Two critically acclaimed documentaries will be screened at The Theatre at Mall of the Emirates this month.
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project by US filmmaker and documentarian Matt Wolf will have its UAE premiere at the venue on October 17 at 7pm.
The documentary is based on a project by Marion Stokes, who recorded American television 24 hours a day for 30 years, from the 1970s until her death in 2012.
For Stokes, the tapings were her form of activism; she believed that a comprehensive archive of the media would one day be invaluable.
Stokes ended up recording 70,000 VHS tapes, capturing revolutions, lies, wars, triumphs, catastrophes, bloopers, talk shows and commercials that explore how television shaped the world today.
Recorder premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature award. It also played at Hot Docs, London Film Festival and numerous other film festivals and museums around the world.
The screening at The Theatre will be followed by a Q&A session with Dubai arts critic and writer Kevin Jones, who has lived in the Middle East for the past 14 years. As an educator, he taught as part of Art Jameel's Hayy:Learning initiative for emerging Saudi artists in Jeddah in December 2019, and has been a faculty member at Dubai non-profit Tashkeel since 2015.
Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary about Jane Jacobs, a writer and urban activist who fought to save New York City's history during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960s, will be screening at The Theatre on Saturday, October 31, at 7pm.
The 2016 documentary Citizen Jane retraces the battles for the city as personified by Jacobs and Moses. In this fight, Moses dismissed Jacobs as a "mere housewife", seeing her as a nuisance in his plan of building homogenous neighbourhoods.
The film also explores Jacobs's ideas about urban development and her writings in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which was published in 1961. The book is a critique of 1950s urban planning policy, which she holds responsible for the decline of many city neighbourhoods in the US.
The film was nominated for the Knight Documentary Achievement Award at the 2017 Miami Film Festival.
A post-screening discussion will take place at The Theatre with architect and historian Alamira Reem Al Hashimi.
Al Hashimi is the first Emirati woman to be awarded a PhD in urban planning and is considered one of the leading researchers on the urban development of the UAE. She is cultural advisor and manager of the UAE Architecture Project, which aims to advance architectural and planning knowledge of the UAE locally and globally.
The Theatre's film programme is curated by Emirati culture blogger and artist Hind Mezaina.
Tickets to both screenings start at Dh45 and can be purchased at ae.bookmyshow.com