Art Press : 2020-07-21

INTERVIEW : 49 : 49


49 interview The telephone sequence comes to mind, also one of the scenes that arouses public empathy for the children. When the son answers his father and the other children around him whisper in Arabic: “Tell him you’re filming, tell him you’re writing our story.” Was this phone call planned? FA Not at all, we didn’t even know what they were saying. In which case, it’s not a making-of, it’s documentar­y. The child picks up, takes the call and it happens. It’s a gift, we didn’t expect it. These two moments become a making of, a behind the scenes. Jean-Luc Godard says: “Fiction is what happens to me; documentar­ies are what happens to others.” Translatio­n: Chloé Baker JD FA (1) Agreements signed in May 1916 between France and the United Kingdom to redefine the borders of the Middle East after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. (2) is a painting produced between 1867 and 1869. The painting represents the execution of Maximilien de Habsbourg-Lorraine by a republican firing squad on June 19, 1867. (3) is an Algerian-Italian film by Gillo Pontecorvo. The story takes place between 1954 and 1957 and mainly traces the story of Ali la Pointe – Algerian fighter of the FLN during the battle of Algiers. The film was shot with non-profession­als, with the exception of Jean Martin, signatory of the in the role of Colonel Mathieu at the head of the French paratroope­rs. Ali la Pointe is played by Brahim Haggiag, an uneducated peasant discovered by Pontecorvo in a market in Algiers. Yacef Saadi plays his own role, that of FLN chief of the Algiers autonomous zone. (4) is an Italian film directed by Roberto Rossellini, released in 1948. The Execution of Maximilien The Battle of Algiers Manifeste des 121, Germany, Year Zero Sacha Guedj-Cohen is a researcher in art history and philosophy. Her research focuses on the modalities of writing art history in the present. She has also organized exhibition­s in France and abroad. « Sandlines: The Story of History ». Irak, 2018-19. Affiche du film dessinée par / Francis Alÿs poster designed by FA FA You have to wait until half-way through the film for the viewer to really get into the story, just as it took the children several days to fully inhabit their characters. It was during the puppet scene that they let go ... This is difficult to achieve with a short film; you can’t build such empathy with children in a few minutes. And my film’s short, compared to the standard for feature films, just 61 minutes! Completely ... Ali the French, Mohamed the English, Amudi as king Faisal and who also plays the role of Saddam ... He was a bit the punchbag of the village, but as soon as he put on his costume, what a revenge! He was the king, the dictator, instantly he started to shine! Francis Alÿs Né en / born 1959 à / in Anvers Vit et travaille à / lives in Mexico City Exposition­s et festivals / Shows and festivals (selection) 2017 Le temps du sommeil, Sécession de Vienne Francis Alÿs: Ciudad Juárez Projects, ASU Art Museum (Arizona) 2019 La dépense, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam ; Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Sundance Film Festival, Park City ; Festival Internacio­nal de Cine Documental Punto de Vista, Pampelune Festival Internacio­nal de Cine UNAM, Mexico City ; Museo Universita­rio Arte Contemporá­neo, Mexico City 2020 IFFR - Internatio­nal Film Festival Rotterdam FID, Marseille (juillet) First we kept a lot of making-of scenes during the editing, as if to include this fiction in the reality of the shooting. They allowed us to move forward in the constructi­on of the story, but we kept almost none. That sequence of Audi playing the role of Saddam Hussein, with all of our voices directing him from behind the camera, resisted and is in the film! It’s a nudge and a wink … By observing them, I quickly began to rewrite the script, to tell the story based on what they do and who they are. The form of the film is totally inspired by their way of life. We adapt the scenario according to the reality, the fiction is created from the real. JD

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