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Nicolas Provost

Plot Point, 15:27, Color, Stereo, BE, 2007

Sphinx Award

However the jury surprised themselves with their eventual selection of Plot Point (Nicholas Provost) as the ultimate winner of this year’s Sphinx award. Rather than the use and abuse of third party images, the director collected his own footage around Times Square recreating the tensions and conventions of dominant hollywood forms with masterly editing and a perfect eye. He inverts the paradigm of appropriation. We’re still wondering where he got us. (jury members: David Larcher, Jan Vebeek, Zoran Pantelic)

Almost everyone has seen hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of television and film footage that features crowded American cities, the streets of Manhattan, American cops, yellow New York City cabs, uniforms and ambulances. Such images have become stereotypical all over the world and are widely associated with action films, crime movies and, to a certain extent, medical drama. In Plot Point, Nicolas Provost plays with this premise; he has recorded everyday life around Times Square in New York and edited the resulting footage in such a manner that it triggers our collective memory about action and crime narrative. Plot Point shows a 15-minute, seemingly random succession of shots of crowds walking on Manhattan sidewalks; we see billboards, trucks, a choreography of police cars, while uniformed NYPD officers and random people seem to be watching each other.