State of Cinema 2021 / Nicole Brenez

State of Cinema 2021 / Nicole Brenez
A.I. at War (Florent Marcie, 2021)
An online lecture by Nicole Brenez
Online screening, French spoken with English subtitles
Free streaming on

On Thursday 23 December, Nicole Brenez’s State of Cinema, titled ‘Projections. Provisoires. Provisions’, will be streamed on

In 2018, by analogy with similar initiatives in other art forms, Sabzian created a new yearly tradition: Sabzian invites a guest to write a State of Cinema and to choose a film that connects to it. This way, once a year, the art of film is held against the light: a speech that challenges cinema, calls it to account, points the way or refuses to define it, puts it to the test and on the line, summons or embraces it, praises or curses it. A plea, a declaration, a manifest, a programme, a testimony, a letter, an apologia or maybe even an indictment. In any case, a call to think about what cinema means, could mean or should mean today.

For the 2021 edition, Sabzian is delighted to welcome the French film historian, scholar and curator Nicole Brenez. She chose the film A.I. at War (2021), in which filmmaker Florent Marcie confronts Sota, an AI robot, with the tragedy of mankind in the war zones of Mosul and Raqqa, then in Paris during the Yellow Vests uprising.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the State of Cinema’s fourth edition, will take place online with a stream in which Brenez will present her State of Cinema to a worldwide audience, free of charge, followed by a single online screening of Florent Marcie’s A.I. at War. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Florent Marcie, Nicole Brenez and Gerard-Jan Claes.

A.I. at War (Florent Marcie, 2021)

Nicole Brenez (1961) is a French film historian, scholar, author and curator currently working as Professor of Film studies at Université Paris 3 Sorbonne nouvelle. Since 1996, she has programmed experimental cinema for the Cinémathèque française. Recently, in 2017, she became the director of the department Analyse et Culture cinématographique at La Femis. 

Working on the methodology of film analysis, she introduced the analysis of the figurative dimension of cinema in her doctoral thesis entitled Autour du Mépris. Deux problèmes cinématographiques rapportés à l'invention figurative et solutions filmiques (1989). In the years that followed, Brenez has developed the methodology and vocabulary of figurative studies in cinema, searching for the tools of analysis in the films themselves. Brenez’s research offers great attention to the works of John Cassavetes, Abel Ferrara, Jean-Luc Godard and Philippe Grandrieux. A specialist in the avant-garde, she works on the history, cartography and taxonomy of political and experimental cinema.

Together with filmmaker Philippe Grandrieux, she produces the film collection It May Be That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve, devoted to revolutionary filmmakers forgotten or neglected by the histories of cinema.

Brenez’s writing regularly appears in magazines such as Trafic, Panic, Screening the Past and Rouge. Her many publications include Shadows de John Cassavetes, étude critique (1995), De la figure en général et du corps en particulier (1998), Jeune, dure et pure ! Une histoire du cinéma d’avant-garde et expérimental en France (2001), Traitement du lumpenproletariat par le cinema d’avant-garde (2006), Abel Ferrara (2007), Cinémas d’avant-garde (2008), Cinéma d’avant-garde mode d’emploi (2012) and Jean-Luc Godard, théoricien des images (2015). Her most recent book is Manifestations. Ecrits politiques sur le cinéma et autres arts filmiques (2019).


On the occasion of the State of Cinema 2021, Sabzian will publish a Dossier with texts by Nicole Brenez on 15 December.

Film, Lecture
23 Dec 2021 - 23 Dec 2021
PART OF state of cinema

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