The strength of cinema is that it gives us access to experiences different from our own, to other gazes, other imaginaries. And with a gesture that compels us to see, filmmakers draw us into their own universe. Thus, in the words of Walter Benjamin, film can undertake an intensive penetration of reality. An undertaking that should enable us to apprehend the world without becoming mystified by the continuous flow of events. And it is perhaps because of films that disturb, jostle imaginaries, confront other desires, other aspirations, other dreams that a discontinuity emerges in this implacable unfolding of reality.
The story told by these films is not that of another world to be attained, but of our own world, differently, in a splendid gesture that desecrates the dominant systems. Amit Dutta, Antoine d’Agata, Sharon Lockhart, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pierre Creton, Ben Russell & Ben Rivers, Luis López Carrasco and Fern Silva all chart a global cinematic movement of affirmed otherness. This group complements the retrospectives of Franssou Prenant, Olivier Zabat and Jean-Pierre Gorin. Each is resolutely pursuing their political and sensitive cinematographic path, not at the margin of cinema but heading off at a tangent.
Working in the Dziga Vertov Group (1967-1973), Jean Pierre Gorin, along with Jean-Luc Godard, created a subversive cinema that merges radical political positions, an assumed taste for theory and an attempt at slapstick. Later, in the United States, Jean-Pierre Gorin continued with a personal and enigmatic oeuvre involving a philosophical study and meditation on American life, both real and imaginary.
The films of Franssou Prenant are journeys through time and space, through life itself and the past and, at the same time, films about love and memory, history and philosophy, akin to a diary and fable. While several of his films stir up colonial history and its stenches, be it in Guinea, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria or even Paris, each of them plunges us into a sensory and kinetic vision of the world.
From his first films on, Olivier Zabat’s filmmaking is unique in that it conveys the palpability of the particular way each person inhabits the world, be they marginal, deemed mad, or simply different. Despite the lingering strangeness, the rising malaise, the bewilderment that settles in, the spectator has a mysterious experience of empathy. In this respect, Olivier Zabat’s cinema is a totally hospitable cinema.
(Programme in progress)