This is Film! 2022 #1
In the first session of the public lecture series This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice, guest speaker Nour Ouayda (Metropolis Cinema Association Lebanon) discusses the intricacies of inheriting a colonial archive and what it means for local filmmakers to access them.
In this lecture, Nour Ouayda asks what happens when you are given images of your own city that you didn't know existed. The only reason moving images of Beirut in the 1920s still exist today is that they were filmed by Pathé and Gaumont operators. At that time, Lebanon was under French mandate, and these images were tools for shaping colonial imaginaries. They were restored and archived far from the places and people that appear in them. By presenting these never-before-seen images in Topology of an Absence, filmmaker Rami el Sabbagh and musician Sharif Sehnaoui also reveal their absence.
Introduction by Giovanna Fossati (Chief Curator at Eye and Professor of Film Heritage at the University of Amsterdam). Q&A in collaboration with the Master students of the This is Film! class at the University of Amsterdam.
Screening: Topology of an Absence (Rami el Sabbagh & Sharif Sehnaoui, LB 2021, 30’)
Combining music and film, this work is based on archival footage from the 1920s captured in Lebanon by Pathé and Gaumont. Topology of an Absence proposes a new way to look at this archive, a hundred years after unnamed camera operators filmed the city of Beirut and captured bodies, faces, and eyes.
Nour Ouayda is a filmmaker, film critic, and programmer. She is deputy director at Metropolis Cinema Association in Beirut, managing the Cinematheque Beirut project. In addition, she is a co-editor of the Montreal-based online film journal Hors champ. Her films and writing research the practice of drifting in cinema.
This is Film! 2022
This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice is an annual public lecture series devoted to notable projects in the fields of film restoration and film heritage, with international guest speakers and film screenings.
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