French Experimental Cinema Program One: Redeploying Classical Images
An “Oum Kalthoum”/Kama Sutra mash-up, Lech Kowalski on Robert Flaherty’s glorious Louisiana Story, Eisenstein reflecting on the beating of cineaste Joachim Gatti, and more.
The End of the World Begins With One Lie
Lech Kowalski, France, 2010; 62m
Drawing on Internet images related to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, director Lech Kowalski deconstructs Robert Flaherty’s classic 1948 documentary Louisiana Story (a film originally commissioned by Standard Oil). “I am quite interested in how the Internet is giving us information using images that anyone can produce and the contrast between ‘corporate’ images and nonprofessional images and story constructions,” says Kowalski.
Al Attlal (Ruines)
Zoulikha Bouabdellah, France, 2009; 4m
Music by Philippe Mallier, with text by Ibrahim Naji and music by Riad Sunbati, the cult song by Oum Kalthoum covers a major theme in Arab poetry: recalling a past love. The slideshow’s soundtrack (produced with the composer Philippe Mallier) reinvests the singer’s wailing with new meaning: the original moaning becomes sexually charged sighing, played over an elliptical background of poses from the Kama Sutra, as if to synthesize the act of love-making.
À la barbe d'Ivan
Pierre Léon, France, 2010; 10m
An insightful work from cineaste, critic, musician, and actor Pierre Léon (whose films will be featured in our April series Free Radicals: Serge Bozon and the New French Cinema). Léon uses images from Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible to reflect upon the 2010 beating of young cineaste Joachim Gatti by police and the economically vulnerable members of French society.
Jacques Perconte, France, 2010; 5m
A meditation on the principle of non-violence as employed by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the practice of civil disobedience. What has happened to Gandhi’s values today?
Curated by Nicole Brenez, prominent film critic and curator for the experimental cinema programs at the Cinémathèque française in Paris