The Poetry of Exactitude (La Poésie de l'exactitude)

Directed by Alan Govenar


Details: 2009, 8 minutes, French with English subtitles, Director, Producer: Alan Govenar, Assistant Director: Laurent Danchin, Cinematograper: Didier Dorant, Editor: Hélène Possetto

La Poesie De L'Exactitude is Govenar’s second French short film and was inspired by a chance meeting with Lucien Mouchet in January 2008. The film was shot and edited in Paris with the assistance of Laurent Danchin. It premiered at the 2009 AFI Dallas Film Festival and was shown at the SXSW 2010 Film Festival.

Since 1946, Lucien Mouchet (b. 1923 in Paris) has been making small-scale reproductions of carrousels and fairground scenes that existed in the past or are still in operation today. A machinist by trade, Mouchet retired nearly two decades ago, but his obsession with precision and detail has continued. To date, he has created 48 carrousels; each is a functioning masterpiece that is constructed to be exactly 1/20 scale of the original. Mouchet works from photographs and measurements he has taken over the years of carrousels that have toured France and across Europe. Mouchet tediously prepares shop drawings and hand-tooled parts, analyzing the different modes of assembly and the varying principles of movement. He combines an expertise in engineering with whimsical recreations of the carnival atmosphere, replete with electrical motors, lights, signage, transport trucks and miniature people, made by him and hand-painted by his wife, Georgette. Mouchet’s achievement is unique, and Jean-Paul Favand, director of the Pavillons de Bercy, a private museum of fairground art in Paris, explains why.

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Watch the Trailer for The Poetry of Exactitude.