Semiologist, media analyst
Conference : Is an Apocalypse Possible?
Yannick Lebtahi is a semiologist, media analyst, and documentary filmmaker. Her work primarily deals with cinema, television, and the role of images in the modern world. She is a lecturer and researcher in information and communication sciences at the University of Lille. She is a member of the GERIICO laboratory in Lille (Interdisciplinary Research Group on Information and Communication) and an associate member of the Centre d’Étude sur les Images et les Sons Médiatiques (Research Center on Media Images and Sounds). She is the expert and editorial director of Cahiers Interdisciplinaires de la Recherche en Communication Audio Visuelle and the director of the DeVisu collection at L’Harmattan publishing.
Imagined Y2K scenarios were inspiration for innovative film productions: ten young filmmakers from ten different countries were each asked to make a movie featuring the night of December 31, 1999 and the fears and fantasies it engendered. For France, the filmmaker Laurent Cantet wove together metaphorical images in a mise an abyme with Les Sanguinaires. A play on the notion of the screen, the film puts into perspective the “objective” time of celebration. Rejecting the festivities, the main character, François, searches for existential meaning. The film shows his experience of time as he grapples with unfathomable melancholy. Presented with their fears and doubts, viewers project themselves into a hypothetical, pre-programmed apocalypse as they watch François lose his grip on reality. The film further presents the potential apocalypse as a total erasure of individuality. The end of Les Sanguinaires remains open and ambiguous on the fate of the main character and forces viewers to consider the meaning of their own existence in the face of death.