The Zanzibar Films - Zanzibar Opening Night (with Jackie Raynal in person)
The Zanzibar Films
Aug 10 – 31
At Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036
In the storied tradition of French cinema, the New Wave may be the most famous break with tradition – but there were also the underseen, so-called Zanzibar films, named for a 1969 voyage to that then-Maoist country, and made in and around the student protests of May ‘68 by a long-haired, Parisian Warhol’s factory-esque cast of painters, models, artists, amateurs, dandies, and film techs – everyone but established filmmakers. The loose constellation of films they produced were unified by a mystical, hippie kind of avant-garde – one that rubbed up against, but didn’t define itself by, the political – instead the group’s greatest interventions were formal: long takes, drug-fueled improvisation, and purely counter-cultural amateurism. The filmmakers weren’t the only ones making a radical intervention in the world of French cinema – their patroness was too. French heiress Sylvina Boissonnas financed twelve of these films, apparently holding court at the Coupole restaurant, ready to sign checks for virtually anyone with an idea – making rather costly 35mm film stock available to a fascinating crowd. Still underseen today, the Zanzibar films, more than anything, are the products of a group that undertook filmmaking without traditional credentials, and without any intention to distribute, release, or capitalize on the work.
Special thanks to Jackie Raynal, Jacob Perlin, and Zanzibar scholar Sally Shafto.
Tickets $14 general, free for Cinefamily and Filmforum members.
Thursday, August 10th at 7:30pm - Zanzibar Opening Night (with Jackie Raynal in person)
An almost-lost, eccentric period of French film history, the Zanzibar films mark a spurt of ingenuity borne of a revolutionary time, and are ripe for rediscovery. Film programmer, editor, and filmmaker Jackie Raynal joins us for an evening of rare clips and images that will take us on a tour through the Zanzibar moment. From Philippe Garrel and model-muse Zouzou to artist Danielle Pommereulle, the Zanzibar scene was a cast of characters as much as it was a film movement, and Raynal was at the center of it all.