52nd edition

F.X. Messerschmidt sculpteur (1736-1783)

Fortnight 1992, Short film, 12 mn


At the peak of his official career, Messerschmidt was refused a sculptor’s chair at the Vienna Academy of Arts. He left the capital and created, during the last years of his life, a disconcerting work, at complete odds with his academic pieces: a series of sixty grimacing faces (called “expression faces”). The studio is under the storm of a surprising ritual, in the to-ings and the frowings of the mirror where the grimace sets itself up to return to the mould with a virtuoso violence, accompanied by sighs, grunts and strange gestures to keep off the demons of proportion (according to the testimony of a contemporary). This moment, when the grimace is searching itself, could only be seized by the body and face of the actor (fictional) to fix the approach of the work cinema, mirror of the whole grimacing spectrum.


  • Benoît Régent
  • Nicolas Grossetet


Marino Vagliano

Pascal Le Moal

Yves Grasso, Ludovic Henault

Annette Du Tertre

Set decoration
Frédérique Stévenot


PRODUCTION : Stellaire Productions