manycinemas 02: Traveling


manycinemas 02 coverWhen you are en-route, you gain experience. We made some on our road while preparing our autumn edition. This time, we want to invite you to join us on our journey through travel in film. We've collected some interesting articles.
People travel to places, strange and not familiar to them. How do they act or behave in an unfamiliar environment? They shoot photographs and video films to conserve their memories, to present their adventures, to tell stories about their journey. Even cinema is close connected with traveling (and narration about traveling). It is a window to the world, both real and imaginary. The lights turn off, and pictures appear, which bring you to places far away.

Exploring a city, looking for old friends, religious pilgrimage, exile, etc.; there are several reasons for traveling and for traveling in cinema. Is it just for business, to visit your families or friends, or are you forced to leave your homeland? Many questions on travel and cinema rose in our mind while preparing this issue.
Imagine traveling in the past, when sailing ships crossed the ocean and, sometimes, things felt overboard. Just as well, in preparing our magazine, three articles went overboard, and we also miss our talk with a director because of language barriers.
Nevertheless, we want to take you with us on the journey through the cinema of traveling. Please enjoy your journey through our second issue.

Cinemas of Traveling

An Introduction

by Helen Staufer and Michael Christopher


The introducing article explores some traveling aspects of the cinema. It starts in the early years of film, when cinema itself was on tour. The introduction shows some moving aspects of motion pictures, such as travelogues, road movies, postcolonial traveler, and what pictures can transport with them.

Meandering through Dakar

Flâneurs, Fragmentation and the Flow of Life in Mambéty’s Cinema of Wanderers

by Clare Clements


This paper explores the dual nature of the flâneur within Mambéty’s cinema. Within the context of these films the analytical figure of the flâneur can be divided between the disconnected observer, represented by the camera, and the protagonist-flâneur who engages emotionally with the city during his or her peregrinations. This paper thus posits that the analytical figure of the flâneur is key to the interpretation of Mambéty’s critical exploration of the city because it reflects the mobility and restlessness at the heart of his cinema.

Three Idiots

A Trip of Discoveries and Enlightenment

by Irenna Chang

Three Idiots, photo Rapid Eye Movies

Three Idiots is a Bollywood blockbuster hit which invites the audience twice for a journey. First, the protagonists search for their lost buddy Rancho. Second, the film introduces a journey through the Indian educational system and questions the moral and idols of learning.

Le Grand Voyage

A Cinematic Pilgrimage

by Nirmala Iswari

Le Grand Voyage, Arsenal Film

Ismaël Ferroukhi’s film Le Grand Voyage represents the feeling of estrangement between generations that exists because of differing sense of identities. Reda, who belongs to modern France in which religious identity has become a possible basis for social exclusion, cannot identify with his overtly religious father. Their pilgrimage journey to Mecca enables a dialogue between him and his father. This essay shows how Le Grand Voyage humanizes the image of Islam to a post 9/11 audience.

A Body in Permanent Transit

José Rizal's Exile as Spatial Performance

by Lorna Israel

Rizal sa Dapitan

As conceptual viewing device, the body can take the (stationary) spectator experience to a cinematic voyage. The body’s movement is a space-creating force that opens up other worlds, other possibilities. From this viewpoint, exile is not a state of confinement but a place of space production. It is in performance, acting it out, that space’s invisibility becomes evident.

A Bustrip to Postcoloniality

On African roads with the TGV-Express

by Michael Christopher

screenshot TGV Express

The TGV-Express is a fictive bus, which connects the two West African capitals Dakar and Conakry. The passengers in this bus mirror the society of Senegal. The journey with the bus tells us a story of the postcolonial history of the Senegal so far.


Our next issue will be released in spring 2012. This time, we will immerse ourself in the world of magic, spook, and all the unexplainable things in the world. We will explore Dread, Ghosts, Specter, and Possession in cinema. You can look forward to it.

Our next call for papers (for our fourth issue), we will publish in early January. We will dedicate it to the most important subject in the world: LOVE. We will not look for romance and love stories, but for love in explicit Non-Love-Movies. We will inform you on our webpage!

We wish you all the best
the editors: Michael Christopher & Helen Staufer

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