Saturday, February 22, 2014
TrustMovies doesn't usually cover short films (there are so many full-length features he can't even begin to get around to), but an email from Najat Jellab, the French-Canadian producer/director and co-writer (with Rachid Zaki) of THE PROJECTIONIST -- a 20-minute movie currently hitting the American and international festival circuits (it has already the Best Short prize at the 2013 Harlem International Film Festival) -- made him interested enough to want to view it. Set in a Morocco at once so ancient and so modern (the language that comes out of a certain woman's mouth!), the film introduces us to a couple of subsidiary characters first, before giving us a look at our hero -- the projectionist of the title -- and maybe our heroine. There's a beautifully animated credit sequence on view, too.
Liz Taylor to a fantasy of remembered movie moments -- that it's easy to see why festivals and their audiences would embrace it so thorough-ly. It is also beautifully photographed and edited, with exceptional sound design.
Fadwa Taleb, above, center) who sets up her performance troupe in the square to be really quite something: as ballsy as she is beautiful. If she is at all reflective of Morocco these days (and not just a fantasy of what an empowered woman there might be), then I am further impressed.
Aniss Elkohen with a kind of sad reticence. The landlord of the apartment house (Abdellah Ferkous) in which our projectionist lives is a funny, charming character, while the theater owner Youssef Ait Mansour) -- who must, thanks to the economy, close his old movie palace -- is a sad one. The film's themes take in everything from movies to the economy, gentrification, piracy, and somehow "making do."
The Richmond International Film Festival: this coming Thursday, Feb. 27th, at 8:45 pm at the Byrd Theater, 2908 W Cary St Richmond, VA.
Rendez-vous du cinema québecois: Saturday, March 1st, at 5:15 pm at the Cinematheque Quebecoise 335, De Maisonneuve Blvd East Montréal, Quebec.
Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt, March 16-24, 2014. When we get more details on the date and time of the screening, we'll post that information here.