Yes, it is the week-end, and it definitely feels like a New England Fall week-end on this side of the blogosphere, what with the uber-cloudy skies. the stillness in the air, just a perfect day to lounge around in one’s comfy robe, semi-dirty socks, take in a good ol’ movie and “chillax”, as my daughter loves to say…
And talking about movies, I happen to personally favor non-mainstream movies, rare, unfortunately very many times unknown pieces of cinematographic jewelry that are not paraded on the big media screens of this world, but rather keep the authenticity of the art wrapped in layers of pure, genuine artistry…And when I think about those types of movies, that kind of raw cinematographic quality, I think of my own cultural heritage of movies, West African cinema. I stumbled this week upon an article on the LA School of Film and Television, one of the top 10 film schools in the US, presenting from October 3 through 28 a series on West African cinema, and I have to admit, my heart just smiled…
I was discussing yesterday in my post about Congolese designer Tina Lobondi’s new “Bisso na Bisso” collection, how the Francophone side of the African continent, tends to get a much lesser exposure to mainstream media than the Anglophone side, for obvious reasons, among which language, being that English is the predominant media language the world over. And this affects many artistic and cultural areas of Francophone African, among which West African cinema, which very often gets overlooked…Not this time around though, as the LA School of Film and Television is honoring my native cinema with a presentation of its wealth of talent, from fellow Senegalese artist Ousmane Sembene, to director Djibril Diop Mambety, his daughter Maty, his brother Wasis Mambety, and the amazing Souleymane Cisse from Mali.
This is a rare look at my beloved West African cinema, one of those unique forays into the traditions and history of our Continent, from the ancestral ways to the European cultural imperialism…So if you’re anywhere close to LA, drop by, have a seat and enjoy, and pay it forward by sharing the wealth of our African cinema…As for me, too bad I’m too far, I’ll just have to whip out my old classic African movies, get a comfy corner of the couch, and you know, “chillax”…
In the meantime, enjoy some visual excerpts from some wonderful West African movies, such as TEY (Today in Wolof) by Senegalese Director Alain Gomis, who own the first prize at the 2013 FESPACO Film Festival, and recounts how a man deals with the last 24 hours of his life:
Or the classic TOUKI BOUKI by Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety, a story of love and immigration:
Happy Saturday, y’all!