Jonathan Demme, Academy award winning director of Stop Making Sense, Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs, and most recently Rachel Getting Married, is introducing the films of Hatian/American/French director Michelange Quay this coming Tuesday at the French Alliance / Alliance Francaise.
The event will feature two of Mr. Quay’s movies, the short The Gospel of the Creole Pig and the feature Eat for This Is My Body. Mr. Quay’s films are lyrical meditations on post-colonialism. The Gospel of the Creole Pig takes us from the slaughter pits in Port-au-Prince, where pigs are butchered in disgustingly unsanitary conditions, to the houses on top of the surrounding hills where rich people live in comfort. Water runs from the toilettes of the hilltop houses to the trash and chaos of the Cité Soleil, and all the while the voice of the creole pig tells us ironically about the cycle of life and its hierarchies of oppression.
Eat for This Is My Body is more narrative, but not much. Mr. Quay’s project is to convey the interdependency of Whites and Blacks under colonization and afterward — the relations of power and how both sides seek to achieve identity from its opposite. (It’s very Hegelian, and like the “end of history” never complete.) To this end the movie is a dream of the moment when colonization breaks down, a no/every time and place where the masters have lost their allies, but the slaves have yet to become masters. Elaborate and stunning visuals wind along like yarn from a spinning wheel, and rather than dialogue (which is minimal) an incantatory voice over keeps the plot from interfering with the movie’s anxious emotional texture.
It is guaranteed to be an enriching and thought provoking evening, and I personally can’t wait to see the discussion between Demme and Quay!
Tuesday May 26 at 7 p.m.
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
FIAF Members Free** ($2 advance tickets)
Students w/ ID $7