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Riga Diary 5

Skrevet den 07-09-2008 00:50:43 af Tue Steen Müller

Riga Diary 5I attended the first handful of projects that were pitched at the Baltic Sea Forum. Before I had to leave back to Copenhagen. Again I heard a sentence that is often expressed at pitching sessions by the commissioning editors present. Those who represent US, the audience. Here it comes, this time passed to a Lithuanian project about the late writer Jurga Ivanauskaitė: The project is too artistic for me. Those were the words.

Too artistic for whom? For the commissioning editor and his/her personal taste or for the viewers? What a patronising attitude! And what is meant by "too artistic"? In this case the trailer that was shown included some reconstructions, some tableaux that should give us the audience some idea of a stylistical approach. Call it a personal handwriting. Nothing unusual, just a bit different from the mainstream but enough to scare some of the television people. Not all of them, fortunately, the representative from Estonian television liked the clip and dared to mention that the film could also be good for festivals.

Which pissed off the representatives from BBC and DR, who expressed their disrespect for "festival films", i.e.for them are films for the happy few. Two comments to this: Well, this is just another confirmation that public television is run by the journalistic, mainstream approach, that programmes which are a bit different do not stand a chance. And that - with other words - you can forget all documentaries with artistic ambitions. Understandable it is that the audience feels that it is underestimated and choose to go to festivals instead. Which they do in big amounts, in full cinema halls that - added up - very often grap a bigger audience than the one that watches television.

Art and televison? Forget about it, except for some few exceptions.

Photo: Jurga Ivanauskaitė.

Tilføjet i kategorierne: TV, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Polemics

1 comments "Riga Diary 5":


iikka vehkalahti skrev den 10-09-2008 13:39:30:
Dear Tue.
I have to admit, that we ( YLE TV 2 Documentaries have a slogan: " don´t look at tv look at TV 2 Documentaries". It´s implement actually the fact, that the nature of the television has changed. In the minds and in the decisionmakingh. Because of several reason of course. Strarting from the competition of viewers, the slot programming, the new entairnement programmes, the nature of societies and cultural atmopshere etc.. etc.. etc.. The fact is that for a demanding, complex, creative, different documentary films there is not very much of space in television. And commisioning ediators, they know that. But another thing is of course if they have given up, if they don´t fight for the best films with all possible tools starting form festival awards and ending to the marketing tools from YouTube to blogs and
like art museums the circle of friends.
Ok we can say, that in mainstream televisiont aht fight is doomed, that only special channels like.. documentary channels... but..

at the same time i have to copy my own words that i planned to write into Steps by Steps book, but left out
( bcause of it can be misunderstood) Good to read also i think:TO BE IN BETWEEN


Too often directors consider themselves more fascinating,
than the stories they tell.

And that means they place themselves
between the audience and the story - usually
in the name of Art.

And sure it’s great if the director really is an artist
and is able to create new dimensions
and interpretations of a story.

But if the director is just trying to make a weak story
more interesting by decorating it –
the only audience that’ll be satisfied are the lousy juries at little tinhorn film festivals.




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