Darius Khondji, AFC, ASC, retrospective at the Cinémathèque française

La Lettre AFC n°273

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From 15 March to 7 April, the Cinémathèque française will host, in partnership with the AFC, a retrospective on about twenty films, shorts and feature-length alike, that Darius Khondji, AFC, ASC, filmed. From 1984, alongside Manuel Flèche, to 2015, alongside Philippe Parreno, this is a wide-angle view on thirty years of Khondji’s career in cinema that visitors will be able to discover for the first time or to rediscover.

“Darius Khondji, quicksilver-process”, excerpts from the introduction to the retrospective by Bernard Payen

Cinematographers often say that they hope their work will remain invisible, since they want to serve the film and the director. More than anyone else, Darius Khondji the Modest will remind you of this. But, if one decides to lose oneself watching his cinematography of over sixty titles (both short and feature-length films), one cannot but contradict that desire. Darius Khondji’s photography marks us, touches us, and haunts us with the India-ink blackness of Trésor des îles Chiennes (F.J. Ossang, 1990) and of Seven (David Fincher), to the solar brightness of Stealing Beauty (Bertolucci) and the shadowy chiaroscuro of The Immigrant (James Gray). The marriage of Darius Khondji’s diverse influences engenders an image that combines the documentary-like realism of a Robert Frank with German expressionist cinema and Edward Hopper’s bold stylization. […]

Experimentation and risk-taking characterize Darius Khondji’s films, especially in his fruitful collaborations with Philippe Parreno : we remember his Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait (2006), co-directed with Douglas Gordon, a portrait of the football star filmed with seventeen cameras (16mm, 35mm, and HD) : “my main idea in terms of equipment was to have the most powerful zoom lenses available so we could get as close as possible to Zidane, so it would be like we were inside his head and could see through his eyes.” (AFC Newsletter, 2006). There were also a number of short films on artists’ works that the Darius Khondji Retrospective will project on the big screen. Alongside James Gray, audacious and unique images are also on the program. In The Immigrant, the fine and less sharp film, the old filtered lenses, and the decision to under-expose make this movie’s cinematography unforgettable. They have continued working together since then : The Lost City of Z will be released in France in March2017 and they are already preparing for their next film together.

  • Read the full version of Bernard Payen’s introduction, in French, on the website of the Cinémathèque française.]


Alien : Resurrection Jean-Pierre Jeunet Thursday, 16 March, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, 30 March, 9:30 pm
Amour Michael Haneke Wednesday, 22 March, 9:45 p.m. Friday, 31 March, 2:15 p.m.
Anywhen Philippe Parreno Saturday, 18 March, 7:30 p.m.
Stealing Beauty Bernardo Bertolucci Thursday, 16 March, 7:00 p.m. Saturday, 1 April, 5:00 p.m.
The City of Lost Children Jean-Pierre Jeunet Friday, 7 April, 5:00 p.m.
Continuously Habitable Zones aka C.H.Z. Philippe Parreno Saturday, 18 March, 7 :30 p.m.
Courtes chasses Manuel Flèche Sunday, 19 March, 4:45 p.m. Saturday, 25 March, 7:00 p.m.
The Crowd Philippe Parreno Saturday, 18 March, 7:30 p.m.
Delicatessen Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet Saturday, 18 March, 7:30 p.m.
Evita Alan Parker Friday, 24 March, 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, 29 March, 2:30 p.m.
Funny Games U.S. Michael Haneke Sunday, 19 March, 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, 5 April, 5:00 p.m.
Irrational Man Woody Allen Friday, 17 March, 7:00 p.m. Saturday, 1 April, 7:00 p.m.
The Immigrant James Gray Friday, 17 March, 9:15 p.m. Saturday, 1 April, 9:15 p.m.
The Interpreter Sydney Pollack Friday, 31 March, 5:00 p.m.
Invisible Boy Philippe Parreno Saturday, 18 March, 7:30 p.m.
June 8, 1968 Philippe Parreno Saturday, 18 March, 7:30 p.m.
Li Yan Philippe Parreno Saturday, 18 March, 7:30 p.m.
Marie-Louise ou la permission Manuel Flèche Sunday, 19 March, 4:45 p.m. Saturday, 25 March, 7:00 p.m.
Marylin Philippe Parreno Saturday, 18 March, 7:30 p.m.
Midnight in Paris Woody Allen Thursday, 23 March, 2:30 p.m. Thursday, 30 March, 5:00 p.m.
My Blueberry Nights Wong Kar-wai Saturday, 25 March, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, 6 April, 4:30 p.m.
The Ninth Gate Roman Polanski Saturday, 25 March, 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, 5 April, 2:15 p.m.
The Beach Danny Boyle Wednesday, 22 March, 7:15 p.m.
In Dreams Neil Jordan Wednesday, 22 March, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 April, 7:15 p.m.
Seven David Fincher Wednesday, 15 March, 8:00 p.m. Sunday, 2 April, 9:15 p.m.
Le Trésor des îles Chiennes F. J. Ossang Thursday, 23 March, 7:00 p.m. Friday, 31 March, 7:00 p.m.
Une femme pour l’hiver Manuel Flèche Sunday, 19 March, 4:45 p.m. Saturday, 25 March, 7:00 p.m.
Zidane : A 21st Century Portrait Philippe Parreno, Douglas Gordon Saturday, 18 March, 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, 29 March, 5:00 p.m.

- Conversation between Darius Khondji and F.J. Ossang, event moderated by Bernard Benoliel and attended by Caroline Champetier, AFC : Thursday, 23 March at 7:00 p.m. (following the screening of Trésor des îles Chiennes)
- Conversation between Darius Khondji and Philippe Parreno  : Saturday, 18 March at 2:30 p.m. (following the screening of Zidane : A 21st Century Portrait).