Photos by: ©Tony el Hage/Toromoro
Lebanese Film Festival 2012: barely an attempt 1/2
By Admin I: So as you all know, the majority of us ‘brofessionals’ comes from a design background and believe me, reviewing a cinematic event makes us somehow feel random, simply because we do not tolerate when general blogs tend to review design, so we’re here reviewing the filmmaking industry in Lebanon at a very specific ratio from a design point of view. (Which doesn’t make us less diva-ish by the way!)
A disappointed audience
This year’s Lebanese Film Festival was our first, we went having the right expectations for an event that takes an official label and sticks it to a non-official festival; and here you go: there’s a major gap, a major clash, a major whatever happening in this field making it disconnected from its own audience!
Let’s not blame the audience anymore, there’s clearly an issue emerging from the industry itself. Have you ever been to a design event? Have you ever been to TEDx Beirut and seen the crowd?! The disappointed crowd is clearly showing attitude, and you as filmmakers should really reconsider choices, strategies and organization.
Let’s Blame Nadine
“We have no money” is probably the ultimate excuse that can save anyone’s ass in this country; well listen: we don’t have money either and Beirut Design Week was one of the year’s most successful events even if it was full of flaws and missteps, even if we bashed the hell out of it for its own sake.
There’s no excuse, no excuse at a country where good marketing can really push an event to its extents and make full benefit of it. Let me state it clearly: you just do not care; you do not care enough to let go ego and join forces even with your audience. Filmmakers in this country are constantly making movies to fulfill their own desires then forget about a whole industry and audience; it’s easy to blame the government, the cultural level of the audience, the Nazis, globalization and even Nadine Labaki, oh and that’s for sure your win-win non sense reach for blame! If I were to entitle this year’s festival I would’ve called it “Let’s bash Nadine Labaki, and then kiss her stardust to attend it”, “Let’s feature her in our official posters, and then gossip about how bad she is all through the festival”, this is how things go in this country, this is how hypocrisy reigns.
Bad selections with minor exceptions
Again, we’re not pretending to be art critiques, we’re just stating our minds from a design perspective:
The first movie we saw was ‘Messages from an alien’ by Christophe Katrib, a short movie that makes you wish Marcel Duchamp was still alive to poke fun of how ‘conceptual’ this work of ‘art’ is; it’s just the dose that makes you feel stupid because you’re not getting it. With all due respect to my dearest aliens, no.
‘I told president Moubarak’ by Khaled Ramadan is a documentary about an Egyptian figure from pre-revolution, showing how this scene was getting gradually charged to claim its rights; interesting, but why is it festival material again?!
‘Checkpoint’ by Ruben Amar showcases an interesting merge of cultural, political and ritual system of behavior that is definitely a must see. Beautifully shot and highly engaging talking visuals, script and cast..
<To be continued>