Ibrahim Al-Aris to Asharq Al-Awsat: The Saudis Are Building a Film History

He sees that the new generations of Saudis have escaped the usual stereotypes of Arab culture

Despite the recent movement of Saudi films, Lebanese film historian and critic Ibrahim Al-Aris sees an exceptional value in this emerging movement, given that film heritage filmmakers are often handcuffed and exhausted, during an interview conducted with him was by “Al-Sharq al-Awsat” on the sidelines of the Saudi Film Festival, which is currently taking place. In the east of the country, which the groom attends for the first time, signs of astonishment and admiration linger on his face over what he regards as unique. and glowing Saudi movie box.

Ibrahim Al-Aris, who has always headed film juries and is a well-known face at Arab and international film festivals, believes that in this case a wide area of ​​freedom is granted to Saudi filmmakers, which they in enable them to form their film identity. cinema, which is difficult to easily deviate from, and today we see that the most difficult Arab country to produce a new cinema is Egypt, due to its large film heritage that has bound the creators.This cinema.

The groom sums it up by saying, “The Saudis are in the process of building a film history,” adding, “I think the arts should always be in a construction phase.” American films also do not break from this vision, referring to the revolution of the directors of the Hollywood wave that appeared in the seventies, and brought together Spielberg, Scorsese and Palma. Lucas and others, saying, “They respected the heritage, but they put it in the museum.”

Saudi cinema

Ibrahim Al-Aris believes that Saudi filmmakers have begun to invent a new film language, and believes that Saudi films should draw on Saudi literature, and writers, artists and painters were involved in it, as he described it, so can integrate them into the work. about the details of the film work, including decor, music and others, with the hope that it will include. The same goes for psychoanalysts and anyone who has a relationship with the arts. He adds, “Cinema for me is not the seventh art, but rather all art.”

Al-Aris continues his speech to Asharq Al-Awsat, saying: “I’m watching Saudi films these days, after reading a lot of Saudi literature in the past, and I see the need to involve Saudi writers in the film. close, and in the new Saudi renaissance, which I hope will continue and have a future. ” Great and reach the world. “

global presence

The groom confirms that the whole world is eager to know what Saudi Arabia looks like, away from oil, malicious accusations and consumerism. They are pioneers in modern Saudi cinema, but before them there were many experiences of which no one knows anything, other than what has happened in the last five years. ”

But how does Saudi cinema reach the consciousness of audiences from different countries of the world, whether in China, Italy or Mexico? The groom replies, “This happens when the Saudi cinematographer is the same, in the sense that he is influenced by Western techniques, and not by Western themes.” He added, “If the state of Saudi cinema continues with the remarkable progress we see today, within 10 years we will have a Saudi film body linked to the tastes of all creators.”

social transformations

The groom expresses his astonishment at the high taste of the Saudi audience of readers and movie followers, without limiting it to the educated among them, saying: “Saudi Arabia has a wide audience that loves movies, and I “I see a lot of people who know me through my television interviews and talk to me about articles I’ve written, and at first glance I think they are critics or journalists. Then I find them normal people!”

Regarding his visit to the Ithra Center, which is one of the most prominent Saudi landmarks, he says: “For the first time I came to Ithraa, and I was amazed by the beauty of the building and the human momentum I of people who are passionate about art and reading. ” He continues, “We know this image, but the world has not yet known it about Saudi Arabia, and this image can only be reached through the cinema, because it is an image and words too, and the cinema is the right one. “Cinema today must present a true picture of the new Saudi Arabia to the world.”

Ibrahim Al-Aris, who has visited Saudi Arabia in the past, alludes to a radical change in the new generation and touches on the reflection of social transformations on society, saying: “There are generations of Saudi Arabia who read and follow, and they are the ones who have escaped the usual stereotypes of Arab culture, they know everything, and they have nothing to do with the Arab intellectual. according to his nationality, but merely as a creator. “

Saudi Film Festival

Ibrahim Al-Aris is almost the last remnant of a wide generation of film critics whose names have glowed in recent decades, as his works have served the Arab film industry for more than 50 years, and he is one of the prominent names in Saudi Arabia. film festival, organized by the Cinema Association, in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), and with the support of the Film Commission of the Ministry of Culture.

This festival represents a film and cultural situation that is rarely repeated, as presentations and dialogue sessions continue for hours at the Ithra Center, in an event that attracts all those interested in the film industry and film enthusiasts, who came from different countries of the world has. to witness this revived and worthy Saudi cinematic renaissance.


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