Plot Point

Plot Point


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Nicolas Provost's Plot Point is about expectation. Filmed in New York's Times Square during some never identified event, it rapidly cuts from crowds to individuals to groups while music swells and soars. From time to time those on screen talk and the audience hears overdubbed dialogue, cryptic, tense. Nothing definite is said, no names are used, pronouns acquire weight because it is assumed that they have it. Plot Point is an exercise in convention, a series of moments that are designed to give us the impression that something is happening.

It speaks to our desire for narrative, to the habits of Hollywood in signposting the progress of story. It is ominous, menacing, empty. As it continues to tantalise us it becomes less about the sense of something going on as the knowledge that it is but it is hidden from us. The plot becomes not one that we are waiting to be shown but a paranoiac fantasy. Even as the film draws to a close there is a mystery, the sense that something has been missed. As found footage it's intriguing in and of itself. There are some hundred police cars in it, and on top of the events that are hinted at is a curiosity about the event that's being ignored: the background happenings that have been cut out and rearranged to make this one.

Copy picture

The sound design and soundtrack are perfectly judged. The notes claim that there is no dialogue, and this is sort of true: the mutterings and radio chatter never assemble into a whole, but they are there. There's no credit for them though, so whether the voice is that of Moby who provides the rest of the music is uncertain. What is striking is that even without the music there would be a weight of expectation. For cinemagoers there is a sense of importance that attends any given cut, any given shot. Where the camera focuses we look, and Plot Point plays with that ably.

It's a brilliant piece, almost wasted in a cinema because it's only seen once. As a video installation the temptation would be to sit and watch again, and again, and try to tease a story from it. By presenting the audience with all the signs of a plot, but none of it, Provost manages to challenge, concern and delight.

Reviewed on: 02 Jul 2008
Share this with others on...
At a big event in Times Square, something is going on - but what?

Director: Nicolas Provost

Writer: Nicolas Provost

Year: 2007

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: Belgium


Sundance 2008

Search database:

If you like this, try:

The Bourne Identity
Enemy Of The State