As part of Critics’ Choice, the screening of The Beast in the Jungle on Mon 28 Jan, 13:30 will be preceded by a video essay by Mohamed Abou Solíman.
Note(s) on Absence
When creating a video essay, I would sometimes focus on a detail so small, so fleeting.. and magnify it, as if shedding light on an idea or a decision intended by the filmmaker but was absent from the viewers' vision or attention. Like shining a light on an object that the filmmaker placed in a dark room. However I sometimes wonder... am I perhaps creating something out of nothing?
What if there was no object placed there by the filmmaker in the dark? What if that particular frame composition was just the fastest camera set-up to capture the good light, what if the way that line was so brilliantly and truthfully delivered was just the only take available with good sound, what if that perfectly timed edit from the actor's face happened just because the boom mic dropped at that exact instant? I guess what I'm trying to say is: Do we always make the absent present or do we, every now and then, create something out of nothing? The difference between the two is the difference between the absence of that which exists and its nonexistence in the first place.
The Beast in the JungleClara van Gool IFFR 2019 85′
Melancholy contemplation on the elapse of time mixes costume drama with dance. After a 1903 Henry James novella.
John and May meet in different places, in various eras. He has a premonition that ‘the beast in the jungle’ will strike. But which beast? Van Gool’s adaptation of Henry James’s 1903 novella is a costume drama cum dance film. A poetic, melancholy contemplation on time, memory and mortality.
Mohamed Abou Solíman is an Egyptian-Canadian filmmaker, content creator and communications consultant. He has directed and produced media projects in Canada, Egypt, Dubai, Tunisia, Uganda and Ecuador as well as developed and implemented communications strategies for several international organizations such as the United Nations. In 2015 he created and launched the first video essay series dedicated to Arabic cinema "CINEMATOLOGY", which has grown to become one of the leading online audiovisual platforms in the Arab world dedicated to professional film analysis and appreciation.