An essay on acting methods, the art of cinema and different belief systems. The most brilliant contemporary French actresses, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Béatrice Dalle, play themselves. Between takes, they share their experiences, highlighting the roles of witches they have once portrayed. The film that is being made, God’s Work, is also about witches. Soon, a power struggle flares up on set, and a clash between the genders is brewing. What exactly is this film? Is it a mockumentary? A hallucinogenic coven of actresses? Or is it an over 120-year-old cinematic misunderstanding?
Filmmaker Gaspar Noé, who belongs to the New French Extremity and is always seeking the euphoric culmination of the millennium, has called this mid-length work a tribute to all actresses who have been psychologically, or physically demeaned. He harkens back to Pasolini’s dramas about suffering, Fassbinder’s mantras about power, how witches have been portrayed throughout film history, and Carl Theodor Dreyer, using naturalistic techniques to obtain close-ups of the horror on his actresses’ faces. The satirical work was conceived as a short film for Yves Saint Laurent and started off as a four-sentence-long script, which was followed by five days of improvisation with actresses. As Noé said at the Cannes premiere, “now the 51 minute baby is ready to scream… Thank God, cinema is light flashing 24 frames-per-second”.