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CINEMA IN LEBANON

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Synopsis

Cinema in Lebanon recounts a tumultuous history starting in 1897, the year Alexandre Promio creates the first movie ever filmed in Lebanon for the Lumière Brothers, up until 2015. This bilingual work offers an in-depth exploration of the subject supported by a large iconographic selection, eleven exclusive conversations with key figures of the film industry — directors, producers, actors, cinema operators — and an extensive filmography. With this book, Raphaël Millet rewrites the history of cinema in Lebanon in the broader context of film history. Chronologically, the author introduces us to the very beginning of cinema, the Golden Age, the war and post-war periods, highlighting the determination and ingenuity of this industry that knew how to resist, survive, and self-renew. Speaking to a large readership, from the general public to the experts, Cinema in Lebanon offers detailed analyses of movies, an essential contextualisation, and access to exclusive visual archives. It is also a book that gives voice to those who have made — and still make — movies in Lebanon.

 

Extract

“For about 40 years, Beirut has constantly been one of the world’s capitals for war and post-war photography due to its highly photogenic qualities, and has similarly acquired an extremely cinegenic value largely due to its poetic war ruins. The Lebanese themselves are very taken by their city. They cannot take their eyes off Beirut and, when armed with a cam- era, cannot help but film it over and over again, almost to the point of visual exhaustion. This fascination is not solely due to the aesthetic, moral and sometimes even philosophical allure exerted by the ruins. Lebanese filmmakers, just like Lebanese artists and curators, have felt compelled to reinstate Beirut’s eminence as the cultural centre of the Middle East, …”(P.028 – Cinema in Lebanon)

 

About the author

Raphaël Millet has taught film studies at Paris III La Sorbonne-Nouvelle University and at ESEC-AIA (École supérieure d’études cinématographiques), in Paris. He has also extensively addressed various topics related to French, African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian cinemas in various books, articles and conferences since the mid-1990s, writing for magazines such as Positif, Trafic, Cinémathèque, Simulacres, Qantara, and BiblioAsia. He has also published various books such as Cinémas de la Méditerranée, cinémas de la mélancolie (L’Harmattan, 2002), Le Cinéma de Singapour (L’Harmattan, 2004) and Singapore Cinema (EDM, 2006).