Category Archives: Cinema

Stella, femme libre, un œuvre légendaire du cinéma grec.

Melina Mercouri incarne le rôle de Stella dans cette œuvre légendaire du cinéma grec. Un film qui ouvre véritablement une nouvelle ère pour le cinéma grec.Un mélodrame d’une rare force, qui préfère à la fadeur des élans romantiques l’âpre noirceur de la tragédie grecque.
Essentiellement connu pour Électre (1962) et Zorba le Grec (1964), le réalisateur,  Michael Cacoyannis, alors âgé de 33 ans, propose Stella, femme libre sous les apparences d’un mélodrame local. Mais ce film libertaire et féministe outrepasse largement la simple lorgnette nationale, pour célébrer les noces du cinéma moderne et de la tradition grecque.

Continue reading Stella, femme libre, un œuvre légendaire du cinéma grec.

Come with me to the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond…

I get to experience new customs and new cultures which I feel makes me a better and wiser person. There’s a lot that we read and hear about when it comes to other parts of the world but actually visiting and experiencing another country in person is quite different.

It’s a big world out there. People live and behave differently. When you live in another country, you can open your eyes to the beliefs and values of other people and its influence on their everyday life. You will discover new social norms and lifestyles. It will not only change your perspective, but it will re-shape your personality as well.

The Middle East is of course a set of countries whose cultural traditions are different than the West.

I start with Özel Türkbaş (September 1, 1938 – July 22, 2012) who was a Turkish-born actress, model, singer and belly dancer, who helped popularize belly dancing in the US and recorded traditional music aimed at a western audience, including the successful 1969 album Bellydance with Özel Türkbaş: How to Make Your Husband a Sultan. Ozel’s Dance Routine (Mr Thing Re-Edit) is one of the tracks from Özel Turkbas’ album, called “How To Belly Dance For Your Sultan”


  • Aris San (1940 – 1992) was a famous Greek singer who immigrated to Israel and was one of the first to use electric guitar in a Greek music setting.

“The status of popular Eastern music changed dramatically in the 1960s, with the eruption of the “Greek” wave of popular music in Israel. “Greek popularmusic” in this context should be understood as the sound of hybrid nightclub music styles from Athens and Thessaloniki, generally referred to as laika (DeBoer 1996). A dominant feature of this sound is the presence of the bouzouki. This type of Greek music became a favorite style for Israeli born Eastern Jews as well as for many non-Easterners.




This of the earliest examples of any kind of recorded fusion between rhythm heavy pop music and traditional Turkish music. For Ganimian, this is a sadly unrecorded turk jerk combo The Nor-Ikes (New Dawn) combo – ran almost simultaneously alongside the rising Anadolou Pop scene in Turkey, resulting in his short lived powerhouse of Kif proto-rock under the changing names of Ganim’s Asia Minors, Ganimian & His Orientals and Ganimian & His Oriental Music Orchestra.

Combining a line-up of mostly unknown musicians from his local community (where he was worked as a butcher), Ganimian, in a short unison with ATCO records, was fortunate enough to accommodate jazz guitarist Al Schactman as part of his studio personnel (launching the career of this Nina Simone regular) as well as French born Armenian folk singer Onnik Dinkjian and reid player Steve Bogoshian (both from the band The House Of The Seven Uncles) as well as the esteemed Turkish raised Kanun player Ahmet Yatman.

As one of the very few early American recorded authentic Middle Eastern fusion record Come With Me To The Casbah has piqued a refined interest in a new generation of progressive world music collector resulting in a distinct drought in original Ganimian pressings on the collectors’ market earning Chicks name a rising placeholder on the want lists of DJs, vinyl hounds and ethno psychedelia collectors.

  • Devil’s Anvil

The Devil’s Anvil were a group of Arab-American musicians playing the New York folk and rock club circuit in the mid-’60s. They differed from virtually every other group experimenting with Eastern sounds because though they were rock musicians deeply rooted to the folk traditions of their heritages, and they played the Anatolian instruments associated with them. Hard Rock from the Middle East is the only album issued by the group. They had the unfortunate karma of having their album released at the height of the Arab-Israeli war and no one would touch the recording.

  • Light in Babylon

“Light in Babylon”, an original fusion of ethnicities and culture. An Iranian Israeli singer, a Turkish santoor player and a French guitarist have come together to collaborate with eclectic musicians from around the world to create and spread an open, peaceful and shining orientalism.

With the strength and openness of their youth and the various musical influences they have, they intuitively created a original colourful blend of their inner voices with flavours that would carry the imagination on a travel trough the Middle east and beyond.

Story sources: Wikipedia, Image credit: Flickr creative Commons

How to build an aesthetics of discomfort on a music video while trying to overcome gender by either openly playing with it or by disguising it

This strange videoclip comes from Sweden. It’a a good way for us who don’t live the country to understand the mixity in the swedish society.

Pass This On” is a single from the Swedish electronic duo The Knife, released in 2003. It is the third track on The Knife’s second studio album, Deep Cuts. In Knife’s work we can obviously see their signature aesthetics: the blurring of gender and sexuality in their music.

The music video for the song was directed by Johan Renck and features female impersonator Rickard Engfors in a room lip-synching to the song. Both members of The Knife, Karin (also known as Fever Ray)(2) and Olof Dreijer, are visible in the video: Olof is seen dancing next to Engfors and flirting with him, and Karin appears at the end of the video, sitting at a table and looking at Engfors and Olof.

the knife pass this on caption

The narrative depicts a glamorous blonde singer — in real life, one of Sweden’s most well known female impersonators named Rickard Engfors — performing in what looks like a shabby community centre, to an initially disinterested audience. By the end of the song, however, the slinky diva has mesmerised not only one particular young man (Olof Dreijer from The Knife), who dances around her as though hypnotised, but also well and truly ‘owned’ the rest of the crowd whom similarly succumb to her charms.

Continue reading How to build an aesthetics of discomfort on a music video while trying to overcome gender by either openly playing with it or by disguising it

Exil Nazi : “La Promesse De L Orient”


Un film de Géraldine Schwarz.

Après la guerre, nombre de criminels de guerre nazis ont réussi à échapper à la justice. Beaucoup sont partis pour l’Amérique du Sud. Mais il existe une autre destination, restée dans l’ombre jusqu’à aujourd’hui : le Moyen-Orient.

Grâce notamment à un accès inédit à des archives des services secrets d’Allemagne de l’Ouest (BND) et à d’autres sources internationales, ce documentaire révèle qu’après la guerre des dirigeants arabes en Egypte et en Syrie ont recruté plusieurs centaines d’anciens nazis et SS.

Ces anciens serviteurs du Reich ont contribué à reconstruire leurs armées et leurs services de renseignement pour les aider à combattre Israël. Certains anciens collaborateurs de Joseph Goebbels ont même apporté leur « savoir-faire » en matière de propagande.

La réalisatrice a pu reconstituer leur exil depuis Rome, plaque tournante des nazis en cavale. Parmi eux, Walther Rauff, l’un des logisticiens de la Shoah qui a coordonné le déploiement de camions à gaz dans l’Est de l’Europe pour exterminer les Juifs. Rauff organisera, avec l’aide de l’évêque Alois Hudal et sous le nez du Vatican et de la Croix-Rouge internationale, l’exil vers la Syrie d’une cinquantaine d’anciens nazis. Dont Franz Stangl et Gustav Wagner, chefs des camps d’extermination de Sobibor et de Trilinéaire.

Au Caire, grâce à des témoignages inédits, le film suit la trace de plusieurs d’entre eux : comme Artur Schmitt, général-major de l’Afrikakorps recruté par la Ligue arabe. Ou Gerhard Mertins, ancien Waffen-SS, trafiquant d’armes et spécialiste des combats de guérilla, qui sera plus tard impliqué dans la secte néonazie « Colonia Dignidad » au Chili.

En Egypte, le film retrace également le parcours de Johann von Leers, un ancien expert de la propagande nazie recruté parmi d’autres sous Nasser. Antisémite fanatique, Von Leers avait travaillé sous le Reich avec le Grand Mufti de Jérusalem à un rapprochement idéologique du national-socialisme et de la religion musulmane.

Ces activités d’anciens nazis au Moyen-Orient suscitèrent en secret des tensions diplomatiques entre la Grande-Bretagne et la République Fédérale d’Allemagne (RFA). L’ancienne puissance coloniale craignait pour son influence en Egypte, tandis que comme le révèle le film, dans le dos de Bonn le BND recrutait certains de ces hommes pour mieux s’implanter dans la région. Tels Gerhard Mertins et Johann von Leers et plus tard, Walther Rauff.

Mais les services secrets allemands ne sont pas les seuls à s’être ainsi compromis. En revenant sur leur parcours au Moyen-Orient, le documentaire apporte de nouvelles preuves de l’impunité dont ont bénéficié de nombreux nazis. Longtemps encore après la guerre, en Europe et ailleurs, les institutions politiques, religieuses et judiciaires censées les poursuivre ont brillé par leur inertie. Beaucoup d’anciens responsables nazis ont été protégés voire même recrutés par des Etats, des entreprises et des services de renseignement de tous bords.

  • Presse

« Grâce à de nombreux documents des services secrets ouest-allemands, Géraldine Schwarz analyse le contexte géopolitique qui a rendu possible l’installation de ces criminels de guerre au plus près du pouvoir en Syrie ou en Egypte. Ce récit riche en informations, en témoignages et en images d’archives, éclaire la période de la guerre froide qui mena à l’inertie face à l’influence de ces criminels. » – Télérama

  • Festivals

Sélection au Festival International du Film d’Histoire de Pessac

Lire aussi: 

«Hitler est toujours vivant»: les révélations choc des dossiers secrets de la C.I.A.