Filmkommentaren

Jude Ratnam: Demons in Paradise

Written 24-04-2017 15:44:14 by Tue Steen Müller

There are a handful of documentaries  in ”La Sélection officielle 2017” at the 70th edition of the Cannes Festival, May 17-28. No surprise that films by Agnès Varda, Raymond Depardon, Claude Lanzmann and Eugene Jarecki are listed, and no surprise that world famous actress Vanessa Redgrave’s directorial debut ”Sea of Sorrow” has been taken.

But such a pleasant surprise that Jude Ratnam´s personal and highly cinematic film essay ”Demons in Paradise” stands next to Lanzmann and Redgrave in the section ”Séances Spéciales”. World premiere for the director’s first film. Here is the synopsis of the film:



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

ALAFx + AAFx 2017 /Filmene

Written 22-04-2017 13:21:53 by Allan Berg Nielsen

AALBORG ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL

AARHUS ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL

Det her still er fra filmen Rem af Tomas Koolhaas, 2016 om hvilken det hedder i katalogteksten: ”Med en hidtil uset grad af intimitet og umiddelbarhed introducerer Rem stjernearkitektens (Rem Koolhaas ed.) liv, arbejde og filosofi og giver dermed en dybere forståelse for hans værk…” Jeg skriver hmm i marginen, men er dog sikker på, jeg vil se den film trods store og vel også noget forbrugte ord i den synopsis, jeg citerer fra. (Vises i Biffen Nordkraft 29. april 19:00, i Øst for Paradis samme dag 19:30)

Arkitekturfestivalerne i Aalborg og Aarhus er gået sammen om i biograferne Biffen Nordkraft og Øst for Paradis og på Gellerup Museum at arrangere en slags filmisk masterclass i arkitekturens æstetik. De samler syv hovedsageligt biografiske essays over seks berømte arkitekter: Rem Koolhaas som nævnt, Bjarke Ingels, Richard Neutra, Robert Moses og Álvaro Siza. I Aalborg tillige Gottfried Böhm og i Aarhus på Gellerup Museum en Álvar Siza film mere. Jeg har lyst til at se det hele! Og i det er der jo en anbefaling, som ikke hviler på en viden og en analyse, men ærlig talt blot på min fornemmelse.

Som et slags belæg samler jeg her lige nogle flere citater fra progamavisens synopser, sætninger som nærer min nysgerrige lyst. For det er under alle omstændigheder et fornemt filmprogram, og kunne det lade sig gøre, så jeg gerne det hele:

Kasper Astrup Schröders helt nye Big Time om Bjarke Ingels, ”giver et intimt portræt af den nyskabende og ambitiøse dansker, der i hele verden fejres som et geni.” (Biffen Nordkraft 3. maj 19:00, i Øst for Paradis samme dag 19:00), Elissa Browns Windshield, 2016 om Richard Neutra, om et særligt hus og om ”den modernistiske arkitekturs historie, som… gik fra idealstatus til siden at blive miskendt og underkendt.” (Øst for Paradis 4. maj 17:00). Matt Tyrnauers Citizen Jane, 2016 handler på sin måde også om miskendelse og underkendelse, men her i form af direkte og samtidig modstand, nemlig bydelsaktivisten Jane Jacobs energiske litterære indsats mod byplanlæggeren Robert Moses’ moderne, ensartet afklarede masterplanarbejde i New York i 1950’erne, ”som var tidens modernistiske mantra” (Biffen Nordkraft 30. april 16:30, i Øst for Paradis 4. maj 17:00). Hvad der skrives i kataloget om Iain Diltheys Having a Cigarette with Álvaro Siza, 2016 begejstrer mig mere end noget: Filmen er ”en samtale om arkitektur”… ”hvad er arkitektur? Og hvad er det særlige ved arkitekturen som kunstform? … Álvaro Siza Vieira giver sine bud på, hvordan disse store spørgsmål kan besvares” (Øst for Paradis 5. maj 19:00).

 

Sådanne spørgsmål kan også besvares i en mere direct cinema skildring, det viser Maurizius Sterkle-Drux i sin Concrete Love, der skrives nemlig: ”Træd med ind i Gottfried Böhms arkitekturgale familie, hvor selv gartneren er arkitekt.” (Biffen Nordkraft 28. april 16:30). Cándida Pinto har lavet fire halvtimes film med Álvaro Siza under titlen Neighbours, 2016, hvor den gamle arkitekt besøger og reflekterer over fire boligbyggerier, han har opført i Porto, Haag, Berlin og Venedig. (Gellerup Museum, Aarhus 5.maj 17:00)

www.cafx.dk


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

DocsBarcelona 2017

Written 19-04-2017 15:47:41 by Tue Steen Müller

So there they are the films selected for the 20th edition of DocsBarcelona. Listed in alphabetical order or in sections or according to screening hours and venue, it starts May 18 and ends May 28, with an extension of some screening days compared to previous years. It started being an industry event, years ago the festival was added. I have been ”part of the furniture” from the very beginning, first working for the industry and now for the festival selection. It’s been pure pleasure and I am looking forward to a long stay in Barcelona in a professional and warm festival atmosphere.

At the launch of the festival today festival director Joan Gonzalez informed about the opening film, Clare Weiskopf’s ”Amazona” (PHOTO), a film that has already been at several festivals but now returns to Barcelona, where it was presented, when it was a project and where it took part in the rough cut session that DocsBarcelona organises every year.

I have had the privilige of following the film at editing stage, from time to time. I have been worried about the final result – those worries are gone, the final version is excellent. To quote the catalogue text: ”A fascinating journey between mother and daughter through the Colombian Amazon, filled with conversations that fire sparks and leave us facing a moral dilemma around freedom and responsibility.”

I will later return to the films being shown at the festival in Barcelona, a pretty big portion of them have been reviewed on this site – no need to hide that I have been part of the selection team. BUT let me mention the three sections.



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CAFx 2017 /Nysgerrigheder

Written 18-04-2017 15:25:35 by Allan Berg Nielsen

COPENHAGEN ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL

Og så blader jeg videre i festivalkatataloget og fascineres ved enkelte bemærkninger i præsentationerne, formuleringer som gør mig nysgerrig. Først Kasper Astrup Schröders Big Time, 2017 om arkitekten Bjarke Ingels, hvor jeg bliver optaget af, at den skildrer, hvordan Ingels udfordres af svigtende helbred under arbejdet med de store nye bygninger i det centrale New York. (Grand Teatret 26. april 19:00) Det er åbningsfilm for festivalen og det er premiere for den helt nye film.

Når der i en filmbeskrivelse står at ”indvandrerne ikke vinder over de andre (de ’etnisk svenske’ unge red.) gennem ondskab og vold, men ganske enkelt fordi de bevæger sig i Göteborgs byrum på en klogere måde” bliver jeg nysgerrig på om de fremmede er bedre til at finde vej og på hvor elegant filmklipperen lykkes med at fortælle hvordan bevæge sig i Ruben Östlunds Play, 2011 (KU.BE 5. maj 16:30). Det er ordet ”klog” som i den sammenhæng fæstner sig ved mig. I beskrivelsen af Danmark ved Ganges, 2017 af Nicolás Nørgaard Staffolani er det ordet ”nostalgi” i formuleringen ”om der (i kolonihistorien red.) er plads til nostalgi i en nøgtern postkolonial tid.” For mig er nostalgi en vigtig grundlæggende følelse af længsel, smerte, skønhed, orden, ro. Er det sådan instruktøren skildrer Indiens "engang smukkeste by"? (Nationalmuseet 2. maj 17:00)

”Jacques Tati skabte sin helt egen kulisseby, Tativille, der med den nye 4K-restaurering fremstår lige så imponerende som den var tænkt” står der om instruktørens Playtime, 1967, og jeg tænker lige hvad det mon sådan formuleret i tekst er redaktøren ved om hvor imponerende Tativille var tænkt af Tati, hans arkitekt og snedker? Men den nye version af filmen viser det altså (Cinemateket 4. maj 16:45). Var det muligt, må jeg helt bestemt se den! Ligesom jeg nødvendigvis og absolut skal se Stanley Kubricks ”enorme samling æsker, som var fulde af research fra de perfektionistiske film i hans sene fase”, som Jon Johnson i sin Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes, 2008 åbner og folder ud, vel i det klogeste kloge filmessay håber jeg fuld af forventning. (Cinemateket 6. maj 21:30)

Jeg kan huske, at Frantz Ernsts Ang. Lone, 1970 var en smuk film, nu genser jeg den virkelig gerne, mærker jeg tydeligt, også når den her i kataloget præsenteres som ”70’er-realisme” i et cinéma vérité – inspireret drama med ”socialkritisk bid og udstrakt brug af location-optagelser som giver filmen et næsten dokumentarisk strøg.” (Cinemateket 28. april 16:45) Jeg bliver glad og nysgerrig ved at læse sådanne formuleringer…

www.cafx.dk 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

CAFx 2017 /Anbefalinger

Written 18-04-2017 11:25:13 by Allan Berg Nielsen

COPENHAGEN ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL

Jeg ser det store program igennem, koncentrerer mig jo om filmvisningerne, et par stykker af filmene kender jeg og kan kommentere, de fleste kender jeg ikke, men finder formuleringer i beskrivelserne, som gør mig interesseret. Først de to jeg kender, som jeg tidligere har skrevet om her på Filmkommentaren:Tarkovskijs Solaris, 1972 og Kestners Drømme i København, 2009:

SOLARIS

Jeg ved godt, at Solaris først og fremmest er et visuelt mesterværk. Og i den nye rensede og smukke dvd-udgave bliver jeg overbevist fra første billede. Dette russiske landskab omkring det nye gammeldags landhus brydes kun af en motorvejsbro langt væk - men smerten ved den kommer som et stik i idyllen.

Og smerten sidder i denne spiller Donatas Banionis som en særlig alvor fra dette allerførste billede, hvor skarpheden i smertestikket er lyden fra bilen, som kommer med gæsten, som indfører dialogen i kammerspillet, som herefter i den langsomme, langsomme rytme bliver elementet ved siden af billedfortællingen, og Solaris er mere end noget et kammerspil, et spil i replikskifte, i det russiske landhus, i dets smukke rum, og senere jo i rumstationen anderledes kølighed i kredsløb om planeten Solaris.

Herude forstår vi, at smerten hos Banionis er, som kollegerne der (låste i den videnskabelige kontekst, de selv dementerer) bemærker, en banal kærlighedssorg. Kvinden, som altså er i mandens tanke, kommer derude genfødt til stede og genkender sig selv på fotografiet, han har taget med. Og han ser hende rygvendt til stede, som fotografisk gengivelse og som spejlbillede... Læs mere:

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/547/

Vises under CAFx 5. maj 16:30 i Cinemateket

 

DRØMME I KØBENHAVN

... Netop dette er indsigtens kerne. Det er byen, som er konstansen i en evig variations og forandrings uforandrethed. Byen er der. Altid. Menneskene passerer. Og så er det sådan, at byen ikke er menneskenes.

Det er omvendt. (For alle tegnestuer i filmen er ens, alle forhandlingerne der er ens. Det er først i teksterne til sidst, vi ser, at en længere række tegnestuer har medvirket.) Som menneskene og deres liv er ens. De bliver til i elskov, de er i vejen for forældrenes travlhed, de kører ad de samme ruter alene i busserne, de mødes med hinanden i værksteder, på kontorer og i tegnestuer og tror, de skaber byen. De dør ensomme, og der ryddes anonymt op efter dem. Nye folk flytter ind i deres boliger, som tilsammen er byen, som består. I den fineste komposition af et mylder af juxtapositioner, fortæller Anne Østerud en historie så almindelig og så generel, men også så gribende, at jeg i mørket noterer ”lutter ømhed” som det eneste under den biografvisning... Hele anmeldelsen:

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/979/

Vises under CAFx 27. april 16:45 i Cinemateket

www.cafx.dk 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Krakow Film Festival: Music without Borders

Written 17-04-2017 13:38:52 by Tue Steen Müller

A press release came in from one of the oldest documentary film festivals, in Krakow, that celebrates its 57th edition BUT with a young competition on music documentaries, the fifth edition of this novelty.

A quote of a quote: “As Anita Piotrowska, film critic and the co-creator of the programme of Krakow Film Festival points out, "music documentary film becomes more and more inclusive. Music always plays the main role here, but often it is additionally charged - it tends to be a political manifesto, an expression of rebellion against stereotypes, a new look at history or a sign of a complicated ethnic identity. It is increasingly difficult to find an "unadulterated" music documentary film. But this is which, in my opinion, proves its vitality and richness. And this is precisely this diversity - not only of the music itself, but of the contemporary ways of telling stories about it - that we tried to capture while selecting the competition titles."

Wise words and here you have the films selected:

"Chavela," dir. Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi, USA, 90’

"Far Western," dir. James Payne, Japan, USA, 82’

"Red Gringo," dir. Miguel Angel Vidaurre, Chile, 69’

"Festival," dir. Tomasz Wolski, Anna Gawlita, Poland, 85’

"When God Sleeps," dir. Till Schauder, USA, Germany, 88’

"Sara Baras, All Her Voices," dir. Rafá Moles, Pepe Andreu, Spain, 91’

"Revolution of Sound. Tangerine Dream," dir. Margarete Kreuzer, Germany, 90’

"Born To Lose-a film about Lorenzo Woodrose," dir. Palle Demant, Denmark, 82’

"Soul Exodus," dir. Csaba Bereczki, Hungary, 92’

"The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev," dir. Tal Barda, Noam Pinchas, Israel, France, 74’

I have seen the latter, which is a family story full of music with the Papa (see the fantastic photo) of the Alaev family (who emigrated from Israel to Tajikistan in 1990s) as the main patriarchial character, who has to face, but does not want to, that children and grandchildren wish to take over, or at least have their independence as members of the family, and a religious community. And the orchestra! Sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching, always with great music! And very well told.

www.krakowfilmfestival.pl


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CAFx 2017 /Introduction

Written 16-04-2017 17:53:23 by Tue Steen Müller

This is a copy-paste of the press release from Copenhagen Architecture Festival, that is indeed very active when it comes to the inclusion of the film medium:

Denmark's largest architecture festival Copenhagen Architecture Festival opens its fourth edition Wednesday, April 26th with a wide program spread over three cities and with the opening film and world premiere of "BIG TIME" on Bjarke Ingels. 

More than 150 architectural events in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg. 40 film and 42 venues.

The festival takes place over 11 days. The more than 150 events provide a variety of approaches to architecture and through film screenings, exhibitions, lectures, debates, walks, concerts and conferences there are enough to choose from again this year - both for ’feinschmecker’ and the general public. Again this year you can meet experts from home and abroad who will contribute to the audience to get a glimpse of the world of architecture.



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CAFx 2017 /Filmliste

Written 16-04-2017 16:30:54 by Allan Berg Nielsen

COPENHAGEN ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL

Broen i Mostar, som jeg aldrig så i virkeligheden, er i mit sind billedet på, at krigen ødelægger alt, og næsten tydeligst - for de lemlæstede døde sænker jeg blikket ved - er den bevidste og planlagte destruktion af hele byer og enkelte bygningsværker. Den film i rækken af af filmvisninger, jeg først vælger at sætte mig lidt ind og forstå, som jeg vi gå i biografen og se, var det muligt, er Tim Slades Destruction of Memory fra 2016. Det er fra den film det her still stammer. Jeg ser, det handler om arkitektur som identitet. Filmen findes på den liste over festivalfilm, som jeg her bringer i uddrag på grundlag af arkitekturfestivalens meget store og omhyggelige pressemateriale:

BIG TIME

En film om arkitekten Bjarke Ingels, som blev kendt af mange med sine byggerier i Ørestad, og nu er kaldes han af The Wall Street Journal “en af arkitekturens største stjerner.” BIG TIME følger den unge arkitekt over fem år, mens han arbejder med at fuldføre sit største projekt til dato, boligbyggeriet W57 på Manhattan. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) får samtidig til opgave at bygge World Trade Center 2, en af de skyskrabere, der skal erstatte tvillingetårnene. Mens han er i gang med således at ændre New Yorks skyline, er det pludselig noget så jordnært som helbredet, der volder problemer. Filmen efterfølges af Q&A med Bjarke Ingels og instruktør Kaspar Astrup Schröder.

KASPAR ASTRUP SCHRÖDER | 2017 | 93 min. / DANISH AND ENGLISH W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES / CINEMATEKET | Lørdag 29/4 kl. 14.30 Billetter via cinemateket.dk / ØST FOR PARADIS | Onsdag 3/5 kl. 19.00 Billetter via paradisbio.dk / BIFFEN NORDKRAFT | Onsdag 3/5 kl. 19.90 Billetter via biffen.eu

 

DREAM EMPIRE

24-årige Yana er flyttet til byen Chongqing i Kina for at forfølge sit livs drøm. Den kinesiske boligboble lokker med let tjente penge, og Yana starter et agentur for udlændinge, som skal hjælpe lokale bygherrer med at markedsføre deres nye byggeprojekter. Men projektet tager en tvivlsom drejning, da hendes kunder bliver brugt i et forsøg på at fremstille provinsens spøgelsesbyer som ’globaliserede byer i rivende udvikling’ - belejligt nok hver gang investorer og politiske ledere kommer på besøg. Da boligboblen brister, er Yana tvunget til at sælge sin virksomhed og hun må afvise alt det, hun hidtil har troet på. Filmen efterfølges af en samtale mellem instruktøren David Borenstein og Kristian Skovbakke Villadsen, partner og direktør i Gehl Architects.

DAVID BORENSTEIN | 2016 | 73 min. / CHINESE AND ENGLISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES / LOUISIANA MUSEUM OF MODERN ART | Søndag 30/4 kl. 12.30 / Filmvisningerne er gratis, når entré til museet er betalt. Sikr dig billet på louisiana.dk / Debate in English

 

DANMARK VED GANGES

En af Danmarks største byer lå engang i Indien. Danmark ved ganges er en nysgerrig og poetisk dokumentar om kolonihistoriens betydning i dag. Da Serampore ved Gangesfloden var en dansk koloni, blev den kaldt Indiens smukkeste by. I dag arbejder danskere og indere i fællesskab med at redde områdets sidste bygninger fra kolonitiden. Bygningerne er fortidsminder, men hvis minder? Hvad minder de egentlig om i dag? Filmen undersøger, hvordan arkitektur bygger bro til fortiden, om kolonihistorien kan skrives på en ny måde, og om der er plads til nostalgi i en nøgtern postkolonial tid.

NICOLÁS NØRGAARD STAFFOLANI | 2017 | 40 min. / ENGLISH, DANISH, AND BENGALI W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES

BLOK P

Filmen skildrer nedrivningen af den berygtede bygning i Nuuk og vil med det diskutere modernisering og kolonihistorie: hvad er grønlandsk identitet og hvad er dansk velfærd i den udfordring.

RIKKE DIEMER OG PETER JENSEN, 2013, 35 min. / GREENLANDIC AND DANISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES

NATIONALMUSEET | Tirsdag 3/5 kl. 17.00 / Billetter via billetto.dk / 17.00: Filmvisning, Danmark ved Ganges / 18.00: filmvisning, Blok P / 18.35: Oplæg og paneldebat.

 

CITIZEN JANE: THE BATTLE FOR THE CITY

Kampen om New York stod i 1950’erne mellem den magtfulde byplanlægger og den idealistiske bydelsaktivist. I 1950’erne stod en enkelt mand for New Yorks byudvikling. Den kontroversielle byplanlægger Robert Moses bulldozede, asfalterede og byggede med beton overalt i de fem burroughs, indtil en enkelt kvinde stillede sig i vejen og sagde stop. Hun hed Jane Jacobs, var antropologisk interesseret bydels-aktivist og forsvarede de enkelte kvarterers særpræg mod den ensformige planlægning, som var tidens modernistiske mantra. Hendes kamp mod mesterbyggeren Moses, såvel som hendes bog The Death and Life of American Cities, fik siden indflydelse overalt i verden. Filmen introduceres af Aarhus’ stadsarkitekt Stephen Willacy, der fortæller om Jane Jacobs’ betydning for dagens byplanlægning og for sin dagligdag som stadsarkitekt.

MATT TYRNAUER | 2016 | 92 min. / ENGLISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES / BIFFEN NORDKRAFT | Søndag 30/4 kl. 16.30 / Billetter via biffen.eu / ØST FOR PARADIS | Torsdag 4/5 kl. 17.00 / Billetter via paradisbio.dk

 

DESTRUCTION OF MEMORY

Alt for aktuel film om kulturel udrensning. Syrien, Bosnien og Afghanistan. Moderne krigsførsel har indoptaget et nyt fænomen: bevidste angreb på biblioteker, broer eller skulpturer, som udgør et områdes kulturelle identitet. ‘Cultural genocide’, kaldes det - et begreb, som har en lang historie og som skal understrege de alvorlige konsekvenser, når kulturarv ødelægges. The Destruction of Memory skildrer kampen for at få anerkendt kulturel udrensning som en krigsforbrydelse, en kamp der kan spores over hundrede år tilbage i tiden. Filmen introduceres af Frederik Rosén, seniorforsker i international sikkerhed ved DIIS.

TIM SLADE | 2016 | 125 min. / ENGLISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES / GRAND TEATRET | Lørdag 6/5 kl. 9.30 / Billetter via grandteatret.dk /

Hele filmprogrammet 27. april – 7. maj 2017 findes i Copenhagen Architure Festivals samlede program:

www.cafx.dk


Categories: Cinema, Festival

Cinédoc-Tbilisi 2017

Written 14-04-2017 15:24:45 by Tue Steen Müller

With its fifth edition the organisers of this still very young Tbilisi Georgian festival, director Archil Khetagouri and coordinator Ileana Stanculescu, took the decision to move the event from October to May 11-16. Argumentation: Too much happens in October. And my additional argument: Weather must be better in May. I am happy to be able to check that out myself, as the two mentioned have invited me back to a city and a festival I like very much. Regarding the weather: Outdoor screenings are planned.

About the program – there is an international competition, a focus Caucasus, a CivilDOC section, including a pitching session for NGO’s matched with filmmakers, and a CinéDOC Young competition.

There are so many good film titles to be mentioned, let me drop



Read more / Læs mere

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOKer 2017

Written 12-04-2017 13:28:59 by Tue Steen Müller

I was a jury member of the first DOKer festival in 2015 and am very happy to see that the filmmakers behind the event are able to continue their pioneer work of bringing films from around the world to the Russian audience. Let me quote the promotion text from their website that you should pay a visit:

”Do not miss Moscow International Documentary Film Festival DOKer. Spend 5 days in the atmosphere of the best creative documentary cinema from around the world! Watch, think, criticise, create!”.

The 3rd DOKer festival takes place May 18-23.

Take a look also at the illustration that says that the selection has a global perspective – and the world is not united. Anyway, here is the list of films for the main feature competition as well as the short film line-up. A third competition ”Let’s DOK it”is still to be announced.



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Shorena Tevzadze: Didube, The Last Stop

Written 10-04-2017 16:22:07 by Tue Steen Müller

I have met Shorena Tevzadze and producer Nikoloz Gogochuri several times at workshops in Georgia, where this fine film was developed. Their dedication to the theme and their love towards the characters of the film was always there; watching the final result I feel like saying hello to an old friend Niko, in his shop, with his partner, waiting for clients but no one comes to buy at the veterinarian pharmacy, only friends like the singer Nodar with his guitar, performing his ballads which serve as a commentary to the place and to the dreams of the two on having a garden in the countryside instead of where they are now at a bus station, where shops still exist; at a stop that used to be more important when the train had its last stop here, now it only stops for two minutes.

The filmmakers present the film like this: “A musical fairy tale about a noisy station, where Niko, a veterinarian man is trying to save his peaceful kingdom from its demise.”

But time stands still and Niko uses it to reflect on life and to write poems, one about one of the many floods in the country. He phones television (or radio?) but they don’t have a format for reading of poems.

Luckily a festival has a format for this simple unpretentious portrait of a place and a shop owner: Premiere at Visions du Réel, Nyon, at the Regard Neuf section, the festival takes place April 21 to 29.

Georgia/Switzerland, 2017, 64 mins.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Yaser Kassab: On the Edge of Life

Written 06-04-2017 15:13:31 by Tue Steen Müller

It feels unfinished, sketchy this personal film by Syrian Yaser Kassab. It is one long reflection and interpretation of, as the director has formulated it in the catalogue of Cinéma du Réel, “loss and grief”. Far from mainstream. In dark images, often metaphoric, from empty spaces, “detached from reality” as he says, with the fragments of skype conversations with his father, who does not want to leave the country, and at a later point states that we live “like bears in winter sleep”.

The synopsis: “Yaser and his partner Rima leave Syria to Lebanon, but after receiving the news that his younger brother passed away in Aleppo, they end up in a remote and an empty place in Turkey. In this place where the silence and the monotonous daily life being broken by the loud noise of the family calls whom still living in Aleppo. To spend a year and a half, which was almost like a slumber and a coma, waking up every day on the recurring nightmares echo.”

It is one of those rare films that does not move but places itself in a waiting mood full of sadness, memories and longing for a better life. A very much welcomed essayistic lyrical addition to the many war-filled documentaries from the country.

Got the Joris Ivens/ Cnap Award at Cinéma du Réel

Syria, 2017, 45 mins.


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Docudays Kiev 2017 Awards

Written 31-03-2017 09:35:21 by Tue Steen Müller

A press release came out last night: The 14th International documentary films about human rights festival has ended in Kyiv. The awards ceremony was held in the Cinema House. The closing ceremony began with a gesture of solidarity with Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, imprisoned in Russia.

Films were competing for prizes in categories: DOCU/LIFE, DOCU/RIGHT, DOCU/SHORT, DOCU/UKRAINE and for the special prize from Students’ Jury. The festivals’ Orzanizing Committee favorite is awarded with the Andriy Matrosov Award. The ceremony was followed by the Ukrainian premiere of “Liberation Day” by Ugis Olte and Morten Traavik.

The results of the final stages of three long-term workshops were announced during the closing ceremony – DocWorks: UA/UK, Warscape, and Youth about Ukraine. During the closing ceremony the results of WARSCAPE international competition were announced. The award of 5.000 USD was given to the “Double trap” (director Valeria Treshchova and producer Viktoria Gusenok). Also the international programm DocWorks: UA/UK announced the results. The winning project “UNDERWATER” (dir. Oksana Kazmina and producer Ljosha Chashchyn) received 3.000 GBP. "(N)OSTALGIA" (director Vicki Thornton Written and producer Marion Guthdirector) received a prize (50 000 hryvnia) for the best pitching from KWA SOUND PRODUCTION company.

Winners were also announced for Instagram competition #ECOOKO: show the country's environment. A prize from the WWF in Ukraine was given to Oleksandr Stepanenko. Prizes from the Green School educational project were received by: Oksana Vashchuk, Serhiy Handusenko, Oleg and Dariya Promahovy. Oleg and Dariya Promahovy received prizes from the Docudays UA team.

Docudays UA 2017 Winners:

DOCU/LIFE - Main Prize

All This Panic dir. Jenny Gage/ USA

Deliberate well thought through camerawork serves the subject matter and the desired atmosphere. Daring use of colors together with sensual use of depth of field made this film particularly efficient. The filmmakers are thinking outside of the box at the same time as the directorial approach creates unparalleled intimacy. It is transparent that creators are coming from contemporary art. The film unveils the secret life of teenage girls who usually go out of their way to keep their inner life closed to adults. It is the opinion of the jury that by giving these girls a voice the filmmakers are creating a bold platform for young women. Girls all over the world deserve to be heard - it is a crucial human rights issue that also resonates here in Ukraine.



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Docudays: Children

Written 31-03-2017 08:55:39 by Tue Steen Müller

What kind of world do we leave for our children? A banal and pathetic question maybe. But it came to my mind this morning, when I attended the Warscape pitching in Kiev at the Docu/Pro section of Docudays. 6 projects from around 25 were selected – ”an international competition for documentary film projects about Ukraine or the Eurasia region, on the consequences of conflicts and other situations of violence inflicted upon civilians.”

In ”84” by cameraman Volodimir Yermakov, his first film as a director, to be 10-15 mins. long, children are playing in the city of Sloviansk, that was occupied by rebels for 84 days. The final scene of the lyrical clip presented by the director shows children ”playing funeral”. Heartbreaking, makes you think.

In the Georgian ”The Playground” by Ana Tsiminia and Esma Berikishvili children of Abkhazian refugees play among the ruins of a paper factory near the border between Georgia and Abkhazia chatting about where to go. Paris? The plays represent their social reality in what is going to be an observational documentary. Expectations are high after the director’s ”Biblioteka”.

The pitching this morning ended with the French/Ukrainian ”The New Life of Vitaly”, a film by director Vadim Moiseenko, produced by Marie Odile Gazin to be shot in small Krymske in the Luhansk region close to the frontline. Like small grown-ups the kids, with Vitaly as the main protagonist, talk about who is in war with whom, what foreign nationalities are there as soldiers, what the rebels took and destroyed, when they were there… They lost their childhood.

Photo: Ana Tsiminia and Esma Berikishvili preparing their pitch outside the venue of The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the sponsor of the workshop and the award for the best project.

http://docudays.org.ua/eng/


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Docudays Kiev: Form Comes First

Written 28-03-2017 20:50:01 by Tue Steen Müller

… which is of course a simplification but I was thinking of it several times during the days here in Kiev, where the Docudays goes on, one of those many festivals, less known, compared to IDFA, CPH:DOX, DOKLeipzig and Hotdocs BUT with a high quality selection and, as far as I have been able to register attending a handful of screenings, full houses. With a professional relaxed atmosphere.

Form comes first has director and editor French/Czech Stan Neumann said at many tutoring sessions. The same goes for Viktor Kossakovsky who talks about making an aesthetic choice as the first thing to do before you start shooting.

But sometimes you find the form, the shape, the handwriting as you go along, as did Georgian Alexander Kvatashidze, when he



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CPH:DOX 2017 /Return of a President

Written 27-03-2017 13:05:35 by Sara Thelle

LOTTE MIK-MEYER: RETURN OF A PRESIDENT

The Danish filmmaker Lotte Mik-Meyer has made a documentary about a very important and interesting subject and a region that certainly could need our attention. Return of a President is about the fight for democracy in Madagascar in the aftermath of the 2009 military coup and the influence interests of foreign powers have on the political situation of poor countries in a post-colonial context.

Mik-Meyer has gained access to the diplomatic negotiations surrounding the efforts of making possible the return of the ousted president Ravalomanana to Madagascar from his exile in South Africa, where he has been living since the coup d’état. Through her contact with the Danish advisor to the former president, Jens Thorsen, she has embedded the inner circle of the delegation, consisting of Thorsen, the South African media advisor Peter Mann and the Madagascan human rights lawyer Bakoly Rakotomalala, and has come close to the couple Marc and Lalao Ravalomanana during her five years of filming.

The negotiation process is full of obstacles. The young Andry Rajoelina, in power since the coup as the president of the High Transitional Authority of Madagascar, supported by the military and quite possibly French interests, is firmly opposing to Ravalomanana’s return. Ravalomanana is counting on help from the international community and in particular the intergovernmental organization SADC (the Southern African Development Community), but realizes that larger interests are pulling the strings in the diplomatic game. He finally returns to Madagascar in secret in 2014 and spends 6 months in prison.

Unfortunately Mik-Meyer’s focus is on the intimacy of her relationship to her characters, that is her method and it is, in my opinion, not to the film’s advantage. If, as a filmmaker, you choose to place yourself in your film, it has to be for a good reason, here it only distracts the story. We are getting surprisingly little out of the closeness, I still don’t feel that I got to know Ravalomanana more than superficially. I would have liked more substantial portrait of the man, his (ultra-liberal) political thoughts, more information about his presidency while he was in power (2002-2009). I get curious, what is the story of Jens Thorsen? How do you go from being the manager of the largest dairy company in Madagascar, part of the Ravalomananas’ business group TIKO, to become a political and diplomatic advisor? Who are the other people involved? I would have liked to hear more voices and have a broader view. Paradoxically, had Mik-Meyer kept more distance to her characters, she could have maybe made a more powerful film.



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Roman Bondarchuk: Dixie Land

Written 27-03-2017 12:21:13 by Tue Steen Müller

It was one of those lovely moments, where a huge audience had come to celebrate the premiere of a film, ”Dixie Land”, that was 7 years on its way – for many reasons, one of them being that the director Roman Bondarchuk and his script writer Darya Averchenko were busy with the making of and promotion of ”Ukrainian Sheriffs”.

The film about jazz music performed by kids in a band in Kherson Ukraine, led by their old teacher, who founded the band just after WW2, picking up homeless children to give them the chance to develop their skills, gave them a life, simply - is a warm, so well made - Bondarchuk has indeed a documentary-eye - interpretation of a happy childhood, where kids have a good time developing their creative skills. As it is written in the catalogue: We all live once in Dixie Land – the country where politics, money and death do not exist at all. But over time this country is disappearing… yes, we are in Ukraine of today.

Back to the fest of a premiere where the superstar of the film (see photo from the screen of the cinema) Polina was present and performed with three instruments, when the closing images of the film came up. It was marvellous and there were flowers and standing ovations to a film that is full of love. A human film that gave many of us tears in the eyes. Look at the photo… Polina is now 15 years old, study in Moscow, we had thanks to Ilona Bicevska, the producer of the film, the chance to meet her after the screening. And her parents… you learn so much by being here at Docudays in Kiev.

Latvia, Ukraine, Germany, 2016, 60 mins.

http://dixielandfilm.com/


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Docudays UA 2017 Has Started

Written 25-03-2017 23:38:49 by Tue Steen Müller

… and runs until March 31. I am happy to be here participating at the Docu/Pro, the industrial platform of a festival that celebrates its 14th edition this year. The platform includes talks from knowledgeable people like Brigid O’Shea from DOKLeipzig, Miriam Ryndová from IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) in Prague and Latvian producer Uldis Cekulis. My job is to coach filmmakers, who have been selected for Warscape, ”The international competition for documentary film projects about Ukraine or the Eurasia region, on the consequences of conflicts and other situations of violence inflicted upon civilians”…6 projects.

They will be pitching their projects on Thursday March 30 in a competitive session open to the public. The same goes for 5 projects in another competition, ”DokWorks”.

The screenings of the festival opened last night with the screening of ”The Yes Men are Revolting” by Laura Nix, an excellent start for



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CPH:DOX 2017 /Forum

Written 25-03-2017 11:49:55 by Tue Steen Müller

2 days of Forum at the CPH:DOX March 22-23. I was there to check out what is happening with the ”creative and visually strong film projects”, that the CPH:FORUM ”financing and co-production event” is set up to help. Are great documentary films that use the language of cinema coming up? Concluding impressions at the end of this text.

First the venue, the new ”palace” of CPH:DOX, Charlottenborg in central Copenhagen near the harbour area. An absolute improvement for the ambitious festival. Lively activities inside and outside in the courtyards. Open to the public were several activities – discussions on subjects of today’s world.

The Forum took place in the colourful (see photo) Social Cinema, a very good place, a bit too hot, some called it a sauna, but I sat well and heard and saw, what was going on up there on the stage, where Tribeca’s Ingrid Kopp and Sundance’s Tabitha Jackson were moderating. They did that well. Not an easy task as most of the pitchers and panelists talked too much and went over the 14 minutes dedicated to each project. 300 projects had been submitted, 30 were picked. With overlapping categories ”fictionnonfiction”, ”cinema”, ”f:act”, ”art”.

In its presentation of the Forum, CPH:DOX circles around big names, well-known auteurs, who unfortunately were not there in persona, but were presented by producers, who often had brought



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CPH:DOX 2017 /The Festival Winners

Written 24-03-2017 23:40:43 by Tue Steen Müller

…of the festivals many sections are – in an edited and shortened Danish version of the press release of the festival of tonight:

DOX:AWARD:’De sidste mænd i Aleppo’ (“Last Men in Aleppo”), instrueret af Feras Fayyad samt debuterende co-instruktør Steen Johannessen, som er et uforglemmeligt portræt af tre modvillige heltes arbejde med at redde Aleppos civile midt i krigszonens centrum – og årets åbningsfilm på CPH:DOX.

Juryen udtaler om vinderfilmen: “De sidste mænd i Aleppo’ er en film hvis ødelæggende, følelsesmæssige umiddelbarhed kaster os ind i en shakespearsk’ tragedie om en befolkningsgruppe, der kæmper for at bevare deres menneskelighed på trods af den ubarmhjertige realitet, de befinder sig i”. 

Special mentions til ’Gray House’ af Austin Lynch og Matthew Booth og ’The John Dalli Mystery’ af Jeppe Rønde. ’Gray House’ er et mørkt og



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CPH:DOX 2017 /Psychosis in Stockholm

Written 24-03-2017 23:15:23 by Tue Steen Müller

… was one of the around 30 projects pitched at the CPH:FORUM that took place wednesday and thursday this week. Director Danish/Swedish Maria Bäck, producer Anna-Maria Kantarius. Who did a strong presentation of a project that in CPH:DOX terminology is FICTIONnonFiction – hybrid is another word for a film like this, where the director will have to find creative solutions to build a narrative for the five days the director experienced alone as 14 years old in the Swedish capital after her mother was brought to hospital to be treated for her mental illness. The film to be – no objections - got the the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award of €15.000.

Maria Bäck graduated from the Danish Film School, documentary line in 2013.

Chapeau for a jury that chose to go for a talent and not one of the established directors, who pitched or whose projects were pitched by producers.

General comments on the Forum will follow.

Photo: Director Maria Bäck.

https://cphdox.dk/en


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Sergey Kachkin: Perm-36. Reflexion/ 2

Written 23-03-2017 22:32:22 by Tue Steen Müller

As the /2 says I have written about Kachkin’s film from Perm before – in August 2016 – where he told me that the film - the most obvious place to show it - was rejected by the local Flahertiana festival because it criticises the local Ministry of Culture in its talk about the prison camp, stalinism and Soviet times. What happened then with the film? Today I received an email from the Russian director, I quote from it, a report from an independent filmmaker, who travels to have his work shown:

Perm-36. Once we agreed that as soon as I have the screening outside of Russia I should let you know this and maybe you can make a post on your blog. So, it will be on March 24 at 12:00 in Tartu, Estonia. This is World Film Festival: http://www.worldfilm.ee/

I write you know in a bus which brings me from Moscow to Tartu :)

On March 27 will be another screening in Saint Petersburg in one of the main cinema theatres of the North Cultural Capital as we call it. 

Actually, the film is very demanded in Russia but much less abroad... I've screened the title at many independent venues or cinemas... well, it's hard all the time to gather the audience but I've got much of help from some independent media, internet sites and radio stations... You can have a look the news here on the film's web page: http://www.perm36reflexion.ru/en/news

So, only in Moscow, I had eight screenings. Then there were in Yekaterinburg at Yeltsin Centre, in Perm three, then other places. Also, some screenings should be during the summer. Well, I'm satisfied in a way. But it takes me much to promote all the screenings and negotiating with media... 

http://perm36reflexion.ru/en/film


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CPH:DOX 2017 /On the Edge of Freedom

Written 21-03-2017 14:38:19 by Tue Steen Müller

ANITA MATHAL HOPLAND & JENS LENGERKE: ON THE EDGE OF FREEDOM/ PÅ KANTEN AF FRIHED

I heard myself saying “don’t do it, stop” several times, alone in front of the screen, when the young Russians and Ukrainians were climbing unfinished buildings and cranes. To take photos of themselves. Or videos. Scary like hell. And I am after having seen the film not sure that I understand why they challenge themselves in that way. Says someone from another generation. Yes, I understand that this could be the way to money as they are selling tours – especially the Ukrainians who go underground to make “tours in the drainage system” – and document them, put them on the social media. Create an identity.

Let me educate you as I was from the texts in the beginning of the film: Roofing is the exploration of heights. Digging is the exploration of underground area. In Moscow Angela (the photo) goes up, in Kiev Vlad goes down. With friends around them. They are all very young and beautiful, and cool, they are looking for a way in their lives, which they stage. They pose like fashion models, at least Angela does, she gets ill, a blood cot in the arm, she takes care of her medicine and seems to have recovered towards the end of the film.

Vlad, the Ukrainian, experiences the Maidan revolt and makes a tour to Pripyat, to the Chernobyl Zone, he is well formulated and talks about the digging as “going from one reality to another”, seeing “an urban renaissance”.

This ignorant critic has seen an energetically made, professional, visually scary, fascinating close-up documentary about youngsters in Moscow and Kiev, who are playing with their lives or searching for a meaning, for freedom the title says… Well…

The film will be shown at CPH:DOX tonight March 21 22.30 at Empire, March 23 10.30 at Nordisk Film Palads and March 25 at 22.15, Empire Bio. Broadcast on DR3 March 27 at 20.30.

Denmark, 2017, 75 mins.


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CPH:DOX 2017 /Kirsten Johnson

Written 20-03-2017 22:22:56 by Tue Steen Müller

90 minutes with Kirsten Johnson thursday morning 23rd of March at Cinemateket, that’s a good time investment. I can guarantee that knowing Kirsten’s knowledge and commitment, and having attended her classes and Q&A sessions several times. Of course it is good if you have seen her film ”Cameraperson” – but if not there is a screening at 16.40 that same day at Grand Teatret with the director present.

”Cameraperson” was on my list of the best documentaries of 2016, here is some text from my review:

It is a film that deserves all the attention it can get. BECAUSE it puts the cinematographer and his/her work in focus through Kirsten Johnson, who says – a text in the beginning of the film – ”for the past 25 years I’ve worked as a documentary cinematographer. I originally shot the following footage for other films, but here I ask you to see it as my memoir. These are images that have marked me and leave me wondering still”.

Memoir, yes, the film comes out as not only an offer to reflect on ethical and aesthetical choices of a cameraperson, it is also an autobiographical essay, as – luckily - Johnson connects what she is doing behind the camera with her own private life as mother of twins with a mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s and a father/grandfather playing with her Viva and Felix, the names of the twins. In other words private footage is included in a film that is very rich in its thematically structured narrative…

… and has the most wonderful scene towards the end of the film, where Kirsten Johnson goes back to the family in Bosnia that she had filmed before – to show them the footage that constitutes her pleasant memories from her first visit, where she was the cameraperson for a film on the war. A scene full of dignity from both sides.


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CPH:DOX /To Stay Alive - A Method

Written 20-03-2017 16:44:40 by Mikkel Stolt

ERIK LIESHOUT a.o.: TO STAY ALIVE - A METHOD

If you are a fan of either Michel Houellebecq or Iggy Pop or both: read no further and go and see this film immediately. For those of us who is something less than a dedicated fan (I’m more of a Tom Waits and Haruki Murakami kind of guy myself) there is, however, plenty of reasons to watch this “feelgood movie about suffering” as the front credits say.

I’m not going to tell you the narrative since there isn’t really any, except towards the ending: Iggy is coming to visit Houellebecq (who here is called Vincent) and after a truly spellbinding and kind of nuts dialogue scene, Vincent is showing Iggy Pop to his basement where he has built or created… something. It’s wonderfully staged, and just watching their faces, bodies and clothing are priceless. One look nerdier that the other, in their own way.

Beside the scene mentioned above, the film consists of Iggy Pop reading or reciting the words of Houellebecq in different settings and the crew’s visits to three somewhat unfortunate souls who all suffer or have suffered from different form of poor mental health. They also express themselves in poems (some recited by Iggy Pop) and other art forms but somehow the essayistic form of the film lacks the ability to really grab you in all the scenes. Maybe the staging gets too evident or too pointless with camera trackings and other visual means and maybe there just IS too much text after all.

However, the film grows on you after watching it, and you have never seen a film about creative force and mental illness just like this. And as “Vincent” says I my favourite scene: “Art shouldn’t be a movement”. Luckily, Iggy Pop - who you could argue was part of the punk music movement - agrees in the most self-ironic way. I want to watch that scene again…

Erik Lieshout a.o.: “To Stay Alive - A Method”, 2016. Seen at CPH:DOX. Filmkommentaren: 4/6 penheads

https://cphdox.dk/program/film/?id=46 


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CPH:DOX 2017 /Where is Rocky II?

Written 19-03-2017 16:55:50 by Mikkel Stolt

PIERRE BISMUTH: WHERE IS ROCKY II?

Since he saw an old BBC documentary from 1980 about American pop artist Ed Ruscha, the director has seemingly had an obsession to find the topic of that doc; a piece of artificial rock that Ruscha planted in the Mojave Desert in California among other rocks. What became of it? Is it still there?

Bismuth hires a private detective to help find the rock, but soon we learn that he also hires a couple of scriptwriters. Bismuth was on the scriptwriting team on the unfathomable “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (dir. Michel Gondry”) and it is therefore no surprise that ”Where is Rocky 2” is composed in a puzzling way, combining with what looks like (staged) documentary scenes; scenes with the scriptwriters working, and scenes from the fiction film on which they are working.

I’m a sucker for meta-films and for films playing with the genres – thus giving us a chance to ponder which reality we prefer or can relate to and ultimately understand. Bismuth has called this film a piece of “fake fiction” which is a great term I intent to steal.

However, something goes awry during the last fifth or so of the film, at least for me. The essence of the story itself is something like: “Is a piece of art still art if nobody knows it’s there?” and the film’s problem is probably that the documentary-like scenes with the private detective (who plays himself) turns out to be the most engaging ones. The film that the scriptwriters are working on doesn’t add much but a flavor of trivial storytelling techniques, and it’s like the structure and the conundrums are both too obvious and too obscure. Towards the end, it seems just unnecessary and too apparent to reveal the film crew in a certain shot with the actors.

Still, until the last five or ten minutes I was rather amused and it is definitely worth a look – unless you hate this sort of thing. Then don’t look. It’s still a film of some significance even though YOU don’t watch it.

Pierre Bismuth: Where is Rocky II?, 2016. Seen at CPH:DOX. Filmkommentaren: 3/6 penheads.

https://cphdox.dk/program/film/?id=75 


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CPH:DOX 2017 /The President from the North

Written 18-03-2017 12:23:11 by Tue Steen Müller

LARS FELDBALLE PETERSEN: THE PRESIDENT FROM THE NORTH/ PRÆSIDENTEN FRA NORDVEST

It’s a Dane writing this review. Important to say as the main character of this film, Ahmed Dualeh, is Danish, well he is born in Somalia but has been living in Denmark for 47 years – and he speaks the most perfect, classic Danish. An accent is there but the vocabulary is huge, which is heard, when he in first person tells the amazing story about his life in the country he loves and where he settled in 1967. He became a captain of ships at Maersk, he set up his own company and became a millionaire, he established a family… but he has his heart in Somalia, where he was born in poverty, adopted by an Italian family, and where he – voted by exile Somalis – became the president of Jubaland in 2012, the republic in the South of Somalia. As it turns out there are many other, who want that job, and also a position as prime minister is not reachable for the charismatic idealistic man, who wants to help his native country and dedicates a lot of time to go to political meetings and to meet people in the streets. Most of the time outside Jubaland, in Mogadishu or in neighbouring Kenya as Jubaland still is a dangerous place because of warlords.

The structure of the film goes from here to there, from Denmark to Somalia, from the family to politics. Very simple and efficient. His wife Zhara is worried about him – and their life together - as he is so much away from home. In a scene she is packing her suitcase, cut to him trying to catch her by phone, no success, cut to a daughter who tells him to stop all that travelling, cut to him and wife on what is said to be the last tour, where he is bringing computers and other technical equipment to a school in his native region in Somalia.

Apart from the drama, which is actually not described as a drama, of the couple who has been together for 45 years, the film lives through the way he – and she – is described. An almost constantly smiling, well formulated positive Danish Somali and his adventurous life with Zhara. You will be in a good mood watching this film, which of course also in a Denmark of today full of restrictions towards foreigners is a very timely documentary.

Denmark, 2017, 65 mins.

The film will be shown at CPH:DOX Sunday 19.3 at 21.30 Park Bio, Saturday 25.3 12.30 Empire Bio, Sunday 26.3 13.30 Nordisk Film Palads.

https://cphdox.dk/program/film/?id=150    


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CPH:DOX 2017 /The Unforgiven

Written 18-03-2017 10:46:56 by Tue Steen Müller

LARS FELDBALLE PETERSEN: THE UNFORGIVEN

1992. Celebici in Bosnia-Hercegovina. A prison camp for Serbs. Esad Landzo, 19 years old was a guard. He killed and tortured, he was one of the worst, say survivors who remember what ”Zenga”, his nickname, did to them and friends and relatives. In 1996 he was arrested and in 1998 sentenced to 15 years in prison at the Court in den Haag. He sat in a Finnish prison from 2003 till he was released in 2006. He now lives and is married in Finland.

Facts about a war criminal, who is the main protagonist of this important documentary that puts focus on the question whether you can forgive. Esad suffers after his release, ”my old demons come back, they don’t let me sleep”, ”I am a dead man walking”, ”I need my life back”. His life story is told, you meet his parents, there is archive material from the camp, showing strong emotional material of prisoners sitting in a squat position, waiting for the next atrocity to be committed. He visits a psychiatrist.

It all builds up to the confrontations. Esad writes to some of the former prisoners to ask if they will meet him. And the film takes its time to let us viewers meet them - before the confrontation - to hear, what they remember, and to see them get ready to meet Esad – at the camp. Several other people are built up as characters in the film. Accompanied by the man, who was a doctor at the camp, and who seems to be respected by the survivors, as well as by Esad, they come to meet Esad, who asks for forgiveness, ”I am not here to excuse”, ”I want to apologize”, he says to one after the other, a broken man talking to people, broken as well, they have scars on their souls – it is very tense, very sad to watch these authentic and actually mostly silent scenes that reminds you that the best documentaries do not give answers, they raise questions.

Lars Feldballe and his Finnish producer have worked on this film for years, with respect for the theme and the involved, they have avoided tabloid journalism to make a film that will have a long life ahead. Hopefully not only at festivals but also whereever post-war traumas are being dealt with. It deserves to be used like that.     

Finland/Denmark, 2017, 75 mins.

The film will be shown at CPH:DOX Monday 20.3 at 8pm Empire Bio, Wednesday 22.3 at 4.30pm Nordisk Film Palads, Saturday 25.3 Nordisk Film Palads. At the two first screenings there will be debates. More about who and what on

https://cphdox.dk/program/film/?id=120


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CPH:DOX 2017 /The Trial

Written 17-03-2017 17:14:41 by Tue Steen Müller

ASKOLD KUROV: THE TRIAL

… with the subtitle ”The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov”, a film that premiered at the Berlinale, now to be shown at CPH:DOX and at DocuDays in Kiev on the 25th of March with the director and guests present.

I mention the latter as Oleg Sentsov is Ukrainian and for those, who do not know the story, here is the laconic film description from the festival in Ukraine:

Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian filmmaker, Euromaidan activist and native of Crimea. After the Russian annexation of Crimea, he became an active opponent of the occupation. In May 2014 he was arrested by the Russian security



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CPH:DOX 2017 /A Modern Man

Written 16-03-2017 13:29:32 by Allan Berg Nielsen

EVA MULVAD: A MODERN MAN

Moderne har jo både at gøre med modernus (ny, nyere) og med modus (måde), og denne dobbelthed får den præcise titel til pege på et menneske med nye måder at være på, måske være til i virkeligheden på, leve sit liv på, sortere sine valg på. Jeg opfatter det sådan, at Eva Mulvad vil undersøge det nye moderne. Måske vil hun også som filmskaber i naturlig forlængelse lægge en ny slags film til fænomenerne, hun skildrer i A Modern Man, en ny moderne filmisk stil, hvor det karakteristiske er, at filmen løsnet af den litterære episke fremadskriden, løsnet af journalistikkens opklaringsdrama fungerer på gamle cinematografiske betingelser som at stille scene ved scene. Og der er er i Mulvads film sandelig lange og tydelige og selvbevidste scener bygget af lange rolige optagelser af enkeltafsnit i Charlie Siems liv.

Charlie Siem er violinist og fotomodel, og det på verdensplan, en mondæn mand, som medvirker som en populær stjerne i samtaleshows i tv i samtaler om offentligheden, omsværmelsen og i dette ensomheden. Facebook og Instagram er medierne, men forbilledet er Robert De Niro.

Første afsnit, filmens åbning, er mangetydig. Den skildrer købet af en ny, rød Porsche. Reklamefilm eller dokumentarfilm? Køber han eller er han model? Pointen er, at han spørger sælgeren: Hvordan er dens lyd? Prøver motorlyden af som en musiker et instrument, og så vil han i en æstetisk ideosynkrasi have et underlødigt designet typenavn mærke fjernet fra bagklappen. Detaljen er vigtig.

Så følger en scene fra en koncert. Siem er alene foran orkesteret, spiller kadancen, som er vanskelig, kun violinen høres, en nåls fald kunne høres. Den virtuose kadance afbrydes, det her handler ikke om fordybelse, så der klippes til et voldsomt hovedspring fra højt oppe ned i havet, derfra til et stille svømmebassin uden person, en smuk ensom arkitektur, derfra til en scene med Siem i et soveværelse, han pakker vitaminpiller ud. Den moderne mand passer sin krop. Og sin skrædder.



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Awards in Thessaloniki

Written 15-03-2017 13:35:30 by Tue Steen Müller

The 19th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival were giving out awards a couple of days ago. The Danish production ”Dream Empire” by David Borenstein got the main prize, the Golden Alexander, with a Special Jury Award for the amazing ”Machines” by Rahul Jain from India.

An Amnesty Award for the best film in the Human Rights section was given to Raoul Peck’s masterpiece ”I am not Your Negro”. And the award in the name of late documentary guru Peter Wintonick was given to Zaradasht Ahmed for his Iraq film ”Nowhere to Hide”.

As motivation for the award to ”Dream Empire”, quote from festival site, ”The president of the jury, Mr Paul Pauwels, said that “we were captivated by this documentary because the story develops in an imaginative way: from a simple situation to a compellingly insightful journey to the global dynamic of a world in progress – or maybe in crisis? We appreciated the humour, the powerful character and the aesthetic, which make the film a delight for spectators, but also make them more sensitive towards serious issues that concern us all”.  

http://tdf.filmfestival.gr/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /Last Men in Aleppo

Written 14-03-2017 15:28:05 by Sara Thelle

FERAS FAYYAD: LAST MEN IN ALEPPO 

The tone is set in the opening, this story is of a universal scope. It is a film about life in a world of death and violence, of humanity surviving endless destruction.

Last Men in Aleppo is an homage to the White Helmets (officially the Syria Civil Defence), the civilian volunteer rescue corps that works relentlessly to save the lives of civilians in rebel-held areas of Syria. Filmed over a year, from September 2015 to fall 2016 up until Aleppo fell back in to the hands of Bashar al Assad’s government forces, the film is collaboration between the Syrian director, Feras Fayyad, the Aleppo Media Center, an independent news agency and network of reporters in Aleppo, and the Danish co-director and editor Steen Johannessen together with Danish producer Søren Steen Jespersen (Larm Film). Last Men in Aleppo won this year’s Grand Jury Price for World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.

We are introduced to the two main characters, Khaled and Mahmoud, one by one. Khaled, a former painter and decorator and one of the veterans of the White Helmets team, is a warm and playful man. But as the father of two young daughters, he is also haunted by the dilemmas of how to protect them best, should he have taken them to Turkey? is it still a possibility? Can he leave Aleppo, should he stay behind? Mahmoud, a student of philosophy before the revolution, is more quiet and thoughtful. His younger brother has also joined the White Helmets, they’ve lied to their parents, telling them that they are living safely in Turkey.

The days are spend heads leaned back, searching the sky for planes and helicopters bombing the city. As soon as the hit is located, get in to the car and drive straight to where the bomb has landed. Everyday life in Aleppo is barrel bombs, digging out dead babies from the rubble with their bare hands. A foot, a limb, who does it belong to? Body parts are carefully collected and handed over to relatives. And then, occasionally, the miracle: a child is found alive underneath the dusty fragments of what used to be his home.



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One World 2017 The Winners

Written 14-03-2017 14:15:09 by Tue Steen Müller

As usual the Prague-based festival delivers precise and informative press releases. Here is the one about the winners… The juries of the 19th annual One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival granted seven awards to films that were screened in Prague from 6 ­to 15 March.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION JURY

The Best Film award went to Nowhere to Hide (PHOTO) by director Zaradasht Ahmed (Norway, Sweden | 2016 | 85 min.), in which a male nurse in Iraq films his daily life scarred by war. Later he must flee Islamic State and himself becomes the protagonist of the story. Motivation:

"Thanks to the courage of its protagonist and the



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East European Forum Prague

Written 12-03-2017 11:31:52 by Tue Steen Müller

Saturday morning I attended the pitching of 18 projects and an award ceremony, including 9 awards – they will be announced on the site and/or the Facebook page of the organizing IDF, Institute of Documentary Film. As usual with a fine atmosphere at the Komedie Theatre, unpretentious professionalism, all projects were presented without any discussion afterwards, that happened later that afternoon and this morning in round table discussions with the participation of broadcasters, sales agents, distributors, festival programmers, producers…

I watched and listened to the projects and established my own point system with 10 and 9 in the top. 6 out of 18 qualified:



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Prague: Football and Czech Docs

Written 10-03-2017 13:35:02 by Tue Steen Müller

Elena Subira, colleague from DocsBarcelona, asked worried to my health after wednesday night’s football miracle, where Barcelona beat Paris 6-1 after having lost the first match 4-0. Heart attack…? No, but close to, amazing, 3 Barca goals in the dying minutes of a match that I watched in the good docu company of Mikael Opstrup, Iikka Vehkalahti and Peter Jäger. In a – yes! – English/Indian restaurant, lots of beer and a smell of curry. In the Stepanska street close to the Institute Cervantes, where the East Doc Platform takes place and to the Majestic Hotel, where we stay. Majestic was the football and majestic is the East Doc Platform.

And if all goes well some fine Czech documentaries are coming soon. To a festival or tv near you! Anna Kaslova from the IDF



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Lom & van Egeraat: Burma Storybook

Written 07-03-2017 10:52:56 by Tue Steen Müller

The first names of the filmmaking couple are Petr and Corinne.

Maung Aung Pwint is according to a text at the beginning of the film the ”most famous living dissident poet” in Burma/Myanmar. He was imprisoned several times for his poetry and activism, it is said, and he says to the film crew, ”let’s make a long poem together”.

And Petr Lom, director and cinematographer, does his best to live up to that challenge. He creates stunningly framed and composed images that do simply not ”illustrate” what films with or about literature often do. Klichés are avoided. Many images include the (English) texts of poems which are being read. These are Maung Aung Pwint’s poems or poems from younger poets and – if I got it right – other poets, who have been imprisoned because of their writing and activism. In many cases you simply see the poet reading the poem.

… a long poem together, yes an elephant with a man riding on top

 



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ZagrebDox Awards Jashi, Glavonic, Carlsen

Written 05-03-2017 11:16:56 by Tue Steen Müller

… and many others. But very happy to see that the juries in Zagreb agreed so much with filmkommentaren.dk in its praising of the films by Salomé Jashi, Ognjen Glavonic and Jon Bang Carlsen. If you click on ”The Dazzling Light of Sunset” or ”Depth Two” or Jon Bang Carlsen you will find our words on two great films and one great film director. Here come the motivations of the juries:

The Dazzling Light of Sunset  (by Salomé Jashi) (PHOTO) paints an atmospheric and subtly humorous image of daily life in a small town in Georgia. Local events – such as weddings, shows, election discussions, captured owls, church rituals – seem like a good topic for the local TV crew whose cover stories are also in the focus of this film. All this is accompanied by a visually subtle observational detachment which shows this whole mixture of outdated tradition and new customs in both an absurd and poetically gentle light, which makes this film an extremely valuable piece.

Depth Two (by Ognjen Glavonic)… The Big Stamp Award for Best



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IDF Presents East Doc Platform

Written 04-03-2017 14:20:35 by Tue Steen Müller

IDF stands for Institute of Documentary Film, is based in Prague with this slogan: We support the emerging stars from Central and Eastern Europe. Link below, but let me sum up what this impressive film institution is doing: training (Ex Oriente), market (East Silver), distribution (KineDok), promotion (Czech Docs), pitching (East European Forum), transmedia (Doc Tank), networking (Project Market) and East Doc Platform, an event that starts this coming monday March 6 and goes on until March 12.

I have a warm connection to IDF and the many people, who work and have been working there. I was part of the ExOriente workshop for many years – it gave me a chance to make my addiction to documentaries and documentarians in this part of the world even deeper than it already was from around 1990, where the Empire USSR fell as did the wall in Berlin, and I travelled in the Baltic countries first of all. I got acquainted with the work of filmmakers like Miroslav Janek, Helena Trestikova, Jan Gogola, Filip Remunda, Robert Kirchhoff and many others.

Marta Obršálová, new pr manager of IDF, asked me to write about



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CPH:DOX 2017 /The Festival

Written 01-03-2017 16:39:23 by Tue Steen Müller

It’s spring, 1st of March, from where I sit in Copenhagen it’s cloudy and windy but milder. I have the window open. It’s spring and the CPH:DOX festival announced its program at noon today. The festival has moved to March and the festival main venue has moved. CPH:DOX will have what they call a Festival Palace at the Charlottenborg on Kongens Nytorv next to the Royal Theatre (the classic, not the new at the harbour). Here will be cinemas, exhibitions, a five day conference, concerts and parties, café and restaurant and much much more. The headquarter in other words. In one of the central squares of Copenhagen.

The website is up and running, the programme newspaper can be downloaded, I guess there will be banners round the city if they are not there yet… and there will be screenings outside Copenhagen, more than 100 it is written in the press material.

More than 200 films with 75 world premieres.

Dates: March 16-26.

Ambition – to be ”more than a festival”, quote from the website’s ”About Us”:



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CPH:DOX 2017 /Films

Written 01-03-2017 16:32:35 by Tue Steen Müller

It’s very easy if you want to see what will be shown at the festival. Go to the website, link below, and you will see the many sections arranged by the programmers. The classical ones are there like Dox:Award, New:Vision Award, the F:Act Award, Nordic:Dox Award, a new section for upcoming talents called Next:Wave, docs for kids, docs about artists, docs on the actual populism, Danish docs, festival hits and so on so forth.

Let me pick some of the films that I have heard about in beforehand or that we at filmkommentaren.dk have already written about or reviewed. Or intend to…

The Danish ones in the main competition: The opening film ”Last Men in Aleppo” by Feras Fayyad, with Steen Johannessen as co-director, it won at the Sundance festival. We will review this strong film that not only brought tears to my eyes but also made me sad and angry about what happens and has happened in Syria. Talented Jeppe Rønde’s ”The John Dalli Mystery” starring the



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CPH:DOX 2017 /Industry

Written 01-03-2017 16:21:16 by Tue Steen Müller

”Industry”, that is what CPH:DOX, and all the other big festivals call – quoted from the site – ”the various activities offer professional development, networking, and business opportunities to filmmakers and industry professionals at all levels of experience”.

So when the audience happily goes to watch films, the producers and directors and people like me, who is curious to know what is happening at the market, or which themes the filmmakers pick or what the funders are looking for or what kind of training is offered… we miss some films but are spoilt in other ways. CPH:DOX 2017, indeed, has done a lot to give us choices and it has to be said that most of these professional activities take place during day time, where screenings of course fill the evenings.

CPH:Conference is a series of day-long thematic sessions that the festival has set up in collaboration with the training programme Discovery Campus with the support of the daily Danish newspaper Information. ”Science and Film”, ”Art, Technology & Change” and ”Serialized” are some of the points, the latter including a visit by the Oscar winner Ezra Edelmann to talk on his film on O.J.

The CPH:Forum is more than similar events at other big festivals focused on bringing in ”auteurs”, so you will find names like Hubert Sauper, Kirsten Johnson, Roberto Minervini, Sally Potter, Sophie Fiennes AND our local hero, amazing Jørgen Leth on the list of people to pitch. To whom? Quote from the site: ”This year we welcome, amongst many others, highly esteemed broadcasters such as ARTE, ZDF, NDR, BBC, DR, film funds from all over Europe, as well as Ford Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Fondation Cartier, Tate Modern and Sundance Institute.”

And there is a CPH:Lab and a CPH: Academy for young filmmakers and their projects to be developed, and a market for people like me, who want to see films in the videotheque.

You name it - It’s all there!

https://cphdox.dk/en/cphindustry/?i=1


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A Festival Was Born

Written 01-03-2017 12:50:43 by Tue Steen Müller

… with the Docs & Talks at Cinemateket in Copenhagen. Filmkommentaren has been happy to be a so-called media supporter of a festival with a different profile than the ones we usually know and write about: Films were shown and followed by hour-long thematic talks and discussions about terrorism, Denmark’s wars, international aid programs, migration and apologies for past sins with researchers from DIIS (Danish Institute for International Studies), filmmakers and even military personnel (!) as participants.

The DIIS and Cinemateket were organisers, Danish Film Institute supported, Sara Thelle and Mira Bach Hansen selected, promoted and hosted together with Rasmus Brendstrup from Cinemateket,

There was an average of 95 in the cinema for the 11 screenings, 1055 in total, impressive when you take into consideration that many of the screenings took place weekdays in the afternoon. “Je Suis le Peuple” by Anna Roussillon was one of the best films at the festival, 117 came to watch and listen to researcher Rasmus Boserup talk about Egypt. Therefore a still from that film.

Small is Beautiful, next year with eventual evening screenings… the numbers will double.


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Doc Festivals in March

Written 28-02-2017 15:27:59 by Tue Steen Müller

On the last day of the short February month, let’s take a look at the many festivals coming up in March. And let me apologise in advance for those I have forgotten to mention…

One has already started, the Croatian Zagrebdox, that goes on until April 3rd, set up years ago by producer and director Nenad Puhovski, who has a safe hand when it comes to selection. He simply picks what he thinks is the best and ends up with having praised works in his competitive programs like Piotr Stasik’s ”21 x New York” (photo), Kirsten Johnson’s ”Cameraperson”, Salome Jashi’s ”The Dazzling Light of Sunset”, Maite Alberdi’s ”The Grown-Ups” and Pawel Lozinski’s chamberplay ”You Have No Idea of How Much I love You”. All in International Competition, whereas the



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Docs & Talks /12

Written 27-02-2017 11:30:22 by Tue Steen Müller

Fuck… lød det fra ydersædet på min række. Arrangør og filmudvælger Sara Thelle var højlydt utilfreds med at mikrofonerne i Cinematekets Asta Biograf gav forstyrrende hvislende bilyde – og fik den næsten fyldte sals tilskuere til at klukke af medfølelse. Det var ikke første gang, vi havde været vidne til svigtende teknik. Det var det heller ikke for Cinematekets Rasmus Brendstrup, som tålmodigt flere gange gik ned til scenen, skiftede mikrofonerne ud, tilkaldte en tekniker. Det hjalp ikke. Til sidst spurgte Brendstrup publikum om ikke vi kunne klare arrangementet uden mikrofoner. Joooo!

Med denne menneskelige start var forsamlingen rystet sammen og ”Nye Syriske Kortfilm” kom i gang og skuffede ikke de fremmødte. Helle Malmvig fra DIIS kædede filmene sammen på fornemste vis. Fra Paris kom Dani Abo Louh for at vise og kommentere sin ”A Spring Tale”, som han har lavet sammen med Mohamad Omran, et fint stykke animationskunst skabt i 2011, da der stadig var håb for den syriske revolution. ”We were optimistic at that time”. En ny form for kunstnerisk udtryk fulgte gennem ”det anonyme filmkollektiv Abou Nadarra, (som) hver fredag siden begyndelsen af oprøret i 2011 (har) lagt en lille film ud på internettet.” De to korte film, der blev vist, var ”After the Image” og ”The Unknown Soldier”.

Gribende var det at møde herboende syrisk-kurdiske digter Jan



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Docs & Talks /11

Written 24-02-2017 14:28:29 by Tue Steen Müller

ANNA ROUSSILLON: I AM THE PEOPLE

Hvordan ser revolutionen i 2011 og dens efterveer ud set fra en landsby langt fra Tahrir-pladsen? I palmelundene i Luxor-dalen diskuteres der – i et samfund præget af årtiers diktatur – også politik, ligesom der småskændes og filosoferes på højt plan. ‘I Am the People’ er en smuk og klog film, der med overblik og humor stiller spørgsmål til demokratiets forudsætninger og vilkår.

DIIS' Rasmus Alenius Boserup diskuterer, med afsæt i dokumentarfilmen ‘I Am the People’ og sin egen bog 'Efter foråret', de spændninger, muligheder og blokeringer, der præger egyptisk og mellemøstlig politik i dag.

Je suis le peuple, Frankrig, Egypten, 2014. DCP, 111 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København søndag 26.02.17, Kl. 14:00

http://www.dfi.dk/Filmhuset/Cinemateket/Billetter-og-program/Serie.aspx?id=13247 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /10

Written 23-02-2017 19:59:05 by Tue Steen Müller

McEVVOY/FAROUKY: TELL SPRING NOT TO COME THIS SPRING

The Docs & Talks festival in Copenhagen screens this excellent film saturday night at 17.45, followed by a debate, at the Film House, Cinemateket. Two years ago I made this review of the film:

I have been there before. Danish director Janus Metz went to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan to make ”Armadillo” about ”our” soldiers on mission. After more than a decade in the country, the NATO troops have withdrawn leaving the job to fight the enemy, the Taliban, to ANA, the Afghan National Army.

The mood of the Afghan soldiers is quite different than the one of the Danish soldiers, who (until they end up in a real battle) saw the trip, one of them puts it like that, as like going to play a real football match after long training and preparation. Quite different, a true understatement, because what you get in the impressive film by Saeed Taji Farouky and Michael McEvoy, shot over a period of one year, is an insight to a situation that seems to be without any hope and perspective: an army with soldiers, who have no respect for the politicians or for what the NATO troops achieved, an atmosphere of depression, they have not been paid for months, they see the local population as stuck between taliban and the government’s army. No actual way out.

The filmmakers have wisely chosen to have a focus on two – the



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Docs & Talks /9

Written 23-02-2017 18:38:33 by Allan Berg Nielsen

MICHAEL McEVOY, SAEED TAJI FAROUKY: TELL SPRING NOT TO COME THIS YEAR

Dokumentarfilmen ’Tell Spring Not to Come This Year’ fokuserer på krigen i Afghanistan set med afghanske soldaters øjne, der bogstavelig talt placerer os midt i skudlinjen af fronten mellem Taleban og den afghanske nationale hær, der har overtaget kampen, efter at NATO har forladt landet. Et sjældent og nyt perspektiv der giver indsigt i de unge afghaneres personlige motivationer og drømme i en krig, der reelt set ikke er deres, og som det internationale samfund ikke længere interesserer sig for.

Filminstruktør Janus Metz og DIIS-forsker Mona Kanwal Sheikh diskuterer med afsæt i dokumentarfilmen ’Tell Spring Not to Come This Year’, hvilken situation de afghanske soldater opererer i, og hvordan Taleban står i Afghanistan i dag. I 2010 gav filminstruktøren Janus Metz en hårrejsende skildring af danske soldates hverdag i Helmand-provinsen med ’Armadillo’ – i dag er de tropper trukket hjem.

Storbritannien, 2015. DCP, 87 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København lørdag 25.02.17, Kl. 17:45

 

ROBERT KENNER: COMMAND AND CONTROL

Et frygtindgydende mareridt udspiller sig på et militært missilkompleks i Arkansas i 1980. En medarbejder taber ved et uheld et stik, der punkterer brændstoftanken på et interkontinentalt ballistisk missil, som bærer kompleksets kraftigste nukleare sprænghoved. Hændelsen akkumulerer en serie af feberredninger for at undgå katastrofen. ’Command and Control’ er en neglebidende og minutiøs kronologisk gennemgang af historien. Instruktør Robert Kenner sætter et kamera ind, hvor intet kamera har været før, og bringer Eric Schlossers faglitterære thriller om dramaet til live med rekonstruktioner optaget i en original Titan II-missilsilo. Iscenesættelsen rammes ind af øjenvidneberetninger fra manden, der tabte stikket; ham, der designede det nukleare sprænghoved; den daværende Secretary of Defence. Alle fortæller om deres personlige oplevelse af de ni timers terror, for at forhindre en eksplosion 600 gange kraftigere end Hiroshima.

DIIS-forsker Gry Thomasen og historikeren Casper Sylvest diskuterer med afsæt i dokumentarfilmen ’Command and Control’, hvordan vi sikrer os mod atomkraftulykker, og om det at besidde atomvåben overhovedet er foreneligt med et moderne demokrati.

USA, 2016. DCP, 91 min. Engelsk dialog. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København lørdag 25.02.17 Kl. 21:00

http://www.dfi.dk/Filmhuset/Cinemateket/Billetter-og-program/Serie.aspx?id=13247 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /8

Written 23-02-2017 12:12:44 by Allan Berg Nielsen

ROBERT KENNER: COMMAND AND CONTROL

”President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was asleep in Washington, D.C., when the phone rang. His military aide, General William Odom, was calling to inform him that two hundred and twenty missiles launched from Soviet submarines were heading toward the United States. Brzezinski told Odom to get confirmation of the attack. A retaliatory strike would have to be ordered quickly; Washington might be destroyed within minutes. Odom called back and offered a correction: twenty-two hundred Soviet missiles had been launched.

Brzezinski decided not to wake up his wife, preferring that she die in her sleep. As he prepared to call Carter and recommend an American counterattack, the phone rang for a third time. Odom apologized—it was a false alarm. An investigation later found that a defective computer chip in a communications device at NORAD headquarters had generated the erroneous warning. The chip cost forty-six cents…”

Sara Thelle, en af redaktørerne af festivalen Docs & Talks, anbefalede mig denne tekst, Eric Schlossers artikel World War Three, by Mistake i The New Yorker 23. december 2016 som forberedelse til at se hans og Robert Kenners film, og jeg giver insisterende anbefalingen videre. Der er et link nedenfor, gå ind og læs! Det er lige nu den lettest tilgængelige opdaterede oversigt over nuclear command and control systemer i USA og Rusland set historisk/retrospektivt. Da jeg i går læste artiklen, blev jeg længe hængende ved det citerede afsnit (som nota bene ikke er den hændelse filmen er bygget over), men lige netop denne billeddannende scene med fru Brzezinzki, for hvem det ville være bedst at sove videre ind i døden, denne erindrede kilde i Schlossers tekst vækkede mig. Jeg var angst igen, angst for selve udslettelsen, som Zbigniew Brzezinski håndterer så åbenenbart velforberedt nøgtern. Hvad jeg bestemt også med gru forventer af den nationale sikkerhedsrådgiver: vores sidste handling er at rive mdstanderen med i udslettelsen.



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Docs & Talks /7

Written 22-02-2017 19:26:20 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Program torsdag 24. februar / tekst: Sara Thelle, Mira Bach Hansen, Rasmus Brendstrup

NYE SYRISKE KORTFILM

Vi skal se dukkesatire som magtkritik med kunstnergruppen Masasit Matis serie 'Top Goon' og den bevægende animationsfilm 'A Spring Tale' instrueret af de to kunstnere Mohamad Omran og Dani Abo Louh. Det er en stærk og rørende fortælling, der hylder den fredelige modstand.

Det anonyme filmkollektiv Abou Nadarra har hver fredag siden begyndelsen af oprøret i 2011 lagt en lille film ud på internettet. De ultra-korte film problematiserer gængse forestillinger om Syrien, krigen og om os, der som tilskuere oplever rædslerne på afstand. Abou Nadarra insisterer på den universelle fortælling og på at skabe identifikation.

Til sidst vises to kortfilm produceret af NGO’en Bidayyat, der med base i Beirut har støttet dokumentar- og eksperimentalfilm lavet af unge syriske instruktører siden 2013. Azza Hamwis bevæger sig mellem de to dele af det splittede Damaskus, den regimestyrede og den befriede, i den personlige refleksion 'A Day and a Button'. Og 'Love During the Siege' af Mattar Ismaeel er en nænsom skildring af håb og kærlighed i en hverdag, der ellers er reduceret til ren overlevelse i det belejrede sydlige Damaskus, hvor instruktøren stadig befinder sig i dag.

Filmmediet spiller en afgørende rolle i konflikten i Syrien. Som kunstnerisk udtryk, som dokumentation for krigens rædsler og som magtkritisk våben i oprøret mod regimet, men også i kampen for retten til selv at definere, hvordan syrere repræsenteres i en verden hvor regimets propaganda og de vestlige mediers overflod af billeder af syrere som anonyme ofre eller fanatiske krigere dominerer. Helle Malmvig fra DIIS har forsket i de visuelle udtryk, der er opstået under det syriske oprør og den efterfølgende krig. Dagens program leder os gennem oprørets spæde start præget af latter og optimisme, henover den begyndende tvivl og vold, til i dag, hvor den rene overlevelseskamp råder. Programmet spænder vidt, fra dukkesatire og gribende animation til dokumentariske filmessays, digtoplæsning og samtale med syriske gæster.

I samtale med den herboende syrisk-kurdiske digter Jan Pêt Khorto og den syriske videokunstner Dani Abo Louh, der bor i Paris og er medinstruktør på 'A Spring Tale', taler DIIS-forsker Helle Malmvig om kunst som politisk aktivisme og om situationen i Syrien lige nu. Moderator: Sanne Gram.

Syrien, 2016. Kendes ikke, 30 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København fredag 24.02.17, Kl. 16:30

http://www.dfi.dk/Filmhuset/Cinemateket/Billetter-og-program/Serie.aspx?id=13247

 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /6

Written 21-02-2017 19:19:07 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Program torsdag 23. februar / tekst: Sara Thelle, Mira Bach Hansen, Rasmus Brendstrup

TIFANNY HSIUNG: THE APOLOGY

'The Apology' handler om den japanske hærs systematiske voldtægt af over 200.000 kvinder under 2. verdenskrig. Tre bedstemødre fra henholdsvis Sydkorea, Kina og Filippinerne bryder års skam og fornægtelse – og kræver en officiel undskyldning fra den japanske regering. En kamp, der fører dem helt til FN’s Menneskerettighedsråd i Genève for at overlevere mere end en million underskrifter på vegne af aktivister, pårørende og overlevende, der håber på forsoning, retfærdighed og heling.

At et land siger undskyld for fortidige ugerninger er ikke altid en fordel for ofrene. Problematikken diskuteres af forskerne Robin May Schott, Cecilie Stokholm Banke og Yang Jiang oven på visningen af ‘The Apology’, der handler om den japanske hærs systematiske voldtægt af over 200.000 kvinder under 2. verdenskrig. Debatten foregår på engelsk.

Canada, 2016, DCP, 104 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København torsdag 23.02.17, Kl. 16:45

 

MICHAEL MATHESON MILLER: POVERTY, INC.

‘Poverty, Inc.’ undersøger bagsiden af humanitært arbejde og de negative bivirkninger, den globale fattigdomsbekæmpelse kan have på de lokale samfund, den egentlig skulle hjælpe. Med eksempler fra Haiti og Afrika ser vi, hvordan den internationale bistandsindustri, organisationer som Verdensbanken, Den Internationale Valutafond og velmenende NGO’er og celebrities kan ødelægge de lokale bønder og forretningsfolks eksistensgrundlag og gøre befolkningen afhængige af et system, der i realiteten kun nærer sig selv ender med at fastholde modtagerne i fattigdom. Kritiske røster, bl. a. antropologen Timothy Schwartz, lægen og forfatteren Theodore Dalrymple og den senegalesiske iværksætter og powerkvinde Magatte Wade, påpeger, hvorledes udviklingsbistand kan blive til en form for neokolonialisme, der gør de lokale befolkninger til økonomiske slaver.

Er udviklingsbistand overhovedet befordrende for selvhjælp eller en bekræftelse af status quo – bare med nogle rigere mellemmænd? Det diskuterer DIIS-forskerne Adam Moe Fejerskov og Neil Webster sammen med generalsekretær i Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, Tim Whyte, med afsæt i dokumentarfilmen ‘Poverty, Inc.’

USA, 2014, 91 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København torsdag 23.02.17, Kl. 20:30

http://www.dfi.dk/Filmhuset/Cinemateket/Billetter-og-program/Serie.aspx?id=13247 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /5

Written 20-02-2017 21:23:15 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Program onsdag 22. februar / tekst: Sara Thelle, Mira Bach Hansen, Rasmus Brendstrup

ROBERT OEY: THE MISSION

”Peacekeeping – but there is no peace to keep.” Oberst Joost de Wolf var fra 2014 til 2015 næstkommanderende for hæren under FN-indsatsen i Mali, men er en overraskende ærlig og kritisk fortæller. Hvad sker der, når kontorvirkeligheden i New York møder virkeligheden ude i marken? ‘The Mission’ diskuterer FN-missionens reelle mandat, grænsen mellem en fredsbevarende mission og terrorbekæmpelse – og skillelinjen mellem politiske og militære løsninger.

Efter dokumentarfilmen ’The Mission’ diskuterer DIIS-forsker Signe Cold-Ravnkilde og den tidligere militære leder af FN-missionen i Mali, Michael Lollesgaard, udfordringerne for FN i Mali og andre konfliktlande. Hvordan påvirker det eksempelvis en fredsbevarende mission, at den i sig selv bliver mål for terrorgrupper?

Originaltitel: De Missie, Holland, 2016, DCP, 89 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København onsdag 22.02.17, Kl. 13:00

 

GIANFRANCO ROSI: HAVET BRÆNDER

Øen Lampedusa er blevet et symbol på flygtningekrisen. Men i sin vinderfilm fra Berlin-festivalen 2016, ’Havet brænder’, lægger italienske Gianfranco Rosi væsentlige nuancer til vores forståelse af øen og dens folk. Filmen er alt andet end reportage-agtig: Sensitiv, finurlig og fuld af ikke-verbaliserede paralleller mellem Lampedusas fiskerfolk og de hårdt prøvede syrere og afrikanere, der redder sig i land. Filmen har drengen Samuele – 12 år, umiddelbar, synshæmmet og meget lidt søstærk – som omdrejningspunkt. Hans far er søulk, mormoren ferm ved gryderne, og omkring dem cirkler militær- og redningsskibe. Det hele bindes sammen gennem en radiovært og øens allround-læge.

DIIS-forskerne Hans Lucht og Sine Plambech diskuterer med afsæt i Guldbjørn-vinderen ’Havet brænder’, om EU bruger de rigtige midler i forsøget på at forhindre de mange dødsfald på Middelhavet. Sygeplejerske Kamma Skaarup fra Læger Uden Grænser er netop kommet hjem fra Lampedusa og fortæller om sine oplevelser med at behandle migranter. Og den rwandiske multikunstner Dady de Maximo viser billeder og video om migranters liv (denne del af arrangementet foregår på engelsk).

Originaltitel: Fuocoammare, Italien, Frankrig, 2016, DCP, 107 min. Danske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København onsdag 22.02.17, Kl. 16:30

 

PAUL SALAHADIN REFSDAL: DUGMA : THE BUTTON

Den norske instruktør Paul Refsdal har fulgt fire foreign fighters fra al-Nusra Fronten i Syrien gennem seks uger. Alle har de som mål at blive martyrer i hellig krig, og filmen giver et unikt indblik i krigernes tro og tvivlspørgsmål hos selvvalgte selvmordsbombere.

Efter filmen ’Dugma: The Button’ fortæller filmens instruktør Paul Refsdal om sine overvejelser i forbindelse med at portrættere en gruppe selvmordsbombere. Den danske journalist Nagieb Khaja debatterer efterfølgende med DIIS-forskerne Lars Erslev Andersen og Maja Greenwood, hvilken rolle fremmedkrigere spiller i Syrien – og hvor stor en trussel de udgør, hvis de vender hjem. Norge, Syrien, 2016, DCP, 58 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København onsdag 22.02.17, Kl. 19:00

www.dfi.dk/Filmhuset/Cinemateket/Billetter-og-program/

 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /4

Written 20-02-2017 08:39:32 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Program tirsdag 21. februar / tekst: Sara Thelle, Mira Bach Hansen, Rasmus Brendstrup:

LAURENT BÉCUE-RENARD: OF MEN AND WAR

Kom med helt ind i det terapirum, hvor amerikanske krigsveteraner fra krigene i Irak og Afghanistan bliver behandlet for posttraumatisk stress syndrom (PTSD). Filmen vandt hovedprisen på IDFA og får her sin dan- ske biografpremiere. Den viser også, hvordan krig ’smitter’ familierne derhjemme. ”Min datter har lidt under, at du var i krig – fra før hun blev undfanget,” som en hustru siger til sin veteranmand.

Frankrig, Schweiz, USA, 2014. DCP, 142 min. Engelsk dialog. Tilladt over 15 år. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København tirsdag 21.02.17, Kl. 12:30.

Dokumentarfilmen ’Of Men and War’ danner afsæt for en debat om, hvordan militæret i dag håndterer PTSD og forsøger at modvirke konsekvenserne af krigens traumer. I panelet sidder DIIS-forskerne Robin May Schott og Johannes Lang, der studerer krigens psykologi, militærpsykolog Halfdan Fryd Koot samt en tidligere udsendt soldat. NB: Reserverede billetter skal afhentes senest dagen inden arrangementet. Efter debatten er der reception i Asta Bar.

 

MARIANNA ECONOMOU: THE LONGEST RUN

’The Longest Run’ sætter spotlight på en skjult problematik i flygtningekrisen, nemlig fortællingen om, hvordan unge uledsagede flygtninge tvinges til at sætte sig ved roret og transportere illegale flygtninge over grænsen til Europa, mens de etablerede menneskesmuglere bliver tilbage og kan fortsætte deres arbejde ustraffet. Jasim og Alsaleh er begge mindreårige og er flygtet, uledsaget, fra krigen i Syrien og Irak. Begge drenge blev ved ankomsten til Grækenland anholdt og fængslet, og nu er de under anklage om menneskesmugling.

Filmens græske instruktør, Marianna Economou, giver os i ‘The Longest Run’ unik adgang til de to unge drenge i fængslet og helt ind i retssalen under retssagen, som skal afgøre deres videre skæbner. Gennem hjerteskærende telefonsamtaler med deres mødre, som sidder tilbage i hvert deres krigshærgede land, får vi på tæt hold lov at opleve den dobbelte rædsel og uvished, som drengene og deres familier gennemlever.

Grækenland, 2015. DCP, 73 min. Engelske undertekster. Tilladt over 15 år. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København tirsdag 21.02.17, Kl. 16:45

Hør instruktøren bag filmen ‘The Longest Run’, græske Marianna Economou, fortælle, hvordan hun ved et tilfælde fik adgang til et græsk ungdomsfængsel og mødte filmens hovedpersoner. DIIS-forsker Ninna Nyberg Sørensen taler om de gråzoner, der omgiver begrebet menneskesmugling, både på et nationalt og europæisk plan, og psykolog Mozhdeh Ghasemiyani, der har arbejdet med uledsagede mindreårige flygtninge, ser på forholdene for denne udsatte gruppe i en dansk kontekst. NB: Reserverede billetter skal afhentes senest dagen inden arrangementet. Debatten foregår på engelsk. Bemærk også, at der forinden er reception i Asta Bar kl. 16.00-16.45

www.dfi.dk/Filmhuset/Cinemateket/Billetter-og-program/ 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /3

Written 19-02-2017 16:49:50 by Allan Berg Nielsen

ROBERT OEY: THE MISSION

“My latest film The Mission tells the story of Dutch colonel Joost de Wolf who is sent to Mali as part of the UN mission MINUSMA. De Wolf is a hardened and savvy soldier who has devoted his life to the army. Upon his arrival, the Malinese army launches an attack on the insurgents and De Wolf finds himself in a mission unable to keep the factions apart. Hampered by the lack of political will from the UN and his own masters, he starts questioning official policies and unwittingly jeopardizes his career.

Supported by both the Dutch Filmfund and the V-Fund I am organizing so-called DEBRIEFS after screenings. It’s my intention and my ambition to give my audience the opportunity to truly connect with the people in my film and the complexities they have to deal with. Therefore we debrief military and civilian personnel who are involved in security policies.”

Sådan skriver Robert Oey på filmens hjemmeside og ja, man skulle tro, han har lavet filmen netop til Docs & Talks, som vel samlet set netop er en debriefing, ligesom den her film er Joost de Wolfs debriefing, dette møde med kollegerne i forsvarsministeriet eller foredrag eller hvad det er, hvor han har ordet hele tiden i optagelserne fra mødet og som gennemgående fortællerstemme, er ganske enkelt filmens ramme, dens sted og dens reale tid. Resten er flash-backs, og jeg ved fra begyndelsen, at missionen er forbi for hans vedkommende, nu skal erfaringerne og vurderingerne af dem nøgternt på bordet.



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /2

Written 17-02-2017 14:04:26 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Den barske herre hos fotografen hedder Joost de Wolf, han var en periode den militære chef for FN missionen MINUSMA. Han er den suveræne hovedperson i filmen ”The Mission”, et resolut værk, som faktisk er hans 90 minutters kyndige, skarpe, dybt personlige og – og vil publikum erfare – uforglemmelige analyse i en effektiv films form af FN styrkernes organisation, ledelse og indsats i den alvorlige konflikt i Mali.

Programredaktør i Cinemateket i København, Rasmus Brendstrup skriver om det meget omfattende arrangement, DOCS & TALKS, som Joost de Wolf således som den absolutte hovedperson i sin film og på den måde- deltager i som ekspert blandt en række eksperter, nogle i filmene som vises og andre i paneldiskussionerne bagefter. De Wolf deltager fra biograflærredet med sin mere end blot tankevækkende analyse:

”I perioden 21.-26. februar går DOCS & TALKS dybt i kødet på nogle af de centrale emner i verden: Atomvåben og sikkerhed, Afghanistans fremtid, internationale forsoningsprojekter, fattigdom og hjælpearbejde, migration mm. Midlet er en kombination af film og forskning.

”Hver dag fra tirsdag til søndag byder vi på foredrag eller debatter om konflikter eller udviklingstendenser i verden. Forskningen står centralt. Det særlige er, at festivalen i samme åndedrag zoomer ind på mennesker og detaljer – nemlig gennem dokumentarfilm,” siger Sara Thelle, der er en af festivalens programlæggere.

Som arrangører står Cinemateket og Dansk Institut for Internationale Studier (DIIS), der i 2016 blev rangeret som verdens syvendebedste tænketank uden for USA.



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks

Written 15-02-2017 10:19:39 by Tue Steen Müller

Bravo! It’s quite a festival that the Danish Cinemateket and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) presents next week in the Film House in Copenhagen. And yet it is not “only” a festival with high quality documentaries from all over, it is ALSO a so-called event, where screenings of the films are followed by Talks. Connected to international themes of today, inviting us viewers to go deeper via films and discussions than we are used to through the daily news. It is such a good title: Docs & Talks. Sara Thelle - who writes for filmkommentaren, is one of the organisers – sent us this English text:  

“What does the story of war look like when it is turned inside out in front of a therapist? Who are the Afghan soldiers battling the Taliban in the Helmand province after NATO and the Danish troops have left? Where do we draw the line between flight and human trafficking? Can international relief work make people poorer? And what is the role of cinema in war-torn Syria?

These are some of the questions posed, when the Danish Institute



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 2017 13th Edition

Written 09-02-2017 14:44:53 by Tue Steen Müller

The 13th and last post from the 13th edition of the Magnificent7 Festival in Belgrade. The photos shown are from the closing night, where ”In Loco Parentis” by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane was shown to an audience of the size you can see from the photos. Before the screening the two directors behind the Irish film received an award from the local Bel Medic ”for creative emphasis of humanistic values”, a diploma accompanied by an envelope.

The photos… from the stage I asked the photographers to turn around and catch the most magnificent audience I know of, applauding the festival, the filmmakers, the staff of the Sava Center, the team behind the festival and the festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, who were on stage. Standing ovation from more than 2000 spectators, who came to watch – an estimate of the attendance during the whole week is that 7500-8000 went to watch the Magnificent7 program of 7 films. One film per day, Q&A’s for around 50 people in a packed vip room and the day after meeting of directors with around 25 young filmmakers in two hour sessions. This year the festival welcomed directors from 6 out of the 7 films: Sergei Loznitsa, Jérome le Maire, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Miroslav Janek, Audrius Stonys, Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane. Only Cosima Lange from the opening film ”Hello, I’m David” (Helfgott) could not come as she was not allowed to travel because of her pregnancy.

From an ”internal” perspective the hospitality was again second to none. Wonderful hotel, the Crowne Plaza, from where you can access the Sava Center cinema – and – as some Serbian filmmakers suggested as a logline for the festival guests: 7 films, 14 restaurants! With a reference to the fact that the festival team finds lunch and dinner restaurants for the 7 days.

Including me and my wife for the 13th time. HVALA!

http://magnificent7festival.org/en/

https://www.facebook.com/belmedic 


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Audrius Stonys Masterclass at M7

Written 08-02-2017 14:57:49 by Tue Steen Müller

”This is a sacred place, like a church and suddenly we hear this crazy sound. This man takes tourists to this place. He is the sign of civilisation. A sign of a new time. The reality is that these guys are coming. Something precious will disappear…”

Lithuanian Audrius Stonys is a mild man but when he talks about the end of his film his voice is full of sadness and anger. As we experienced at the masterclass with him at the VIP room at the Sava Centre. A class that turned out to be dealing with what it means to be filming at the heights of Tian Shan mountain on the border between Kazakhstan and China, where his ”Woman and the Glacier” is shot and to where his main character, Lithuanian glaciologist Ausra Revutaite, came 30 years ago.

He made four expeditions to the mountains. “It took two



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ní Chianáin and Rane: In Loco Parentis

Written 07-02-2017 12:35:22 by Tue Steen Müller

"IN LOCO PARENTIS" is the first Irish documentary that premiered with great success in the main program of the world's largest documentary film festival in Amsterdam, after which it was selected for the main program of the Sundance Film Festival. Neasa Ní Chianáin is one of Ireland's most celebrated documentary filmmakers, and her previous documentaries have had considerable international success. David Rane is an experienced producer and director, who received one of the most important European awards, the BAFTA Award. This author and life couple has spent a full year in the school, preparing a project that took a lot of production and creative efforts to achieve its top quality.

This observational documentary follows a year in the lives of two inspiring teachers in the only elementary school with boarding facilities in Ireland. Headfort School, the school not much different in appearance from the legendary Hogwarts from Harry Potter, with its buildings from the XVIII century, with secret doors and magical forests, is the home of John and Amanda Leyden for 46 years and the background of their exceptional careers. For John, rock music is another subject to Math, English, Latin and religious education. He cherishes a special kind of youthful revolution by teaching responsibility and independence in equal respect, wrapped in heavy metal or pop, encouraging the children to play whatever they want in the school basement rock club. For Amanda, the key liaison with children is a book and she uses all ways to catch young minds. The children sit as transfixed when she leads them on magical journeys with fantastic heroes of different stories.

Besides directing, Neasa Ní Chianáin was an inspired and omnipresent cinematographer in this film, and David Rane had a difficult task to record sound discreetly following Neasa, besides his production work and directing. "We wanted to film a year in the life of the school, just to keep track and observe, no interviews, no divine voice that leads the audience... We knew that for us it means full immersion in order to gain access to the intimacy that we wanted to capture."

Ireland, Spain, 2016, 99 mins.

http://www.inlocoparentis.ie/

http://magnificent7festival.org/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Miroslav Janek Masterclass at M7

Written 07-02-2017 12:15:47 by Tue Steen Müller

No doubt, the biggest applause of the festival went for Miroslav Janek on the fifth day of the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade. His film ”Normal Autistic Film”, made with a warm heart by the Czech veteran, cameraman and director, and for many years also editor, a job he now leaves to his wife Tonicka, demonstrates how strong relations he is able to build with children. Before with ”Unseen” (1996) and ”Kha-chee-pae” (2005) and now with this work on five clever and creative children with aspergers syndrom.

I believe that the biggest part of documentary filmmaking is NOT shooting, Janek said in the masterclass the day after the screening of the film. He referred to how he dealt with the kids. ”I went to visit them and maybe I shot one hour with them during a day. The rest



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jérôme le Maire Masterclass at M7

Written 07-02-2017 10:51:59 by Tue Steen Müller

Documentary is the art of meetings. This was the starting point of Belgian Jérôme le Maire, when he talked to young and younger filmmakers at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade. The title of the very well prepared class could also have been ”the story of my film”. It all started with a book about the phenomenon ”burned out”. le Maire met with the author and with a psychoanalyst and a psychologist – and started a research. I became friend with the author, Pascal Chabot, and he let me meet a girl who had had the experience, as well as a ”professor in burn-out”, to whom I showed my previous film, ”Tea or Electricity”. I explained that I wanted to make the film in direct cinema style. He liked the film and the idea.

The third meeting was with Esmeralda together with the psychoanalyst and the psychologist. She worked in a consulting company and sat in an open space office – I met people there but would it be interesting to film people in front of computers? No…

The breakthrough came, when the writer Pascal was invited to the hospital to talk to members of the staff. He was invited by Marie-Christine, who was to be the main character of ”Burning Out”. This



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Audrius Stonys: Woman and the Glacier

Written 06-02-2017 17:08:01 by Tue Steen Müller

The master of refined style, Audrius Stonys, decided to take us on an unusual pilgrimage to the inaccessible heights of Tian Shan mountain on the border between Kazakhstan and China. In the areas of this Mountain of Heaven, which looks like an unknown and inhospitable planet, he devotes all his attention and creativity to an amazing person who has spent thirty years observing and monitoring the state of the giant glacier, so important for the science, but also for the whole planet. Through an unusual intimate portrait of a mountain captive in constant motion, Audrius Stonys masterfully poetizes relations of the heroine and the environment, nature, sky, beings with whom she shares the loneliness, the rigors of the climate and the beauty that surrounds them.

To his story in present time, meticulously woven without words, Stonys adds another important layer, a layer of long time flows. This film plunges deep into time, and in the compounds of past and present builds a brand new, poetic and timeless relations. Audrius Stonys is one of the most important European authors because of this complex weave of time in his films and amazing ability to capture and express the feeling that through spaces, people, events and phenomena converge and break all previous deep and very distant reflections of time.

The author was drawn to the fact that the woman glaciologist is his compatriot: "It is very unusual for a woman from Lithuania to explore ice on the remote Tian Shan, at the end of the world, without any connection with the rest of the world. Scientist Aushra, living high in the mountains, in a wooden house near the huge glacier, did measurements for many years, every morning and evening, summer and winter, and sent them to the control center in Almaty. She gave her whole life observing glaciers in Kazakhstan."

Lithuania, Estonia, 2016, 56 mins.

http://www.efis.ee/en/film-categotries/movies/id/18547

www.magnificent7festival.org


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

N. C. Heikin: Sound of Redemption

Written 05-02-2017 19:40:07 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Saxofonisten hedder Grace Kelly, hun spiller i et lille orkester som i en lille sal i San Quentin fængslet afholder en mindekoncert for saxofonisten Frank Morgan som mange år af sit liv som indsat der spillede i fængslets jazzband som består af fremragende musikere. Mange af dem er stadigvæk eller igen i San Quentin og de er her nu blandt det publikum som Kelly og hendes band spiller for. Vi er i filmen ved hendes store solo Somewhere over the rainbow som også er filmens store øjeblik, vi er i begyndelsen af filmens vist nok eneste egentlige filmscene. Den er meget smuk, hun i sin røde jakke og i sin ungdom, de mange mænd på så mange måder voksne lytter og begejstres ved hendes spil som de oplever fungere, musikken virker, filmfortællingen bevæger. Virker tilbagevirkende på det vi har set og nu forstår og virker som min oplevelses point of no return, det her kan ikke gå galt, sådan lyder det når livsfølelse betales tilbage.

Det er altså en Frank Morgan mindekoncert og den begivenhed er filmens ramme. En af musikerne fortæller mellem numrene Morgans biografi. Han begyndte som barn at spille, Charlie  Parkers spil greb ham om hjertet, han mødte Parker som imponeredes af drengens følsomhed og evner, tog sig af ham, blev hans mentor. Fortællelinjen er strengt kronologisk, det er en filmbiografi i form af en forrygende collage på arkivoptagelser. Heroinen introduceres, vi får en lyrisk solo i en lang sekvens, et gribende sted i filmen, som ellers ikke har lange filmiske sekvenser eller filmscener. Der fortælles så om familien, om kriminalitet for at skaffe penge til heroinen, om turene ind og ud af fængslet… Det er en svag part af fortællingen, mærkes som en slags pligtstof, det er jo musikken biografien gælder. Men så dukker rammen op, fortælleren er en god fortæller, en lettelse. Men bliver det til en jazzfilm, en musikerbiografi, nej det synes jeg egentlig ikke.



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Miroslav Janek: Normal Autistic Film

Written 05-02-2017 12:30:49 by Tue Steen Müller

Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, festival directors of Magnificent7 in Belgrade, writes this presentation of Miroslav Janek's awarded film that will be shown at the Sava Center tonight:

This dynamic and playful documentary is the work of one of the most important European authors when it comes to children, especially children who don’t blend in and who are different from the majority. Miroslav Janek has gained worldwide fame for his collage films, made with a free camera, with a mixture of styles and with encouraging the participants to interactively influence the course, look and style of the film. The author discreetly and gradually involves every protagonist to think in front of the camera about the scene, the theme and the film that is being born, and from these instructions, ideas and riots creates stylistically different courses, precisely customized for every hero, it seems. The stories are about them, they are both their stories and Janek’s stories, and all together, with great editing intermingling, that becomes a disheveled explosive film which ranges from a whisper to a roar, from gentle intimate situations to noisy, rhythmic episodes and entertaining short films within the film.

Direct and sensitive, Luka has a distinct sense of humor; he loves films and writes scripts. Piano virtuoso Denis is capable of playing complex classical compositions; he is incredibly intelligent and well read. Majda loves to rap and she is not shy about it; her brave verses reveal her environment with disarming accuracy. Marjamka can tell long stories in English, and her tireless brother Ahmed is unusually friendly. Five exceptional children that society has permanently and not at all flattering termed as "autistic". With his unique vision the famous Czech documentarist challenges us to once and for all stop to look at autism as a medical diagnosis and to try to understand it as a fascinating way of thinking which is sometimes extremely difficult to decipher. For who is the one who determines what is normal - to live in a constant rush, ignoring the absurdity of modern life or sadly looking for order, peace and tranquility in the world?

Miroslav Janek is an author who emphasizes the importance of a long process in which his brilliant dialogue and interactive documentaries were created: "They got used to me and unconsciously they were offering to me a lot of interesting situations... I focused on the magic and on mysterious way the autistic persons are thinking."

Czech Republic, 2016, 90 minutes.

http://www.cineuropa.org/f.aspx?t=film&l=en&did=310421

http://magnificent7festival.org/en/normalni_autisticni_film.php


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Obaidah Zytoon og Andreas Dalsgaard: The War Show

Written 05-02-2017 09:50:19 by Allan Berg Nielsen

This year’s Dragon Award, Göteborg Film Festival, for best documentary went to Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalsgaard for The War Show. The prize is worth SEK 100,000 and is presented by the Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen).

In The War Show the radio journalist Obaidah Zytoon personally and engagingly relates how the Arab Spring and the war in Syria have affected her and her friends.

The jury’s motivation: The award goes to a monumental and uncompromising film that combines extremely strong mate-rial with a unique and persistent voice of a generation. This overwhelming audiovisual experience holds us in a tight emotional grip as we live through the lives of an extraordinary woman and her friends, experience their lust for life, love and freedom, pitched against a devastating war. This film is a punch in the face to all of us. A reminder of our co-existence.

This year’s jury consisted of Iris Olsson, artistic director at DocPoint, Olivia Neergaard-Holm, director and Fredrik Egerstrand, director.

http://www.giff.se/en/artikel/here-are-dragon-award-winners (festival site) 

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3727/ (review)


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Nikolaus Geyrhalter: Homo Sapiens

Written 04-02-2017 11:52:38 by Tue Steen Müller

"HOMO SAPIENS" is disturbing and fascinating fresco of the planet, an authentic futuristic vision of one of the great masters. Nikolaus Geyrhalter is one of the pioneers of modern documentary, who introduced documentaries into the sphere of post-apocalyptic visions with his early masterfully work "Pripyat", and created one of the most impressive views of the world as a whole in his richly developed film "Elsewhere". "HOMO SAPIENS" combines these essential topics and with the approach of a mature master introduces us to a purified essay of a superb style. Fully visual, without a word, with almost composed sound interventions, "HOMO SAPIENS" reveals on the big screen highly aestheticized scenes, which deeply engrave in the minds of viewers.

"HOMO SAPIENS" is a film about the fragility of human existence and the end of the industrial age, and about what it means to be a human being. What will be the traces of the species we call Homo sapiens, and to which we belong? Empty spaces, ruins, cities increasingly overgrown with vegetation, dilapidated asphalt: spaces that we currently inhabit, when people are not in them anymore. Now abandoned and in decay, gradually taken by nature, from which they were taken not long ago. "HOMO SAPIENS" is an ode to humanity seen through a possible scenario for the future.

About this great work Geyrhalter says: "This is not the first film in which I construct the narrative only through images. This is only the first in which there are no people. "HOMO SAPIENS" is perhaps the most photographic of all my films... For me it is a vision much closer to fiction."

Austria, 2016, 94 mins.

http://www.geyrhalterfilm.com/en/homo_sapiens

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sergei Loznitsa at M7

Written 04-02-2017 11:32:13 by Tue Steen Müller

He was adressing the audience in the Sava Center and said that this amount of people at one screening is the same as we have had in one month in theatres in Germany! Where the film was released mid December. The reviews have been great in Germany but it seems to be difficult to attract the audience for a film like ”Austerlitz” directed by Ukrainian Sergei Loznitsa. I can only say that the Belgrade audience deserves a big Bravo to come and appreciate a film like this that is challenging. Well I know that many found it long and boring, but also that many left the cinema having experienced a piece of cinematic art.

There was a full house for the Q&A in the VIP room afterwards for a one hour session, where the director explained how he came to have an interest in holocaust tourism and how he made it into a film. Equally interesting was a friday morning where he was with young and younger filmmakers for a couple of hours showing examples from previous films.

As one of the trio of selectors (Svetlana and Zoran Popovic being the other two) I have been happy to present ”Austerlitz” at the Magnificent7 festival. With me it is a film that almost works physically. Loznitsa´s construction of the sound score is a superb



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jérôme le Maire: Burning Out

Written 03-02-2017 16:29:48 by Tue Steen Müller

The film tonight at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade deals with a topic that touches all of us, who one way or the other have tried to be exhausted to a degree that you can call it a ”burn-out” Svetlana and Zoran Popovic have written this text about the film, taken from the festival’s catalogue/website:

Great documentary undertaking! Jérôme le Maire is an author who enters with camera the places that are completely inaccessible and forbidden, and he records there the traditional battles, but also discovers for us completely modern, unexpected and astonishing ones. With discreet presence and careful observation the author develops a fascinating study of the contemporary world in which disappear havens for the weak and sick, in which disappear empathy, caring and the power of healing.

"BURNING OUT" is literally a drama of life and death. For two years, the Belgian director Jérôme le Maire followed the members of a surgical unit in one of the biggest hospitals in Paris. Constantly exposed to severe stress, with a lack of staff and with strict budget cuts, employees are fighting among themselves for resources, while the management imposes increasingly stringent criteria of efficiency and profitability. All over Europe ‘burnout’ has reached epidemic proportions among employees in the public and private sectors. Will we end up killing ourselves? Or will we be able to find meaning and joy in the work?

"Our modern world has turned the hospitals into health factories and patients into objects", testifies Jérôme le Maire. "Efficiency, productivity, performance – this has become a mantra for managers. We knew for decades what happens if we expose the animals to stress: they will eventually eat each other. But what happens when you expose people to great stress?"

Belgium, France, Switzerland, 2016, 85 minutes

http://www.burning-out-film.com/

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/index.php


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sergei Loznitsa: Austerlitz

Written 02-02-2017 09:33:18 by Tue Steen Müller

This is the text written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic about Loznitsa’s film that will be screened at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade tonight:

Premiered at the Venice Film Festival, "AUSTERLITZ" is another distinct documentary made by Sergei Loznitsa, who is currently one of the most significant European authors. Made in the form of classical black-and-white film, without many words, without any comment or explanation, with distinctive style in which his previous documentaries were made, this film is a complex and surprising anthropological study of collective behavior and consciousness. With the precise distance, which he determines and then never passes, Loznitsa reveals a phenomenon that intrigues us and provokes, equally as much it confuses us. This is a film in which the author, with the means of exquisite photography, camera, editing and directing, creates an exciting essay filled with tension, which turns the viewer into the silent interested witness and questioning participant.

There are places in Europe that keep the painful memories of the past - factories where people were turned into ashes. These places are now memorial complexes open to visitors and receive thousands of tourists every year. The name of the film is taken from the novel of one of the most important contemporary writers from the end of XX and the beginning of the XXI century, W.G. Sebald, which is dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust.

Loznitsa wrote: "What am I doing here? What are all these people doing here, moving in groups from one object to another? The reason that brings thousands of people to spend their summer weekends in former concentration camps is one of the mysteries of these memorial complexes.” The film is an attempt to deliberate these mysteries.

Germany, 2016, 94 mins.

http://www.loznitsa.eu/

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Cosima Lange: ”Hello I am David”

Written 01-02-2017 12:01:09 by Tue Steen Müller

This is the website and catalogue text written by Magnificent7 directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic on the opening film of the 2017 festival:

The brilliant success of the film "Shine," winning an Oscar and masterfully acting performance of Geoffrey Rush, have brought the story of a remarkable life path of the pianist David Helfgott closer to the wide audience, and the real hero of the film has gained worldwide fame as a unique artistic personality.

"HELLO I AM DAVID!" is the first documentary about this extraordinary pianist, a child prodigy whose career seemed finished after the dramatic nervous breakdown. And then, through the healing power of music and a great love for his wife Gillian, David Helfgott has found a way to return to normal life and to the concert stage. This masterfully made film, with superb cinematography, sound and editing, assures us in the irresistibly infectious passion and impulsiveness of David Helfgott. As a pianist, he plays only what he feels, and as a person he speaks without reservation what he thinks and touches people in the literal sense of the word.

Purified and straightforward, both in scenes of playing and in situations where the character is manifested, courageous to let life and the hero to directly create the most exciting, most funny and most unexpected scenes - this touching, inspirational film gives us a penetrating insight into the personality and musical life of David Helfgott. Finally, "HELLO I AM DAVID!" is a film about love: love of life, love of music - and deeply pervasive love between two people who are equally enchanting as they are different.

Germany 2015, 90 minutes

http://www.helloiamdavid.de/der-film.php

http://magnificent7festival.org/en


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

One World 2017: The Art of Collaboration

Written 30-01-2017 13:02:07 by Tue Steen Müller

Of course documentary festivals react to what happens in the world right now. The Prague-based human rights documentary film festival One World does, as says a press release that came in this morning. An edited version comes here:

Theresa May's announcement of a "hard Brexit", Trump's victory in the presidential election and the strengthening of the radical right, the reluctance of European countries to work together in dealing with migration. It seems as if our society is losing a much-needed ability to collaborate.

That's why the 19th One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival wants to remind us of the value of collaborative effort and sharing. At a time of populist rhetoric, negative discussions on social networks and a flood of "fake news", collaboration is a positive way to respond to a divided society facing a crisis of values.

"Collaboration is mainly communication and sharing," said Hana



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Awards at Sundance Festival 2017

Written 29-01-2017 10:15:20 by Tue Steen Müller

 

The Sundance festival handed out many awards yesterday at the closing ceremony. I picked out two from the World Cinema Documentary section. I have seen and praised one of them, the other I am looking forward to see.

First ”Machines” by Rahul Jain that was awarded for its cinematography by Rodrigo Trejo Vilanueva. In the review on this site, I wrote: … You go with the cameraperson, who goes with the workers, there is a constant movement and an eye for the detail and for faces and for giving information about what is being produced. Yes, here is one more film that gives us evidence that you can tell in images, if you know the possibilities of the cinematic language. I was thinking of late master Glawogger and his masterpieces ”Megacities” and ”Workingman’s Death”. This debut film (!) has the same visual qualities…

And the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in Documentary went to
“Last Men in Aleppo”, directed by Feras Fayyad and Steen Johannesen, produced by Danish company Larm Film in collaboration with AMC, Aleppo Media Center.

The film premiered at Sundance, hope to see it soon. The photo I took from the FB page of good friend Talal Terkl, whose ”Return to Homs” has been reviewed and written about again and again in this site. Talal writes to the happy photo;

Great decision from the Jury of world cinema documentary competition. Last Men in Aleppo wins the grand jury prize at Sundance film festival. So proud of you Firas Fayyad, Steen Johannessen, what a big film...

http://www.sundance.org/now


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Neil Young Picks his Favourites

Written 28-01-2017 21:06:32 by Tue Steen Müller

… at the Finnish DocPoint Festival and it is not that Neil Young but the film critic with the same name, whose competent reviews in Hollywood Reporter and Sight & Sound I have followed with pleasure after I met Young at a couple of American Documentary Film Festival editions in Palm Springs. Here is what I read tonight from the DocPoint in Helsinki:

The film critic Neil Young has picked his favourites from our Finnish Premieres programme series. The critic's choices are Purity and Danger (dir. Elina Talvensaari) (50 mins.) (PHOTO). Here is the DocPoint catalogue description:

Many people have an opinion about prostitution, even though few people have actual experience in the field or know anyone in the business. In Elina Talvensaaris documentary, Purity and Danger,



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Vitaly Mansky Cinema Warrior

Written 27-01-2017 17:06:12 by Tue Steen Müller

The Trieste Film Festival that goes on until January 29th, and in its documentary section – and the industry part (pitching etc.) – had a special focus on the Baltic countries, with films by Audrius Stonys (Woman and the Glacier) and Ugis Olte and Morten Traavik (Liberation Day) among others… ALSO included a tribute to Vitaly Mansky with the screening of several of his films, including his personal work ”Rodnye” (Close Relations) that is an interesting film of a man – the director – who actually travels in Russia and Ukraine to find his roots and identity! (Photo, the director…)

Mansky was in Trieste for the retrospective tribute and to receive the festival’s

“The Cinema Warrior – Cultural Resistance Award”, which is “dedicated to the perseverance, sacrifice and madness of those ‘warriors’ who work- or rather ‘battle’ for cinema behind the scenes, this year (is awarded) to the Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky. Mansky’s, (whose) work has played a leading role in the Festival, which also paid homage to the filmmaker by taking a look back on his career. The accolade looks to recognise “not only the consistency in his uncompromising choice of creating cinema that always resists political pressure, but his commitment to supporting the documentary genre through his Artdocfest, a cultural project that, appearing first in Moscow, then in Riga and in other former Soviet Union cities, has always defended the idea of independent cinema, even that which is not officially sanctioned.”  

http://www.triestefilmfestival.it/album-category/vitalij-manskij-tribute/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Doc Festival Belgrade 2017

Written 26-01-2017 11:25:53 by Tue Steen Müller

The website of the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade is up and running. The festival starts February 1st - I am happy to be part of the selection team with Svetlana and Zoran Popovic again, for the 13th time and you will have many reports from Belgrade in the coming two weeks. Here are some words that I wrote for the website/catalogue:

Welcome! Again – for the 13th time – I am looking forward to sit with the best audience in Europe in the huge hall of the Sava Center. A Cinema with a big screen and a good sound that give us spectators a unique Cinema experience.

Because this is what you, dear audience, expect from the Magnificent7 – excellent films, Cinema quality.

I am now using the term Cinema for the fourth time to remind you that documentary is Cinema. All right, let’s narrow it a bit: the films we show at Magnificent7 are documentary films that deserve to be shown on a big screen with the mentioned high quality image and great sound. Contrary to the many tv programs called documentaries, which are mostly based on putting together according to words.

Magnificent7 is the home for the documentary art form. Made by filmmakers who think in images and sound – and have something



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Robert Budreau: The Deaths of Chet Baker

Written 23-01-2017 15:41:42 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Det er svært at oversætte titlen til dansk, død i flertal? Det er vanskeligt at tænke død på den måde. Der må poesi til, hvis vi ikke vil nøjes med en nøgtern detektivisk udredning. For hvordan døde Chet Baker? Hans mange venner har dengang spekuleret på det, han var alene på hotelværelset i Amsterdam, eller måske var han det ikke.

Robert Budreau tager mulighederne op i en afdæmpet omhyggelig ja, smuk og sikker film på otte minutter. Det er i filmen sikkert at Chet Baker lejer sig ind på hotelværelset. Det er sikkert at han mødtes med en person på værelset. Det er sikkert at han injicerer heroin umiddelbart før døden. Det sikkert at han sidder i vindueskarmen den nat for åbent vindue.

Og det er sikkert at han ved tretiden blev fundet på gaden nedenfor død efter et voldsomt kraniebrud. Det er filmens indhold. Eller?

Eller er det ikke musikken som er indholdet og det filmiske digt, iscenesættelsen af dødens muligheder, er en variationssats altså? Hvor en af mulighederne måske var den som den nat i Amsterdam forelå for Chet Baker, som den var en kendsgerning for Kammerherr Brigge: ”… Er starb seinen schweren Tod. Und wenn ich an die andern denke, die ich gesehen oder von denen ich gehört habe: es ist immer dasselbe. Sie alle haben einen eigenen Tod gehabt.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Canada, 2009. 8 min. Vises i Cinemateket, København lørdag, 11. februar 19:00 sammen med Budreaus Chet Baker biografi (også iscenesat) Born to Be Blue, 2015, 97 min. og Bruce Webers Chet Baker biografi (dokumentarfilm) Let’s get Lost, 1988, 120 min.

http://www.dfi.dk/Filmhuset/Cinemateket/Billetter-og-program/Serie.aspx?serieID=13932 


Categories: Cinema, Festival

DocsBarcelona Reaches 100.000 Viewers

Written 19-01-2017 14:30:57 by Tue Steen Müller

… in 2016, a big step from the 78.204 in 2015, to be totally precise: 102.769. Joan Gonzàlez, the man on the top of what he calls ”the project” DocsBarcelona, is a proud man, when he gives me the numbers for the many activities that have one goal: to create and feed an audience with good films.

The Documentary of the Month, that includes 87 screening venues, had 47.776 viewers, the DocsBarcelona festivals in Barcelona, Medellin (Colombia) and Valparaiso (Chile) did 12.391, whereas online viewing via the platform FILMIN came to 33.618 and sales of DVD’s in many different places like FNAC and El Corte Inglés gave the number 8.894.

DocsBarcelona has been in existence for 20 years building up the mentioned elements to reach the audience (with the words of Gonzàlez) step by step to reach what is quite an achievement. If you want to know more, check out

http://www.docsbarcelona.com/en/

Poster from the January Documentary of the Month, Kandahar Journals.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocPoint Program Announced

Written 09-01-2017 12:29:36 by Tue Steen Müller

The documentary festival in Helsinki, DocPoint, that this year takes place January 23-29, has a reputation for high quality, a broad international overview of the best of the best – and of course this is where you can see new Finnish documentaries. They are usually good, because they have a documentary culture in that country = good support system including committed editors at television and experienced and talented filmmakers. And an interested audience.

The 2017 program is announced and let me from that do some title-dropping of films that we have written about enthusiastically on this site:

Piotr Stasik’s impressive dynamic essay from NY, ”21 x New York”, Kirsten Johnson’s personal reflection on her métier, ”Cameraperson”, Wojciech Kasperski’s beautifully humanistic ”Icon” from Russia, Rahul Jain’s visually stunning ”Machines” from India, Hungarian Klara Trencsenyi’s record on growing-up ”Train to Adulthood”, Audrius Stonys masterpiece ”Woman and The Glacier” (PHOTO) and Pawel Lozinski’s chamberplay ”You have No Idea How Much I Love You”.

”Meet the Master” who is this year Heddy Honigmann, no objection to that choice at all, and among the Finnish premieres Anu Kuivalainen’s ”Into the Forest I go” and ”Little Yellow Boots” by John Webster. ”Shoah” by Lanzmann, an homage to Kiarostami, Pirjo Honkasalo…

Yes, they love to present Films at DocPoint – and their website presentation is well made. It makes an old librarian happy to see an index of around 30 words that refer to ”style or subject”. Hopefully useful for the audience.

http://docpoint.info/en/programme/films/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltic Films in Aarhus Denmark

Written 05-01-2017 11:57:09 by Tue Steen Müller

Below you find a post in Danish calling for people who are interested in Film, Baltikum, Ukraine, Post-Soviet History and current politics in the region – to come and watch films at the second edition of Baltic Frames mini-festival in Aarhus at the local art house cinema Øst for Paradis (in English East of Eden).

Here a brief orientation in English about this cultural event in the city of Aarhus which is one of the cultural cities of Europe 2017, the second largest in Denmark, lovely it is I can say, totally biased, as I was born there some time ago…

6 great films are to be shown: Ukrainian Sheriffs by Roman Bondarchuk and Dar´ya Averchenko (Bondarchuk will be there together with Latvian producer Uldis Cekulis), Audrius Stonys, Lithuanian master of poetic documentaries, will be there as well with his ”Gates of the Lamb” (PHOTO) and there will be two films by Latvian Viesturs Kairiss, who is also an opera director, internationally renowned. You sense that when you see his films where a superb visualisation is matched with music – titles ”Pelican in the Desert” and ”Chronicles of Melanie”, the latter a fiction film.

The Soviet past is the theme of When We Talk about KGB af Maximilien Dejoie og Virginija Vareikyte from Lithuania, and the past is also present in the fresh Fast Eddy's Old News by Marko Raat from Estonia.

So now you know, could be an inspiration to do the same elsewhere? The whole thing is set up by the Danish Cultural Institute in the Baltic countries supported by film institutions in the countries involved.

More on

https://www.facebook.com/BalticFrames17

and

http://paradisbio.dk/CustomPageViewer.aspx?urlId=410


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltiske Film i Aarhus

Written 04-01-2017 12:46:05 by Tue Steen Müller

Jeg tøver ikke med at skrive, at det er 6 mesterlige film, som Øst for Paradis viser den 13-16. januar. Det er andet år i træk, at film fra de baltiske lande, i år suppleret af den prisbelønnede ukrainske "Ukrainian Sheriffs", vises under overskriften "Baltic Frames". Arrangør er Det Danske Kulturinstitut i de baltiske lande med støtte fra diverse filminstitutioner. Temaet i år er "capturing the poetic everyday" og det er præcist, hvad Roman Bondarchuk gør i sin fine, morsomme og politisk aktuelle skildring af et landsbysamfund i Ukraine, hvor borgmesteren udnævner to borgere til at være sheriffer, som tager sig af at løse større og mindre konflikter i hverdagen. Bondarchuk er sammen med sin lettiske producer Uldis Cekulis til stede ved visningen i Aarhus og klar til at besvare spørgsmål.

Det samme er den litauiske mesterinstruktør Audrius Stonys, som gang på gang er rost til skyerne på dette site - kollega Allan Berg har samlet alle vore skriverier om Stonys, som er en unik poetisk filmkunstner, som han demonstrerer på smukkeste vis med "Gates of the Lamb" - på FB beskriver arrangørerne filmen præcist som "a beautiful film about the unseen miracle of Baptism and the inexplicable touch of God". Stonys, som i øvrigt har været lærer på European Film College i Ebeltoft, er tilstede i Aarhus klar til at besvare spørgsmål.

Lettiske Viesturs Kairiss er ikke i Aarhus, men det er to af hans film, "Pelican in the Desert" og den spritnye spillefilm, "Chronicles of Melanie", der tager tilskueren tilbage til Sovjettiden. Kairiss, internationalt anerkendt operainstruktør, er kendt for sin fremragende brug af musik i dokumentarfilm og så har han en genial fotograf Gints Berzins, som har beskrevet en del af Letland, Latgate, på en måde så du nærmest er ved at græde ved mødet med skønhed.

To film til er på programmet - "When We Talk about KGB" af Maximilien Dejoie og Virginija Vareikyte fra Litauen og "Fast Eddy's Old News" af Marko Raat fra Estland.

Alle film - med trailers - er beskrevet på

https://www.facebook.com/BalticFrames17

og tider for visningerne på

http://paradisbio.dk/CustomPageViewer.aspx?urlId=410


Categories: Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Award to Svetlana & Zoran Popovic

Written 27-12-2016 20:17:14 by Tue Steen Müller

So well deserved… I thought when it was announced yesterday that my dear Belgrade friends Svetlana and Zoran Popovic were to be recipients of an award, a new one set up in the memory of the critic Nebojša Popović, who died in 2015, a prominent film critic at RTS and a programmer at the Belgrade Cultural Center theatre. The motivation for the award to the couple, who has been running a film school, Kvadrat, since 1990 and the festival Magnificent7 since 2005, goes like this:

"The award "Nebojša Popović" goes to SVETLANA i ZORAN POPOVIĆ for their devoted work on promoting and critically observing film and culture – for their dedication, pertinacity and uncompromisingness in all projects they have started and still are engaged in.”

“The award is established by prominent Serbian institutions such as: Serbian Film Center, National TV Broadcasting Company, Yugoslav Film Archive, Authors Film Festival, Beldocs Film Festival and the members of Nebojša Popović family.  This is the first time that the award is given and the decision by the jury of three members is made unanimously. The award will be given on January 11th in the Theater "Belgrade Cultural Center" where Nebojša Popovič was the programmer. The task for the winners will be to make the selection for a one day film program at the Center.”

I could add lots of words to this, including the warm hospitality that I, my wife and the filmmakers, who have attended the festival for 12 years have been met with. See you in February for M7 number 13 – and thanks to Nevena Djonlic for helping with translation of texts. And if you want to see the two in a television clip go to 12.43 of

Photo: The couple on stage at Magnificent7 festival.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y4wBJk37Z4


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jon Bang Carlsen, Pamela Cohn, Viesturs Kairišs…

Written 19-12-2016 23:43:26 by Tue Steen Müller

… and me are online thanks to our visit to the 2016 DocuDays UA in Kiev. The festival has recorded the lectures made and edited them into nice, informative videos where ”experience is shared”. There are clips in between the words. The festival calls the initiative DocuClass.

Latvian Kairišs speaks about ”the music as a returning to the great myth in documentary” with examples from his great works ”Romeo and Juliet” (2004) and ”Lohengrin from Varka Crew” (2009) – yes, Kairišs is also a recognised opera director. His speech in Kiev is not translated, would have been fine with English subtitles.

You don’t need that when always interesting critic and festival programmer, American Pamela Cohn talks about innovations in American documentary – the same goes for Danish Jon Bang Carlsen, who is introduced like this ”… the inventor and consistent adherent of radical ”staged documentary, Jon Bang Carlsen, will speak about his unique approach to seeking reality by actively creating it at the point where genres intersect. However paradoxical it may sound, the Danish director claims that for him, such an approach is the only way to get closer to reality”.

And if you want to know more about what led to a new generation’s breakthrough of Danish documentary with ”Family” (Phie Ambo and Sami Saif) and ”Monastery” (Pernille Rose Grønkjær), take a look at my 30 minutes in Kiev in March this year.

http://docudays.org.ua/eng/2016/gallery/docu-class-online-2016/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Warscape

Written 18-12-2016 20:45:14 by Tue Steen Müller

… is the title of a contest initiated by the Docudays UA (Ukraine) festival together with International Committee of the Red Cross. Yulia Serdyukova, who is part of the selection committee of the hopefully many interesting projects coming in from emerging filmmakers around the world, has asked me to post the rules of the competition, which I do with pleasure, being a constant supporter of the festival, and also a member of the mentioned selection committee togther with Head of Communications in Ukraine at International Committee of the Red Cross Marie-Servane Desjonqueres. Here is the text about the contest, read it and discover how many countries are eligible:

The international competition for documentary film projects about Ukraine or the Eurasia region, on the consequences of conflicts and other situations of violence inflicted upon civilians.

The conflict in the East of Ukraine prompts us to think again about all the other armed conflicts or situations of violence that have been gripping the world, and in particular our continent.

More attention must be given to the struggle of those caught up in violence. The ICRC delegation in Ukraine and Docudays UA invite emerging documentary filmmakers from Eurasian countries* to



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Shadow Girl Wins 3 awards in Valparaiso

Written 01-12-2016 14:10:49 by Tue Steen Müller

And I got more news from Docsbarcelona Valparaiso – the beautiful film ”Shadow Girl” that premiered in Barcelona at the DocsBarcelona in May received three awards at the festival: The National Award, the Audience Award and the Interactive Award. The latter was given in connection with the Interactive workshop at the festival. Wow for a film that I wrote about in May:

… And then to the cinema to sit next to Maria Teresa Larrain in a cinema, where her ”Shadow Girl” had its second screening at the festival, where she pitched the film a couple of years ago. The film is strong and emotional in its description of how Maria Teresa grows blind, a film that is without sentimentality but full of reflections on what it means to become blind. She meets blind street vendors, she shows the film to them and it is said that the worst thing about getting blind is to lose your dignity. Maria Teresa does not, she is a role model of great courage in a film that has a clever personal text from her and a visual flow of colours. It must have a long festival life and come on broadcasters, this is also for you, or for us television viewers!...

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3569/

http://maremotoproductions.net/shadowgirl/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Syrian Love Story Wins in Valparaiso

Written 01-12-2016 01:11:08 by Tue Steen Müller

The entreprenant director of DocsBarcelona Joan Gonzalez is also director of DocsBarcelona Valparaiso in Chile, the first edition with a national and an international competition, training sessions – as he proudly texted me some days ago: In the city where Joris Ivens made his film essay ”a Valparaiso” in 1963, which is available for free on vimeo. Link below. Chris Marker wrote the script, Patricio Guzman was one of the cameramen.

The festival closed tonight and the winner was – again – Sean McAllister with his ”A Syrian Love Story”. Here is what I wrote way back reviewing the film: 

…there are few documentarians who like McAllister, goes from the journalistic point of view and the anynomous reportage, to be a true storyteller who captures your attention fully because of the closeness to the characters he can create, because he always involves himself - he is in this case an intruder into the lives and destinies of a refugee family that he met in 2009 and kept a close relation to until this year, 2015…

http://www.docsbarcelonavalparaiso.com/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3247/

https://vimeo.com/5690624


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Flying Film Festival 2017

Written 30-11-2016 20:19:22 by Tue Steen Müller

No, we normally don’t promote festivals calling for films, but there are exceptions like this one. A festival in the air, with Francesca Scalisi and Mark Olexa as captains. These are the words from the cockpit, and a link to what I wrote about the edition 2015:

“Fasten your seatbelt. A new edition of the Flying Film Festival is about to take off! We will start accepting applications to participate in the highest altitude festival in the world from January 2017!!!”

Visit their FB page.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3130/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

IDFA: Kogusashvili/ Sarvestani/ Hendrikx

Written 27-11-2016 15:42:31 by Tue Steen Müller

Three more brief reviews of ”Gogita’s New Life” (Levan Koguashvili), ”Prison Sisters” (Nima Sarvestani) and ”Stranger in Paradise” (Guido Hendrikx). With some genre simplification: A docu-comedy, a journalistic/humanistic documentary and a hybrid documentary.



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Lucija Stojevic: La Chana/ 2

Written 27-11-2016 14:04:15 by Tue Steen Müller

It must be wonderful to get an Audience Award, and especially at IDFA in Amsterdam, where the amount of people who watch your film is huge. Yhe 2016 Audience Award has been decided upon and it went to the film reviewed below on this site. Here is a copy paste of the text from IDFA:

The Audience Award has been handed out annually since IDFA's inception in 1988. The audience rates the films they have seen by means of a ballot with seven options, ranging from 'Hopeless' to 'Superb'. The award consists of a sculpture and a cash prize of €5,000.
 
The VPRO IDFA Audience Award 2016 has gone to La Chana by Lucija Stojevic, a blistering and intimate portrait of former flamenco dancer Antonia Santiago Amador. The star and director could not attend the final screening at IDFA, but sent a video message to accept the award.

www.idfa.nl


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Lucija Stojevic: La Chana

Written 26-11-2016 15:27:53 by Tue Steen Müller

Antonia Santiago Amador, known as La Chana, is the unique personality of the film with the same title. It is on the top of the top ten Audience favourites at the IDFA festival that runs until tomorrow sunday included. It is a warm portrait of an exceptional woman, a flamenco dancer, the best ever, many think and express in the film, that has lots of great archive material that proves, even for a layman, who loves the music and the dance, that she was a star. And still is: the film follows her preparation for a performance, with her dancing seated. She makes it and made me cry touched by her willpower and commitment, and ability to concentrate to show to herself and her many fans that even at an age around 70, she can move her feet.

In the film, that at the beginning is a bit messy in structure, because it becomes anecdotal and jumps to and from archive, where more calm in the storytelling would have helped, La Chana tells her story from childhood till now, through a marriage that was violent from the side of her husband, a situation that made her stop the career. But she comes back – as the film comes back in rythm and flow once all the information about the past is delivered, when the story takes place in present time, where she teaches youngsters, cooks with her daughter, lives a quiet life with her Felix and a dog or goes to the square (in Barcelona I guess) to enjoy with her gypsy friends. And prepares for the performance.

A joyful and entertaining and touching work to give the many films about the problems of the world a break.

www.idfa.nl

Spain, Iceland, USA, 83 mins.


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

IDFA Nowhere to Hide/Still Tomorrow

Written 24-11-2016 14:22:07 by Tue Steen Müller

I have forgotten why IDFA has decided to announce winners on a wednesday for a festival that goes on until sunday included? But good for those of us, in Amsterdam or online from home, who are still trying to catch up with the many films in competition to get a picture of what the festival selectors found important – yes, yes, I know there are numerous important films outside competition, which could have been there as well but do not qualify for eligibility reasons, previously awarded elsewhere for instance. And it gives of course time to check whether the jury(ies) have made mistakes… Have to admit that I like that game knowing that is not always that easy to be a juror. The two awards in the full-length category went to (Best film) ”Nowhere to Hide” by Zaradasht Ahmed, and (Special Prize) ”Still Tomorrow” by Fan Jian.



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sine Skibsholt: Dem vi var /2

Written 24-11-2016 09:01:43 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Det er netop i aftes på festivalen i Amsterdam blevet afsløret, at IDFA prisen for "Best First Appearance" går til den danske instruktør Sine Skibsholt for filmen Dem vi var. Filmen er produceret af Helle Faber og selskabet Made in Copenhagen og havde sin internationale premiere på IDFA søndag aften 20. november. Filmen vises for publikum på IDFA næste gang på søndag.

Juryen valgte Dem vi var (Who We Were) med begrundelsen: We (the jury) "encourage filmmakers to tackle the most pressing issues our world is facing. But cinema is also a visual art form, and its power to engage the viewer on an emotional level can bring deep understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Many films in our category showed us the power of this emotional engagement, however one stood out for its sheer discipline in form and structure, and power in conveying a deeply moving and intimate story. Its unflinching gaze brings us deep inside a family forever changed by one moment, teaching us about both our strength and our essential frailty." 

FILMKOMMENTAREN anmeldte 14. april kort før den danske premiere filmen sådan:

Manden og kvinden forsøger i en træt tilgivelse at nå hinanden. Han er under rekonvalecens efter en voldsom hjerneblødning, hun er i forvejen overarbejdet i et samliv, hvor hun alene tager sig af de to børn og husholdningen og et lønarbejde. Han har til den frygtelige dag han falder om passet sin karriere, sit firma og familiens ekstraordinære økonomiske grundlag i et stort nyrenoveret hus. Den dag, hun fortvivlet ringer efter hjælp, begynder Dem vi var.



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

IDFA: Alberti, Ni Chianáin, Hristov

Written 23-11-2016 20:02:43 by Tue Steen Müller

Maite Alberdi, Chilean documentary director, who made the wonderful ”Tea Time” in 2014 and the equally wonderful ”I’m not from Here” this year together with Lithuanian Giedre Zickyte, a film that is nominated for the European Film Awards – has already now obtained for her new work ”The Grown-Ups”, sorry that is long, the IDFA Alliance Women Film Journalists’ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary. The jury’s motivation:

”Beautifully rendered and brilliantly edited, The Grown Ups is an



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ugis Olte & Morten Traavik: Liberation Day/ 2

Written 22-11-2016 19:40:55 by Tue Steen Müller

In the ”Guardian Film Today” that I subscribe to (it is for free and for everyone) there was tuesday 22nd of Nov. a review by Peter Bradshaw worth reading as most of his articles/reviews. Here is a text clip:

Most documentaries or studies of North Korea conclude that it is forever sealed in its own tyranny. For all the absurdity, for all the questionable semi-satire, Laibach actually made contact with North Korea and caused a crack in the wall. In its ridiculous way, Laibach’s 80s art-rocker doom version of The Sound of Music was a kind of peace process, and, like any peace process, it involved the fudging of principles. The “liberation” of the title might yet prove to be illusory for North Korea and Traavik’s wacky cultural diplomacy might lead nowhere. But it could prove to be more than a footnote.

Another fine push for the documentary to get around, read the whole review, link below:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/nov/22/liberation-day-review-north-korea-laibach-documentary?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Film+Today+-+automated+vB+curation&utm_term=200942&subid=19412929&CMP=ema_861a

www.idfa.nl


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ugis Olte & Morten Traavik: Liberation Day

Written 21-11-2016 09:30:28 by Tue Steen Müller

Laibach, Slovenian avant-garde band, cult in ex-Yugoslavia, in North Korea… the film is at IDFA, screenings have taken place and Laibach has made a concert. And film critic Guy Lodge from Variety has delivered an excellent review from where this quote comes:

Billed as a “documentary musical,” this potential crowd-pleaser gets considerable comic mileage out of the friction between two very different brands of cultural eccentricity — but it succeeds as more than a diverting novelty, packed as it is with pointed observations on diplomacy and censorship in a country that’s still a mystery to many…

I have followed this film from the side line due to friendship with



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Categories: Festival

Tatyana Chistova: Convictions

Written 20-11-2016 11:02:16 by Tue Steen Müller

It’s absurd theatre! Well, I have tried it myself in 1967. To be called for military service in the Danish army. I chose the easy solution to take one (completely useless) year of service at the air force instead of the two year’s civil service it was back then, where you sent to the forest to sweep leaves up against the wind.

The young ones in this film had all applied for civil service because of their convictions. They had to appear (see the photo) in front of a committee to present their case, one could almost say pitch their point of view. As in pitching sessions the panelists sat with papers and only a few of them were to say something. The rest sat with stone faces that communicated that they did not like, what they saw and heard.



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Grude and Andersen: Mogadishu Soldier

Written 18-11-2016 21:14:12 by Tue Steen Müller

I had to choose that still from the IDFA introduction to the film that I have just finished watching. It’s a girl in pain, a victim from the brutal civil war in Somalia, that – says the end credits – has caused the death of 500.000. So far. She gets up and leaves the scene with her mother. She survives. I was afraid she would not make it like many others in the film. I could also have chosen a still of one of the two anynomous cameramen from Burundi. Sometimes they are not named, on the mentioned film credits they are. If OK their names should come out. They deserve credits for what they have given us, an insight to one of the many wars that seldom reaches the front page. Maybe they will come to IDFA? But before I go on, let me give you the catalogue background description of this documentary that is in the IDFA competition and deserves an award that can bring it to be screened all over: 

Since 2006, the radical Islamists of Al-Shabaab have been fighting



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

IDFA: Lozinski, le Maire, Delane, Cordes

Written 18-11-2016 09:03:01 by Tue Steen Müller

They are quite different in themes and styles, the films that I am going to write about in this post. What they have in common is that the directors mentioned in the headline all have films shown at IDFA, Amsterdam – and that I have seen them, and like them, more or less, for various reasons.

Pawel Lozinski is an internationally known Polish director, whose film ”You Have No Idea How Much I Love You” (PHOTO) I reviewed in connection with its premiere at the Krakow Festival. With top marks, here is a quote: ”As a viewer you know these



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

IDFA November 16/27

Written 17-11-2016 12:15:31 by Tue Steen Müller

Yes, it started yesterday, the fabulous documentary event in Amsterdam and today it’s all over with screenings, masterclasses, the academy, some films are in competition, others are not, facebook is full of ”come and see my film”, there will be many full houses. And many who prepare their pitches for the Forum. With meetings and parties.

I am not there this year for family and friend reasons – birthdays – but I have seen some of the films already so comments will arrive on this site, don’t have time for longer reviews but I will pick some films via links and Docs for Sale. So check it out – there could be recommendations you want to follow.

For instance the world premiere tonight of Audrius Stonys' new film



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

The Leth Legacy at DOKLeipzig

Written 06-11-2016 19:45:36 by Tue Steen Müller

It was the idea of festival director Leena Pasanen: What about bringing together Danish filmmaking icon Jørgen Leth and his two filmmaking children Karoline Leth and Asger Leth? Such an obvious idea, why had noone done that before? Two generations, what have the children taken from their famous father? Let them sit on the stage together, each of them showing clips to have them discuss with or oppose each other. Pasanen, as moderator, was the one to set up the rules. Some had already been agreed upon: 3 clips per person, maximum 3 minutes. I think was the agreement.

First headline given by the moderator was ”method” and first clip



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig Winners 2016

Written 06-11-2016 09:11:15 by Tue Steen Müller

I liked the award ceremony of DOK Leipzig last night at the CinéStar 4. Instead of hiring some entertainer, or having two people talking to each other trying to be funny, the festival had a host, Jörg Taszmann, film journalist from Berlin, on stage who conducted the prizegiving in a very calm and professional way, speaking perfectly German and English and French. What I also appreciated was to have the juries on stage giving their motivation in English and German, often helped by the host. As before the best jury in terms of performance was the Youth Jury, who had made special prize to "their" winner, Polish "Communion".

A total of 21 prizes were awarded, including 7 Golden Doves and 2 Silver Doves. With 77,000 euros in prize money, DOK Leipzig is the best-endowed documentary film festival in Germany. The ceremony took a bit more than two hours with announcements, thank you speeches and for some of the films clips. Festival director Leena Pasanen was pleased about that reduction in time and can be happy with the many compliments she and programming director Grit Lemche got through the evening. Well deserved.

And the winner of the Golden Dove was – no surprise for me, see previous post – Sergey Loznitsa with his ”Austerlitz”. Danish documentary icon Jørgen Leth handed the award to Loznitsa with these words:



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Awards According to Filmkommentaren

Written 05-11-2016 17:16:27 by Tue Steen Müller

This is written four hours before the official award ceremony of the 59th (!) International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, DOKLeipzig. I have no idea of what the jury for the international competition will choose as their favourite(s) – i.e. who will receive the prestigious Golden Dove that Wojciech Staron gor last year for his ”Brothers”.

But I have seen all twelve films in that competition category and will bring my impressions and favourites from a selection I have found a good mix of auteur and issue documentaries.

If I was to give an award for the film that made me think, made me irritated because of its constant insisting on the aesthetics – beautiful framing of black & white camera work, loong shots – and a superb sound score, that as the film passer before my eyes and ears became almost physical, the winner would be Sergey Loznitsa with his ”Austerlitz” (photo), that has me watch summer dressed tourists visit concentration camp turned into museums.

If I was to give an award for the film that made the biggest



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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