Article EN
21.07.2021
Amina Hassan 2007
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Atteyat Al-Abnoudy, a pioneer of documentary filmmaking, has been making the voices of the poor heard since the 1970s. We meet her when the first Women’s Film Festival is paying tribute to her. (...) Some call her “the poet of the documentary”. Others criticize her for portraying the poor, the bratty children, the run-down places and the abject sides of reality. Likewise, Egyptian television, the only means of broadcasting her work, asks her to disclaim her inventories of misery in order to benefit from funding. She retorts to her detractors: “You must know how to reveal reality with its dark and luminous sides, without hiding an admiration for the total commitment of the beings whose lives meet History.”

Conversation EN
21.07.2021

Atteyat Al-Abnoudy’s definition of documentaries is simple and all-encompassing: “No script, no actors, no direction. The cameraman follows the subject.” (...) “What I want,” says Al-Abnoudy, leaning forward to make the point, “is a Déscription de l’Egypte on film.” Layers and layers of thick description that would make Clifford Geertz happy, testimonies from people rarely heard from, images of daily struggles to survive, dreams deferred but not forgotten.

Conversation EN
21.07.2021

We listen to Atteyat Al-Abnoudy speak in a loud voice about her vision for art, life and reality; and we get to know her inimitable, riotous character in return. Atteyat Al-Abnoudy: “I don’t care for the prizes as much as I care for my films to be shown in my own country, because I am offering pure Egyptian cinema to the Egyptian people, and I am addressing the existence of the authentic Egyptian human. Regardless of how many prizes I win around the world, their entire sum is not as worthy as one single glance of a pair of Egyptian eyes that give my films their glory and true worth.”

Conversation EN
21.07.2021

“I look at life in a poetic way. I love to live and I think that poor people in my country are all doing their best to work and to create life. I try in all my films to convey this love of life, even if the people live in very poor conditions. I treat them with great respect. I love to see their faces on the screen. I come from the working class, but film is a middle-class medium, so you have to be strong in order to maintain your relationship to your class. Otherwise you are lost.”

Conversation EN
21.07.2021
J.-F. Camus 1973
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Atteyat Al-Abnoudy, a young Egyptian filmmaker, has won the Grand Prix du film documentaire in Grenoble and the International Federation of Film Critics prize for Horse of Mud. And for her film The Sad Song of Touha, she has won the Novais Teixeira prize: a prize founded in memory of our colleague who died last year and who was much loved by French critics. We met Atteyat Al-Abnoudy before she was awarded these important prizes, important for the direction she wishes to give to her work. Al-Abnoudy: “When I start a film, I don’t think about its form. When I became friends with the people in the factory, the only way for me as a filmmaker to express my feelings for them was to make a film.”

Conversation EN
21.07.2021

“I don’t want to make films because of some beautiful subject or because there’s something fascinating me in the colours or anything like that. It’s at least 50 years now making films in Egypt and always we see on the screen lovely houses and lovely hills, the decor and other fantastic things for us. But the poor people and the working class are not on the screen, when they have the right to be.”

Conversation FR EN
14.07.2021

Je savais déjà qu’on ne fait pas tourner comme ça du jour au lendemain des gars qui ne sont pas des comédiens. Surtout quand tu veux faire un long métrage. Et là, je me jetais dans un long métrage parlant. Des copains m’avaient dit : « Méfie-toi ! » Je leur répondais : « Merde ! Flaherty a bien tourné Nanouk, il a bien tourné Moana ! » « Ah oui, d’accord, mais c’est du muet ! Toi, tes paysans, quand ils vont ouvrir la bouche, tu vas voir, ce sera la catastrophe. » J’ai quand même tenu bon. Bien sûr, on ne peut pas leur faire jouer Le Cid ou Hamlet... Tu es obligé de leur faire jouer une chose qui leur tient aux tripes.

Article FR EN
14.07.2021

Le film à peine terminé, commence « l’affaire Farrebique » : le jury de sélection du 1er Festival de Cannes, l’élimine de la compétition [...] « Quelques réserves que l’on puisse faire sur la conception très arbitraire du sujet, écrit Georges Sadoul, Farrebique avait une place marquée au Festival, alors qu’on eût pu refuser même un strapontin à la logorrhée particulièrement incontinente que constituait Un revenant. Mais c’est précisément le dialoguiste de ce film, Henri Jeanson, membre de la commission, qui a batailléé pour le refus de Farrebique, bien qu’il s’en défende : « Farrebique n’a pas été proposé à nos suffrages. Je suis, il est vrai, de ceux qui trouvent ce film ennuyeux. Je ne tiens pas la bouse de vache pour une matière photogénique. J’ai peut-être tort, j’en conviens, mais je proteste contre ceux qui prétendent en toute mauvaise foi que Farrebique a été recalé. »

Conversation NL EN
7.07.2021

In the series ‘One Spectator Among Others’ Herman Asselberghs and Gerard-Jan Claes invite various passionate film lovers to elaborate on their viewing practice by email. Filmmakers, artists, critics, researchers, authors, programmers, cinemagoers, TV enthusiasts, Netflixers, YouTubers, torrent users... After the first instalment with Herman Asselberghs, we continue the series with Rebecca Jane Arthur, a Scottish visual artist, living in Brussels. She is co-founder of elephy, a production and distribution platform for film and media art based in Brussels.

Conversation NL EN
7.07.2021

In ‘Een kijker onder de anderen’ laten Herman Asselberghs en Gerard-Jan Claes via e-mail allerlei gepassioneerde filmliefhebbers uitvoerig aan het woord over hun kijkpraktijk. Filmmakers, kunstenaars, critici, onderzoekers, auteurs, programmatoren, bioscoopbezoekers, tv-fanaten, netflixers, youtubers, torrentgebruikers,… Na de eerste aflevering met Herman Asselberghs zetten we de reeks voort met Rebecca Jane Arthur, een Schotse beeldend kunstenares die in Brussel woont. Naast haar artistieke praktijk werkt Arthur als producent, schrijver, copy-editor en vertaler. Ze is ook medeoprichter van elephy, een productie- en distributieplatform voor film- en mediakunst gevestigd in Brussel.

Article NL
30.06.2021

In close-up verschijnen achtereenvolgens een penis en schaamhaar, borsten, en opwaartse benen. De eerste beelden uit dit aanstootgevende schimmenspel zijn vrij snel na elkaar gemonteerd. (...) Het ratelende geluid van het pornografische speelgoed roept associaties op met een filmprojector in overdrive. Zo opent Walerian Borowczyks Une collection particulière (1973) met een reflectie op het filmmedium en zijn voyeuristische genoegens.

Conversation NL EN
23.06.2021

The Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa made his first film, Blood, in 1989. In 1994, Down to Earth followed, which was filmed in Cape Verde. Costa came back from the island with a number of parcels and letters from Cape Verdeans he had met there, addressed to their relatives and friends who had emigrated to Portugal. His task as a postman brought him to Lisbon’s Fontainhas neighbourhood, where many migrants were living at the time. After this first contact with the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, Costa kept returning there, filming Ossos in 1997, the first instalment in a series of films he would make with the inhabitants of Fontainhas. Pedro Costa: “Fontainhas is, indeed, the product of something, of the factories here, of people moving from some northern Scottish village to Sheffield. That is what it’s about.”

Conversation NL EN
23.06.2021

De Portugese filmmaker Pedro Costa maakte zijn eerste film Blood in 1989. In 1994 volgde het in Kaapverdië gefilmde Down to Earth. Costa kwam terug van het eiland met pakjes en brieven van Kaapverdianen voor hun familieleden en vrienden die naar Portugal waren geëmigreerd. Zijn taak als postbode bracht hem naar de wijk Fontainhas in Lissabon, waar veel migranten woonden. Na het eerste contact met de bewoners van de wijk ging Costa verschillende keren terug en in 1997 filmde hij er Ossos, de eerste van een reeks films met de bewoners van Fontainhas. Pedro Costa: “Fontainhas is inderdaad het gevolg van iets, van de fabrieken hier, van mensen die van een of ander Noord-Schots dorp naar Sheffield verhuisden. Daar gaat het over.”

Article NL
16.06.2021

Meer nog dan een vreemde film is Naked Lunch een film die mainstreamfilms vreemd maakt. Er komt immers iets bloot te liggen van de mechanismen die we als normaal beschouwen. We kunnen de parallel trekken met medici die het normale fysieke functioneren trachten te begrijpen door de afwijking, een ziekte, te onderzoeken.

Article NL FR
9.06.2021

Van 9 juni tot en met 31 augustus wijdt CINEMATEK een tentoonstelling aan Fernand Schirren, de hoofdpianist die stille films begeleidde vanaf de oprichting van het Filmmuseum in 1962 tot 1982. In 1982 hielp Schirren mee aan het samenstellen van een vaste ploeg pianisten die de dagelijkse projecties in CINEMATEK zouden begeleiden, waaronder Jean-Luc Plouvier. Plouvier: “Zonder voorbereiding improviseren op stille films is een bijzondere discipline, sterk te onderscheiden van het schrijven van filmmuziek. De pianist staat niet aan de kant van de regisseur en de monteur, die voorbereid zijn en hun werk meestal verbergen.”

Article NL FR
9.06.2021

Du 9 juin au 31 août, CINEMATEK consacre une exposition à Fernand Schirren, le pianiste principal à avoir accompagné les films muets de la fondation du Musée du Cinéma en 1962 à 1982. En 1982, Schirren participe à la constitution d’une équipe permanente de pianistes pour accompagner les projections quotidiennes, dont Jean-Luc Plouvier. Plouvier: “L’improvisation sur muets, sans préparation, est un artisanat particulier, à distinguer absolument de l’écriture d’une musique de film. Le pianiste n’est pas situé du côté du réalisateur, dont l’action est préméditée et l’effort généralement dissimulé.”

Conversation EN
2.06.2021

I think of myself as someone who has an instinctual understanding of what it is to be a minority person. That is someone whose existence is highly marginal in the society and understands it in the gut but will not be dominated by it. Therefore, I refuse all of those labels, such as Black Woman Filmmaker, because I believe in my work as something that can be looked at without labels.

Conversation EN
2.06.2021

“The thing that writing teaches you, which is probably the thing I’ve discovered that I know best about, is the mastery of form. And each discipline is really an exercise in understanding what is allowable in the structure of that particular form. Screenplay writing has curves and you have to write for the curves of the story.”

Article EN
2.06.2021

In order to get at how I think about making a movie at a low budget, I have to be able to give you the theory, the narrative theory, that supports my reasons for making movies. If any of you have seen my work, you know I’m only interested in telling stories, and most of those stories are fairly contemporary. And to some degree they are ahistorical, meaning, though I think that is going to change, that the focus of the work is entirely narrative in orientation.

Article EN
2.06.2021

It would be more than fair to say that in American films, the motif of adventure is one of the favorite story-telling devices. So many films come to mind – from the most banal to the most memorable of the western, detective, and war genre films of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to the rash of modern-day science fiction films patterned on the Star Wars or Close Encounters formulas. (...) Two other films stand out in my mind that take the adventure story theme to another level, and therefore deserve a closer look: Charles Lane’s A Place in Time, and Charles Burnett’s Killer Of Sheep.