Visual Cultures Workshop: Olivier Morel

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Location: 211 DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Ever, That's Her Name

A Film Project on Hélène Cixous 

Olivier Morel

An author, a source of inspiration, and a close friend, the central “character” of my current film project is Hélène Cixous.

“Cixous” is known around the world for her legendary 1975 feminist manifesto “The Laugh of the Medusa.” Her close friendship with Derrida is compared to that of Montaigne and La Boëtie. She is also famous for her theatre work. Her most recent play will be staged at the Armory theatre in New York City in December. A scholar, Cixous founded the University of Paris-8 after May 68 alongside Deleuze and Foucault. One year earlier, she made a spectacular entrance into the literary canon with her very first book publication, Prénom de Dieu (“God’s First Name”).

Making a film on Cixous, a seemingly impossible task, encouraged me to find a cinematic language that would do justice to the multiple facets of her persona. Based on action and observation, the film will feature no authoritarian voiceover, no informational subtitles, no interviews, no illustrative music. I wanted to capture her captivating creative endeavors. This project has forced me to reinvent my relationship to “Cixous” and to Hélène, as she is also someone who helped me come to terms with the reasons why we embrace poetry, literature, philosophy, and the performing arts as prophetic forms of liberation.