Anthology Film Archives


April 15 – April 22

In 1978, the French filmmaker and anthropologist Jean Rouch launched Regards Comparés, a series that showcased films on a common theme by directors from different backgrounds. Our program returns to this idea in hopes of opening new avenues of inquiry into the relationship between French and Francophone African cinema – looking for spaces of dialogue and lines of rupture, for affinities and difference. Cinema has a long history of complicity with the colonial project – naturalizing categories like civilized and savage, self and other; producing global imaginaries that helped justify unimaginable violence; and fashioning an imperial optic that made Western domination seem all but inevitable. At the same time, in the margins of the mainstream, there have always been other voices – directors, technicians, actors, actresses – whose work goes against the dichotomizing grain of colonial logic and points us towards other ways of envisioning moments of cultural contact.

Each of our programs works across national contexts and historical moments, bringing two films together around a shared subject, and, more often than not, a shared genre. From the dusty trails of the western to the bustling streets of Paris; from the asymmetries of the global world order, to the bleak hues of a future that feels uncannily close – the series aims to reveal how familiar genres and traditional categories can be seen to stretch, distend, and double back onto each other. The films paired here, and the directors who made them, push back against any attempt to be shut in by labels; they speak provocatively to us, and to each other, about complicated, layered realities, opening us up to the creative vitality of postcolonial visual culture.

This series has been co-curated by Jamie Berthe and Sam Di Iorio, and is presented with support from Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Special thanks to Mathieu Fournet & Amélie Garin-Davet (Cultural Services of the French Embassy), as well as to Jean-Pierre Bekolo; Luc Moullet; Abderrahmane Sissako; Livia Bloom (Icarus Films); Eric Di Bernardo (Rialto Pictures); Manthia Diawara (NYU); Françoise Foucault, Laurent Pellé, and the Comité du film ethnographique (France); Stéphane Gerson & Frédéric Viguier (Institute of French Studies, NYU); Faye Ginsburg & Pegi Vail (Center for Media, Culture & History, NYU); Jonathan Howell (Big World Films); Marie-Pierre Lessard (La Cinémathèque québécoise); Céline Païni (Les Films d’Ici); Nicolas Petitjean (Sodaperaga); Frédérique Ros (Les Films du Jeudi); Noah Tsika (Queens College); and the Institut Français.

The introduction and descriptions are by Jamie Berthe and Sam Di Iorio.

Each evening of “Entangled Forms” will feature a discussion following the first screening; these discussions will be led by series curators Jamie Berthe and Sam Di Iorio, with additional speakers for certain evenings noted below. These discussions will be open to ticket-holders for the late shows if seats are available.

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