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Like peasants

Grim and prim

The longest day

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Like peasants

Checked in to the Chateau Marmont, one of my favourite hotels in the world, populated by glamorous ghosts from old Hollywood and surrounded by old, heavy trees. There are delightfully chipped and beautiful vintage tiles in the bathrooms and each room has a kitchenette, which offers the promise of home, even if rarely used except to boil a kettle for very early morning tea. I sat happily in the garden, looking at the flowers, ate a good lunch, and leapt up when Simon arrived, to hug and laugh and drink in friendship. Later we set off in a stretch limo, impressed and raucous ‘like peasants’ said Simon, ‘visiting the big city. I used to be on the sidewalk watching the limos go past and now I am in the limo looking out at the people on the sidewalks’.

We arrived at the screening for the Levantine Centre, eager to find out what the reaction would be from a group of individuals from an impressive mix of countries including Israel, Syria, Armenia and the Lebanon. Everyone stayed for the Q&A afterwards, which lasted for over an hour and could have gone on longer. The comments and questions covered a broad range of aesthetic and political issues. There seemed to be a profound interest in questions of form, cinematographic and linguistic, and the necessity of finding vocabularies that are capable of describing experience which often has no voice. Afterwards the air was vibrant with speech as people talked amongst themselves, energized, radiant with thought.

It was lovely to be shoulder to shoulder with Simon, and to witness how meaningful his presence is to so many.

Read Simon Abkarian's post on 'Realism'

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Simon Arrives

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The Levantine Screening

Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated