Phoenix Atala – Critical Failure

Screening and Q&A curated by Pat Homse
13 March 2024, 6.30 pm
Studio Cinema D 0.01, Tower Building, HGK Basel FHNW
Link to live stream → coming soon

Free popcorn by Saturne Camus-Govoroff

Phoenix Atala, Critical Failure, dream scene shoot photo, photo: Silina SYAN

Critical Failure is a speculative and anticipation film based on an unfinished script that deals with the representation of queer and racialized communities. Diffracted, multiplied, and unfolding in the timeline like an ongoing edit, the film represents an attempt to invent a new method of making cinema and, at the same time, raises a series of ethical, aesthetic, and practical questions.

It interweaves a series of obstacles and revelations that mark the journey of Ekko, an artist-in-residence in an art center who, after discovering that he is in fact a robot, tries to hack her own code using choreography from the android resistance milieu in order to free himself from the yoke of the I.C.A.C. (Institution Centrale d’Art Contemporain) and take control of his body, becoming autonomous. This narrative is intercut with the intellectual and political journey of a couple of artists, Youssef and Désiré-e, who have decided to make a queer, experimental science-fiction feature film. They question the normative production methods of the audiovisual industry, seek a cinematographic format that reflects their personal experience, and follow a path of emancipation that mirrors that of Ekko.

Phoenix Atala is a trans, transversal, transdisciplinary French Moroccan artist, invested in decolonial and queer practices, speculative and transformative futures. He explores, chops down, wrongs up film, performance, stand-up comedy, web series, rap and so on. Often, and more and more so, Atala works collectively and collaboratively. He is visiting professor at the Institute Art Gender Nature HGK Basel FHNW.

Critical Failure is a film co-produced by SPÉC CAM (Paris) and Laboratoires D’Aubervilliers (Aubervilliers).

With support of La Fondation des Artistes (Paris), La région Ile de France (Paris), Le conseil départemental de la Seine-Saint-Denis (Bobigny), and Le Palais de Tokyo (Paris).

With support of Le Centre National de la Danse (Pantin), La Villa Arson (Nice), Le Festival Requeer La Réunion), and Le Ground Control (Paris).

Directed by: Phoenix Atala
Director of production: Silina Syan
Shoot Director: Adela Noual
Image: Nguyên Lê Hoàng
Image Alternative: Emma Lauro
Sound: Nino Ram, Cheb Runner

Ekko: Lucas Tétry Rivière
Désiré•es: Brandon Gerbera
Tanger: Snake Ninja
André•e: Valérie Abrogoua
Hanabi: Hanabi The K
Maxime: Océan
Youssef: Phoenix Atala

Balcony and gymnasium dancer: Prisca Ikonola
Artists: Bili Colbalt, Marie-Bénédicte Cazeneuve, Cécile Paris, Nino Ram

Métafilm Crew: Amir, Lucie Beraha, Julien Bouillon, Elsa Conton, Kali-Isis Fruteau, Camille Gigot, Mathilde Leclerc, Shane Lanoir, Benjamin Margueritte, Clarisse Tranchard, Attandi Trawalley, Margot Videcoq, Nino Ram, Silina Syan

Universalist Production Shoot Crew: Marie-Bénédicte Cazeneuve, Cécile Paris, Nino Ram

Universalist Production Team: Lucie Beraha, Julien Bouillon, Elsa Conton, Camille Gigot, Mathilde Leclerc, Benjamin Margueritte, Clarisse Tranchard, Margot Videcoq

Dinosaur Team: Marika Belle, Amina Rhanim, Emma Plihon, Olivia, Benjamin Margueritte

Cook Seine-Saint-Denis: Miriam Haddad
Cook Alpes-Maritimes: Moa Ferreira
Additionnal Image: Samir Ramdani, Antoine Aphesbero
Voices: Phoenix Atala, Brandon Gercara
Script/Tech/Scenography: Jule Truyol, Anne Swaenepoel, Hanla Kim, Emile Bagbonon
Pre-Editing: Anne Swaenepoel
Consultants sound / image / scenario: Silina Syan, Samir Ramdani, Thomas Boutoux, Gerald Kurdian, Brandon Gercara, Liv Schulman, Nino Ram, Océan, Alexis Bougon
3D scene access denied: Zine Andrieu
Scouting: Alexia Sellaoui-Segal, Ibrahim Amadouche, François Hiffler

Special thanks to: Aïcha Atala, Sheila Atala, Julien Bouillon, Thomas Boutoux, Valentina D’Avenia, Sorour Darabi, Yoann Gourmel, François Hiffler, Pascale Murtin, Philippe Quesne, Filipa Ramos, Clément Raveu, Daniele Brathwaite Shirley, Margot Videcoq