The origin of BodyCombat is a play, written then adapted into a medium-length film by the screenwriter and director Yelena Remetin. BodyCombat is a return to the traces of a childhood and an adolescence that fell through the cracks. It's the story of a child who was confronted too early with the adult world, recounting her relation with her father, the principle perpetrator of her stolen youth. With BodyCombat “Don't take any more hits, give them!”
A young woman leads a brutal battle against the phantomes of her past.
Through Bodycombat, a sport both physical and psycological, she finds the strength to confront difficult family secrets.
In the course of her initiation into Bodycombat, she re-examines the images and events that she's kept hidden in the deepest recesses of her being, trying to drive them out and conquer them.
NOTE OF INTENT:
"Body Combat, the sport of the new millennium, a new program that is revolutionizing fitness; an adrenaline rush with pure and guaranteed results! Body Combat ... the only sport that heals your body and mind ..."
It’s with these words that unfolds BODYCOMBAT, the story of a childhood and adolescence aborted, the story of a young girl confronted with the adult world much too prematurely.
The narrative, supported by the voiceover of the main character, lets us follow one of the courses of the new sports program called Body Combat. It is in this course that a young woman remembers her father, the principal thief of her stolen youth, a man plagued by alcoholism, misery and the darker side of life.
"Body Combat" evokes the relationship between father and daughter.
The idea of this storyline came to me while I was practicing a combat sport: "In a healthy body remains a healthy mind." So I asked myself, who are those people who cling to this doctrine ... what goes on in their minds when they throw a punch or fight one another? What are their pasts, what kind of suffering have they endured in their lives, in their youth? Just how far can the body go to heal the mind? Is it possible to drive our emotions and resentments by means of a combat sport?
"BODYCOMBAT" is divided into two parts, two eras, two locations and two distinct states of mind that interweave throughout the narrative.
One part of the action, the Physical Exercises, is played in an empty timeless space. This is the location of the combat. Here, the main female character confronts her past, and the truth that lies beneath all the layers of oblivion.
All images in this section are treated purely: in this place the body can fight a battle against its original enemy.
(NB: In this part the main character is the girl in adulthood.)
The decor of the Physical Exercises sequence is devoid of scenic elements, with a neutral background. The young woman will be interpreted by a contemporary dancer and, through editing and very close shooting, we will focus on the physical aspect of the combat.
The second part of the action, Flash Backs, is much more complex. It is built on flashbacks by mixing several situations experienced by our protagonist when she was a girl, which are partially erased or which may have never even existed.
The voice of the protagonist (voice-over) recalls images, déjà vues, and escorts the viewer to these places crowded with memories: her house, the street, the park, the basement, the kitchen, etc., as well as scenes that symbolize her various emotional states (for example: a crushed ice-cream on a road burnt by a summer sun, or a descent to the deep seabed where she rediscovers her childhood bedroom unchanged).
When she tries to recall the image of her parents, she never sees their faces, their gestures and expressions. She wears a distant look and refuses to accept the truth, otherwise obvious: that she was just a weight, a burden to her parents. These people, like tree trunks, only communicating with their arms or hands, without no use of either brain or emotion. This is how they will be represented in the images; that is to say that these two characters will, all but their faces, mainly be in the center of the frames filmed. The intended final impression is that only their hands are speaking, expressing, and finally these hands are all that exist in this child/parent relationship.
(NB: In this part the main character is a twelve year old girl.)
The memories are divided into several chapters, each announced by the Physical Exercises of the course "Body Combat".
At times a female character appears. Like a ghost, she floats in various crucial scenes of the story. She represents a fairy, a mermaid, an angel and even death; her presence and her long hair floating in the air intertwined bring a fragile and sensitive image to the different passages of the story. The scenes of this character are filmed underwater and will be embedded in the action scenes.
Most of the Flash Back scenes take place in a shabby house, with a dull decor, located along the edge of a large city. Other locations of the young woman’s childhood cited earlier will also be visited in this section (park, basement, street, supermarket, etc.).
The overall atmosphere is gloomy and dark to accentuate the feeling of suffocation, of misery felt by the protagonist.
The entire film is in narrative form (voice-over). The music and sounds will play a very important role in the transcription of various emotions and in the intensity of the action.
The editing will offer the time needed to let the images speak and will match the rhythm and the narration. Part of the film (the last sequence, No.45) will be treated in 2D or 3D animation to show the father's death through the girl’s drawings, in order to emphasize this crucial time while still remaining in balance with the child’s sensibility.
In the beginning and the end of the story, we see once again the commercial for this new sport called Body Combat. This advertisement, in the form of a short film in the spirit of the 1960s, we’ll show an image of the perfect man, a model: a sort of ideal on Earth. This sports instructor will have impeccable speech and physical projection and will present the participants before and after their experience with Body Combat.
The duration of the film will be the equivalent to that of a sports lesson.
Will it be sufficient for the flashbacks and memories caused by the "Body Combat" practice to be destroyed forever ... or will the psychological wounds of our protagonist, already deep, accentuate? ... This remains to be seen!
Painter, photographer, screenwriter/author and director, Yelena Rementin has been working in the audio-visual and cinematographic arts for the past three years. Surrounding herself with a motivated and talented team who enhance her rich and diversified universe, she is a director who always manages to materialise her projects. She already has two short films and several video clips to her credit, as well as several projects under development.
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