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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Best of Metropolis in 2008

Place: Metropolis Cinema
Mood: Thoughtful
Song: Chicago * Sufjan Stevens

You came to take us,
All things go, all things go
To recreate us,
All things go, all things go (...)
I was in love with the place
In my mind, in my mind

from Chicago by Sufjan Stevens

So some of you know that I love my job at Metropolis Cinema. And what's not to love there. We used to screen films, organize film festivals and greet people, see if they liked what they saw and what they'd love to see next. The interaction with people used to be my favorite activity, apart from the organization. But with Metropolis shutting its doors on August 28, 2008, I felt like losing a certain part from my own being. The fact that we managed to pull one of our strongest events to date a month after the fatal closing, in another location (The Directors' Fortnight retrospective, September 2008) has led me to believe that closing a theater would not necessarily mean putting an end to what we've loved to do for three years.

But things are not as easy as they might sound like, and the future is all but certain. And while I want to be optimistic as to what it might bring to Metropolis, I'd like to recount some of our strongest moments in 2008. The small team of Metropolis has managed to present a selection of events with acclaimed partners:

- the prestigious French publication Les Cahiers du Cinema for a film week selected by its editor-in-chief Jean-Michel Frodon who came to present it himself - March 2008
- a rerun of Cannes' 47th Critics' Week (La Semaine de la Critique) with the presence of its artistic director Jean-Christophe Berjon, its general manager Rémi Bonhomme, the German-Iranian filmmaker Emily Atef and the French actress Anaïs Demoustier - July 2008
- a retrospective of Cannes' Directors Fortnight (La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) in the presence of its general manager Christophe Leparc and the Egyptian director Toufic Saleh - September 2008

As to the films, a wide range of movies have been screened, from the celebrated 2007 award winners The Edge of Heaven by Fatih Akin and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu to the newest gems of established filmmakers Hou Hsiao Hsien (The Flight of the Red Balloon) and Alexander Sokurov (Alexandra). Some Arab films have been also screened in Metropolis notably Danielle Arbid's A Lost Man and Toufic Saleh's The Dupes.

Finally, one cannot but mention the ciné-concert in November that saw Rami and Bachar Khalife recreate a soundtrack for Murneau's 1929 classic Faust.

I would like to thank everyone at Metropolis for having made all of these cinematic moments happen in the first place, notably Hania, Sarra, Ali, Zeina, Rémi, Tania, Ghassan, Beirut DC, and all those who contributed in a way or another, to bring these events to life.

And while I'm anxiously awaiting for what 2009 might bring, here's a closer look at what I believe have been the finest film moments of 2008 at Metropolis Cinema:

Japon [Japan]
by Carlos Reygadas - Mexico, 2002
(Directors' Fortnight Retrospective, September 2008)

by Alexander Sokourov - Russia, 2007
(Cahiers du Cinéma Film Week, March 2008)

4 Luni, 3 Saptamini, si 2 zile [4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days]
by Cristian Mungiu - Romania, 2007
(Cahiers du Cinéma Film Week, March 2008)

The Edge of Heaven
by Fatih Akin - Turkey, 2007
(Film Release, May 2008)

(47th Critics' Week Rerun, July 2008)

by Jérémy Clapin - France, 2008

by Géza M. Toth - Hungary, 2008

Next Floor
by Denis Villeneuve - Canada, 2008

Mies Vailla Menneisyytt [The Man Without a Past]
by Aki Kaurismaki - Finland, 2002
(Cahiers du Cinéma Film Week, March 2008)

Be With Me
by Eric Khoo - Singapore, 2005
(Directors' Fortnight Retrospective, September 2008)

Das Fremde in Mir [The Stranger in Me]
by Emile Atef - Germany, 2008
(47th Critics' Week Rerun, July 2008)

Al Makhdu'un [The Dupes]

by Tawfik Saleh - Syria, 1972
(Directors' Fortnight Retrospective, September 2008)

Better Things

by Duane Hopkins - UK, 2008
(47th Critics' Week Rerun, July 2008)



Blogger RiHA said...

.. and the Best of 2008?! for me anyway..
definitely every second I spent at Metropolis!!! :]

11:20 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger RiHA said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:20 PM, March 26, 2009  

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