Crash course in Egyptian cinema: Cinematology episode 1 from Mada Masr

Crash course in Egyptian cinema: Cinematology episode 1

Mada Masr has teamed up with YouTube series Cinematology to publish subtitled video essays on appreciation of Egyptian cinema twice a month.

In 2015, young Egyptian mechanical engineer-turned director Mohamed Abu Soliman started publishing short opinionated video essays exploring Egyptian cinema and the filmmakers behind it.

The first episode — on Youssef Chahine’s image composition and camera work — has been watched over 5000 times and opened several conversations on film appreciation on YouTube and Facebook.

“I felt like I needed to create something to remind people how great our cinema is,” Soliman tells Mada Masr, “and that each episode could be a crash course in filmmaking.”

He didn’t originally plan Cinematology as a series, but decided to keep going due to the amount of positive feedback he received. He has published seven video essays so far, and more than 12,000 people follow the Facebook page.

Each video essay is under 10 minutes long and filled with footage from films, quirky energetic narration in Arabic and insights into cinematic technique, filmmakers’ biographies and the historical context of making films in Egypt. Some analyze a specific characteristic of a director’s work, others focus on one film, and some simply use film clips to construct a visual profile of a film industry figure.

Soliman uses the Cinematology Facebook page to share these videos, as well as articles and video essays on filmmaking from all over the world. This content keeps the page active, as he creates the Cinematology videos on his own and each one takes weeks to plan and produce alongside his full-time job as a filmmaker and producer for television.

“It’s a lot of work. But I love cinema. I love these directors and I love analyzing films and sharing this analysis with others,” he says. “You don’t have to go to the Cinema Institute to learn to be a director. That model is outdated – you don’t need it anymore – especially with digital films and the independent filmmaking scene.”

Soliman hopes the Cinematology series will not only help emerging filmmakers, but will also help viewers develop their visual literacy. “Once you understand the grammar of this art form,” he says, “you start to unlock a lot of messages, and hidden meanings.”

With translator Amira Elmasry, Mada Masr is creating English subtitles for Cinematology episodes and republishing them every other Wednesday, starting with the first, below.

About juliet

Juliet Le Page has trained in many dance forms including Classical Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz, and Flamenco and Middle Eastern Dance. She was one of the earliest exponents of Belly Dance in Melbourne and her first performance was in 1980. She soon became disenchanted with Belly Dance and stopped to pursue other opportunities in the arts, including script re-writes, directing, production as well as performance in theatre, TV and film. In 1995 Juliet was introduced to the work of Hilal and has since traveled the world in pursuit of excellence in the art of teaching and performing Egyptian Dance. Her dedication and discipline was rewarded in 2000 when she was invited to become an Applicant for teacher training by the Hilal Art Foundation. Juliet was awarded her full licence in 2004. She continues to hone her skills under the auspice of Marie Al Fajr. She has lectured in universities and to arts groups and has also been interviewed on National radio and for documentaries. She has performed for Arabic festivals, television and in theaters at the invitation of arts bodies. In July 2003, Juliet was invited by The Consul General of Egypt to perform at the official function celebrating Egyptian National Day. She has been interviewed and has performed on the Egyptian Show on community television. She has completed studies in psychology, anatomy and physiology and is a qualified fitness instructor as well as a licenced practitioner of the GYROKINESIS® Method*. Her research and knowledge on functional alignment and physical form relative to Egyptian dance is an important and distinctive component of her teaching. In her purpose built studio she also offers Pilates/Yoga Core Work, and Holistic Stretch classes incorporating PNF method. Juliet has been invited to sit as a panel examiner for professional dance and performance arts academies including the Australian Ballet School - (Spanish Dance 2001-2009). She also has professional experience in theater, film and television in various areas of production, acting and dance. Juliet is also affiliated with Tanz Raum, an international platform where similarly trained and accredited artists share knowledge, experience and resource to inspire excellence in the teaching and performance of Egyptian Dance. She has also taught at the international workshops organised by them. Tanzraum recognizes dedication and integrity and also produces high quality C.D's of traditional Egyptian music**. Juliet’s passion for her chosen genre is evident in her teaching and performance. Her objective is to bring to students an awareness of the intricate and rich cultural heritage of Egypt through the beauty and benefits of the dance art form. Please visit the website for more information * GYROKINESIS® is a registered trademark of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and is used with their permission. ** See the Music section for CD & DVD sales. Back to Home.
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