zuckenden Körper festhalten. Wenn das Leben gar ist, steht der Transformation der Materie nichts mehr im Weg. Sukzessive beraubt man die Schweineerscheinung ihrer Konturen. Erst wäscht einer den Kadaver mit heißem Wasser aus einer Kanne ab, während ein anderer die Borstenhaare mit dem Messer abschabt. Dann wird der Leib zerwirkt und in seine Bestandteile zerlegt, das Sinnliche neu aufgeteilt. Was unlängst noch Schwein war, ist jetzt bereits Schweinskopf, Schweinshaxen, Schweinsinnereien. Im nächsten Schritt wird das verräterische Präfix komplett getilgt, die Schweinsstücke werden zu Fleisch, das Fleisch zu Faschiertem, und letztlich presst man das Faschierte in eine Wursthaut wie Gehalt in einen Begriff. Der Bedeutungswandel ist vollzogen.

Le cochon

Die Bauern verrichten ihre Tätigkeit mit der Gelassenheit und leicht gelangweilten Professionalität von Menschen, die etwas tun, weil man es eben tut. Sie rauchen, lachen und reden viel bei der Arbeit, letzteres vielleicht nur, weil Kameras auf sie gerichtet sind, in die sie gelegentlich auch blicken. Alain Philippen spricht in einem Text über den Film von einem „Zeremoniell“ und „Todesritual“, doch für mich war davon nichts zu spüren. Zu einem Zeremoniell gehört eine gewisse Selbstzweckhaftigkeit. Ich sah nur Handwerk, Tradition, Notwendigkeit – nicht freudlos, aber auch nicht weihevoll. Ob das Geschehen grausam, schön oder beides ist, darüber kann man diskutieren, im Film ist es fürs Erste einfach nur wert, gesehen zu werden. Der Blick der Filmemacher ist weder distanziert noch involviert, bloß anwesend. Er beobachtet aufmerksam, ohne sich aufzudrängen oder zu urteilen. Hier ein subtiler Zoom, da ein kurzes Verharren, mehr nicht. Der Abspann verzeichnet vier Kameraleute, und es wird verhältnismäßig viel montiert; das vermittelt einen Eindruck von Geschäftigkeit, von simultanen Aktivitäten und verschiedenen Perspektiven, von Ereignishaftigkeit und Ungestelltheit. Denn wie will man lenkend in ein Geschehen eingreifen, das man mit einem Blick nicht zu fassen vermag, das selbst schon einen arbeitsteilig koordinierten Prozess darstellt, der sich in seinen Feinheiten nur den Teilnehmern erschließt? In einem lesenswerten Interview beschreibt Eustache die Dreharbeiten:

„With Jean-Michel Barjol, we each chose a complete crew, including a DP, an AC, and a sound mixer. And, without consulting each other, we filmed the same event at the same time. Since we were near each other, we each vaguely saw what our friend was doing; we didn’t fall over each other to get to the same place, we tried to position ourselves, but Barjol shot what he wanted, as he wanted, and I did the same. This all happend really fast since it involved filming a real event at the moment it was happening. Sometimes we even split the work, for example, when there were things happening in two different places. But it had to be done quickly. In any case, it had nothing to do with the fact that I would have been able to have two crews and say, for example, to one DP, ‘You come here,’ and to another, ‘You go there.’ No, it was nothing like that and we would have then been able to do, at most, two films on the same subject, which maybe wouldn’t have been uninteresting, but it wasn’t the idea behind the film, that would have been ‘artistic.’ Two points of view on the same event. That’s precisely what I refused to do. Instead, we mixed the footage and edited the film together. As for the length and the amount, there’s maybe 49% of him and 51% of me, or the other way around. You’d have to measure. I’ve never had the courage to do that. You’d first have to know his shots from mine and that isn’t as easy as you’d think. “

Jean Eustache

Eine Cinéma-vérité-Utopie: Kann man den Autor ganz aus dem Film herausnehmen, das Ereignis restlos emanzipieren und für sich selbst sprechen lassen? Derartige Bestrebungen sind auch eine Reaktion auf die Erzählungsmaschinerie des Fernsehens, die (auch zur Zeit der Entstehung des Films) keine Ehrfurcht vor seinem Realitätsmaterial mehr kennt. Eustache versucht das Aufkommen einer das Sujet bedrängenden „Weltsicht“ zu hintertreiben, indem er die spontanen Erzeugnisse zweier ohnehin schon den Vorgängen ergebener Regisseure vermengt – wobei das Vermengen selbst, die Montage also, natürlich doch wieder eine Art von Autorschaft ist. Dem Primat des Ereignisses zuträglich ist auch die Kürze der erzählten Zeit des Films (ein Abend), und in gewisser Hinsicht sogar der Verzicht auf eine Untertitelung des südfranzösischen Idioms der Viehzüchter – zumindest hatte die Kopie, die am 20. Juni im Österreichischen Filmmuseum gezeigt wurde, keine – das so schnell zum Teil der allgemeinen Geräuschkulisse wird (und im Übrigen an Raymond Depardons einfühlsame Porträts des landwirtschaftlichen Lebens in den Cevennen gemahnt). Worin liegt also der künstlerische Kommentar, wenn es denn einen gibt? Vielleicht in der Auswahl des Motivs: Le cochon ist jedenfalls das Dokument einer gemeinschaftlichen kulturellen Praxis aus dem französischen Nirgendwo (und darin Eustaches Zwillingsfilmen „La Rosière de Pessac“ 1969/1979 verwandt). Vielleicht in der Bildselektion: wenn man etwa nach der Schweinezerlegung sieht, wie ein Bauer seinen Hund streichelt. Vielleicht im Titel: Warum heißt der Film le cochon (Das Schwein) und nicht l‘abattage (Die Schlachtung), obwohl das Schwein als solches nach kurzer Zeit aus dem Film scheidet? Vielleicht in einem Interview, das an einer Stelle des Films mit einem der Bauern geführt wird, aber ebenso unübersetzt bleibt wie der Rest des Dialogs. Und vielleicht liegt er einfach nur im Beharren auf Kommentarlosigkeit, wissend, dass den entscheidenden Kommentar ohnehin immer der Zuschauer setzt.

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