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Thursday 21 January 2010. Part of Cinema Sunset.

A screening of two films dealing with the subject of inner violence.

In January’s Cinema Sunset ( January the 21st 2010) the video artist and ADA Member Maja Bekan showed La La Cérémonie by Claude Chabrol in a rare combination with the short film Meditation on Violence by Maya Derren. Chabrol’s film made a huge impact on Bekan when she saw it in her native country Serbia during the Yugoslavian war. In a dialogue with the public, Bekan expressed her interest in the performing power of authority, alienation and the display of rituals, themes that are questioned by both of the films.

Meditation on Violence
Release: 1948
Runtime: 12 min.
Director: Maya Deren

La Cérémonie
Release: 1995
Runtime: 112 min.
Director: Claude Chabrol
Runtime total programme: 124 min.

In La Cérémonie Sophie (Sandrine Bonnaire), an isolated and quiet maid, tries to keep her illiteracy a secret from the upper class Lelievre family she works for. In an attempt to conceal her illiteracy from everyone, she becomes increasingly withdrawn from her employers, and the deception and lie’s compound. Sophie becomes friends with the rebellious post office employee, Jeanne (Isabelle Huppert) who encourages her to stand up against her bourgeois employers and soon their relationship grows unnaturally close. Slowly Sophie’s life begins to spiral towards violence. La Cérémonie is a psychological thriller that explores the themes of isolation and loneliness with a dark undertone. Claude Chabrol presents an ambiguous view of culture and class conflict in this film, which he jokingly called “the last Marxist film”.

In Meditation on Violence Deren’s camera is motivated by the movement of the performer Chao Li Chi. Through the performance of a ritual, Li Chi tries to exorcise violence through a series of meditational dance movements.

Meditation on Violence
Meditation on Violence
La Cérémonie
La Cérémonie