Hollywood movies are seen around the world and now they’re getting a makeover for an international audience. African photographer Omar Victor Diop and French-American photographer Antoine Tempé used African models to reshoot iconic scenes from 20 films including Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Thelma and Louise, Flashdance, The Matrix, James Bond and Chicago.
The ONOMOllywood art exhibit is sponsored by ONOMO International, a hotel chain located in Dakar. The premise is that hotels and movies are both crossroads for different cultures.
“I’ve always been fascinated by hotels; for the traveler, they are ephemeral places, where adventures begin or end, where journeys unfold,” Tempé said. “For this project I viewed them as canvasses where I could make new places, new people and new styles meet.”
“ONOMOllywood is a celebration of cinema, as an artistic discipline and of the magic of a great movie,” Diop told Another Africa. “For Antoine Tempé (the co-author of the series who created 10 out of the 20 images) and myself, what makes a great movie is the fact that the strength of its characters, plot and scenes transcends all geographic, temporal and racial barriers. A great movie is more than a series of sequences, it becomes a moment that is lived across the globe by people who have very little in common, but who relate to extraordinary stories that allow them to dream.”
The series has been perceived by some as a criticism on the lack of diversity in Hollywood but it’s actually about the inclusive nature of film and its ability to transcended race and culture says Diop.
“The example I always give is the magic of a James Bond movie; back when I was a kid, I didn’t care whether Roger Moore was white or black, or whether I was a British citizen… to me, he was a hero I could impersonate,” he explained.
The exhibit runs until May 12, 2014 but just in case you can’t make it to Dakar, check out this behind the scenes look that includes a stage performance of “Chicago: Cellblock Tango.”