Memories for a Private Eye

Rania Stephan

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Staff Picks Memories for a Private Eye
Rania Stephan

31 Minutes

Staff Picks

November 1–30, 2022

Memories for a Private Eye is the first chapter in a trilogy that investigates the filmmaker’s personal archive. Evoking the language of film noir, it foregrounds the fictional detective Marc McPhearson from the film Laura by Otto Preminger (1943), to help unfold deep and traumatic memories. The film spirals around a lost image: the only moving image of the filmmaker’s dead mother. How is absence lived? What remains of war, death, and love with the passing of time? These are the questions that are delicately displayed for contemplation. While dwelling on the past, the film weaves together images from different sources—private archive, cinema, television, YouTube—unfolding into a labyrinthine maze, and creating a blueprint of remembrance itself.

Presented on e-flux Video & Film alongside Threshold (2018), as the November 2022 edition of Staff Picks featuring Rania Stephan.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Documentary, Memory, Montage, Trauma, Death, Love
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Rania Stephan (b. Beirut) is an artist and filmmaker working with still and moving images. She has directed art videos and creative documentaries. Her documentaries give a personal and poetic perspective to political events. Archival material has been an underlying enquiry in her artistic work. Her most recent work investigates forgotten images and sounds that haunt the present. By juxtaposing them with new ones, she explores a diversity of meanings, triggering renewed narratives and emotions. Approaching images like an editor—part detective, part cinephile—she traces absence and remembrance originary to those images. Described as a contemporary classic, her first feature film, The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni (2011), was internationally acclaimed and won numerous prizes: Artist’s Prize: Sharjah Biennale 10; Renaud Victor Prize, FID Marseille International Cinema Festival; Best Filmmaker Award, Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Her second feature, In Fields of Words (2022), recently won Best Film Award at the Villa Medicis International Film Festival. She was recently appointed Associate Artist at the EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) in Paris France. Her artwork is represented by Marfa’ Gallery (Beirut).


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