Swel Noury Lecture – Conference – Events in Bucharest


Conference Swel Noury Lecture

Friday, April 5th, 2013 – 19:00


Pavilion Unicredit



Swel Noury (MAR)
To be faithful or not? Stakes and limits of film adaptation

Every time we mention the link between literature and cinema, the most relevant part of the problem seems to be the adaptation. Is it faithful or not to the book?

It is a difficult question because there are several forms of adaptations. So we must introduce the concept of loyalty to figure out what screenwriters try to do every time they work on adapting books. In our case, we’ll try to define the boundaries of adaptation through the movie The Man Who Sold The World.

Based on Dostoyevsky’s short story A Weak Heart, The Man Who Sold The World unfolds as a literary and metaphysical tale of a young clerk, inept to cope with his inner turmoil. As he cannot accept the joy the marriage with a beautiful cabaret performer renders, the protagonist descends into a mental state of delirium and psychosis. Said Bey’s award-winning lead is a staggering demonstration of multi-facetted acting. His feverish appearance is hauntingly captured in painterly influenced wide-lens cinematography, intriguing sound design and a tentative narrative, which seem to confuse not only the film’s declining hero. Set in an anonymous, post-apocalyptic landscape, with a theme reminiscent of Camus, Kafka and Orwell, the film explores the individual’s vulnerability in an autocratic society where love and tolerance are scarce.

Swel Noury is a writer, director and photographer.He is the son of Hakim Noury, a famous Moroccan film director and Pilar Cazorla, a Spanish producer. Based in Barcelona, he co-directs his movies with his brother Imad. Since their directorial debut HEAVEN’S DOORS (shown in the Official selection of the Berlinale in 2006), Swel & Imad are widely regarded to be the enfants terribles of contemporary Moroccan cinema (Jim Jarmush define them as “visual troublemakers”).“THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD” was also part of the Official Selection of the Berlinale 2009.Swel’s photographic work is focused on portraiture and is influenced by Moriyama and Petersen.