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Speculative Revisions of Film History: A Curator’s Notes

(Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema from the 1960s-Now)
Reconsidérations spéculatives de l’histoire du cinéma : notes d’une curatrice (Cartographie de la subjectivité: expérimentation et cinéma arabe, de 1960 jusqu’à aujourd’hui)
Rasha Salti
p. 117-127

Résumés

Entre la génération des cinéastes du monde arabe qui ont réalisé des films expérimentaux dans les années 1960 et 1970, et celle des artistes vidéastes des années 2000, il existe une génération de réalisateurs qui a reçu une reconnaissance internationale et une consécration en tant qu’auteurs. Les films de la génération précédente ne circulent que rarement voire jamais, et sont abandonnés dans des archives éparses et difficilement accessibles. Quant aux œuvres des artistes les plus excentriques et les plus affirmés, elles sont presque oubliées. En d’autres termes, il n’y a pas eu de transmission directe à travers le temps et l’espace. Un effort pour retracer des sensibilités partagées, mettre à jour des résonances artistiques et poétiques transgénérationnelles dans cette vaste région du monde pourrait sembler un travail académique pour le moins subjectif. En revanche, lire et déconstruire un film dans le contexte d’une poétique partagée n’est pas inutile ou inintéressant. La programmation intitulée Cartographie de la subjectivité : expérimentation et cinéma arabe, de 1960 jusqu’à aujourd’hui présentée en trois éditions au Musée d’art moderne (MoMA) à New York, est une concrétisation de cet exercice spéculatif. Cet essai est une réflexion suscitée par des recherches sur le terrain, des discussions avec les cinéastes et artistes, et par des consultations d’archives, mais aussi inspirée par les intentions qui ont guidé l’organisation des trois éditions.

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  • 1 http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1115
  • 2 http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1206

1Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema from the 1960s - Now is a film series co-curated by Jytte Jensen (film curator at the MoMA) and myself, conceived in three editions, presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the first ran from October 28th until November 22nd 20101, the second from October 5th to 23rd 20112, the third and final edition from November 1st until the 25th 2012. Jensen and I co-authored the following introduction to frame the program’s curatorial scope; I cite it for the purpose of giving some context to the ideas that will be developed in this paper:

  • 3 http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1332

“This three-part program aims to map the largely unknown heritage of personal, artistic, and sometimes experimental cinema from the Arab world. In the 1960s, galvanized by a broader global vanguard of countercultural experimentation in poetry, literature, and theater, filmmakers began to craft a language and form that broke away from established conventions and commercial considerations, ultimately clearing the ground for boldly subjective cinematic expressions. Much of the inventive, daring, and formally challenging filmmaking at work today in the Arab world has its roots—both acknowledged and not—in this pioneering drive to experiment with narrative, representation, and the production of images.”3

2In 2007, Daikha Dridi and I co-edited an issue of the ArteEast Quarterly titled In the Clement Society of Cinema4, the subtitle of which read: “Between the ardor of militants and passions of aesthetes, a retrospective visit to the golden era of ciné-clubs in the Arab world”. The Quarterly is the online publication of ArteEast5, and at the time I was working as the organization’s creative director. I was inspired to investigate the history of ciné-clubs in the Arab world after a long conversation with late Syrian director, Omar Amiralay (1944-2011), who was one of the founders of the ciné-club in Damascus. He had regaled me of stories of hosting Serge Daney and Agnès Varda, among many prominent figures associated with the “new” voices in cinema in the 1960s and 1970s. As I traveled across the Arab world shortly after that conversation, and began to probe filmmakers and critics, I realized, firstly, that there is an unrecorded chapter in the life of cinema and film culture in the region that had been almost entirely overlooked. Secondly, in almost every instance, the story of ciné-clubs seemed thoroughly enmeshed with the politics of dissent. For instance, Amiralay jokingly remarked that if the length of a film spanned an hour and the half, the discussion that ensued after the screening spanned close to three hours, and that the Damascus ciné-club had witnessed the birth of at least three different political movements. In Morocco, where the network of ciné-clubs was remarkably active and intimately tied to universities and student associations, when monarch Hassan II’s repression struck ruthlessly on freedom of expression, dissent and opposition (the bracket otherwise known as “the years of lead”), some ciné-clubs literally became the makeshift alternative havens for militancy. In addition to the cultural centers of diplomatic missions, in some cases, international film festivals, as well as a humble network of repertory cinemas, ciné-clubs were the cultural realm where filmmakers discovered world cinema in the full spectrum of its genres, provenances and inflexions. For instance, experimental Egyptian filmmaker, Nagy Shaker, recalls the magic of discovering the work of Norman McLaren and meeting the seminal experimental filmmaker at a screening at the American Cultural Center in Cairo in the 1960s. Ciné-clubs screened the works of the French New Wave, the Italian Neo-Realists, but also the works of Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa, Yasujiro Ozu, the Soviets, and of fellow contemporary Arab and African filmmakers.

3From the testimonies of the filmmakers working in the 1960s and 1970s, the richness and complexity of the engagement with film as an art form, a language for free expression and a consciously more democratic medium for communication, is strikingly riveting. Equally striking is the realization that the vexing North-South divide that mires discussions around film and contemporary artistic practice today was, to a great many, totally insignificant. Even if the Neo-Realist movement was attributed to Italian filmmakers, the Nouvelle Vague to French filmmakers, and Cinema Novo to Brazilian filmmakers, the national affiliations were deemed secondary, and these movements were perceived to belong chiefly and essentially to the realm of cinema, a modern art form wholly engaged with modernity, contemporaneity, and vested in a quest for forging idioms and poetics as a political and aesthetic disposition. Especially in the context of the international anti-colonial (and soon thereafter anti-imperialist) left, where –and when– artists, poets, writers and filmmakers felt they were all engaged, at par, with radical political, economic and societal change, bound in solidarity across countries and continents.

4Prevailing film and art histories of the Arab world have been primarily centered on artists, filmmakers and critics’ narratives; all too often they have entirely abstracted a social history of production, consumption and dissemination. Moreover, they restrict the scope of their investigations to the one or two fields directly involved in artistic production (for instance, in the case of film, it is invariably coupled with literature), and either to a strictly national purview, or to the Arab country in question and the European country where the filmmaker or artist studied or spent time. They have drawn uncomplicated, linear interpretations and analysis of narrative and artistic choices about the immediate political moment in which the work was produced. In other words, the larger poetics are almost never considered as keys for unlocking meanings and aesthetic choices. Furthermore, the history of production is depicted in a chronology, punctuated by ruptures, where a generation is often pitted to react radically (or “rebel”), in an almost “œdipal” dramaturgy– against its predecessor.

5The most dramatic of such schisms or ruptures, is attributed to the emergence of conceptual, installation and video art in the Arab world in the late 1980s, early 1990s. It has been widely written as a radical ‘generational’ rupture in the chronology of modern Arab artistic practices. In fact, it is often used as the short-hand marking for the ‘post-modern’ turn in the region. That schism is usually endorsed by a plethora of evidence for an outright, outspoken enmity between generations of practitioners or a total lack of dialogue. On the one hand, the older generation has dismissed the ‘new’ generation of reproducing B- or C-grade western artistic practices, borrowing without really understanding an entirely foreign, obscure, incommunicable media and language. On the other hand, the ‘new’ generation dismisses its predecessor for using antiquated modes of expression, wholly subservient to the exigencies of a local and regional bourgeois (sometimes also described as ‘parvenu’) market that only values the decorative virtues of art and eradicates all potentialities for subversion. The two generations remain active until today, dwelling in two realms that rarely intersect, let alone dialogue. The emergence of these two realms should be examined against the backdrop of a few important factors that impacted significantly the means of production, manufacture of meaning and modes and platforms of dissemination.

6First was the shift (from the beginning of the mid-1980s and more forcefully into the 1990s), throughout the region, from (versions of) a welfare state to a decisively neo-liberal regime of economic governance, cuts to public funding for support, production and dissemination of culture. This economic regime was coupled with a less visible but more determined and pervasive policing of dissent, as well as the coercion of social and cultural conservatism. The role of the market as a major dynamo animating production grew, and in the near absence of civil society, alternative (and politically independent) initiatives providing resources and platforms were either coopted, or rendered more fragile and severely marginalized. In addition, the boundaries for what could be tolerated (let alone acclaimed) shrunk drastically, often the state did not have to ‘denounce’ subversion or defiance, minor extremist fringe social and political groups did, and the state intervened subsequently with official prohibition or denigration, under the guise of protecting family values, decency etc.

7The second factor was the advent of digital technologies that very quickly democratized access to the materials and tools for making videos and films, to the extent that a parallel independent milieu could develop entirely at a grass roots level and organically. The only constraints that remained were securing permissions to film; these were tediously bureaucratic and heavily censored, but very often, aspiring artists and filmmakers decided to ignore them, at the risk of seeing their works banned from exhibition. On occasion, it was a fight and confrontation they seemed to want.

8In parallel with the exceedingly widened access to the means of making, independent spaces of exhibition and screening sprouted in cities across the Arab world. Their initiators negotiated with the authorities to secure permissions to operate in surprisingly pragmatic and witty ways. Financially they depended, for the most part, on grants and donations from international foundations and occasionally, to a lesser extent, local wealthy donors (politically or socially motivated philanthropists). The spaces as well as events and the non-profit organizations managing them, often provided the means for producing works in addition to their showcase. In countries where higher education and training in the arts became a privilege fewer and fewer could afford, digital technologies coupled with short-term workshops disseminated basic knowledge of how to manipulate equipment, tell a story and frame an image, to generations that endured and witnessed marginalization, repression, inhibition, censorship and self-censorship, humiliation, unemployment, injustice… The overall outcome in two decades has been an outstanding proliferation of short, medium and feature lengths works that range from experimental video to mainstream cinema. Some were able to “break through” international festivals or events; eventually within a few years, official or state-run events such as film festivals or biennials “caught up” and began to showcase them as well.

9However, the homestead for independent video production was and remains independently administered, non-profit organizations and spaces –for exhibition, performance and screening. In these havens, communities of artists mingle, collaborate and ‘cross-fertilize’. When ‘established’ critics ignored or denigrated their work, the practitioners started to write about one another’s works; it seemed natural, organic and intimately informed. Only in the past few years, with local newspapers and media establishing a strong online presence and reaching out to bloggers have they begun to pay serious attention to this ‘parallel’ universe of production. A remarkable number of the video works screen as single or multi-channel installations as well as films, and similarly, a great number of visual artists make films and vice versa. Obviously, this is not a phenomenon unique to the Arab world, nor to this era, but its prevalence in the contemporary arts and independent cinema is noteworthy. As these contemporary works, presented as films or art works, have traveled outside their respective countries and the region, they were reviewed, critiqued and analyzed. The motif of the (so-called) generational rupture found its way into the wide variety of texts, and informed their authors’ reading or deconstruction of works. Furthermore, because of the near impossible access to older works (whether in the visual arts or film), it was very difficult to investigate, let alone speculate, on another mode of generational exchange or conversation, at the level of form, content, motifs, language or poetics.

10The first impetus for the research that resulted in imagining the Mapping Subjectivity screening series was unearthing those works where filmmakers and artists dared to break with norms and forge a profoundly personal and singular voice in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The second impetus was exploring thoroughly how tenable the argument for an incommensurable generational divide actually is, in practice.

11The curatorial ‘organizing principle’ emerged from a discussion early on between Jytte Jensen and myself, after we viewed our first solid batch of films and videos, and began to parse titles. The films that had drawn each one of us respectively and immediately, might have been described as “personal”, at times experimental, at times radically auteur cinema(s), that is, if we were compelled to refer to western canons in logging them under categories of genres, but there was much more that beckoned to be addressed. So rather than bind ourselves to a stylistic or formal attribution, we decided to weave the entire selection on a central motif: “subjectivity”. The notion’s multiple significations, whether referring to an explicitly “subjective” approach to filmmaking or to unraveling a film’s plot or structure around a subjectivity seemed totally fitting. In “subjectivity” there is the writing of the self and of its author’s “being in the world”, the subjective rewriting of the past and present, the subjective reconstitution of a social universe and deconstruction of authority.

  • 6 I should mention that there is a considerable list of films that would have been “fitting” for the (...)

12The program considered films of all genres (fiction, non-fiction, essay, artist and experimental films), all lengths (short, medium and long), and standing (seminal and obscure). The expectation to find recurring themes or motifs was obvious and yet not without delightful surprises. To cite a few: critical deconstructions of patriarchy, male domination and gender inequity; the urban-rural rift with the city as a crucible for state power and the countryside as the nation’s heartland; the post-independence formation of a new bourgeoisie as the harbinger of the nation’s progress and its waning revolutionary fervor; the traumatic legacy of colonialism and its regime of humiliating representation versus the forging of a new, national representational idiom. The utter surprise was to discover the extent of resonances, kinships and sometimes even continuities across generations, as well as across the vast geographical expanse of the region and fascinating cultural diversity of each locale’s singularity. It was so captivating that it became the inspiration for organizing the articulation of each of the three programs into three or four ‘thematic clusters’ that imagined a conversation between the works and their makers, which might or might have not taken place in reality.6

13For instance, the use of archival material in film and video was widespread across country, generation and genre; the extent to which experimental filmmakers and artists resorted to such material is intriguing. In Part I & II we proposed different sets of these so-called ‘clusters’ with works that engaged existing footage and/or found footage, culled from public and private institutions (television, newsreels), family or personal archives, “to create montages and forge visual narratives that are profoundly daring, innovative, and subjective”.

14Works such as Akram Zaatari’s Al-Yaom [This Day, Lebanon, 2003], Yto Barrada’s Hand-Me-Downs [Morocco, 2011], Ahmad Ghossein’s Abi Ma Zal Shuyu‘iyyan, Asrar Hamimah Lil Jamee‘ [My Father Is Still a Communist, Lebanon, 2011], Hakim Belabbes’s Ashlaa [In Pieces, Morocco, 2010] speak in the first person, weaving a personal history or chronicle that defy or complicate an official narrative of history and social relations. Meanwhile, Azzeddine Meddour’s Combien je vous aime [How Much I Love You, Algeria, 1983] literally truncates footage from newsreels and short “informational” –propaganda– films that the French colonial administration produced to promote its enterprises in Algeria and encourage settlement there. Critical, incisive and often comical, Meddour’s film uses a voice-over to articulate an eloquent and scathing critique of France’s colonial legacy. Ali Cherri’s Pipe Dreams [Lebanon, 2012] combines television footage of the only Syrian astronaut’s space flight (he was hosted by a Soviet space project) as he communicates via satellite with then president of Syria Hafez Assad, with recent YouTube footage of the regime removing Assad’s statues to protect them from “desecration” at the hands of insurgents. The film delivers a compelling lens into the manufacture of image and meaning by autocratic ideologies. Ali Essafi’s short film Al-Hareb [Wanted, Morocco, 2011] uses footage from Moroccan films produced in the 1970s and 1980s to compensate for the almost absolute lack of images (or the lack of access to images) of the country’s “years of lead”. Fictional images stand in for non-fiction, the memory of cinema stands in for the documentary memory of a lived traumatic decade of violence and repression. Using strictly footage from films in which the Egyptian movie star Soad Hosni appears, Rania Stephan’s Ikhtifa’aat Soad Hosni el-Thalaathat [The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni, Lebanon, 2011] stitches an entirely subjective version of the film star’s biography, but also of the history of Egypt refracted through the icon’s story and the roles she embodied, as well as of the position of women in Egyptian society. Maha Mamoun’s Siyaha Dakhiliyyah [Domestic Tourism Part II, Egypt, 2009] deconstructs nationalist rhetoric by looking at how the Pyramids became a “signified”, or the site for projecting nationalist metaphor, in plots of films from the late 1950s until the late 1990s. The video uses strictly footage from fiction films that the artist extracted from copies on VHS tapes, DVDs and CDs.

15In being visual and audio-visual repositories and chronicles of memory –lived, personal, collective, national–, archives are as much constitutional to collective imagination as cinema. The widespread use of material culled from archives alludes to how central the question of memory has been in inspiring generations of filmmakers and artists who experimented with form to forge politically and artistically novel representations, narratives and meanings. Several facets of memory are at play: memory as the record of the lived experience of traumatic events; memory as the formally coerced narrative that legitimizes the ruling regime’s authority; contested memory as the site for subversion; and finally the history of cinema remembered and lived as a realm for imagining oneself’s being in the world and one’s national narrative. In other words, memory becomes the guise, site and idiom for articulating subjectivity. At face value, Azzedine Meddour’s How Much I Love You is a straightforward political film that indicts representations of Algeria and Algerians by the French colonial propaganda machine, but on a deeper, unspoken level, the colonial representational legacy comes undone ideologically and politically, sequence after sequence. Akram Zaatari’s This Day seems to pick up from that point, interrogating on the one hand the ethnographic photographic surveying of “indigenous” rural Bedouin populations in the Syrian desert (on the eve of “modernity”) by a well-known Lebanese anthropologist, in contrast with the filmmaker’s own spontaneous and very personal documentation of the 1982 Israeli invasion –a personal, collective and national trauma– of his hometown in south Lebanon (Sidon).

16Zaatari’s video Hiya + Howa Van Leo [Him + Her, Van Leo, Lebanon, 2001] weaves a conversation with late veteran Egyptian-Armenian photographer, Van Leo, recorded shortly before his passing, where he reflects on his craft, with the artist’s fictional narratives –projections–, inspired from his images. Zaatari is not only recording the story of a local, once glamorous photographer, and a voice in the local history of photography, but he knits it with the fictions inspired from the photographs themselves, or a subjective history of notions of romance, the body, sexuality and popular cinema, that the still images evoke. This straddling between fiction and non-fiction, the intermingling of still photography with the moving image and the poetic significations of either genre is not exclusive to the practice of the contemporary generation of filmmakers and artists. In 1972, Qays al-Zubaidi, an Iraqi filmmaker and editor living and working in Syria, directed his only fiction feature, Al-Yazerli [The Yazerli], a free adaptation of a well-known novella by acclaimed Syrian writer Hanna Mina. Al-Zubaidi, lived in Syria and worked within the National Film Organization in Damascus. The Yazerli was banned for its ‘explicit sexual content’ and never screened officially in Syria, only until very recently, it screened in the Arab world, and at the time of its completion, it screened at the Leipzig Film Festival. Al-Zubaidi used still photography with 35mm film to knit his singularly eloquent and eccentric non-linear plot, and to push forward the non-fictional vérité power of his frames, blurring the lines between fiction and documentary. He was a close friend and collaborator to late Syrian documentary filmmaker Omar Amiralay, who directed in that same year, his first feature-length documentary, Al-Hayat al-Yaomiyyah fi Qariyah Suriyyah [Everyday Life in a Syrian Village, 1972]. The two films were certainly in conversation, about the urgency and prescience of documentary cinema over fiction cinema. In that regard, al-Zubaidi’s The Yazerli seems like an interesting response to Amiralay’s Everyday Life in a Syrian Village.

17However, in the framework of Mapping Subjectivity, another conversation seems to emerge, with the poetic and stylistic resonances between al-Zubaidi’s The Yazerli and Tariq Teguia’s Gabbla [Inland, Algeria, 2010]; they are at once flagrant and troubling. While the latter tells an entirely other story and is a much darker film, the shared sensibility in language raises intriguing questions about exchange, transmission, inspiration and influence. On the one hand, it is certain no contact has ever taken place between the two filmmakers, yet, on the other hand, the kinship is too striking (and charming) to write off from reading both films and inscribing them in a history of Arab cinema.

18In this same vein, discovering the salience of Mohammad Zinet’s Tahia Ya Didou! [Long Live the Man!, Algeria, 1968]. Seen its own, the film echoes notably with the approach and style of Brazil’s Cinema Novo; That, in itself, is a question worth exploring, but this article is obviously not the right occasion. With a non-linear plot weaving eloquently staged and non-fictional vignettes that ultimately tie in with effortless grace and brilliant wit, the film delivers a searing, visionary and bewildering portrait of post-independence Algiers and Algeria. Between the plot’s structure, its lacing of caustic humor and near absence of dialogue, Elia Suleiman’s Sijil Ikhtefa’ [Chronicle of a Disappearance, Palestine, 1996] and to some extent his Yadon Ilaheyyah [Divine Intervention, Palestine, 2002] might be described as the generational ‘offspring’ of Zinet’s Tahia Ya Didou!, adapted to the reality of Palestine under the aegis of the Oslo Accords. Once again, the argument of exchange and transmission is untenable not only because the two filmmakers have certainly never had any contact, but also because Tahia Ya Didou! was officially banned from official screenings and Zinet passed away before Suleiman even thought about making films.

19Zinet was an acclaimed actor, playwright and stage director, Tahia Ya Didou! was commissioned by the municipality of Algiers. Once the film was completed and presented to its ‘patrons’, they were utterly “unthrilled” and decided it was not suitable for the purpose they had commissioned the film in the first place. The film screened nonetheless at the Cinémathèque of Algiers, under the directorship of Boudjemâa Karèche, and other cinémathèques around the country, and has acquired “cult status” among generations of cinéastes and cinéphiles in Algeria. Tahia Ya Didou! was intended as an ode to the spirit and charms of Algiers, and as such Zinet cast Momo, an infamous and uniquely colorful character in the city, at once poet and performer. The film is intercut with sequences that film Momo sitting on the rocks of a pier along Algiers’ seafront, who recites poetic verse as would a storyteller, troubadour, wise man or lunatic-soothsayer. With ellipse and allegory, they punctuate and hinge the dramatic progression of the film’s structure, but also narrate the recent colonial history, war of independence and early years after independence. The centering of populist poetry, orally-transmitted and more high-brow, as a quintessential expressive form that unveils profound truths and delivers an emotional charge in its most eloquent articulation, is a motif that recurs across countries and generations, in very similar approach to Zinet’s. Hala Alabdalla’s Ana al-Lati Tahmilu al-Zuhur ila Qabriha [I Am the One Who Carries Flowers to her Grave, Syria, 2008] is wrought from the poetry of late Da‘ad Haddad. Damien Ounouri’s Fidai [Algeria/France, 2012] seems to unravel along a poem by Pasolini. However, the kinship between Mohammed Zinet and Lebanese filmmaker Mohammad Soueid is far more elaborate and the most difficult to ignore. In Mapping Subjectivity, we featured two of Soueid’s most accomplished films, namely, Tango al-Amal [Tango of Yearning, Lebanon, 1998] and Ma Hataftu Li Ghayriha [My Heart Beats Only for Her, Lebanon, 2010]. Both filmmakers mix staged sequences, in which actors perform a script, and documentary sequences in which characters testify to the camera; both films journey along a non-linear path, speak in a language of allegory and metaphor (visually as well as discursively), giving voice to eccentrics, or marginalized characters who seem to hold keys to unlocking a reality and deconstructing an ideological representation.

20Since the demise of pan-Arabism, the notion of a cohesive, coherent, seamlessly ambulant, significant and overarching Arabness (political, social, cultural and identitarian) is no longer tenable (thankfully), specifically within circles of dissident intellectuals, artists and militants. Furthermore, since autocratic and tyrannical regimes (some of which have now been unseated with the “Arab spring”), continued to promote and coerce the notion in ideological out-bidding zeal, to dissidents and critical intellectuals and artists, the political relevance of undermining it became more pressing. However, the counter-claim remains impossible to accept as well. There is definitely a shared sensibility that permeates cities, provinces, social classes, generations, cultural sensibilities and poetics and the political, existential and artistic imaginary of people in the Arab world. The question deserves a lucid, thorough and novel investigation. As curatorial practice is allowed far more creative freedom than academic inquiry for proposing and testing hypotheses and exploring new ground, Mapping Subjectivity allowed us as curators to unearth connections whose explanations run against the grain of the conventions of the methodology of research. The program raises potent questions about salient and pervasive shared poetics embedded in a cultural and artistic realm transmitted informally, even perhaps intangibly, across geography and history in language, speech, argot, music, literature and poetry. It also beckons a revisiting of the interpretive frameworks that have informed writing on the history of art and film. To rationalize the eccentricities we indulged in conceiving Mapping Subjectivity, I have found some comfort and solace in Viktor Schlovsky’s The Energy of Delusion: A Book on Plot (2007, p. 16):

  • 7 Schlovsky Viktor. The Energy of Delusion. A Book on Plot. Translated by Shushan Avagyan. First edit (...)

“Every invention is like a montage: sometimes the traces of this montage get swept away; a new conversation, a new creative phase begins. But the history of art is different from the history of technology in the way that its previous creations don’t die or turn into mere artifacts. The old is resurrected in a new union.”7

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Notes

1 http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1115

2 http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1206

3 http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1332

4 http://www.arteeast.org/pages/artenews/cineclub-feature/

5 A New York based small non-profit arts organization dedicated to the promotion and visibility of the arts and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa: www.arteeast.org.

6 I should mention that there is a considerable list of films that would have been “fitting” for the series but were not eventually included because we gave priority to films that never or rarely screened in New York.

7 Schlovsky Viktor. The Energy of Delusion. A Book on Plot. Translated by Shushan Avagyan. First edition 2007. Dalkey Archive Press. Champaign, Illinois.

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Rasha Salti, « Speculative Revisions of Film History: A Curator’s Notes », Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée [En ligne], 134 | décembre 2013, mis en ligne le 17 décembre 2013, consulté le 22 juillet 2017. URL : http://remmm.revues.org/8278

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