25 février 2012

Forgotten Obsolete English Words #6 : Maverick

"Indie filmdom has long been a launchpad for Hollywood careers, but only a select few filmmakers can claim to have gone against the grain with enough force to change long-term trends.
From Spike Lee and Woody Allen’s takes on New York life to Stanley Kubrick and James Cameron’s new experiments with special effects, these ten directors topped our list of wave-makers and game-changers. Each of them showed the establishment how approach movies from new perspectives, and each one deserves to be called a maverick."
  1. Francis Ford Coppola
  2. Orson Welles
  3. Stanley Kubrick
  4. Martin Scorsese
  5. James Cameron
  6. Woody Allen
  7. Spike Lee
  8. Kathryn Bigelow
  9. Robert Redford
  10. Amy Heckerling

From Allen to Welles, we celebrate those cinema trailblazers (Brian Warmoth; IFC; 15 February 2012)
WTF? Is this what an "expert" on Independent American cinema believes? Yeah, each one of them deserves to be called "maverick" if you have no clue what that word means and if your knowledge of American cinema comes from watching The Oscars...

First, those who DO NOT deserve it (already 4 wasted spots in a Top10) :
  • James Cameron : when was he ever an indie filmmaker??? You're confusing "becoming bankable in Hollywood" and "going against the grain"! (spearheading 3D technology is no more a canonical high-mark for Cameron than it was for The Jazz Singer to pioneer talkies... it's a mere historiographic milestone)
  • Amy Heckerling : I confess I never heard of her... which brings me to my next point : how does she land on a top10 leaving so many deserving names out? Looking at her resume doesn't tell me she was ever an indie filmmaker nor a landmark in the history of revolutionary forms (if we are to understand "maverick" that way...)
  • Kathryn Bigelow : She only made heavily codified, formulaic genre movies, with big or medium budgets... And The Hurt Locker might be what Hollywood calls "indie" but it is not an actual indie in any way, shape or form.
  • Robert Redford : as a producer maybe (and for Sundance), not as a director though.
These guys aren't "mavericks" by world cinema's standards. Maybe "normal people" pass as "mavericks" in the land of Hollywood conservatives.

Secondly, those who are dead :
If you include dead ones, Welles and Kubrick are not enough... obviously. You wouldn't have enough spots left for the livings if you didn't exclude the deceased historical trailblazers! 
What about John Cassavetes, Robert Altman, Sam Peckinpah, Dennis Hopper, Sidney Lumet, Barbara Loden, Hal Ashby, Philip Kaufman, Alan J. Pakula, Arthur Penn, Sydney Pollack, Don Siegel !!!
  • Orson Welles : was an indie after being an Hollywood outcast, only in Europe could he make films freely...
  • Stanley Kubrick (he only made films in the UK! because he was excluded by Hollywood) sure he had an influence on Hollywood genre movies, a posteriori, indirectly. But Hollywood is far from incorporating Kubrick's ways into their standard procedures. Hollywood is against director's cut, against independence of creation, against mavericks, against risk taking. See how much he is loved by current "film students" here 

Thirdly, New Hollywood :
You only remember Coppola (the only one of this generation who sold out to Hollywood studios and came back to indie filmmaking) and Scorsese (accessed Hollywood studios through his indie breakthrough and totally embraced Studios ways since 1985; look what influenced him : Classical Hollywood, Classical Hollywood and Classical Hollywood)?
What about : Peter Bogdanovich, Miloš Forman, Mike Nichols, Roman Polanski, Bob Rafelson, Paul Schrader, Terrence Malick, John Boorman, William Friedkin, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Michael Cimino, Steven Spielberg... Are they chopped liver? None of them are more deserving than Amy Heckerling????

Woody Allen. Yeah, maybe. He started as an indie, and he definitely created a style of his own that influenced American cinema. And he still kinda makes his films in the margin of Hollywood... but his celebrity allowed him to make Star-driven vehicles like everyone else in Hollywood. I don't think that the Woody Allen comedy type is "alternative" anymore nowadays, it's been swallowed and digested by Hollywood default storytelling. Trailblazer, yes, one of them. He's just the most exposed figurehead. But he's not one of the 10 most revolutionary "mavericks" who inflected Hollywood...

And finally, the recent generation :
Spike Lee is the only one to represent the new blood? Yes he's definitely deserving the celebration as a maverick, a trailblazer, a truly independent spirit (more so than half of the names on this half-assed Top10).
But what about all the others?
David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino, Charles Brunett, Miranda July, Charlie Kaufman, Amos Kollek, Jonathan Nossiter, Todd Solondz, Steven Soderbergh, PT Anderson, Tom Dicillo,  Christopher Guest, Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater, Michael Moore, Wes Anderson, Coen Bros, David Cronenberg, Alexander Payne, Robert Rodriguez, Frederick Wiseman, Errol Morris, John Waters... None of them deserve a spot over Amy Heckerling??? WTF?

"IFC [Independent Film Channel] creates and champions authentic, original content that is "Always On. Slightly Off." Since 1994, IFC has cultivated television programming that challenges the conventions of storytelling. Today, IFC continues to embrace content with an indie perspective. [..] IFC provides viewers access to must-see festivals and events around the country, like the Film Independent's Spirit Awards and SXSW. IFC.com features exclusive video, podcasts, blogs, news and reviews cultivated and written by industry experts."

Conclusion :
If you make any kind of authoritative list about cinema history, to educate your readers, make sure you did your homework first... or else, don't make it seem like you're providing an educational statement. And try to figure out what is actually "independent cinema" outside of the USA, you might reconsider what Hollywood tells you is "specialty division".
This is with a culture like this that the American population is stuck in ignorance and resistance to anything new, alternative, artistic... when you give them the wrong landmarks to look up to. There are better role models out there, and even within American cinema history... nevermind World cinema history.

Related :

23 février 2012

Chacun son cinéma (quand le grand écran existait encore...)

Chacun son cinéma 
 Ce Petit Coup Au Coeur Quand La Lumière S'éteint Et Que Le Film Commence
To Each His Own Cinema
(2007/omnibus/60e Festival de Cannes) [PDF]

Chacun son cinéma (bande annonce) 1'31"

Joel & Ethan COEN - World Cinema

Theo ANGELOPOULOS - Trois Minutes

Abbas KIAROSTAMI - Where is my romeo?

Jean-Pierre et Luc DARDENNE - Dans l'obscurité

Walter SALLES - À 8944 km de Cannes

WONG Kar Wai - I traveled 9000km to give it to you

Autres réalisateurs :
Wim WENDERS - War in Peace

Voir aussi :

20 février 2012

The myth of an arthouse circuit in the USA

American reviewers all have a heartfelt story to tell about that ONE arthouse where they used to watch artfilms, foreign films, or OLD Hollywood films (even if nowadays they stopped attending such places, and stay at home to watch DVDs). That's so sweet. But I'm afraid this is just a urban legend they like to tell themselves around the firecamp of nostalgia... This never existed. The stats don't corroborate it. 
When Americans come to visit Paris, they don't watch French films, or the great variety of rare foreign films we can see on the big screen... what they ask for is where they can watch old classic Hollywood movies, because these aren't screened in their homeland anymore.
Well, there are several reasons to this collective hallucination : these memories only belong to a very narrow caste, quite limited geographically and largely overblown, they can't tell the difference between Cannes and the Oscars, they mismatch the role of American Festivals with that of an arthouse exhibition circuit, and their definition of an "artfilm" is basically anything that isn't a blockbuster.

‘Plexes, whether multi- or mega-, tend to look alike. But art and rep houses have personality, even flair. [..]
Most of these theatres are in urban centers, some are in the suburbs, and a surprising number are rural. Most boast only one or two screens. Most are independent, but a few belong to chains like Landmark and Sundance. Some are privately held and aiming for profit, but many, perhaps most, are not-for-profit, usually owned by a civic group or municipality.
What unites them is what they show. They play films in foreign languages and British English. They show independent US dramas and comedies, documentaries, revivals, and restorations.
In the whole market, art houses are a blip. Figures are hard to come by, but Jack Foley, head of domestic distribution for Focus Features, estimates that there are about 250 core art-house screens. In addition, other venues present art house product on an occasional basis or as part of cultural center programming.
David Bordwell; Pandora’s digital box: Art house, smart house (30 January 2012)
Figures are hard to come by? That explains why I can't find any stats, and why this figure is always left blank  for the USA in the worldwide surveys I consult.
How hard is it to count 250 screens, to survey them, to track their attendance and keep in touch with their development? Can't you get together with the specialty distributors who know where their films are accepted, and find out once and for all? Can't you CREATE a society, a union, or a statistical center, dedicated to the "art house circuit" if none exist yet after a century of cinema history????
Why the EU can count them, track them, organise them, watch over them, nurse them, promote them, subsidize them... and the USA (a bureaucratic nation supposedly committed to transparency and freedom of information) can't? Don't you care about your art film circuit? Wake up! Go out and find out.

THIS IS NOT NORMAL. You can't always justify everything by blaming the average American movie goer, or the Hollywood taste domination. If there was a marginal market for artfilms in the USA (and there is no believable reason why it shouldn't) it MUST be a much bigger fraction than a mere 1%. Don't go crazy like France and reach 40%... but 10 or 15% (at the lowest level reached by a European country) would give an existence to this artfilm niche. At 1% it does NOT exist, commercially or culturally. It barely amounts to the demographic fraction of movie reviewers...

There has been NO ONE to find this fact DISTURBING and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT since 1895??? I just found this out recently (and it explains a lot), but you guys had more than 100 years now... I think the effect of surprise is over, you may start to consider ACTION, don't you think? How long will it take the USA to build and secure an arthouse circuit, protected against the merciless competition of commercial cinema??? Here is a worthwhile survey to carry out for the "Cultural Studies" departments of your universities. Where are the reports/theses?

I know Hollywood doesn't mind about the art-house circuit and they certainly will do everything they can to keep it subdued under the pressure of their untold hegemony (officially there is no monopoly, but it's just a coincidence that it's the only Western country where foreign cinema is statistically invisible on the balance sheet)... but can't you get things done by yourself in a free country like the USA, and defy the Hollywood studios authority? Can't you make an effort for the sake of art film distribution in your country?

On the Sundance Buzz, Day 1 podcast [Film Society Lincoln Center; 19 Jan 2012; 55'], Tim League mentions the Art House Convergence (16-19 Jan 2012) where 285 delegates ("most of the independent arthouse operators, from big city arthouses to the very small mom-and-pop rural art houses, plus independent distributors") met (apparently for the first time in the history of American Independent Distribution!). So that's it. There are 40000 screens in the USA, and the indie sector can't fill a conference room of 300 people... That's what the art film circuit is in the USA : a miserable ghetto.

250 art-house screens for a population of 313 million inhabitants? That's about 5 screens per state on average; and 1250 thousands inhabitants per arthouse screen. This is ridiculous. A country of the size of the USA could have this number of venues to showcase EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA to an elite audience maybe, but Art-Cinema isn't that obscure and selective (not even in a lowbrow culture like the USA). Art cinema isn't an alternative choice in the margin of the shallow entertainment business in the USA... at this point, it is a LUXURY, a rarity, a Grail. A needle in a haystack. If you didn't figure out yet, HERE is the problem you need to solve!
I bet The Netherlands or Belgium have more art-house screens than that.
In France the proportion is 29 thousands inhab/arthouse screen (40 times the USA ratio!). If France had as few arthouses as the USA, proportionally, there would be only 50 screens nationwide, instead of 2235 screens in total (in 2010). This isn't a mere superiority due to the French "Exception culturelle"... The USA isn't a distant second behind France (because of all the "unfair" subsidies the government pours into the cinema industry). No. The USA, world's economic leader, ranks last on a world stage, because they can't finance their arthouse circuit at the modest level a country 5 times smaller like France can?
If you ask the CNC, you could know how many art houses there are in France, their screens, seats, audience, labeled art films, box office numbers, demographic shares, geographical location... If I go to the website of the union for the French art et essai cinemas (AFCAECICAECNC [PDF]SCAREEuropa Cinemas), I could list the exact address and telephone number of each cinemas too, and it's free!

At what point do you start thinking : "well maybe we need a bit MORE arthouses..." ? I don't care if there is "no audience" for it to make a profit... I don't care if the taste of the average movie goer is weak... I don't care if Hollywood tycoons put pressure on distributors and exhibitors... I don't care if you prefer to keep tax-payers money out of the equation... There is enough money to come by in Hollywood, enough of a moviegoer base, more than enough existing screens. don't blame it on "CAN'T", because if nothing happens it's only because you "DON'T WANT IT".
I don't think Americans are fully aware of the actual starvation of their artfilm circuit (until they are forced to compare with the practice of another average country). And they delude themselves thinking that the DVD market probably makes up for the lackluster theatrical distribution (even though the specific data for foreign/indie/artfilm bought/rented on DVD is nowhere to be found either). Do you think that we never buy/rent DVDs in France?
And it's not because there are too many (second-hand) International Film Festivals throughout the USA, which allegedly substitutes for the arthouse circuit... Because there are as many (second-hand) film festivals in France, and it never stopped the audience to go watch artfilms at their local arthouse.

Afterall, I suspect the happy few arthouse exhibitors to maintain this glass ceiling in place, this commercial status quo in the dire straits it's in, because rarity makes their screening soldout immediately. It's not profitable for distributors to market a release on 6 screens nationwide... but for those 6 arthouses, it's garanteed sold-out cinemas at every show for more than 2 weeks. Imagine 1 single screening in a megapole like NYC... of course you will find 2000 (art-friendly) people per day willing to watch an exclusive film amongst the 19 Million inhabitants of the metropolitan area (urban cosmopolitan culture). But why don't you care about all the Americans who won't be able to see it on the big screen, or not see it at all?

Are there only 250 film lovers in the USA who want to invest culturally in non-commercial, niche cinema to show America the wonders of American indie cinema, world-class Foreign cinema and repertoire titles?


Related :

18 février 2012

Specialized Films (UK)

Specialised Films (UK Film Council) UK's version of "arthouse fare" [PDF]
The UK market, in common with most others around the world, is generally driven by mainstream, US studio-originated material. In such a context, specialised films offer audiences a different experience of cinema. Such films are often characterised by an innovative cinematic style and by an engagement with challenging subject matter. As such, specialised films will challenge and educate audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
The UK Film Council’s definition of ‘specialised’ in this context, therefore, is quite broad and relates to those films that do not sit easily within a mainstream and highly commercial genre. [..] 
If it is a documentary, or in a foreign language (non-English) it becomes "arthouse-fare" (even if it is considered "mainstream" on their domestic market), as well as repertoire re-releases.
Examples of movies that need the aid of the UKFC because their appeal is too obscur : 127 Hours (Hollywood mainstream); The King's Speech (British blockbuster); Black Swan (Hollywood mainstream); Rien à déclaré (French blockbuster); True Grit (American mainstream); Potiche (French mainstream); Adèle Blanc Sec (French blockbuster); Justin Bieber: Never Say... 3D (Hollywood mainstream); Troll Hunter (Finland mainstream); Elite Squad 2 (Brazil mainstream genre); LOL (French blockbuster); The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (mainstream documentary); Midnight in Paris (mainstream star vehicule); Ra. One (Bollywood mainstream); Hugo (Hollywood blockbuster); The Help (Hollywood mainstream); The Lady (British mainstream); The Artist (French blockbuster)...
When the subsidies money is wasted on this kind of commercial spectacles, no wonder than there is not enough money and interest left for the real "artfilms", those which subject is not mainstream and with a serious film form (like Uncle Boonmee, Pina or Le Quattro Volte)

2010 UK Facts in focus
  • 355 specialised films were released (64% of the total) earning £66.2 million (6.5% of the
    total gross BO)
  • Films in 29 different languages (including English) were released 
  • 199 foreign language films made up 36% of total releases, but shared just 3% box office
  • 47 Hindi films were released, with My Name is Khan and Dabangg being the two most popular
  • 58 documentary films were released, accounting for 10% of releases but only 0.2% of the gross BO
  • 28 classic and archive films were re-released (5% of the total), accounting for 0.4% of the BO

Foreign language films
Films in 29 different languages (including English) were released in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2010, compared with 28 in 2009 (Table 5.2). Hindi was again the top non-English language at the box office, with a 1% share of revenues, followed by French (0.5%) and Swedish (0.4%).
The 28 foreign languages were spread over 199 releases in the UK and Republic of Ireland (36% of all releases, up four percentage points since 2009), earning £30 million at the box office (Table 5.3). This represented 3% of the total UK gross box office for 2010, up from 2% in 2009.
Films in European languages other than English earned 1.6% of the gross box office from 15.6% of releases and South Asian subcontinent languages shared 1.4% of the box office from 14% of releases (Table 5.4). Taken together, foreign language films played on average at only 19 sites at their widest point of release (up from 18 in 2009) compared with an average of 169 for English language releases.

Rural Cinemas initiative :
Rural cinema in this sense means film screenings in rural areas, normally in non-traditional venues such as village and town halls, arts centres and other community spaces. It encompasses film societies, film clubs, mobile cinemas and community cinemas. The UK Film Council allocated £1.2 million of Lottery funding to the Rural Cinema Pilot Scheme to be carried out in three rural areas identified as being particularly underscreened

Related :

17 février 2012

Movie industries outside Hollywood (Phil Hoad)

Phil Hoad does at The Guardian (a generalist newspaper) what Sight and Sound (a specialized revue comissionned by the BFI!) doesn't do... Educating its readers on stories, facts, understanding of the world cinema market that the national-centric distribution system doesn't want you to know about. The pitiful column by Nick Roddick is hardly and seldomly filling this role, unfortunately (hit or miss). Not to mention, Nick James helpless discernment to involve his redaction into the issues that matter to indie cinema and world cinema... This series could give illuminating ideas to bored Film Comment (ex?) editor, Gavin Smith, who can't be bothered to find a topic for his editorials...

Cinema is a planetary art, because its language is universal and because its aesthetic influences know no borders, even if the audience (and critics) aren't always aware of that. It's been true since its very early age, but more so today in the global village of an international economy, and transnational co-productions. So film discourse should be a global conversation. Unfortunately, the film press didn't evolve along with cinema productions, and remained stubbornly insular. There is virtually zero communication between critics working in separate distribution markets... like if cinema literature was zone-restricted like a blu-ray disk! Language is a strong barrier, obviously, but intellectuals/educators in charge of running a cinephile revue should (must) be more polyglot than the average spectator, and help readers to open their mind to the rest of the world. Even when they meet at festivals, they barely talk to eachothers, and when they do, they just exchange commonplace assumptions and reinforce their own domestic clichés. 

Phil Hoad's "After Hollywood" series so far (index here) :

Related :

Understanding "artfilms" (France)

What are arthouses? They are specialized cinemas/screens that consistently show films that are labelled "Art & Essai" by the AFCAE / CNC. 1077 arthouses received this label in 2011 in France, which corresponds to 2235 screens nationwide. They benefit from a financial aid (from the admission price tax) that amounts to nearly 14 Million € collectively.
What are the films labelled "Art & Essai"? They are films reviewed by a college of experts (100 members) representative of the film industry professions, fitting the following set of criteria (defined in 1991, modified in 2002) :

Films projected should either be : 
  1. artistically challenging (filmic research) or artistically new in the domain of cinematographic creation
  2. quality films that suffered from an undeservedly small audience
  3. films portraying the life in countries that distribute too little films on the French market
  4. repertoire films, "classic" films, second-run films with an artistic/historical quality
  5. short films with a notable refreshing quality
  6. EVENTUALLY : recent films (critically acclaimed and popular with the audience) which bring a notable contribution to the cinematographic art / amateur films with an exceptional quality

Both French films and foreign films may receive this label, however, the commercial films (with a large audience, a big budget and a huge marketing) tend to be ignored purposefully. The point being to help "small" films to find an audience and stay longer on screens, on a market where they are clearly not competitive enough against the heavy blockbusters turnout. The commission is more permissive/tolerant (quality-wise) for foreign films that have less visibility in France, so it might include films that are considered more "commercial" on their respective market. 
Once this benchmark list is established (examples of "art & essai" films here), cinemas that will screen them (for a certain amount of shows per year, in contrast with the other commercial screenings) may get classified "Art & Essai" and receive subsidies, and marketing/distribution aid for these films. Taken into consideration are the diversity of offering, the effort put into cultural animations around screenings (i.e. Ciné Club, conferences, mini-festivals, retrospectives, filmmaker guests...), the quality of the theatre and the equipment, as well as the particular hardship of rural environment, low population, high competition with multiplexes...

Bottom line, the USA cannot fund more arthouse screens than France, in fact they only run 10 times less on a circuit of screens 7 times larger than France (a country 5 times less populated than the USA). This bears repeating until someone realise that there is enough money in the Hollywood film industry (31.8 Billion $ worldwide!) to "spare" a fraction for the preservation/support of a proper artfilm circuit meeting the demand of such a larger demographic. The USA might be the country of the multiplexes and teen flicks... but artfilm-wise they are not at the level the population/moviegoers size requires, it is not even at the level of a European country, in fact it is all the way at the bottom of the world's ranking, next to Iran and India... with countries that have serious issues concerning the underdevelopment of their artfilm circuit. Is this possible??? Why is there NOBODY in the whole USA, for the past 100 years to care about THAT and do something to give the USA its deserved ranking??? Because it is far from it, and film journalists, trade papers, critics, moviegoers, distributors, producers, actors, patrons of the art, philanthropists... there is no one at the moment to take their country in the right direction. The small steps like Redford's Sundance, Ebert's Overlooked Films Festival, indie distributors, or individual exhibitors are a tear drop in the ocean, tiny local actions that remain statistically invisible at a national level. You can do better, you should do better... if you cared.

In 2010, there was 907 cities/towns in France with at least one functioning screen. Of which, 656 cities/towns had at least 1 arthouse screen! In Paris alone (city center), there are 84 cinémas (363 screens, of which 267 are labelled "art & essai" because even multiplexes show artfilms in France!)
In towns with a population inferior to 10000 inhabitants, there are 361 arthouse screens! (more than the USA nationwide total including NYC, LA and Chicago!!! Come on!). In rural areas, there are 104 arthouse screens.

1077 arthouses correspond to 52.6% of total exhibitors. 2235 arthouse screens correspond to 40.9% of total screens. 406493 arthouse seats (37.8% of total).

151 inhabitant per arthouse seat (57 inhab/seat in France total). Proportion of occupied seats for arthouses is 14.6% (15% for France total). Frequency (annual tickets per moviegoer) 0.93 for arthouses (3.37 for France total).

Broken down by number of screens :
605 cinemas "A&E" with a single screen; 311 with 2 or 3 screens; 101 with 4 or 5 screens; 34 with 6 or 7 screens; 25 multiplexes with 8 to 11 screens; and 1 multiplex with more than 12 screens.

2.29 Million arthouse screenings (33.5% of total national screenings). 57.4 Million arthouse spectators (27.7% of total spectators). 317.5 Million € of arthouse box office revenue (24.3% of national total)

These are figures I would love to know about the USA market... if they existed.

This "Art & Essai" classification (translated by "arthouse" or "artfilm" in English) is an administrative indicator for professionals, in order to draw the line between films and exhibitors who deserve subsidies for their effort to support the development of film culture, and those who don't. But the spectator/critic doesn't care, nor should they. An "art & essai" film doesn't mean anything, except maybe that we're going to be exposed to "challenging culture" rather than formulaic braindead commercial movies. We can't really use this label to pick a film to watch, it's not enough to know what's in it, who made it, how it was made, where it comes from...

The label is frequently scrutinized and criticized by professionals (who complain for not making the cut) or critics (for too many films being deemed "challenging"), even though, the French definition is stricter than the American understanding of what is an "artfilm" (more on that in the next post). For instance, in 2008 there was a protest movement headed by Pascale Ferran, to champion the overlooked/underfunded category of "middle-budget films", those that are too rich to get a subsidy and too poor to be competitive. 
In the USA, the definition of an artfilm is much broader (they think that highly commercial movies such as The King’s Speech; Black Swan; Midnight in Paris; Hanna are "artfilms" just because their budget is inferior to 100 Million $ and that they make less B.O. than their budget... What a commercial definition or "art"! 

Related :

15 février 2012

October 2011 releases France

- Cultural Diversity Awareness - 

After the October 2011 release batch in the USA, let's take a look at the other end of the distribution spectrum in France (REMEMBER: France is a country 5 times less populated than the USA, with 7 times less screens, and a lower average annual admissions per capita) :

ALL RELEASES France Oct2011 (Black=France / Red = USA / colours = other foreign films)

Note the drastic difference with the USA chart, where there was a strong divide between the huge releases and the "invisible" releases. Here we see the smooth continuous curve (the Long Tail consumers) from the "blockbuster release" to the "obscure artfilm", reflecting a preemptive ranking of the titles by the exhibition circuit to cater to a varying appeal with each their own niche audience, progressively, proportionally. Whereas the American distribution system is more rigid, deterministic and binary in nature, by attributing a priori a predefined quantity of screens whether the title is deemed "mainstream" or "non-commercial".
In France, the difference is less pronounced between the "wide releases" (82% of screens) and the "niche releases" (7.2% of screens), only a factor of 7 or 9 between the "less than 100 screens" and "over 650", while in the USA it was a factor of 30 between the "over 3000 screens" and the "less than 100". The share of the total screens available translates in a way that is more fair, and more evenly distributed between each title, domestic or foreign, leaving more screens for the "middle ground" that is neither extremely bankable nor extremely non-commercial.
The "blockbuster" type of release is bi-national (French and American), the "mainstream" type of wide release is multinational (USA, France, Germany, UK), the "niche" type of release is less alienated. Although it features the same types of Hollywoodesque vehicles (such as Germany's co-prod The Three Musketeers 3D, or British co-prod Johnny English), the existence of a share at the wide-release level for popular domestic entertainment (French mainstream entertainment) is a particularity that not every country enjoys.
Like on the USA market, the foreign cinema only get a smaller distribution in France, but its minority share (15% foreign; 1.4% non-EU) is not as invisible as in the USA (8.2% foreign; 0.6% non-English). Only 7 titles get single-digit screens, while in the USA, 28 titles got less than 10 screens. Keep in mind that the 100 screens threshold represents a significantly smaller coverage of the USA territory (wider space, more cities, larger population, more movie-goers), than in France (where it's still a pretty decent distribution for a "small film"). 

  • Total number of screens in France (2010) =  5478 (3.7 % of world market) 7.2 times less than in the USA
  • Total number of titles released (28 Sept-1 Nov 2011) = 61 (avg 12.2 per week)
    • French titles =  26 titles (43%);  4420 screens (47%)
      • France =  20 titles;  3941 screens
      • French co-production = 6 titles; 479 screens 
    • Non-French titles =  35 titles (57%);  5051 screens (53%)
      • USA = 15 titles (25%); 3611 screens (38%)
      • EU27 titles = 12 titles (20%);  1310 screens (14%)
        • UK = 4 titles; 502 screens 
        • Germany = 2 titles; 541 screens  
        • 1 title each : Luxembourg, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland; 267 screens
      • Rest of the World =  8 titles (13%); 130 screens (1.4%)
        • Canada = 2 titles; 39 screens 
        • 1 title each : Canada, Iran, Japan, Tunisia, Mexico, China; 91 screens

Source :  AlloCiné (October releases); IMDbBox Office MojoMy spreadsheet 

Missing data : Nos Plusieurs (2010/France); Notre Paradis (2011/France); Glee 3D (2011/USA); True Legend (2010/USA-China); Pure (2010/Sweden)

N.B. : Sum of screens may exceed total available screens because each film is counted with its maximum number of screens reached during the month of October 2011.

Related :

14 février 2012

Nature vs. Grace

 Fiction : Tree of Life (2011/Malick/USA) *no dinosaur was harmed during this movie*

Real World (Africa wild life) *no animal was harmed during this video*

09 février 2012

Critical Fallacy #14 : Equivalence / Short-sightedness

"« Qui es-tu pour juger ? » est donc une manière de laisser savoir qu’il n’y a plus de hiérarchie des valeurs ; attitude par excellence de l’abdication et de l’indifférenciation qui permet d’éviter toute confrontation, tout débat réel, tout choc culturel ou idéologique, et qui permet de s’enfermer dans ses certitudes individuelles. [..]
Cette attitude est liée à un phénomène historique bien concret et très complexe de remise en question, de relativisation, voire de rejet de l’autorité dans plusieurs sphères de la société. [..]
La critique des autorités et d’une hiérarchie rigide des valeurs n’est pas une mauvaise chose en soi, mais n’avons-nous pas tout faux quand nous pensons nous « faire notre propre idée » sur tous les sujets ?
Si un tel et un tel autre s’enferment volontiers dans « le mien vaut le tien », c’est que nous vivons dans une époque où règne l’opinion. Une opinion en vaut une autre, mais l’erreur consiste à penser qu’une opinion vaut bien une idée. Il n’y a rien de mal ou de « faux » dans une première impression, une intuition, une opinion face à un individu, une idée ou un phénomène, mais j’insiste, l’erreur consiste à ne pas voir la différence de valeur entre l’opinion et l’idée, entre l’impression et la connaissance. [..]
Défendre ou donner sa position, c’est bien là le fardeau du cadeau de la liberté. On l’a vu, l’individu ne peut pas tout vérifier et se prononcer sur tout. Mais on lui donne aujourd’hui l’illusion d’avoir besoin de lui dans tout et sur tout. Notre société « démocratique » - mais surtout médiatique - invite l’individu à se prononcer sur tout et cette liberté le fait crouler sous les sollicitations tous azimuts. [..]
Devant cette saturation, devant tant de sollicitations, d’images, d’opinions, d’enjeux qui bourdonnent chaque jour, l’individu nauséeux n’a d’autre choix que de développer une insensibilité. [..]
Devant cette saturation, cette insensibilité, cet irrationnel, quel est le rôle du critique ? Le défi – qu’aucun commentateur de la presse ou de la télévision n’atteint et même pas toujours dans les magazines spécialisés - est d’amener les gens sur le plan de l’Art et de la critique. [..]
Un critique de cinéma est un amateur de films qui cherche à saisir le Beau dans son mouvement perpétuel, parce que tant que les hommes seront là pour créer et faire de l’Art, la définition sera ouverte. Parce que tout ne se vaut pas, qu’il y aura toujours des imitations, des copies, des faux et des œuvres sans intérêt qui à défaut d’être « dénoncés » doivent être différenciés des films qui apportent quelque chose de nouveau et qui comptent. C’est d’ailleurs ces films que le critique devrait d’abord et avant tout défendre. [..]"
Toi le critique, qui es-tu pour juger? (Antoine Godin; Hors-champ; 4 janvier 2012)

Lire aussi :

08 février 2012

Rotterdam 2012 by culturally-aware critics

Rotterdam Film Festival Highlights with IndieWire (Press Play)/Slant Magazine (House Next Door)/Cine Qua Non
3 february 2012 video mini-roundtable 15'21'
with Michal Oleszczyk (House Next Door), Aaron Cutler (Slant/Cine qua non), Kevin B. Lee (IndieWIRE/RogerEbert.com)

These films are unfamiliar, without buzz, without pre-approved fame... let's give them a chance for what they are.

Finally an English-language festival report which is not serving ready-made talking points about uselessness of festivals and lack of entertainment !!! Isn't it a lot more productive and satisfying to proceed that way? More educational, more pedagogical, more insightful, more open-minded... in other words more CULTURAL than the self-serving banter of pundits who only care about sharing their personal taste in movie distractions.
Is it a one-off or will it be the dawn of a new geo-politically-conscious era of American criticism? We'll have to wait and see... 

They even took the time to look up Wikipedia and add a bit about Netherlands historical context (frankly, not absolutely necessary, but overdoing culturally is better than overdoing punditry). I'm impressed. I wish we would see more of this humble and respectful approach to "foreign culture" and indie cinema, the real independent cinema that is seeking to develop new film forms, not the fake "American indie cinema" (which is just a conformist mainstream narrative but without the major studio budget, Wannabe-Hollywood)

The point with an alternative festival like Rotterdam, is to take it for what it is : a platform for debuting artists, and for unconventional/experimental narratives. If you go to Rotterdam for entertainment blockbusters, or arthouse celebrities, you'll be disappointed and will call the festival a failure. Only that it does not try to replace the Oscars, Cannes or Sundance, so let's not judge it from these inadequate/fantasized standards.

There are festivals for world-class masterpieces, festivals for blockbusters, festivals for genre cinema, festivals for documentary, festivals for independent cinema, festival for amateur cinema, festival for smartphone videos, festivals for experimental cinema... each have a role to fulfill in film culture, and each have their respective standards to judge their selected films from.

Film reviewers need to remember that being invited at a festival is a privilege they get to REPORT on what is going on at the festival, in the name of their readers. They aren't there to indulge their own little selfish selves. From the word of Serge Daney, the critic is a "passeur" (the go-between who passes around). Critics are supposed to protect and defend cinema, WORLD CINEMA, not to defend their favourite titles against everything else, to champion their own national cinema, to become a cog in the P.R. propaganda...

Much better approach than last year's IFFR 2011 Critics Talk roundtable (see:  Contra-contrarianism (IFFR) 1-2-3-4-5) which was a sophistic disaster.

* * *

IFFR Critics' Talks 2012 (YouTube playlist) :
  • Peter von Bagh talking to Olaf Möller (CinemaScope) about his film Helsinki Forever. 21'28"
  • Wang Xiaoshuai talking to Jeroen Stout (Radio 1, Kunststof) about his film 11 Flowers. 27'28"
  • Ruben Östlund talking to Floortje Smit (Volkskrant) about his film Play. 24'27"
  • Davide Manuli talking to Bor Beekman (Volkskrant) about his film La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser. 20'09"
  • Valérie Massadian talking to Gerlinda Heywegen (Eye Film Institute) about her film Nana. 27'31"
  • Mohammad Rasoulof talks to Howard Feinstein (IndieWire) about his film Goodbye. 9'

Big Talks 2012 (YouTube playlist) :

Ai Wei Wei installation


06 février 2012

Language barrier at the AMPAS


Source: The Academy's Lousy Foreign Film Policy (Analysis) (Stephen Galloway; The Hollywood Reporter; 13 Jan 2012) / Oscar Smackdown: THR's Stephen Galloway Squares Off with AMPAS Committee Chair Over 'Lousy' Foreign Film Policy (Todd Gilchrist; The Hollywood Reporter; 2 Feb 2012) video debate 39'

Stephen Galloway (skeptic; THR) vs. Mark Johnson (chair of the Academy’s foreign language film selection committee)

Galloway's futile quest is to fix the art-unfriendliness of an Academy that is structurally MAINSTREAM, CONSERVATIVE and COMMERCIAL. American distributors don't even bother to screen foreign films why would Hollywood care about figuring out which foreign film is REALLY the best of the year? No cinéphiles in the world waits for the Oscars's populist poll anyway. That they have a "foreign film" category at all is already a must. 

The "foreign language award", like for documentaries or animation or short films... it's a consolatory prize for not being able to compete like everyone else for the Best Picture Oscar. It guaranties the presence of a non-American title at the ceremony. (Point Johnson)

The wording of the award ("Foreign Language" instead of "Foreign Film") is confusing but not a loophole for American movies (in foreign language) to snatch the consolatory award reserved for non-American-non-English, because these already get 10 nomination slots in the main award. Same reason why Heavyweights don't fight Lightweights and steal their belt, or else don't separate weight class categories in boxe. (Point Johnson if he had said it)

English is not even the official language of the USA... why such melting-pot country would elect an English-speaking movie for Best Picture systematically? Why would Spanish be considered "foreign" and not domestic??? Maybe because Hollywood doesn't make enough SPANISH language movies for its Hispanic customers... (26% of admissions in the USA are from Hispanics)

This brings another contention : the ineligibility of films who can't claim any nationality, which is a legitimate concern this time (Point Gallaway). Johnson defends the "fairness" of the process (1 submission per country), yet is willing to disregard all films made by complicated co-productions. This rule is outdated it negates the power of this trans-national diversity. 

1 country = 1 film. This is a valid rule. It gives a shot a underexposed countries, and prevents the monopoly of Oscars by Hollywood to extend to a couple major European players (see: history of Foreign Language Oscar by country). There is no point submitting films for the rest of the world if it's only USA, UK, France and Italy winning all the awards (which is more or less what happens already). (Point Johnson) 
5 "Foreign Language" nominees (while there are 10 for the English language category!) out of 5500 films made worldwide every year is an arbitrary selection... who cares if the subsequent voting process is "fair"... 

Johnson's stresses out the nationality of the director (and the crew) as a factor of ineligibility... but how many Best Picture nominees are made with Hollywood money, yet by a foreign director? (Johnson Fail)

Whether the initial nominees are chosen by an AMPAS-equivalent academy in each country, or by the government, or by local critics... will always be subject to controversy regarding the pressure/censorship they experience. Given the very mainstream culture goal of the Oscars, it makes little difference. The AMPAS could be just as (self-)censored (politically, ideologically) as China, Iran or Israel (there is as much cronyism in Hollywood!!!); their selection and award doesn't meet critical standards, and doesn't try to. 
If the Academy really wanted to elect the best film of the year, they wouldn't ask governments but critics. But since American critics can't even agree, with all the freedom possible, why would it make the Oscar more relevant culturally (worldwide) than the Year-end Top10 (or Top300) they publish? (See: Critical Fallacy #13 Inconsistent Standards)

If you don't trust the foreign Academies... just get a college of international (or festival-goer) critics to select the 60 nominees regardless for the country of origin. The Oscars are American-made, and ultimately voted on by Americans, so picking the 60 initial titles yourself isn't imperialism (American press Top10s of the year are exactly that : "we tell you what was the best movie in your country, and which countries did better than yours") (See: Presumptuous Best Film in the World) (both Gallaway and Johnson FAIL)

Johnson believes that by widen the base of voters he'll get a more relevant result... I know that restricting the vote to COMPETENT experts is the best way to reach a plausible evaluation. He relies on the "wisdom of crowds" (statistical poll of diverse subjective tastes) which gives an AVERAGE opinion where the POPULAR choice (lowest common denominator) outweighs the radical options. (Johnson FAIL)

Johnson is praised for watching 60 foreign films in 2 months to select 9 pre-nominees (which he feels is overwhelming, and representative of world cinema!?!), while the Cannes curators watch nearly 2000 films to select their line up of 20!
And the 250-300 voters (from the 6000 AMPAS members; that "cross-section of the Academy is a lie!) must watch all 5 final nominees in order to be able to vote (which Johnson says is already TOO MUCH), while the 10 juries in Cannes are forced to watch ALL-20 films  selected, in theatre, in a week, in order to vote for the awards. (it is possible when you put in the effort)

Watching nominees on the big screen is too "time-consuming" for the committee... poor things! 
Either you want to make your award "fair", and "representative", and you commit to what it takes (instead of treating it like a daily errand you must get done with between your hair salon and your shooting set)... or you stop pretending your over-complicated voting process is working... (Johnson FAIL)

The idea that an "Executive Committee" should complete the choices of the "General Committee" proves alone that you don't trust the "democratic" process of your system! What makes the expertise of one group superior to the other? If one is "overlooking" certain films, it's either by design (and you should respect their choice) or they didn't watch them (and they should be allowed to vote in the first place!)   (Johnson FAIL)

"The Academy doesn't acknowledges the existence of DVD screeners". Are you saying that the 300 final voters who decide which one is the best of the 5 nominees watch them on the big screen? I thought I heard they all receive a DVD boxset with all the nominees for all the categories. that's what happen at the Césars in France... which is more purist about projecting foreign films the way they were intended to!
Johnson mistakes his statistical poll, with a jury vote. Juries must watch on the big screen because their votes are few. But when you get 300 people to vote, it negates individuality, misunderstanding, subjectivity... the point of a popular consensus is to reach a statistical average. Given the circumstances (low-appeal foreign films, busy voters, having to watch all-or-none at all), the advantages of a DVD screener (increasing the nominees to 10!) would outweigh the eventual "loss" of pristine projection. Especially since these film professionals are used to watch videos on combo, on virtual editing, at home... 

* * *

Past 10 Foreign-language Oscar category winners :
  • 2010: Hævnen (Denmark) 51 screens [INVISIBLE] / $1,007,908
  • 2009: El secreto de sus ojos (Argentina) 166 screens [NICHE] / $6,390,014
  • 2008: Departures (Japan) 27 screens  [INVISIBLE] / $1,542,989
  • 2007: The Counterfeiters (Austria) 170 screens [NICHE] / $5,483,549
  • 2006: The Lives of Others (Germany) 259 screens [NICHE] / $11,286,112
  • 2005: Tsotsi (South Africa) 122 screens  [NICHE] / $2,912,363
  • 2004: Mar adentro (Spain) 99 screens  [INVISIBLE] / $2,086,345
  • 2003: Les Invasions barbares (Canada) 139 screens [NICHE] / $3,432,342
  • 2002: Nowhere in Africa (Germany) 78 screens [INVISIBLE] / $6,173,485
  • 2001: No Man's Land (Bosnia & Herzegovina) 38 screens [INVISIBLE] / $1,059,830
The effect of the Oscar Award on the distribution of a foreign film in the USA isn't too apparent... in comparison to the usual 6 screens release maybe? 

I think America has bigger problems to fix (Distribution!) than the meager 5 nominees the AMPAS reserves for WORLD CINEMA, out of pity... The Oscars have no relevance to art cinema, get over it.

Why the hell am I discussing anything related to the Oscars anyway????

Related :

Cannes vs. Oscars

"The [Cannes] festival is something of France’s answer to the Oscars (more so than the Césars, its annual film awards) and a modest bulwark against Hollywood hegemony."
Unwelcome Guest of Honor at Festivals (Manohla Dargis; NYT; 30 September 2011) 
For the FESTIVAL SEASON, here is a crash course in world cinema institutions for the clueless NYT's co-editor in chief :

Oscars (Foreign Language) Cannes (Palme d'Or)
organised by the national Academy NOT organised by the national Academy
once a year, looking back at the previous year's production
(AFTER all nominees had their commercial run)
once a year, inaugurating the production of the year to come
(BEFORE films are distributed internationally)
Lasts less than a day. Zero film projections (apart from 5 sec teasers for the nominations) Lasts 10 full days. Over 50 film projections (just for the competition)
ZERO international première international PREMIERES (only few had a prior national première)
60-some submissions by national governments (official choice/political censorship issues)  1500-2000 FREE submissions by filmmakers themselves from around the world (regardless of their language/origin)
1 title per country / eligibility restrictions NO limitations
Narrowed down to 5 nominees (same number every year) most popular among Academy voters (popular consensus by industry people) Narrowed down to 19-25 nominees (fluctuates depending on quality of submissions) selected by the curators (critical evaluation by experts)
Populist, consensual, conservative, commercial selection Challenging, subversive, non-commercial selection
Foreign films compete in a parallel category (because the top award is hogged by National-centric commercial successes).
The same movie could win both "Best Picture" and "Best Foreign Language"
Common competition for ALL countries to win the top award (rarely won by French films).
Parallel awards (Un Certain Regard, Quinzaine, SiC) can't go to the movies of the main competition!
Judged by a POPULAR vote among random American-only people from the film industry (Academy members) an INTERNATIONAL jury of 10 people from the film industry selected by the festival committee (experts) with a jury president (tie breaker power)
Voters must watch all 5 nominees within 3 days (in a private screening separately) Jury members must watch all 20-some nominees on the big screen within 10 days (with an audience during the festival)
Voters cast their (blind) vote individually, secretly, for just one (secondary) award  The jury debates openly among themselves and decide on all the awards
Winner is the one that gets the most votes (statistical consensus of the mass) Winner depends on the agreement reached by ALL juries (informed consensus of a few)
Best Foreign Language Picture is a secondary award for the pride of foreign governments, and is not a critical (nor popular) reference La Palme d'Or is the main award with a world-class critical reputation
The producer receives the award The director receives the award
the Foreign Language Oscar is often a miss (not to mention Best Picture) The history of la Palme d'Or is full of IMPORTANT films
The Foreign Language Oscar never gets a wide release in the USA Palme d'Or awards secure a wider release throughout the world, and a cinéphile success (except maybe in the USA)
There are 30 awards in total There are 8 awards in total
the ceremony lasts between 3h and 4h20 on live TV the ceremony lasts 45 min on live TV

The Oscars only accept in the "foreign film" category films selected by the government of these countries (official culture, not counter-culture). The Cannes festival doesn't do that since 1972! Now Cannes selects whatever subversive film they want, even if it is smuggled out on an USB key hidden inside a cake, because that filmmaker (Panahi) is censured, repressed, and imprisoned by his government! Unfortunately the AMPAS can't say as much...

Same for the Best Picture Oscar :
  • When was the last time a non-English film won the Best Picture Oscar? NEVER
  • How many non-American English movies (i.e. British) won the Best Picture Oscar? 8 in 83 years (The King's Speech 2010; Slumdog Millionaire 2008; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2003; The Last Emperor 1987; Gandhi 1982; Chariots of Fire 1981; Oliver!  1968; Hamlet 1948)
  • Only 21 secondary awards in 83 years have been given to foreign films (that's 1 every 4 years on average!)
According to the Academy, if it's not in English, foreign countries CANNOT make better films than Hollywood, ever. Who believes that, except Hollywood executives in their little isolationist bubble?
Of course the Oscars is a national-centric, self-serving, promotional fest for Hollywood... just like Les Césars in France is destined to celebrate the FRENCH film industry, not the best film in the world. 
Cannes however, is meant to be fair towards world cinema and is doing a pretty good job, contrary to what the *BLEEP* (Tarr's expletive that was censored in the NYT) NYT thinks in their guts...

The institutions are fundamentally different, their purpose is incomparable, their scope and relevance are so far apart. The selection of films, the voting process, the final award have little in common. She pretends she is pro-art cinema, but a move like this proves she cares more about being in the pocket of the Oscar Academy than to defend WORLD-CLASS ART CINEMA. 

In this day and age, if you still have a job as a movie reviewer in the media, it's probably because the studio tycoons don't find you threatening at all, and that you're playing along with the marketing propaganda (exciting the public about event-entertainment, and ridiculing the "artsy-fartsy" to keep dumbing down the masses). Look around you! The art-snobbism has died out, yet everyone keeps bringing up that old scapegoat joke to make themselves feel better about their bland taste. Even educated "critics" who travel all the way to Cannes are incapable to take notice...  

Related :

03 février 2012

La guerre d'Algérie (Manceron)

Conférence de Gilles Manceron, historien et vice-président de la Ligue des droits de l’Homme
Coauteur avec Fatima Benaci-Lancou de plusieurs ouvrages sur les harkis (notamment “Les harkis, histoire, mémoire et transmission” – Éd. de l’Atelier, 2010), Gilles Manceron a publié “La triple occultation d’un massacre” (Éd. La Découverte, 2010) sur le 17 octobre 1961. Extraits de films à l’appui, il évoque l’image et la représentation des Algériens et leur évolution.
Cette conférence a eu lieu le 1er février 2012, dans le cadre du programme "La guerre d'Algérie : images et représentations", au Forum des images, Paris. 
Films cités

Algériens (immigrés) invisibles ou sous-représentés :
  • Pépé le moko (1936/Duvivier/France)
  • El Djazair (le port d'Alger) (1948/Jean Leherissey/France) DOC
  • La corniche d'amour (1955/Jean Francoux/France)
  • Képi bleu (1957/Alain Pol/France) 
  • 58 2/B (1958/Guy Challon/France) CM 31'
  • Secteur postal 89098 (1959/Philippe Durand) CM 
  • Parfois le dimanche (1959/Ado Kyrou/Raoul Sangla/France)
  • Adieu Philippine (1960/Jacques Rozier/France-Italie)
  • Cléo de 5 à 7 (1961/Agnès Varda/France)
  • Les oliviers de la justice (1961/James Blue/France)
  • Demain l'amour (1962/Paul Carpita/France)
  • La quille (1962/Jean Herman/France)
  • Muriel ou le temps d'un retour (1962/Alain Resnais/France-Italie)
  • La belle vie (1962/Enrico Robert/France)
  • Les parapluies de Cherbourg (1963/Jacques Demy/France)
  • Elise ou la vraie vie (1970/Michel Drach/France)
  • Avoir vingt ans dans les Aurès (1971/René Vautier/France) 
  • Cher Frangin (1982/Gérard Mordillat/France-Canada-Belgique)
  • Liberté la nuit (1983/Philippe Garrel/France)
  • La guerre sans nom (1992/Bertrand Tavernier/Patrick Rotman/France) DOC
  • Méditerrannées (2011/Olivier Py/France) CM 32'
Véritable représentation des Algériens :
  • Octobre à Paris (1961-62/Jacques Panijel/France) censuré, sorti en 2011
  • La bataille d'Alger (1966/Gillo Pontecorvo/Italie-Algérie)
  • Les sacrifiés (1982/Okacha Touita/France)
  • Outremer (1989/Brigitte Roüan/France)
  • La Trahison (2005/Philippe Faucon/France)
  • Hors la loi (2010/Bouchareb/France-Algérie-Belgique)
  • Ici on noie les Algériens (2010/Yasmina Adi/France) DOC
Autres films de la rétrospective du Forum des Images (22 janvier - 2 février 2012) :

  • R.A.S. (1972/Yves Boisset/France)
  • La bataille d'Alger (2006/Yves Boisset/France) DOC
  • Chronique des années de braise (Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina
  • Les Distractions  (Jacques Dupont)
  • Une si jeune paix  (Jacques Charby)
  • Algérie année zéro  (Marceline Loridan-Ivens et Jean-Pierre Sergent)
  • Patrouille à l'est  (Amar Laskri)
  • Les Folles Années du twist  (Mahmoud Zemmouri)
  • Pacification en Algérie  (André Gazut)
  • Le Petit Soldat  (Jean-Luc Godard)
  • A mon inconnu que j'aime  (Rémy Collignon)
  • Les Frères des frères  (Richard Copans)
  • L'Opium et le baton  (Ahmed Rachedi)
  • Rester là-bas  (Dominique Cabrera)
  • Algérie tours / détours  (Oriane Brun-Moschetti et Leïla Morouche)
  • Le Vent des Aurès  (Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina)
  • Le Coup de sirocco  (Alexandre Arcady)
  • La Blessure, la tragédie des harkis  (Isabelle Clarke et Daniel Costelle)
  • La Question  (Laurent Heynnemann)
  • Algérie, histoires à ne pas dire  (Jean-Pierre Lledo)
  • Peuple en marche  (René Vautier)
  • Cartouches gauloises  (Mehdi Charef)
  • En finir avec la guerre  (Mehdi Lallaoui)
  • L’Ennemi intime  (Florent-Emilio Siri)
  • Gamila l'Algérienne  (Youssef Chahine)
  • Mon colonel  (Laurent Herbiet)
  • Paroles d'un prisonnier de l'ALN  (Salim Aggar)
  • La Chine est encore loin  (Malek Bensmaïl)

* * *
Autres conférences du cycle :

* * *

EST-CE AINSI QUE LES HOMMES VIVENT ? (12èmes journées cinématographiques dionysiennes)
Programmation de films issus du Printemps Arabe, à l'Ecran de Saint-Denis (Paris) du 1er au 7 février 2012. [PDF]

Tables rondes : 
  • Le 89 Arabe (avec Edwy Plenel, Benjamin Stora, Nouri Bouzid et Thomas Heise)
  • Table ronde "Les révolutions arabes, et après?" (avec Farah Khadhar, Khadija al-Salami, Charif Kiwan, Ridha Tlili, Tamer Ezzat, Hala Alabdalla, Karin Albou)
  • Carte blanche à AFLAM (diffusion des cinémas arabes)
  • Carte blanche à l’ACEA (Association du Cinéma Euro-Arabe) : « Faire du cinéma en contexte révolutionnaire » ; courts métrages inédits de Tunisie, d’Egypte, de Syrie et du Yémen, en présence de cinéastes. [PDF]
Films projetés :
  • TAHRIR 2011 : THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE POLITICIAN de Tamer Ezzat, Ayten Amin et Amr Salama (Égypte, 2011, 90')
  • REVOLUTION UNDER 5’ de Ridha Tlili (Tunisie, 2011, 75’)
  • BRÛLURES (work in progress) de Farah Khadhar (Tunisie, 2011, 10’)
  • LA BATAILLE DE DHIBAT de Salma Baccar (Tunisie, 2011, 12’)
  • LE MUR de Nabil Saouabi, Aymen Omrani et Rafik Omrani (Tunisie, 2011, 5’)
  • YASMINE ET LA RÉVOLUTION de Karin Albou (France, 2011, 9’)
  • REMARKING JANUARY 25 : A SERIES OF SIX de Philip Rizk et Jasmina Metwali (Égypte, 2011, 34’)
  • POURCHASSÉ d’Imed Aissaoui (Tunisie, 2011, 3’)
  • REGUEB d’Emilie Flamand (Tunisie, 2011, 2’)
  • L’INCUBATEUR DU SOLEIL d’Ammar al-Beik (Syrie, 2011, 12’)
  • YEMEN : LA REVOLUTION AU FEMININ (work in progress) de Khadija al-Salami (Yémen, 2012, 10’)
  • Films du collectif syrien Abounaddara
* * *
Comment filmer la révolution ? (La Grande Table; France Culture; 25 janvier 2012) [MP3] 85'

* * *

 Voir aussi :