Arab Film Fest 20

The twentieth annual Arab Film Festival opens soon in five California cities.

San Francisco 7 – 11 October 2016, Oakland 12 – 14 October 2016, Berkeley 15 – 16 October 2016, Los Angeles 21 – 23 October 2016, and San Diego 27 – 30 October 2016.

Clash directed by Mohamed Diab (Egypt) 2016 is the opening night film at the Castro Theatre. It will be preceded by a reception and followed by a party at Mercer featuring DJ Emancapacion. Subsequent San Francisco screenings will be at the Embarcadero Center Cinema.

Very Big Shot directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaya (Lebanon) 2015 is the opening night film at Harmony Gold in Los Angeles. Iraqi Odyssey is the opening film at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego.

This year’s festival includes narrative features, documentaries, and shorts from Egypt, France, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.

For more information and tickets contact Arab Film Festival.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

SFIFF 59

The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival takes place 21 April to 5 May 2016 at six Bay Area venues.

SFIFF59

France: The Apostate, As I Open My Eyes, Blood Of My Blood, Cowboys, Dead Slow Ahead, The Dream Of Bottom, The Innocents, Journey To The Shore, Love & Friendship, Microbe And Gasoline, Neither Heaven Nor Earth, Nephtali, No Home Movie, Phantom Boy, Suite Armoricaine, Welcome To My Life, The White Knights, Winter Song, and A Young Patriot.

Israel: Mountain, Mr. Gaga, and Presenting Princess Shaw.

Lebanon: Abu Ammar Is Coming and Very Big Shot.

Spain: The Apostate, Dead Slow Ahead, and Night Without Distance.

Turkey: Frenzy and Sept-Oct 2015 Cizne.

Also: Chevalier (Greece), Blood Of My Blood (Italy), False Start (Morocco), and As I Open My Eyes (Tunisia).

The San Francisco venues are Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, Castro Theatre, Gray Area, Roxie Theater, and Victoria Theatre. Plus the new BAMPFA in Berkeley.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Art Pose

2Fik is a French-born, Quebec-based artist of Moroccan heritage who deals with issues of identity in his work. He is a performance artist and photographer frequently targeting religion and sexuality in playful ways, taking the dual role of artist and model in his performances and photographs.

artpose

He’s developed about a dozen personas, both male and female, that include Abdel, a bearded, macho, religious man from Casablanca and his devout wife, Fatima; Ludmilla-Mary, with a big beard, a veil, and a huge personality; Marco, a closeted, Italian Moroccan with a secret crush on Abdel; and Sofiane, Abel’s younger brother, an aspiring hip-hop artist.

2Fik recreated a number of signature paintings such as Manet’s well-known dejeuner sur l’herbe posed as each of the four figures. In one version the man facing the nude figure wears a purple hoodie. In another he wears a yellow polo shirt and chinos.

La Grande Intendante (The Great Maiden) is a contemporary take on Ingre’s Grande Odalique (Great Chambermaid). A nude Ludmilla-Mary stretches out, wearing a long, pink glove and holding a black feather-duster, a plastic bottle of bright blue window cleaning liquid nearby.

The artist recently presented a public talk and slide show at the San Francisco Art Institute as part of the school’s Visiting Artists And Scholars Lecture Series. The event was co-sponsored by the French Consulate.

More information about 2Fik is available on his Facebook page.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Arab Film Festival

From A To B directed by Ali F. Mostafa (Jordan/Lebanon/United Arab Emirates) 2014 opens the 19th annual Arab Film Festival at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco Friday 16 October 2015.

arabfilmfestival

Other films during the ten-day Bay Area event include: Atlantic directed by Jan-Willem van Ewijk (Belgium/France/Germany/Morocco/Netherlands) 2014, The Cut directed by Fatih Akin (Belgium/France/Germany/Morocco/Netherlands) 2014, On The Banks Of The Tigris directed by Marsha Emerman (Australia/Iraq/Israel) 2015, On The Bride’s Side directed by Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele del Grande, & Khaled Soliman al Nassiry (Italy) 2014, and Oriented directed by Jake Witzenfeld (Israel/Palestine) 2015.

For more information and tickets contact the Arab Film Festival.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Fashion Decade

Saint Laurent directed by Bertrand Bonello (France) 2014 zeros in on a nine-year period in the life of the French designer who revolutionized womenswear during the height of his career. The mid Sixties to the mid Seventies was a time of social and cultural change that is shown with black and white newsreel footage on a split screen as runway models appear in color with the latest designs.

fasiondecade

The designer and his partner Pierre Berge inhabited a world of material luxury that included extravagant purchases of art and furnishings, frequent visits to night spots in France and North Africa. The director manages to portray the sex, drugs, music, and mental condition of Saint Laurent in a refreshingly stylish way.

The film screens at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival one time only at the Castro Theatre Sunday afternoon 26 April 2015. For more information and tickets contact the San Francisco Film Society.

For those unable to attend that initial showing, the dramatic feature opens for a theatrical run in the Bay Area at the Landmark Embarcadero in San Francisco 15 May 2015 and Camera in San Jose 23 May 2015.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Frameline38

The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival runs 19 to 29 June 2014 at four Bay Area venues: the Castro Theatre, Roxie Theater, and Victoria Theatre in San Francisco plus the Rialto Cinemas’ Elmwood in Berkeley.

frameline38

Narrative features include: Cupcakes directed by Eytan Fox (Israel) 2013, Salvation Army directed by Abdellah Taia (France/Morocco) 2013, Stand directed by Jonathan Taieb (France/Russia) 2014, Violette directed by Martin Provost (France/Belgium) 2013, and You And The Night directed by Yann Gonzalez (France) 2013.

Documentary features are Mondo Homo directed by Herve Joseph Lebrun (France) 2013, Off Road directed by Elisa Amoroso (Italy) 2013, and Violette Leduc directed by Esther Hoffenberg (France) 2014.

For more information and tickets contact Frameline.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Moroccan Desire

Two autobiographical novels by Abdellah Taia are available in English in the US. The Salvation Army (2009) and An Arab Melancholia (2012) are both published by Semiotext(e) and distributed by The MIT Press.

The Salvation Army begins the story of a young boy growing up in a large, poor family in Salé near Rabat. He idolizes his older brother and is inspired by him to study French literature. His initial sexual experiences are with other Moroccan boys and men.

His meeting a visiting Swiss academic allows him opportunities to travel to Europe and a scholarship to study in Geneva.  His first days living abroad are filled with disappointment and emotional turmoil.

moroccandesire

Abdellah’s story continues in An Arab Melancholia. He is now living in Paris pursuing his life goal of making movies. His career involves trips to the Middle East and he recounts painful incidents from his adolescence and a two-year relationship with a somewhat older Algerian man in France.

For additional background about the author, I recommend the PEN conversation available on YouTube.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com