Wednesday, March 9, 2011

D2O screens Pt 7


I have water, but no hot water

video Saw an incredible short musical from Senegal, ‘Un Transport en Commun.’ Loved this film. It was very much a musical, think West Side Story. People sharing a taxi from Dakar to St. Louis (not that one, the one in Senegal with the great jazz festival) and they have adventure and songs on the way. Some of the time it’s a French musical but other times it’s very African in the music and dance. That’s when it’s most thrilling. It’s hard not to get up and dance with them.

Today is the first D2O screening. BTW the description is ALL wrong. My name is backwards, Dan’s has disappeared tho the writer and cameraman’s names have appeared. Whatever. So I am Allen. They expect a man…surprise, surprise. (guess when Dan decided not to come they cut him completely and made me a man) Hi, I am Allen, no really, I am he. I mean she. It’s Barbara Allen. Allen is my surname, not sir name. Forget it, I’ll be Allen. Yes, Allen Andries.


The posters look nice. I wish we had French subtitles because a lot more people could see it. Even with the language barrier people did seem to enjoy it. Many people wanted to order a copy. The people from the American Embassy were very impressed and we talked for a while. The woman who was going off on reporters about African-American images was there and she said she was proud. She wants her students to see it. The mother daughter duo also loved it and want to see it again. One guy said he hopes we win. An older French woman said she’d love to see French subtitles because she couldn’t understand some of the dialect, (I think it’s the

Jesse story about King) but that even tho she didn’t understand the words, she understood the pictures.
Later that night I would understand her even better when I was watching Raoul Peck’s film with no subtitles. I could follow most of it but I was loosing a lot in the (lack of) translation.

One unbelievable thing happened at the screening. We have a picture of a runaway slave that was caught, he has marks on his face. People told us they recognized the markings as one of the Mossi people of Burkina! Wow.

At the D2O screening we hook up with Rashid, who does most of the international festival circuits. We hung out at a couple of Cannes Film Festival and he’s done a couple of FESPACO’s, so he knows what’s up.

Calvin is hanging out with a girl who’s Dad is a big man with Interpol—I don’t think he realizes who and what that is…

Name, rank, serial number. I see nothing…

Once again I am amazed that there are so many great African films that we never see or hear about. New topics, interesting perspectives both visually and storywise, and I thought South Africans were the only ones making really commercial-esque films, cause they have more money. Nollywood produces more movies than anywhere else on the continent and they make sooo much money,yet they are not well represented here and most of the Nollywood movies suck. Seems they had the business model down before the film making skills. (Again like TP.) Someone told me today that the French put a lot of money into training filmmakers in their colonies and many went to Paris to train. I thought of another of my fave filmmakers, Euzhan Palcy, from Martinique, she was trained in Paris. With the British colonies, they didn’t invest in developing the culture, they were more interested in stealing it! So British colonies missed out on the film training but they learned to make money. So you end up with a slower, less evolved film community, that’s making tons of money with an inferior product. (who said Tyler Perry?) While countries like Mali, Cameroon, Senegal, Chad etc. have slamming films and filmmakers, but they’re broke.

We’re missing so much in the west and it is truly our lost. Every night you have to study the program books and mark off what you’re going to see and at which theatre. There are 13 venues and another 5-6 in the local neighborhoods farther away from Fespaco. So everyone is watching movies and having discussions.

This is perfect for me cause it combines everything I love: bikes, movies and Black people everywhere!


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