Founding editor, cléo journal
|Cléo from 5 to 7
|Les SILENCES DU PALAIS
|The Battle of Algiers
|Wong Kar Wai
|Daughters of the Dust
|News from Home
|Body and Soul
Cléo from 5 to 7
This film not only changed my life personally and professionally, but forever altered the way I watch films and understand storytelling. How Varda uses exploring public space and the private self at the same time; how geopolitics and death hover at edges; her play with cinematic form and time. Above all: the openness of the ending that lets us back into the film's multitudes of meaning each time it is revisited.
Les SILENCES DU PALAIS
I came across this film later in life, which speaks to how certain films and filmmakers are still kept out of the canon. Each time I rewatch it, I am emotionally destroyed by the intimacy of the intergenerational mother-daughter story and struck by how Tlatli so neatly captures and exposes the insidious legacies of colonialism and patriarchy.
Much has been written about how Claire Denis uses the language of the body’s form in lieu of the verbal. To me, this film embodies (no pun intended) this to perfection.
The Battle of Algiers
A remarkable--and seemingly continually relevant--piece of filmmaking as resistance that’s also utterly gripping.
Perhaps not the typical Wong Kar Wai selection, but this romance continues to resonate so deeply thanks to its stars (Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-wai), cinematography (Christopher Doyle), and its embodiment of aching yearning.
Daughters of the Dust
Often talked about as a “first” and “historic,” Julie Dash’s film is also, simply, a masterpiece. Dash creates an immersive universe with her use of poetic formal structure and impressionistic visuals (Arthur Jafa’s cinematography must be noted).
Chris Marker said so much about time and memory in this mid-length film essay that, to this day, it remains a touchstone reference.
In only 59 minutes, Ousmane Sembène eviscerates the myth of "liberté, égalité, fraternité" with his portrait of a young Senegalese maid in Paris. Blistering in its examination of so-called post-colonialism, the film’s rigour also speaks to Sembène’s brilliant craft.
News from Home
A city portrait of a now-gone New York and, sadly, in a way of Chantal Akerman herself. News From Home centres on the tension that occurs when after yearning for new space this sensation gives way to the reality of prolonged (perhaps even unbridgeable) distance: the inescapable condition of loneliness.
Body and Soul
An early (and still incisive) critique of the church and its abuses of power that showcases filmmaker Oscar Micheaux’s talents and his socially engaged, boundary pushing storytelling.