Filmkommentaren

Doug Aubrey: Legacy of an Invisible Bullet

Written 26-01-2023 21:16:50 by Tue Steen Mller

First some introductory words:

A filmmaker, Doug Aubrey, who has had a camera in his hands since he was a teenager, gets thyroid cancer. More than five years ago. He decides to turn the camera towards himself, he who his whole life has been filming social and political conflicts, been at many war zones, makes “an attempt to make sense out of my life, love, death, war and peace.” He makes 170 short films (!), altogether 10h30mins, which are made into a feature (117 mins.) and chaptered into 16 films or videos. I have seen the feature and two of the chapters, both around 45 mins. This text makes a focus on the feature:



Read more / Ls mere

Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarvnik Kaur: Against the Tide

Written 23-01-2023 17:04:48 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarvnik Kaur: Against the Tide

One more documentary film from which I learned – this time about the koli fishing community in India close to Bombay. And one more documentary film where beautiful friendship is conveyed and forms the foreground of extremely difficult life conditions with a struggle to have a family life. Built around scenes in the families, celebrations, fishing, selling the fish, visits to the city and doctors and first of all conversations between the two male protagonists with drinks on the table, the film brings the viewer into understanding how hard Life can be and yet: Remember you are a Koli, you fear nothing. The Sundance catalogue text is precise when it comes to content, so here it is: 

”Rakesh and Ganesh are so close, they consider themselves brothers. Both are fishermen of Bombay's Indigenous Koli community, but they've taken contrasting paths. Rakesh uses his inheritance — his father's boat and the knowledge passed down by generations of Koli fisherman — to fish in the traditional ways, while Ganesh — who was educated abroad — has instead embraced modern, technology-driven, and environmentally destructive methods of deep-sea fishing, causing increasing friction between the friends. But with declining fish populations caused by pollution and invasive species, neither man is finding much success, adding to the burdens facing their young families, and testing the bonds of their brotherhood.”

India, 94 mins., 2023

Photo: Sarvnik Kaur, director


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Fipadoc 2023

Written 20-01-2023 15:45:26 by Tue Steen Mller

Fipadoc 2023

It’s a beautiful and elegant website to enter, the one from FipaDoc in Biarritz that introduces itself like this:

"We believe in true stories. Stories from here and there, of laughter and tears, stories simple but extraordinary, brave and surprising. Stories that open our eyes to those around us, that change the world, that inspire and stay with us forever. We believe in documentary films.”

Voila, and looking into the program, there is a strong film line divided into categories and an industry section with pitching and meetings. With a lot of festival categories being competitive. So there are juries with well known names like Nordisk Panorama’s Anita Reher, producer Iikka Vehkalahti, director Salomé Jashi, producer Uldis Cekulis, director Rachel Leah Jones, producer Alexandre Cornu, director Marta Prus and festival director from Ukraine’s DocuDays Vika Leshchenko…

Just to mention a couple of titles – in the Musical Documentary section Jørgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed are represented with beautiful “Music for Magic Pigeons”, in the International section there is Davide Ferrario’s “Umberto Eco – a Library of the World” that I would love to watch, in the Impact section there is Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s impressive “Matter out of Place” and in the French “Godard. Seul le Cinéma” by Cyril Leuthy. When you surf on the website you can watch the trailers and the one about Godard looks great.

Industry Days: There is a special focus on the Baltic countries and Finland, “Dive into the Baltic Sea” (hmm…), with Latvian Zane Balcus as moderator, there are pitching days organized by my old colleague from EDN Ove Rishøj Jensen and of course Ukraine is the guest of Honor under the headline “Visions of Ukraine”. 9 films have been selected and there is a Ukrainian panel present for a discussion: Viktoria LESHCHENKO,Docudays UA, Olga GIBELINDA, director, Ivanna KHITSINSKA, producer, Roman BLAZHAN, director, Andrii LYSETSKYI, director, OLHA BESKHMELNYTSINA, producer. Lysetskyi’s fine “Liturgy of Anti-Tank Obstacles” (2022) is shown in Biarritz as is “Ukrainian Sheriffs” by Roman Bondarchuk, produced by Latvian Uldis Cekulis. With whom, allow me a small flashback, I was in Biarritz years ago, with Archidoc, where Cekulis made a case study on his wonderful "Klucis. The Deconstruction".

And there is much much more to experience, put together by producer Christine Camdessus and her team. Wish you a good festival, starting today.

https://fipadoc.com/en

 Still: Umberto Eco Library


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

J.Leth & A. Koefoed: Music for Black Pigeons

Written 19-01-2023 12:24:53 by Tue Steen Mller

J.Leth & A. Koefoed: Music for Black Pigeons

Lee Konitz er på vej ud til en bil i Sisimiut. Han peger til højre og spørger kvinden, der følger ham ud, om der er et barn i barnevognen derhenne? Svaret er ja, faren er lige inde og hente noget. Babyen sover og snorker, siger hun. Konitz går hen og lytter, vender sig om og ønsker barnet et langt godt liv. Mageløst. På dette tidspunkt i filmen er vi som tilskuere bekendt med Konitz, alt saxofonisten med den lange karriere og kolossale karisma. Vi har mødt ham i hans lejlighed i New York, set ham trisse rundt samme sted, hvor han leder efter mundstykke til sit instrument. Han er heldigvis til stede hele filmen igennem.

Thomas Morgan står ud af sengen i sin lille lejlighed i Brooklyn, tænder for noget musik, gør morgengymnastik. Han er bassist og øver aldrig hjemme. Han forsøger at undgå det automatiske, når han spiller, siger han til kameraet i et af de mange typiske Jørgen Leth’ske tableauer, som vi kender helt tilbage fra ”66 Scener fra Amerika”. Det tænker jeg på, da Morgan af Leth bag kameraet bliver spurgt, hvad han føler, når han spiller. Laaang pause, længere end Andy Warhol i nævnte film, afbrudt af Leth, som for at hjælpe spørger den stakkels bassist på andre måder før Morgan endelig kommer med bud på et svar. Mageløst.



Read more / Ls mere

Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Mantas Kvedaravicius

Written 17-01-2023 16:34:38 by Tue Steen Mller

Mantas Kvedaravicius

In 2011 I attended a Summer School in Neringa Lithuania for film students. A film by Mantas Kvedaravicius was shown, his first.

”Stasys Baltakis, teacher at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the film school of the Country, introduced the film and its director. ”He is not a film director, he is a thinker”, he said about the debutant Kvedaravicius, who made the film over a period of years, now completing his PhD (and a book) on the affects of pain. And the film is about pain, about people in Chechnya, families whose members disappear or have undergone torture. Shot illegally, and with one year in the editing, the film expresses pure love and respect for the characters without turning to sentimentalism…



Read more / Ls mere

Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Lucie Krlov: Kapr Code

Written 13-01-2023 16:05:30 by Tue Steen Mller

Lucie Krlov: Kapr Code

Love that film! Because of its surprising, fresh approach to its protagonist Jan Kapr (1914-1988), a composer unknown to me. Until now, at least I know a lot about him, as a text in the beginning of the film indicates: “Sometimes, we can follow only traces full of dissonance and missing pieces”. Which is what Lucie Králová does in her “Documentary Opera”, that is full of life and storytelling twists as Jan Kapr’s life was full of surprising changes from being a loyal communist composing for the state to being – after the Soviet invasion in 1968 – a persona non grata, when he left the Party. He, Laureate of the Stalin and Smetana Award. 

Opera… it is an amazing scoop to follow a choir in a studio interpreting and performing Kapr’s compositions in a playful way with an original libretto written by Jiří Adámek. Full of humour it is, an obvious choice as Kapr was a man who loved to play and experiment. He wanted to be an elite gymnast but had a severe accident that crippled him, so he turned to music.

Again and again Králová returns to footage of Kapr falling from a sled in the snow and again and again Kapr is seen swimming in a lake surrounded by beautiful mountains and a cottage, where he apparently spent a lot of time with friends and family.

Because Kapr was a filmmaker as well. Králová combines cleverly the studio recordings with his home video’s (super 8mm digitized), refraining from making another conventional biographical film. And yet the needed and very interesting information about his life is conveyed brilliantly with a twinkle in the eye. Like the stats given, what Kapr left: 12 kilos of letters (!), 7 mins of Fall (in the snow) footage, 112 minutes of material with Libuska…

Libuska was his second wife with whom he had Magda, who appears briefly in the film looking at footage of Vlasta, his first wife and Alenka their daughter, the sister with whom Magda had connection, whereas she (Magda) never heard about her brother Milos, who was placed in an institution by Vlasta and Jan – the footage shows that there was something wrong with him.

Kadr’s films show happy moments and meetings. With Dvorsky, a Czekoslovak musician, who Kadr helped to get out of the hands of the communist regime, and Pavel Ludikar, a world famous opera singer, who came to visit.

Anyway, the film keeps on coming back to the face of Kadr: The smiling man, posing for the camera, head over water with daffodils in his mouth… everyone must have loved this man. The filmmaker does and she found her way to tell us, innovative and full of joy. Result: Excellent film!

Czech Republic, Slovakia, 91 mins.


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Overture IDFA Forum 30 Years

Written 11-01-2023 12:21:16 by Tue Steen Mller

Overture IDFA Forum 30 Years

Memories… Names, film projects, episodes. 30 years of IDFA Forum! Actually I don’t remember the first time I was there. Was it the first edition? At the time I worked at the National Film Board of Denmark and had a seat in the Board of the EU Documentary office. But I remember that Dane Thomas Stenderup, representing the EU office based in Copenhagen traveled a lot to Amsterdam to meet with Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen and Ally Derks and other team members...

... to talk about how to set up, what has now become the most important documentary meeting place in the world. Documentarians in the world unite. 

An event that many came love and many came to hate: Is there really money to pick up, many said? Is it a financial market? A meeting place? Many thought, what even is this pitching? It is absurd to think you can present your film idea in 7 minutes. You have been working on it for years! But it turned out that the pitching itself was followed by conversations, discussions, networking. It became obvious that you had made yourself visible, inspired, and engaged, a lot of work waited for you.

I have talked with many veteran documentary filmmakers, who remember the first time as a scary one, a kind of exam; at the same time as it was a good start for gaining the knowledge they needed to build their international careers. And again and again I have heard, even among the skeptical, comments like: “You have to go to the Forum every year”, “You have to show your face otherwise people will think that you are not in the business any longer”! It became the meeting point and being sentimental, I sat there as an observer for the plenary pitch session thinking: “Wow all these people are involved with documentaries! What a show of solidarity!

A few words about the projects: I was part of the selection team for the Forum projects several times when EDN (European Documentary Network) existed as a partner for the Forum. It was always great fun, and a challenge, to find a balance between the more creative films and those that had television as a clear target for their presentation. You knew to expect strong journalistic BBC documentaries in the run for a pitch seat and that they would get it, whereas a personal poetic documentary from Serbia would have difficulties getting a place at the table. Fair enough for commercial thinking but let me at this point stress that Adriek and the team have been great in their continous flexible search for changing the original model – shifting from one huge plenary session to smaller group meetings with the chance to go deeper with each project. Here is a quote from an IDFA article from 2019: “…the Forum is adjusting to changing financing structures, while opening up to also include films with less clear-cut narratives and new ways of storytelling.” Meaning less boring formatted projects, more surprises, more experiments – that’s how I see it.

The editors and pitchers: The Forum must also be entertaining – we observers sit there expecting some show elements from both sides of the table. When Viktor Kossakovsky was pitching you had someone, who knew how to catch attention with a globus for “!Vivan las Antipodas!”. There have been people “dancing” their project – and honestly I miss the at times tough dialogues between Arte’s Thierry Garrel and BBC Storyville’s Nick Fraser. Representing the auteur tradition and the investigative journalistic/historical. Later on, Iikka Vehkalahti from YLE joined the table with competent and humorous support, when appropriate, for the artistic documentary. Not to forget wonderful Diane Weyermann, always pleasant to listen to hear. RIP. Who has taken over from these docu-stars? Far too often you hear “thank you for the pitch” and/or “we have a meeting later today!” Boring and incompetent.

As I write this (August 2022) I am sitting in Skopje at the MakeDox festival and there is a Forum taking place for Southeast Europe. In the beginning of September, there is the Baltic Sea Docs and later the same month there is the Nordisk Panorama… and so on and so forth. These are many regional alternatives to the IDFA Forum and many represent first steps for filmmakers before being selected for the Forum in Amsterdam.

The IDFA Forum of today: It’s the full package. You arrive. You can be trained for pitching. You can have your trailer checked and improved. You can have all kinds of information on the market. You are invited to sessions and receptions to meet colleagues and funders…the “only” thing the Forum does not deliver… you don’t learn how to make films…but it can give tools and inspiration.

Tue Steen Müller

August 2022


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Leth & Koefoed: Music for Black Pigeons

Written 10-01-2023 15:22:29 by Tue Steen Mller

Leth & Koefoed: Music for Black Pigeons

De to instruktørers tanker og motivation iflg. pressematerialet:

”Vores film udspringer af en dyb kærlighed til musik. 

For Jørgens vedkommende går den tilbage til 1960’erne, hvor han som jazzskribent blandt andre fulgte Lee Konitz og skrev om ham. Han var Jørgens store helt. Kærligheden blev vakt til live igen fire årtier senere i New York i 2008, hvor Andreas inviterede Jørgen ind i Avatar studiet i New York, hvor Jakob Bro indspillede en plade med blandt andre Lee Konitz og hvor Andreas og Sune Blicher var igang med optagelserne til filmen Weightless. Det var her Jørgen og Jakob Bro mødtes for første gang og her at kimen til samarbejdet mellem os blev lagt.

 

Filmen bygger på venskab. Årelange venskaber, både mellem musikerne, mellem os indbyrdes og mellem musikerne og os.

 

Filmen er som et stykke musik. Den er improviseret frem, bygget op af forskellige stemmer, der krydser hinanden, sætter sig spor, kontraster, der mødes og skaber nye sammenhænge.

 

Glimt af livshistorier, venskaber, åndelige fællesskaber, der skabes og udvikler sig over tid og sted. 

Filmen er blevet til i en organisk proces. Der var aldrig en plan. Den har udviklet sig organisk og forgrenet sig, har haft sit eget liv med os som katalysatorer.

 

Filmen er en dokumentation af en række stilskabende musikere. Flere af dem er her ikke længere. Flere af dem er aldrig blevet portrætteret før trods deres ikoniske status i musikhistorien. Filmen vil leve som et dokument for eftertiden og folk vil kunne opleve, at sådan var fx Lee Konitz. Sådan boede han og der købte han suppe. Sådan gik han og fløjtede på gaden. Sådan sad han alene i sin lejlighed og lyttede til musik, mens mørket faldt på.

 

Filmen er drevet af nysgerrighed. Hvordan kan man beskrive musikkens væsen? Hvordan opleves musik hos dem, der selv udøver den og lever med den? Hvor finder de inspirationen?

 

Filmen er et møde mellem generationer. Både foran og bagved kameraet. Hvad opstår der, når man åbner sig for en åndsfælde fra en helt anden generation? Hvad giver man til hinanden? Arven lever videre i den nye generation.   

 

Filmen er ikke kun en film om musik, det er en film om livet, om at skabe, om at knytte venskaber, om at elske, ældes, miste og drømme.

 

Filmen søger en mening, men ved også at den er flygtig. Vi søger de smukke øjeblikke. Der hvor ord kommer til kort.”

 Fotografi: Jørgen Leth, Andreas Kofoed og Alberto Barbera


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

dok.incubator 2023

Written 10-01-2023 14:18:48 by Tue Steen Mller

dok.incubator is a think-tank founded in 2010 by experienced training providers to help documentary filmmaking survive the current media crisis. We strongly believe only the productions with high quality development, which can take advantage of new opportunities and master new market strategies will strive to succeed. The NGO is based in Prague and aims to strengthen the creative documentary industry with events and workshops bringing new impulses and top-class know-how including the use of the new media and internet platforms to the international community of filmmakers.

In 2012 we established dok.incubator workshop focused on creative development of films in post-production. Thanks to its immediate success we started organizing independent sessions with IDFADocumentary CampusEmerging Producers and Co-Pro Days. Thanks to Media Mundus program we established an overseas exchange of participants and tutors with IFP (US) and a year later we added a four-day DOK.Restart distribution workshop in Poland to our activities. We also collaborated with Nordisk Panorama and founded dok.elevator focused on Nordic producers together. Besides the successful international workshop we started with regional long term projects in 2015 to support Czech filmmakers – dok.incubator CZ and Slovak filmmakers – dok.incubator SK. Since 2019 we have been organizing the Move It Onworkshop focusing on digital marketing for films.

During the past 10 years dok.incubator worked with more than 150 films, many of them premiering at A-list festivals. 12 films were selected for Sundance competitions, 2 were nominated for Emmy, 5 for European Film Award and almost 30 of them were screened at IDFA. Films from dok.incubator workshops are also regularly selected for CPH:DOXHotDocsVisions du Réel, or Krakow Film Festival.

https://dokincubator.net/ 


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Kvedaravicius & Bilobrova: Mariupol 2

Written 30-12-2022 14:32:47 by Tue Steen Mller

Kvedaravicius & Bilobrova: Mariupol 2

This text is written by filmmaker Maxi Dejoie:

On December 10th, Mariupol 2, the last documentary by Mantas Kvedaravicius and Hanna Bilobrova, rightfully received the award for best documentary of the year at the European Film Awards ceremony. After it was premiered in May at Cannes Film Festival, Hanna Bilobrova’s name was removed from the credits as the film’s co-director. During the European Film Awards ceremony, neither Hanna nor her name were nowhere to be heard nor seen. In a “normal” situation, this action would be very upsetting. What makes this specific situation even more disgraceful, is the fact that Hanna risked her like to retrieve the backpack which contained the footage realised by Mantas and herself in Mariupol under Russian occupation, and went through an infernal odyssey to locate Mantas’s body after he was executed by Russian soldiers/criminals, and managed to take him through Russia, back home to Lithuania where he could receive a proper and decent burial, close to his family.
As fellow documentary filmmaker, especially one that shared more than credit as co-director, I feel particularly upset by this event that I find unfair (to use an euphemism) and believe that it sets a dangerous precedent.
If there is anyone who believes that acknowledging Hanna’s contribution to the making of Mariupol 2 would make it any less of an extraordinary achievement, or Mantas Kvedaravicius’s sacrifice any less historic, I believe they would be wrong, as to recognise Hanna Bilobrova’s role as the film's co-director would be simply a necessary act of justice and morality, something that should be a given in an “artistic” industry as ours, but apparently it is not.

Vurdering:

 
Categories: Cinema, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

web: infoserv   cms: aviva cms