In the seventh episode of Cinematology, its creator Mohamed Soliman takes a microscopic look at one of Said Marzouk‘s best remembered films, Zawgaty wal Kalb (My Wife and the Dog 1971).
The film is Marzouk’s take on Shakespeare’s Othello, and it stars Mahmoud Morsi as a man consumed to the point of madness by the possibility of his young wife (Souad Hosni) having an affair with a colleague (Nour al-Sherif).
The episode argues that cinema is an art form that’s not just about delivering a message. From this point Soliman takes us through how Marzouk visually and narratively brought to life the thematics of loneliness, lust and doubt through a masterpiece of psychological drama.
“It’s obvious that the director has put a lot of thought into every shot and every little detail of cinematography and sound,” Soliman says. “It’s a film that uses filmic language to express psychological states as opposed to simply telling a narrative story.”
“I think what I like most is that this is his very first feature film and he also wrote the script,” Soliman adds, pointing out that this points at Marzouk’s daring attitude, his fearlessness in trying new forms of cinematic expression.
We teamed up with Cinematology and translator Amira Elmasry in February to publish short English-subtitled video essays on Egyptian cinema every other Wednesday. Previous episodes can be found here.