Tribute to Rosto
Rosto the Baroque-and-Roller
Beheaded (1999) is the title of Rosto’s first film. Beheaded is how he left the world of short film and animation when he took a one-way ticket to join his chimerical worlds in March 2019. Beheaded… and disheartened.
Between these two dates, twenty years went by during which Rosto, to our great delight, unveiled his one-man-band panoply: filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, illustrator, designer1, actor, animator and musician.
With the exception of the first, all of his films were presented at Clermont-Ferrand and Rosto had become a familiar face2. It must be said that he, like his films, had the power to impress…
Although his work is often associated with the stuff of nightmares, Rosto spoke more readily of dreams. Most certainly a baroque oeuvre which, like the architecture by the same name, is characterized by a freedom of form and a profuse ornamentation. Synonyms of “baroque” are “quirky, strange, eccentric”, all words that fit him like a glove… a boxing glove to be sure, as we would leave each screening of his films with our bells rung, groggy, not far from concussion protocol. To see a Rosto film is to allow yourself to be carried away by a band of shipwreckers (Thee Wreckers3) on an ocean of memories and mysteries, transforming the room into a raft of dumbstruck viewers.
Rosto’s deep waters are also there to remind us, like other Dutch filmmakers (Paul Driessen, Michael Dudok de Wit, Bert Haanstra, etc.), that the element of water, the source of life from the mother’s womb, is also a mortal threat to any soul that lives below sea level as is the case in the appropriately-named Netherlands. It is a phantom threat or even a traumatism… the omnipresent death in Rosto’s work. But speaking of death begs the question of life, and Rosto has asked this question through a spiral of film constructions, both trilogical and tetralogical, that do not rely on a strong narrative framework, but more on rock music and visual effects. As if by chance, Rosto received two awards4 in these categories in Clermont-Ferrand.
After the Splintertime, here we are, a pile of itinerant Lonely Bones, forever condemned to watch Reruns of his films, forever frustrated that we will never be able to see the works he still had in store for us.
- Rosto left his graphic mark on the 2007 Festival by creating the festival poster. Also that year, he was a member of the Labo Jury.
- Rosto means “face” in Portuguese.
- The name of Rosto’s rock band.
- Award for Best Original Film Score for The Monster of Nix in 2012 and award for Best Visual Effects for Reruns in 2018.