Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Struggling artists - I feel with you, Mambéty

Second day at the Cultural eXchanges week (2/3/10) at De Montfort University in Leicester and a controversial African film on the agenda: Badou Boy (1970) by Djibril Diop Mambéty.

Also translated as “Day and Life of a Naughty Boy”, the film is accompanied by a rhythmical African sound and observes the paradoxes of Dakar’s (Senegal) everyday street life.

For me as a Film Studies student, the techniques and hidden implications were extremely interesting. After a long discussion with my friends, who despised the film, I have to admit that the film may not fulfill the one and only goal: to entertain its audience.

The strange thing about quality crafts is that people familiar with the rules of particular artworks acknowledge the use of unique methods more willingly. In Badou Boy, rapid cuts, jumpy camera work and a superimposed sound rather than live recordings confuse most viewers.

tried to analyze the visual and oral signals >such as the recurring motif of the plump and rude police man with his bike - that he never rides - and find out what message is conveyed: here a negative critic of Senegal’s post-colonial governing body.

I wonder if we should concentrate primarily on entertaining readers or viewers?

In the end, we all want our work to be read or seen. Therefore, it is important to take the “entertainment-factor” into consideration.

Nevertheless, most accredited pieces only succeeded because someone pushed the boundaries. I liked Mambéty’s film, although mainly for academic reasons. So this event was a good exchange for normal lectures.

See for yourself here!

Nico Lehmann

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