After Méditeranée, Pollet returns to Bassae, a Greek archeological site located in the heart of the Peloponnesian peninsula. Its Doric temple was built by Ictinos and it is the only one located far away from the sea; its orientation is different from the others and it is constructed with local stone. "These blocks of formless material regain their origins in the mineral kingdom, they had never ceased belonging there... Everything returns to mud, to ashes, nothing can challenge time. How could anything dare to?" (from the off text by Alexandre Astruc).
"Ever since I returned from my voyage in the Mediterranean, Bassae is the place that obsessed me most. When I discovered it I told myself: 'this is where you have to be'. So we went. There were three of us: I did the photography, there was a Greek stage-hand, and a third carried the material. We wanted to film this object which had lost its significance, but which possessed a fantastic potential for mystery. I asked Sollers to write a comment, but it frightened the producer. So I asked Alexandre Astruc to write another so that the film could be distributed. There are two versions of Bassae, but Sollers' version has been lost" (J.-D. Pollet, 1969).
Jean-Daniel Pollet (La Madelaine, France, 1936 - Cadenet, France, 2004) as a filmmaker can hardly be classified in a school of thought or trend. He decided he would become a director in high school, and has dedicated his life to cinema ever since, with mixed success: La ligne de mire (1960), for instance, was never publicly released and was severely criticized by the Nouvelle Vague; Méditerranée, on the other hand, was a resounding success, elevated as a masterpiece by the “Cahiers du cinéma.” His creative partnership with Claude Melki, his role in France’s May 1968 protests, or in the circles of Brazilian Cinema Nôvo are all elements that resurface in Pollet’s cinema. He died in 2004 after a long and prolific career, to which the Torino Film Festival dedicated a complete retrospective in 1998.
Text: Alexandre Astruc.
Director of photography: Jean-Daniel Pollet, C. Recors.
Sound: Guy Montassut.
Editor: Jean-Daniel Pollet.
Voice: Jean Negroni.
Production company: C.M.S./ Alain Lapprand.