Directors Arnaud Ele and Laura Knoops rediscover movement and its magnetic presence.
A journey through Berlin’s Art Deco underground stations with Swiss dancer Stylez’C StalaMuerte is the fundament for this explorative short film. Berlin based director Arnaud Ele, originally from Cameroon – his home but also the place where he began exploring the notions of territory, identities and associated representation – collaborated for the piece with his partner Laura Knoops. It is also the second collaboration between Ele and dancer Stylec’z.
“I aimed to create a narrative arc through movement and expression—enhanced by the use of darkness and light,” explains Ele.
In his work, he captures and illustrates the state and mindset of Stylez’c that he has developed in recent years, exploring his dreams and passion and remembering the challenges he faced, illustrated in archive footage. “We wanted to divide the stills in two different spaces. The first one, in the metro stations, references the roots of the underground culture from which Stylez’c originates. The second space, in the studio, shows the abstract side of his practice and the personal connection between his body and movement. His style of moving is a fusion of hip-hop culture influencers and his own unique story. When he starts dancing he instantly has that magic,”adds Knoops.
Born in the 1990s, Stylez’c is a descendant of the dance culture that accompanied the early days of ‘Juste debout’ in Paris, the premier competition for street-dance styles. It combines standing dance styles such as hip-hop, popping, locking, house and experimental. Stylez’c was the Winner of the ‘Juste Debout’ World Final 2019, as well as a finalist in 2017 and 2018 alongside his battle partner Diablo, just among many other accomplishments.
With a focus on the beauty of movement but als on the notion of intimacy, Ele again pushes the limits of documentaries, telling a hidden story with a unique power.
Director, producer: Arnaud Ele (@arnaud.ele)
Creative director, graphics: Laura Knoops (@knoops)
Dancer: Crazysweetnessworld Stylez’c x StalaMuerte (@stylezc_huey)
Assistant DOP: Jérôme Depierre (@depierrejerome)
Editing: Constant Fernandez (@constantfernandez)
Color grading: One Hundred Berlin (@onehundredberlin)
Archive footage: Kotovych film (@kotovych_film)
Sound design: Arnaud Ele & Constant Fernandez
Soundtrack: Mick Jenkins — Piano
Styling: Carine Kuntz (@kuntz.carine)
Grooming: Christin Sperlich (@christinsperlich.hair.makeup)
Special thanks to: AA Collected (@aacollected)