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Julius-Amédée Laou: Short, Sharp Shocks

With his first film Solitaire à micro ouvert (Open Mic Solitaire, 1983) and its follow-up Mélodie de brumes à Paris (Mist Melodies in Paris, 1985), the Afro-French filmmaker Julius-Amédée Laou delivered a stunning one-two salvo in the name of Black diasporic liberation. Featuring a brand-new restoration, Julius-Amédée Laou: Short, Sharp Shocks brings these unforgettable works together in the presence of their director.

In Solitaire à micro ouvert, a young artist, Mathieu, receives news that his older brother, Bruno, has been gunned down in Paris by the far right. Stricken with grief and rage, Mathieu sets off with his girlfriend, Karine, to a Caribbean radio station, where they take the occupants hostage. Mathieu takes to the airwaves, determined to speak directly to his community and shake it out of its complacency. And in Mélodie de brumes à Paris, Richard, a traumatised veteran of the war in Algeria, wanders the streets of Paris, lost in his memories. Suddenly things take an unexpected turn, as fiction and reality collide.

Following the screening Julius-Amédée Laou will be in conversation with Jonathan Ali.


Julius-Amédée Laou is a filmmaker, playwright, theatre director and writer. Born in Paris into a Martinican family, he directed the short films Solitaire à micro ouvert (Open Mic Solitaire, 1983) and Mélodie de brumes à Paris (Mist Melodies in Paris, 1985) before directing two feature films: La vieille quimboiseuse et le majordome (The Old Sorceress and the Valet, 1987) and Zouk, Marriage and Ouélélé! (2004). Laou has authored more than thirty stage plays, including Folie ordinaire d’une fille de cham (1984), which was adapted into a film by Jean Rouch.

Mélodie de brumes à Paris is presented in a new (2023) 2K restoration, which took place under the supervision of Julius-Amédée Laou from the original 35mm negatives at LTC Patrimoine (Paris), in partnership with Jesse Pires (Lightbox, Philadelphia) and film programmer Steve Macfarlane.

Julius-Amédée Laou: Short, Sharp Shocks is curated by Jonathan Ali and organised in partnership by Open City Documentary Festival and Twelve30 Collective.

With special thanks to: Léa Morin, Annabelle Aventurin, Steve Macfarlane and TALITHA.

Tickets available here.


Solitaire à micro ouvert (Open Mic Solitaire)
Julius-Amédée Laou, 1983, France, French w/English subtitles, 18 min

Mélodie de brumes à Paris (Mist Melodies in Paris)
Julius-Amédée Laou, 1985, France, French w/English subtitles, 24 min