Until Morning (work in progress)
Until Morning is an original feature-length dramatic film set in Beirut, Lebanon. The story chronicles the passage of three couples through the city the day before Christmas Eve.
"Shluq" or "Sirocco" (easterly desert wind) is the fable of an Arab man who is in a perpetual agony of restlessness. Remarkable men gather in a council to investigate a fundamental puzzle over death; a body lies on the beach with face hidden in the sand; a ship sinks in the sea showing only it’s remaining masts and sails; camels and lizards appear and disappear in a dream-like soundtrack. These are the first images of “Sirocco”, which are but a gesture in Mannerist cinematic expression meant to give meaning to the lost images of a remote 1969 film called “The Mummy” and to stage a film world that is built in direct relation to images of restrained naturalism and heightened beauty. In the corridors and the ruins of a lost world made up of seas, temples, vast deserts, voyaging boats, and men, women, and animals, the protagonist tries to solve the film’s indecipherable enigma. >>>[more]
A Film, 2010
This is a film poem about love. A Lebanese-American filmmaker photographs a woman in Paris: as a trapeze artist, a model, a lover, and a child. The film attempts to capture that moment between wakefulness and dream. It carries within it melancholy and loneliness, sadness and joy, adulthood and childhood. It evolves out of the metaphor that life is a circular journey whose end is "to arrive where we started / And know that place for the first time" (T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding). >>>[more]
Song For the Deaf Ear, 2008
Song for the Deaf Ear is a film meditation on the insanity of war and violence in my country, Lebanon. In 2007, I went back to Lebanon with my camera and created this film around the death of my neighbors some 20 years ago. My account revolves around a man who was shot dead on the pavement during the civil war, as well as the crumbling world surrounding him. We see flashes of him throughout the film -- first bleeding on the pavement, and, finally, his death. At the film’s end, we see a home movie shot the summer before he died. He is sailing, with his family and his fiancée, enjoying a simple day in their life. >>>[more]
Asmahan is a film poem about the famous Syrian singer of the same name. The film is a rearrangement of Asmahan's B-film Passion and Revenge (1944), that changes the original film's plot to create a narrative reflecting its star's own life in colonial Egypt. As in the films of American artist Joseph Cornell, I re-arranged selected shots and changed their function from a mechanical to an expressive one. I also added "dream" shots (also in 35mm): candles, moon, cup, trees, amoeba, and animals, which are not present in the original film. These arrangements of found footage explore the material qualities of the film stock itself, shifting attention from the photographic content of the footage to the formal effects of its rearrangement. >>>[more]
Vertices: Beirut-Dublin-Seoul is a Polyvision* video capturing fragments of a day in the life of each city. Simple scenes from every day life are recorded with a video camera, following in the tradition of the documentaries of the Lumière films. Each shot lasts 50 seconds, the approximate time a film reel lasted in early cinema. >>>[more]
Chabrol á Biarritz, 2002
Documentary, 23 minutes
Shot in the French coastal town of Biarritz during the 15th edition of the International Festival of Audiovisual Programs in 2002, this film creates an intimate portrait of the French filmmaker Claude Chabrol who was a member of the jury. Chabrol shares his views about language, nationalism, cinema today, technology and the internet, and reminisces about Eisenstein, Hitchcock, Lang and his passion for filmmaking. >>>[more]
La Recontre, 2002
Dramatic Digital Video, 28 minutes
Learning of her father's suicide, Emma Zunz (Muriel Romero) embarks on a crusade to exact revenge from Aaron Lowenthall (Christian Paterne), the man responsible for her father's demise. Set within the French coastal town of Biarritz this adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges' short story follows the transformation of a quiet, introverted young woman into a calculating murderer. Awoken from her uneventful life by the news of her father's suicide, Emma must change herself in order to perform the horrific task. She will need to exist somewhere between reality and fiction as she meticulously orchestrates events that will inevitably lead her to a simple act of justice. >>>[more]
City of Brass, 2000-2002
Digital Video, 24 minutes
Antoine Galland (Misha Kuznatzov) buys a rare manuscript known as The Arabian Nights from an Arab Moor (Ellis Foster) living in Europe at the turn of the 18th century. While translating the manuscript Antoine realizes that it is incomplete. The Arab promises to deliver the rest but delays fulfilling his promise as he carries on an affair with Antoine's estranged wife, Alma (Nicole Wilder), who in turn becomes a sorceress in control of Antoine's dreams. >>>[more]
Message from a Dead Man, 1992
Film, 30 minutes
A 16-mm fictional film meditation onexile, memory, and identity in the life of a survivor of Lebanon's Civil War. >>>[more]
The Leaves of a Cypress, 1991
Video, 15 minutes
The Leaves of a Cypress is an adaptation of a short story by Jorge Luis Borges. The original story is told from the point of view of one person, however, the video tells the narrative from various view points (both male and female) which are interconnected. Paganini's 24 Caprices play an important role in the overall rhythmical structure. >>>[more]
Vertov's Valentine, 1991
Video, 10 minutes
A video documenting a day in Cambridge, MA. after Dziga Vertov's film The Man with the Movie Camera.
The Ridiculous Man, 1989
Film, 22 minutes
The Ridiculous Man is a 16-mm film adapted from a short story by Dostoevsky called The Dream of a Ridiculous Man.
The Third of May, 1988
Film, 20 minutes
The Third of May is a 16-mm film about a man who mistakes himself for the character being shot in Francisco de Goya's painting The Shooting of May Third 1808.
The Sun, 1987
The Sun is a super-8 short film which documents an hour in the life of a farmer.
Film, 12 minutes
A Phantasmagoric Conception is a short super-8 fictional film which tells the story of a middle-aged man, his art, his encounter with his dead mother, and his fear of the unknown.
The Shadow, 1987
Film, 12 minutes
The Shadow of Exiles is a super-8 film about a character who is obsessed with the past and the guilt he carries while living in exile.