Agate mousse

  • 68'
  • Lebanon
  • 2021

A visit to a cosmetic-surgery clinic and the discovery of a lump in his testicle and an abscess in his mouth confront filmmaker Selim Mourad with transience and decay in this unashamedly navel-gazing film essay. ‘Selim from Beirut’ is the last in a long list of names of extinct species he recites during a loveless Grindr fuck.

After his death, which proceeds without any further explanation or ado, we see Selim’s image appear in an exhibition by a pretentious photographer. As he hangs nonchalantly on the gallery wall – looking like the love-child of Jean-Paul Belmondo and James Dean, complete with cigarette dangling from his lips – a visitor to the gallery comments that the round framing of these portraits of the dead is reminiscent of film. The actual film frame then also adopts this circular form, this time with Selim’s friend Tamara at the centre.

What follows is in many ways like a snake swallowing its own tail, with both maker and work constantly self-referencing; in the eternal cycle of birth and death this creates, Selim and Tamara finally become their own ancestors. The naked, queer body once again plays a prominent role in this concluding instalment of Mourad’s Linceul trilogy – preceded by the shorts Linceul (2017) and Cortex (2018). Using a combination of painterly images, form experimentation, mythical motifs and philosophical commentary, Agate mousse forms an aesthetic antidote to fear of The End.

Director
Selim Mourad
Premiere
World premiere
Country of production
Lebanon
Production Year
2021
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
68'
Medium
DCP
International title
Moss Agate
Languages
Arabic, French
Producer
Selim Mourad
Sales
The Open Reel
Screenplay
Selim Mourad
Cinematography
Karim Ghrayeb
Editor
Sandra Fatté
Sound Design
Lama Sawaya
Music
Serge Yared, Jean-Baptiste Luccio, Lama Sawaya
Cast
Tamara Saadé, Selim Mourad, Elie Boudjok, François Yazbek
Website
https://selimmourad.com/