Sebastião Salgado: Genesis

Written 22-11-2014 18:27:19 by Tue Steen Müller

This is how the ICP (International Center of Photography) introduces the exhibition: ”Genesis is the third long-term series on global issues by world-renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado (born Brazil, 1944), following Workers (1993) and Migrations (2000). The result of an eight-year worldwide survey, the exhibition draws together more than 200 spectacular black-and-white photographs of wildlife, landscapes, seascapes, and indigenous peoples—raising public awareness about the pressing issues of environment and climate change.”

Right they are in using superlatives. It is an outstanding presentation of a great photographer’s fascinated interpretation of nature and people. So full of love, the black and white photographs are. Of course there is a message: Look at what a beautiful world we have!

The film by Wenders, “The Salt of the Earth”, co-directed by the son of the photographer Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, gives a fine insight to the way Salgado works and what he thinks about his profession, try to watch that when it comes to a cinema near you, and if you visit New York, it is a must to go to the ICP.

I have taken a still photo from Wenders film to accompany this text – there are cp on all Salgado’s work – but google him and you will find the Genesis photos. An inspiration for all documentarians.

Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

On the Bowery

Written 21-11-2014 16:57:46 by Tue Steen Müller

I was there yesterday – on the bowery in New York. And of course remembered the 1956 docufiction classic by Lionel Rogosin. That carries the title “On the Bowery”. Back in the hotel I watched the trailer of the film, beautiful images, strong social document. You can get it from the distributor Milestones, and that is exactly what it is according to Martin Scorcese:

"A milestone in American cinema… On the Bowery is very special to me… Rogosin’s film is so true to my memories of that place and that time. He accomplished his goal, of portraying the lives of the people who wound up on the Bowery, as simply and honestly and compassionately as possible. It’s a rare achievement."

The changed Bowery has a great museum, New Museum, that right now hosts a colour- and joyful exhibition of the British artist Chris Ofili, to be strongly recommended for his sensual portraits of African women. His small “Afromuses 1995-2005”, 26 diptychs, watercolor and pencil on paper, are attractive and unpretentious, as are the huge paintings. The exhibition runs until end of January 2015.

Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Dokumania: Sume - Lyden af en revolution

Written 20-11-2014 14:21:13 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Op til det grønlandske valg torsdag den 28. november sender DR2 Dokumania allerede nu på tirsdag den 25. november 20:45 grønlænderen Inuk Silis Høeghs dokumentarfilm "Sume – lyden af en revolution”. Jeg skrev om filmen her på  Filmkommentaren 10. oktober og konkluderede blandt andet: "Den er en uomgængelig film, en uundværlig film, en forpligtelse som historisk overvejelse, som politisk historisk dokument, som musikhistorisk, som kulturhistorisk dokument, en politisk ideologisk pamflet, som vil blive stående sådan i filmhistorien..."

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Categories: TV, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Proposal to continue DOX Magazine in print

Written 20-11-2014 04:42:47 by Tue Steen Müller

All members of EDN received this mail yesterday before the General Assembly to be held at the General Assembly at idfa in Amsterdam. The proposal will be presented by PeÅ Holmquist:

Dear EDN member,
In relation with the General Assembly of Sunday, November 23d, we received one written proposal, to be discussed during the meeting in Amsterdam.
We''re forwarding the text of the proposal, as received by the EDN office.

Proposal to continue DOX Magazine in print

The three of us have expressed our strong disappointment with the decision to stop the printed version of the DOX Magazine. Many have shared our concern at losing an important forum for nurturing the documentary culture and the genre as an art form.

As Emma Davie has put it: If EDN focuses just on the business of documentary and not the culture behind it, it runs the risk of forgetting to feed the creativity which the market needs to thrive on. Films like "The Act of Killing" do well not because they have listened to a market but because they come from a passion, an enquiry into form, an awareness of a tradition behind it. This enquiry is fed so little in any magazine. DOX is unique for providing us with inspiration in this way. We need this as filmmakers to survive in this business as much as any strategies for dealing with dwindling tv sales...

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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Idfa, Ally Derks and Leo Messi

Written 20-11-2014 04:04:56 by Tue Steen Müller

Idfa started yesterday, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the 27th edition, amazing it is in itself, and ” what differentiates IDFA from other European doc festivals is its appeal to public audiences and professionals alike”, a quote from realscreen (link below), very right so, there is definitely an audience for documentaries in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, and idfa has had a key role in building it to what it is today.

Realscreen has an interview with Ally Derks (photo), who founded the festival and is its charismatic leader, recommends some films and admits wonderfully that even if she comes from the country of football, from where Johan Cruyff comes, the man who stood behind a new way of playing football and implemented his philosophy at FB Barcelona, that she did not know Messi!

She talks about Álex de la Iglesia’s documentary about the best football player in the world: …“I liked the film but I had no idea who [Messi] was. He’s like God,” she says – explaining that all screenings of Messi sold out an hour after its selection to IDFA was announced on local television…”

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Laura Poitras: Citizenfour

Written 19-11-2014 00:45:42 by Mikkel Stolt

This is by every standard a remarkable film – not because it tells us about the extensive surveillance of all but everybody, but because we get to meet an otherwise obscured person of such significance to today’s society and because the access and the tension are unsurpassed. Even if the whole film only consisted of the scenes in the Hong Kong hotel room where the director meets whistleblower Ed Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald, it would still be a remarkable film. Come to think of it: It would be an even better film. And with THAT approach (and a small buildup to those hotel scenes) it would possibly have been one of the most thrilling documentary films with a capital F.

The filmmaker is enough of a filmmaker to acknowledge this but in my view also too much of an activist-journalist to completely trust us to gather info elsewhere on the subject matter. But we all have, haven’t we? And I don’t need it here. I want to be in that hotel room – I want to feel the natural excitement, the anxiety and the occasional relief.

Yes, the subject matter is of great importance, and too much awareness is not a bad thing. Only here I feel, that what we non-criminal regular-Joe-spectators need is to feel the power of the authorities – not to be told about it. I know I oversimplify things in the film a bit here, but the core of hotel scenes does it so splendidly. It’s a radical form of observational cinema which is really getting to you, and that’s the way I’d rather think about this film.

This review will self-destruct 10 sec. after your reading.

USA, Germany, 114 mins.


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Tabitha Jackson and Herz Frank

Written 18-11-2014 16:47:00 by Tue Steen Müller

Sundance Documentary Film Program director Tabitha Jackson talked at the DOC NYC, the documentary film festival that runs in new York right now, until the 20th of November. Jackson who used to work at Channel 4 in London, and was one of those commissioning editors that I always loved to have at a panel in EDN workshops, because she was able to formulate constructive criticism and not just say ”yes” or ”no”, presented the profile and policy of the Sundance Documentary Film Program saying that “The lingua franca of non-fiction filmmaking should be the language of cinema and not the language of grant applications.”

There is a fine report on Jackson’s keynote speech at the festival in the “Filmmaker” – what I loved to read – a quote – was this:

… she found a rallying cry for sensitive and artistically compelling documentary practice in the work and words of Latvian filmmaker Herz Frank, whose 10 Minutes Older, an excerpt of which she screened, contained for Jackson “every emotion you might experience in an entire lifetime” in the single shot of a child watching a puppet show.

She quoted from Frank’s writings: “The first rule of the documentary filmmaker is, have the patience to observe life. If you are observant, if you look not only with your eyes but also with your heart, then life for sure will present you with some particular discovery. And then the reality recorded by you will gain an artistic point of view, become inline with art and always excite people. The facts and events will become old — they become history — but the feelings we felt regarding those events stay with us. Therefore, art is the only living bridge between people of various generations and time periods.”

Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2014 /Nanna Frank Møller

Written 18-11-2014 09:41:44 by Allan Berg Nielsen

ET CIVILISERET LAND af Nanna Frank Møller

”Soldiers from Denmark they took their guns and put in the face of your wife…?”


Filmen åbner lige på med retsmedicineren Jørgen Lange Thomsen, som undersøger og obducerer et kvindelig, som han midt i sin stilfærdige, professionelle og omhyggelige nøgternhed omtaler som hun. Dette er et menneske, retsmedicineren viser det ærbødighed. Det er en forbilledlig smuk scene, rolig og ligetil. Klar og præcis. Så har han en replik, hvor han fordømmer tortur: ”Min dybeste overbevisning er, at for at være et civiliseret menneske, så skal man ikke være hyllet i den stærkestes ret. Altså enhver lovgivning skal efter min mening være baseret i det udsagn, først og fremmest, den stærkeste har ikke mere ret end den svageste. Det er urimeligt, uretfærdigt, urigtigt, fordømmelsesværdigt, at nogle mennesker skal have lov til at pine og plage andre fysisk, fordi de ikke kan lide dem.”

Dette er titelsekvensen. Den er forbilledlig. Klar og præcis. Det er en fornem jounalistisk vinkling, som filminstruktøren Nanna Frank Møller med sikker hånd forsyner sin film med. Hun har to ligevægtede medvirkende, juristen Christian Harlang og retsmedicineren Jørgen Lange Thomsen. Begge dybt professsionelle, forankrede i deres fag. Frank Møllers greb er at lade retsmedicineren formulere filmens etisk-juridiske grundlag, dens folkelige retsopfattelse. Han er her lægmand, som filmen og dens instruktør, som jeg, der ser den og nikker: ja, et civiliseret menneske…

Så er filmen i gang med sin udredning, som jeg mærker vil udvikle sig til det alvorligste anklageskrift, forbilledligt bygget op, klart og præcist. Uomgængeligt. Fortællerstemmen forklarer nøgternt afdæmpet, at det drejer sig om Green Desert operationen i Irak den 25. november 2004, hvor danske, britiske og irakiske styrker under dansk ledelse anholdt 36 civile irakere og afleverede dem til irakisk politi, hvor de måske blev udsat for tortur, som danskerne måske overværede, måske deltog i. Jeg nikker, jeg er i en retssag, dette er anklagen. Filmen er skriftet. Det er rystende, men klart og præcist. Jeg kan kun anbefale at se filmen på DR2 i aften.

Danmark 2014, 71 min. Havde premiere på CPH:DOX 2014 6. november. Sendes på DR2 Dokumania i aften 18. november 20:45!


Categories: TV, Festival

CPH:DOX distribuerer Citizenfour i Danmark

Written 17-11-2014 16:55:01 by Tue Steen Müller

“Vi er både overraskede og enormt glade for den modtagelse ‘Citizenfour’ har fået. Vi har aldrig nogensinde oplevet en lignende interesse for en film i festivalens historie. Det er udenfor diskussion én af de væsentligste historier, der endnu er fortalt om Edward Snowden og omfanget af NSAs masseovervågning. Den store publikums-interesse vidner om en befolkningsmæssig interesse i at forstå de demokratiske implikationer af overvågning og vel også i et videre perspektiv, hvad det indebærer at handle i dette felt som civil borger. Interessen kommer ikke kun fra København men hele landet og derfor har vi nu besluttet at distribuere den nationalt.” siger Tine Fischer, festivaldirektør for CPH:DOX.

Her er hvor filmen kan ses:

København: Grand Teatret (fra 20. november)

Århus: Øst for Paradis (fra 20. november)

Aalborg: Biffen (fra 20. november)

Odense: Café Biografen (fra 27. november)

Kolding: Nicolai Biograf (udvalgte datoer i december)

Categories: Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Marcq My Son the Terrorist/Toomistu Soviet Hippies

Written 17-11-2014 16:06:13 by Sevara Pan

Around three weeks ago I had a pleasure attending Leipzig Networking Days, a much anticipated annual pitching event brought about by Documentary Campus in the framework of its development workshop Masterschool. It was my third time at the event and I always see it as a wonderful opportunity to get informed about the up and coming films that are still in the making. Since I no longer work for Documentary Campus, nor do I partake in the selection process of Masterschool projects, I was pleasantly surprised to see it venture out the beaten path. Besides classical documentaries of human interest and social issues, this year's programme perked up with a couple of nature/wildlife documentaries (“Killing Bambi” and “Scarface”), occasional thematic amalgams (“Sex and Oysters” and its transdisciplinary 'food/sex/science' bend), and projects of a cross-media nature (“Dressed To Kill”).

Since Masterschool is a development workshop that presents its projects to the public in the form of a conventional 8-minute pitch, I feel in no position to offer an exhaustive review of the films' dramaturgy or their visual approaches. Nevertheless, I would not want to miss an opportunity to introduce you to two of the pitched projects that I personally consider compelling. The first and one of my personal favorites is the project “My Son, The Terrorist” by a UK-based production company Latimer Films. “My Son, The Terrorist” is directed by Nick Marcq, the person behind the BAFTA-nominated film The Real Notting Hill (which, as I have learned, was his first feature) and produced by the former Channel Four commissioning editor Tamara Abood and Matthew Hay, whose name some might recollect thanks to his rather polemical “Going To The Dogs” for the Cutting Edge documentary strand on Channel Four.

As the title explicitly suggests, the film recounts a story of “radicalization through the prism of the mothers” whose sons had sunk into the cycle of on-going brutality and ravaging. The statement borrowed from the film's synopsis that goes, “Behind every horror is a perpetrator and behind every perpetrator – a mother,” seems to propel the film. Set against

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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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