Dir. Ahmed el Maanoun, French/Arabic (English subtitles), Morocco, 1981

Thu 22 January 2015 // 19:30 / Cinema

TRANCES   Ahmed el Maanouni   (Morocco, 1981, Doc, 90 mins)

When Martin Scorsese was editing King of Comedy, he saw Transes on TV.  He became passionate about the music, the way the film was made, and the extraordinary effect the music had on the audience. Eventually  it became his inspiration for the sound and look of Last Temptation of Christ. When he started the World Cinema Foundation which unearths 'forgotten' classics, this was one of the first films that was restored. The film starts with some electrifying concert footage of the band Nass El Ghiwane, but is much more than a mere concert film. We see the band talking, about themselves and the music, and in one remarkable sequence, the whole audience going into a trance like state, but we also get a stunning portrait of the diversity of life in Morocco. Transes is a hypnotic, exhilarating masterwork.