(Trances/El Hal, Morocco/1981) by Ahmed El Maanouni
Written by Ahmed El Maanouni. Editing: Jean-Claude Bonfanti. Music: Nass El Ghiwane. Director of Photography: Ahmed El Maanouni. Producer: Izza Génini. Production Company: OHRA/SOGEAV. Starring: Nass El Ghiwane. Running Time: 87’. Colour. Language: Arab with French/English subtitles.
Restored in 2007 by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna / L’Immagine
“It was in 1981 while I was editing a film, The King of Comedy. We worked at night so no one would call us on the telephone and I would have television on, and one channel in New York at the time, around 2 or 3 in the morning, was showing a film called Transes. It repeated all night and it repeated many nights. And it had commercials in it, but it didn’t matter. So I became passionate about this music that I heard and I saw also the way the film was made, the concert that was photographed and the effect of the music on the audience at the concert. I tracked down the music and eventually it became my inspiration for many of the designs and construction of my film The Last Temptation of Christ. […] And I think the group was singing damnation: their people, their beliefs, their sufferings and their prayers all came through their singing. And I think the film is beautifully made by Ahmed El Maanouni; it’s been an obsession of mine since 1981 and that is why we are inaugurating the Foundation with Trances.” –Martin Scorsese, May 2007
Notes on the restoration
The restoration of Transes used the original 16mm camera and sound negative provided by producer Izza Génini. The camera negative was restored both photochemically and digitally and blown-up to 35mm format. The sound negative was restored to Dolby SR and digital.