VdR 2016. Review of “Notes From Sometime, Later, Maybe” by Roger Gómez and Daniel Resines

“Notes From Sometime, Later, Maybe” is Roger Gómez and Daniel Resines’ fifth collaboration – a fascinating short documentary film that premiered at Visions du Réel.

At the end of the 1930s, Ivan Besse, the projectionist of the Strand cinema, in the small town of Britton in South Dakota, was struck by how his fellow citizens appeared lost in the face of the Great Depression. So, he decided to film them in the street before telling them to come to the cinema to see themselves on the big screen. His aim was not only to find a way to get people to go to the cinema and thereby save his movie theater but also to strengthen the community. Today, eighty years later, two Spanish filmmakers return to Britton, that town founded in 1884 as a stop on the Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific Railroad, to find Besse’s film as well as some of the protagonists who are still alive.

This film is very short and simple. It is a dormant re-evocation and a fascinating and surprising archeology of film that unfolds before our eyes. Today, as much as yesterday, it is the approach more than the beauty of the images filmed that is moving. The reactions of the people who are filmed are absolutely marvelous and touching and their smiles put a smile on our faces, thus embellishing this charming footage made for next generations. Besse who lived from 1907 to 2005 made this collection of films around 1938 and it can be viewed online.

“Sometime, later, maybe is something that we would most probably say when asked to be filmed or pose for a picture. The title illustrates perfectly the film’s content. A look at an America that once was and a compelling part of collective memory that tells a captivating story that is part of both History and Film History, “Notes From Sometime, Later, Maybe” is a short but intense testimony of the power of images ; for us a magnetic discovery but for some of the protagonists, a poignant trip down memory lane. History is made on film…



Production: El Cangrejo (Spain 2016)

Producer: Cristina Sánchez

Directors: Roger Gómez and Daniel Resines

Screenplay: Roger Gómez and Daniel Resines

Photography: Ivan Besse, Roger Gómez and Daniel Resines

Music : Howe Gelb

Editing: El Cangrejo

Color/Black & White – 11 min

Premiere: 16-IV-2016 (Visions du Réel)


Note: This review was originally published on Yellow Bread’s sister publication, The Film Prospector, in April 2017.

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