The Woman Who Wasn’t There

by James Greer

Inspired by the example of my betters, here’s a short film I made in France. It was shot at the Château D’hérouville, about an hour outside of Paris, which was once a famous recording studio – the “Honky Chateau” of Elton John fame – but is now overgrown and mostly a ruin. I intended at first just to shoot some test footage of the location. But the test was meant to be in HD, and the HD cable on my rented camera broke, so I had go old school SD video. Looking at the footage later, I decided to construct a false narrative and write some dialogue. Which you can’t hear very well, which is intentional, but for which I apologize nonetheless. On the upside, it’s pretty short.

I provide subtitles for those who do not speak French. Unfortunately, those subtitles are also in French. Fortunately, (most of) the text is simply a French version of the Wikipedia page to which I linked above. The English text is a different matter. I take full responsibility for that.

The name of the film comes from when I was driving back with Constance Cardon, the non-actress actress featured here, and she was talking in her adorable deep gravelly voice to her boyfriend, who was asking her about the shoot. She told him that essentially she was playing the role of “la femme qui n’était rien,” which can be translated as “the woman who wasn’t there.” I thought that was a great title for something, and eventually, why not, for this.

One small note: it doesn’t really matter, but Constance’s accent renders the line “I think I may be a robot” into “I think I may be a rabbit,” at least to my ears. Just FYI.