Filmkommentaren

Macedonia Cuts Film Funding

Written 14-12-2017 22:34:08 by Tue Steen Mller

… by 25% in 2018, according to a headline in FilmNewEurope of today. If I get it right there will be 5m€ for film in 2018 – in 2017 it was 6m€, in 2016 6,5m€. No details are put forward, maybe Macedonian filmmakers know more…

So – as previous posts have revealed – it goes down in Catalunya for the television station, it goes up in Serbia via the Film Centre and down in the country just south of Serbian border.

… in France there is via the CNC 80m€ for documentaries…

http://filmneweurope.com


Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Zhong Weixing Photos in Paris

Written 14-12-2017 21:46:42 by Tue Steen Mller

Zhong Weixing Photos in Paris

If you are interested in photography it is always a good idea, when you are in Paris, to visit Maison Européenne de la Photographie, a building in three floors with interesting exhibitions. We were there today and apart from a huge collection of portraits and reportage photos with Marlene Dietrich (the best is the one taken by Cecil Beaton, link below) there is – until beginning of January – an extraordinary exhibit of portrait photos by Chinese Zhong Weixing, who presents artistic interpretations of what he considers to be the best photographers in the world. ”Face à Face” is the name of the series. He is playing with light and shadows, many of them are in movement, he proves stylistical excellence. Names: Raymond Depardon, Salgado, William Klein, Yann Arthus-Bertrand and as you can see Robert Frank. And many others.

https://www.mep-fr.org/

http://www.zhongweixing.cn/

http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/39801/cecil-beaton-marlene-dietrich-british-1932/


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ArtDocFest in Moscow

Written 13-12-2017 23:37:38 by Tue Steen Mller

ArtDocFest in Moscow

I have only this source - The Moscow Times - but no surprise that the festival run by director Vitaly Mansky (photo) can create conflicts due to the programming of Mansky, who has also chosen to show controversial Russian films in Riga Latvia, where he now lives.

This time – quote from Moscow Times, article by Michele A. Berdof of December 11th: ArtDocFest, a popular Russian festival of documentary films in its tenth year, made news in Moscow this weekend — but not on the culture pages…

Ultranationalist supporters of separatists in eastern Ukraine disrupted the screening of a film about the ongoing war in Donbass and caused the auditorium to be evacuated.

Problems began on Saturday with the premiere of “Bullet’s Flight” by Beata Bubenets. The documentary about the Ukrainian Aidar battalion was filmed in a single 80-minute sequence. The battalion, accused of war crimes by Amnesty International, was disbanded by the Ukrainian government in March 2015, a year after the film was shot. A group of activists watched the film and then argued with the filmmaker. They demanded that the festival administrators remove it from the program. Vitaly Mansky, director of the film festival, refused…

Read the rest on this link:

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/mansky-artdocfest-ukraine-film-59901


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Shamira Raphala: Lenno and the Angelfish

Written 12-12-2017 13:34:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Shamira Raphala: Lenno and the Angelfish

Wow… I fully understand that the jury of IDFA’s Docs & Kids chose this film to be the winner of the far too often overlooked genre of short documentaries, not to talk about docs for kids, who at least until a certain age prefer animation and entertainment. But I am sure that a film like this – with the right introduction – or with grown-ups beside them - will work for kids at the same age as Lenno. And older. My wow goes for the filmic excellent interpretation that the filmmaker performs of the subject. There is the unconventional drumming music, there are the unconventional camera angles to catch Lenno on his bed, there are the beautiful moments, where he communicates with the naughty angelfish, the tense atmosphere when he is with his father, the dialogue with the brother, the mystery around the mother, who is not there but sends him drawings… at the end of the film you wish all the best for Lenno and his family! Here is the annotation text from the IDFA site:

”Ten-year-old Lenno is always getting yelled at for annoying people, but in his mind, it’s the other people who are irritating. Using an impulsive editing style that switches quickly between moments of pleasure and anger, clashes and intimacy, this impression of how Lenno experiences the world stays very close to its subject: a lively boy with a behavioral disorder and a vivid imagination. He boxes with his younger brother, cries when he hurts himself, walks away when he gets criticized and is very pleased with the great coloring books he gets from his mother. Lenno tries to express what's going on in his head. "People think I have a problem because I get angry a lot. I think it’s stupid they say that." In a candid moment, Lenno's father admits that he too wasn’t exactly a model kid. A fanatical swimmer, Lenno empathizes with his angelfish—a species with a reputation for being aggressive, which Lenno thinks isn’t fair. He hopes the angelfish will make friends with the other fish.”

The Netherlands, 19 mins.

www.idfa.nl 


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Bakar Cherkezishvili: Apollo Javakheti

Written 12-12-2017 12:15:58 by Tue Steen Mller

Bakar Cherkezishvili: Apollo Javakheti

The film was at IDFA 2017. Placed in the category Kids&Docs and Student Film Competition. Another very impressive piece of Georgian documentary: One character who has a dream and visualises it for the film. A boy who is occupied 24 hours a day, life is tough for him, from an adult’s point of view. But the film stays away from the social aspect to go with him and his plans for the future with a fast editing rythm to make the day understandable, and the location is made beautiful to watch. Here is the precise annotation from the IDFA site:

”Bandura is growing up with his single mother in the Georgian region of Javakheti. The climate is harsh, the roads are bad and the views are gray and rocky. In the rural village where he lives, time seems to have stood still. The teenager earns extra money herding sheep, helping the local cheesemaker and planting potatoes. Home at the kitchen table, his mother reads aloud from the Bible, but Bandura has other things on his mind: he wants to travel to the moon. Between his daily duties, he begins to build an actual rocket and to plan out his future. By selling sheep, he can make enough money to catch a boat to the United States, where he can start asking around about where to study to become a space traveler. Even though time appears to have come to a halt here, with a bit of fantasy—which our protagonist has plenty of—Javakheti by night really does look like the lunar landscape.” 

Georgia, 16 mins.

www.idfa.nl


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Serbian Docs Positive News

Written 10-12-2017 13:15:53 by Tue Steen Mller

Serbian Docs Positive News

What a nice publication to have in hand: Serbian Docs 2017/18. There is a spirit of optimism in the catalogue, not only from the list of the many documentaries that are already out there but also from the list of upcoming works. The catalogue editor Nenad Miloševic calls it ”a new chapter”, the director of the Film Centre Boban Jevtic stresses the substantial support from the cinemagoers, reflected in the many festivals which show documentaries… I can only confirm the interest from the audience from my experience with the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade through 13 editions. Seldom the amount of audience has been under 1500!

And the President of DOKSERBIA, the association of filmmakers and the publisher of the catalogue, Jovana Nikolic, uses the phrase ”finally united” and outlines the work DOKSERBIA does and intends to do, to make the documentary genre established as an independent art form.

Most important, however, are the figures presented in the catalogue: The Film Center Serbia allocated €307.048 for documentaries in 2014, in 2017 it was €811.350.

Reasons for optimism, indeed, of course also helped by the recent international recognition of ”On the Other Side of Everything” by Mila Turajlic and ”In Praise of Nothing” by Boris Mitic.

www.dokserbia.com


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European Film Award to Polish Communion

Written 10-12-2017 00:34:25 by Tue Steen Mller

European Film Award to Polish Communion

No surprise and well deserved… the Polish documentary ”Communion” by Anna Zamecka was the winner of the documentary award of EFA, European Film Academy, announced in Berlin Saturday night. I am not a member of EFA but having talked to 5 voting members, who had seen all the films and who all said that ”Communion” was the film they liked most, I could guess that it could possibly be ahead of ”Austerlitz” by Sergey Loznitsa, ”La Chana” of Lucija Stojevic, ”Stranger in Paradise” by Guido Hendrix and ”The Good Postman” by Tonislav Hristov.

The film that is produced by Anna Wydra, Anna Zamecka, Zuzanna Krol, Izabela Lopuch & Hanka Kastelicova – in this case too many cooks apparently did NOT spoil the meal – was also very well promoted on the social media, it has already received several awards and it has a very competent outreach promoter, Dimitra Kouzi from whom – to exemplify – I just received valuable press material after the decison was made to give the award to the film.

We have written about the film several times, always bringing the same photo from the film. This time it will be a photo of the director, Anna Zamecka, congratulations, and again a Polish documentary on top of it all!. All that, and the involvement of HBO, will bring the film to a large audience.  


Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Irving Penn at Grand Palais

Written 09-12-2017 16:08:11 by Tue Steen Mller

Irving Penn at Grand Palais

Grand exhibition at Parisian Grand Palais to be strongly recommended. Irving Penn, a photographer who was a true believer of the strenght of form and arrangement, but who also had the documentary curiosity, when he travelled for the fashion magazine Vogue. Especially when he was in Peru in Cuzco. And oh his portraits of Picasso, Marlene Dietrich, Hitchcock, Francis Bacon, Spencer Tracy, Joe Louis… Light and shadow, composition, framing, elégance!

”2017 marks the centenary of the birth of Irving Penn (1917-2009), one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. This exhibition, organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and The Réunion des musées nationaux– Grand Palais, in collaboration with The Irving Penn Foundation,is the first major retrospective of the American artist’s work in France since his death. It looks back over his seventy-year career, with more than 235 photographic prints, all produced by the artist himself, as well as a selection of his drawings and paintings. The Irving Penn exhibition offers a comprehensive vision of the range of genres he worked in: fashion, still life, portraits, nudes, beauty, cigarettes and debris. With his fine arts background, Irving Penn developed a body of visual work that is defined by its elegant simplicity, a taste for minimalism and an astonishing rigour, evident from the studio to the darkroom, where he perfected his unique photographic prints…”

From the website, link below.

The exhibition is open until January 29 2018.

http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/irving-penn


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Oscars Shortlist Feature Documentaries

Written 08-12-2017 10:04:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Oscars Shortlist Feature Documentaries

From 170 to 15 and then on January 23 down to 5 nominations. Here are the 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title and director:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” (Steve James)

“Chasing Coral” (Jeff Orlowski)

City of Ghosts” (Matthew Heineman)

Ex Libris — The New York Public Library” (Frederick Wiseman)

Faces Places” (JR & Agnès Varda)

Human Flow” (Ai WeiWei)

“Icarus” (Bryan Fogel)

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” (David Guggenheim)

“Jane” (Brett Morgan )

LA 92” (Daniel Lindsay & T.J. Martin)

Last Men in Aleppo” (Firas Fayyad)

Long Strange Trip” (Amir Bar-Lev)

One of Us” (Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady)

Strong Island” (Yance Ford)

Unrest” (Jennifer Brea)

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/oscar-documentary-features-15-shortlist-1201905181/


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Astrid Bussink: Listen

Written 06-12-2017 15:52:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Astrid Bussink: Listen

”Life can seem pretty overwhelming at times, particularly when you're growing up. And it’s not always easy to talk to your parents or friends about your problems. Fortunately, the "Kindertelefoon" (Child Helpline) in the Netherlands provides a listening ear…” That’s what this short film is about, a truly creative work, warm in its approach to the children, who call – a boy in an asylum centre, a girl whose parents are divorced, she lives with the mother and her new boyfriend but wants to live with the father, but she dares not talk to her mother about this, and a boy who is afraid to become gay…

Cats fill the image quite often, they are of course ones to talk to, when at home.

There is nothing special about the theme and there are helplines like that in many countries, and you don’t really get to know – because of the anonymity of the calls – what answers they children get. Fair enough, when you take into account how good this film will be to create a discussion with the children, who watch the film. It talks to the heart also for us, who are not kids any longer

The film got the Special Jury Award at IDFA this year, where it was in the Docs for Kids section.

www.idfa.nl

The Netherlands, 2017, 15 mins.


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