Movie Moments: an Exploration of Film Through the Ages

When people talk about their favorite film, they’re likely to point out a moment or scene that was especially memorable, says French photographer Christian Milovanoff, explaining the inspiration behind a project he started on Facebook.

Each week, he posted a movie moment, which he selected from his extensive library of films made around the world since the start of cinema more than a century ago.

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Christian Milovanoff checks the film projection setup at the Institut Francais in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Emil Kastrup/The Cambodia Daily)

The concept captured the attention of Facebook users and the notice of Bernard Millet, the French Embassy’s cultural attache in Cambodia, who decided to use the excerpts to present a movie exhibition at the Institut Francais in Phnom Penh.

The result, “Formidable – Cinema Moments,” which opens tonight, features scenes from more than 300 films. They are shown on four wall-sized screens, turning the gallery into four mini-theaters.

“It’s extremely difficult to display films,” Mr. Millet said. “What we usually see in cinema exhibitions are photos of actors, posters and still images from films.”

Mr. Milovanoff’s film excerpts were an opportunity to present films as the “moving pictures” they are, he said.

Each screen presents movie moments on a specific theme.

“For Laughs,” in which humor turns to poetry, features Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers and Jacques Tati, said Mr. Milovanoff, one of France’s great photographers and one of the very few to have been commissioned by the Louvre in Paris.

“History and Stories” includes clips from films that show “the world with its serious, painful, simple, collective and individual stories,” he said. Among these is work by award-winning Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh relating to the Khmer Rouge regime that devastated Cambodia in the 1970s.

“The Look, the Face, the Gestures and the Bodies” shows an actor’s simple look or movement can become unforgettable.And “Music and Dance First” looks at the ways these “support a scenario and dramatize a plot” or become a “music and dance show inside a cinema show,” he said.

“Formidable – Cinema Moments”

Where: Institut Francais, #218 Street 184

When: Tonight at 6:30 p.m, running until April 23

Free admission

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