Filmkommentaren

Peter Laugesen: Lars Norn lyver ikke

Written 30-07-2018 07:52:25 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Peter Laugesen: Lars Norn lyver ikke

MENS DE SKRIVES

1

”… Ligesom Beckett, eller Strindberg, er Lars Norén absolut realistisk. Hvad hans personer og digte siger, er det, der sker i dem nu og her, mens de skrives, mens nogen læser dem eller ser på dem eller lytter til dem. Det er dét, og ikke noget andet. Lars Norén lyver ikke.”

Peter Laugesen skriver i Information den 14. juli et aldeles tankevækkende stykke, en af sine kunsthistorier, tror jeg det må være, fra i vinter, nu bearbejdet og redigeret ind i en serie om svensk film og litteratur med videre, skriver en præsentation af Lars Norén med et godt biografisk resumé og en ligeså overraskende beskrivelse af digterens nye teaterstykke Støv. Jeg standser ved den vidunderlige formulering og læser igen: ”Hvad hans personer og digte siger, er det, der sker i dem nu og her, mens de skrives, mens nogen læser dem eller ser på dem eller lytter til dem. Det er dét, og ikke noget andet.”

Mens de skrives… Jeg gentager den forunderlige formulering og føler mig med den med ét styrket i min måde at opleve på, sådan at min læsning af Torben Skjødt Jensens dokumentarfilm over opførelser af teaterstykker bygger på, at jeg ser dem skrive og skildre alle disse øjeblikke, hvor teatret bliver til i skuespillernes kunst i hvert eneste øjeblik af opførelsen. Og i min genlæsning af Bergmans film, opdagede jeg for nylig, at Bergmans samtlige spillefilm sådan på denne bestemte måde kan ses som en lang række dokumentariske film eller blot én eneste lang og stor dokumentarfilm om en gruppe skuespillere, som arbejder med i filmromanform (filmdrama, spillefilm) at undersøge Bergmans liv og tænkning og erkendelser og dæmoner. Og min læsning af Werner Herzogs film har længe været, at hver eneste scene er en tydeliggørelse på film af hvad, han tænker og skriver netop de sekunder, han optager scenen, og de sekunder, jeg senere ser den i biografen.



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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /7

Written 13-07-2018 20:38:42 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /7

Jeg sidder ved skrivebordet, der står midt i værelset. En rødbrun soldatertæge kravler tøvende op over bordkanten. Der står helt afgørende nogen bag min ryg, selv om døren hverken er blevet åbnet eller lukket. Der står altså nogen bag min ryg…

 

SKRIVEBORD

Det handler om manden i huset ved havet, og sådan begynder Bergmans manuskript til filmen om lige netop den mand:

”Første akt nr. 1. Mit navn er Andreas Winkelman. Jeg er otteogfyrre år. Jeg husker at det var en trykkende oktoberdag. Jeg sad på taget af mit medtagne hus og reparerede på bedste beskub. Efter den sidste omgang regn var det begyndt at lække for alvor. Da jeg så op fra mit arbejde stod der tre sole over havet. Ikke en vind rørte sig, alt var fuldkommen lydløst. Jeg tændte min pibe, sad længe og betragtede fænomenet. Så trak en mørk sky op vestfra og gik for solene. Det begyndte endelig at blæse. Eftermiddagen skumrede. En hund gøede. Fårene bevægede sig gravitetisk over heden. Nede på vejen kørte Daniel med et læs halm, hans gamle hest gik i luntetrav. Jeg steg ned fra mit ophøjede stade og gik ind i køkkenet for at lave kaffe. Radioavisen fortalte om forskellige mislykkede foretagender. Derimod nævnede den ikke noget om mine tre sole. Omtrent en time senere så jeg dem for første gang. De fulgte vejen langs havet. En mand og to kvinder…” (En Passion, 1968)

Teksten fastholder og gentager med fuld billeddannelse og lydetablering denne erfaring om den resignerende mand, som forsvarer sin ensomhed der på fåreøen og venter på kærligheden. De få linjer i dette anslag har siden, jeg læste dem første gang – det var før jeg så filmen – været aldeles centrale for mig, min opfattelse af at være mand og af mandens ambition: ensomheden, kysten, havet, stilheden, enkelheden – jeg stiger ned og går ind i køkkenet for at lave kaffe – og så mødet… Senere da jeg så filmen, var manuskriptets tekst og scenen naturligvis fuldstændig kongruente. Filmen var for så vidt færdig i dens manuskripts formulering. Og teksten fastholder filmens erfaring, og den har næsten mere end filmen haft enorm betydning for mig, når jeg har skullet leve mit eget liv opmærksomt.

Hos Ingmar Bergman er det muligt for mig at forfølge disse temaer, som jeg bilder mig ind er mine, finde scenerne frem, som jeg også bilder mig ind, jeg er alene med. For eksempel – jeg bladrer i hans bøger – skrivebordet i huset ved havet. Her samles alt. Det bord er hans mindste scene. Lidt større scener er dukketeateret i Fanny og Alexander, havehuset i Som i et Spejl, stuen, hjemmet… De medvirkende er børnene og forældrene og slægtningene. Manden og kvinden. Elskeren og elskerinden. De elskende… Ind imellem er der flere personer i huset ved havet:



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Categories: Cinema, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics, Essays

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /6

Written 13-07-2018 07:51:01 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /6

… Frid (Åke Fridell) fortæller Petra (Harriet Andersson) om sommernattens tre smil. De hjælper Henrik og Anne med at flygte. (Bertil Wredlund i sin filmografi til Bergmans bog Bilder, 1990)

 

FILMVÆRKER

Cinemateket i København har udsendt en smuk invitation: LØRDAG 14. JULI, er Sommarnattens leende / Sommernattens smil så dejligt på programmet. Det kan jeg godt lide! Jesper Andersen og Lone N. Sardemann skriver i deres indbydelse: ”Vi markerer Ingmar Bergmans 100-årsdag den 14. juli ved at vise komedien ’Sommernattens smil’ og byde på et glas vin i Asta Bar efter filmen.” Videre præsenterer de veloplagt og inspirerende en stor tilbageskuende serie af Bergmans filmværker, mange af dem i nye, restaurerede og digitaliserede versioner. Her er det meste af deres tekst med beskrivelse af hele programmet:

RETROSPEKTIV

Af Jesper Andersen og Lone N. Sardemann

Vi markerer den svenske instruktør Ingmars Bergmans 100-årsdag med en stor retrospektiv fra juli-december med en lang række af hans bedste film – flere af dem i spritnye digitale kopier. I første del præsenterer vi bl.a. hovedværkerne ’Sommernattens smil’, ’Det syvende sejl’ og ’Hvisken og råb’.



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Categories: Cinema, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Baltic Sea Forum 2018

Written 12-07-2018 23:27:53 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Forum 2018

It’s a classic, this documentary event in Riga, Latvia. I am proud to say that I have been part of it since the beginning. An event that has nurtured my love to the Baltic documentary cinema. Here is a brief from the website on the history:

The Baltic Sea Forum took place for the first time in 1997 in Denmark, initially it was a Danish initiative for the Baltic countries, Poland and the western part of Russia. It continued to be a Danish initiative until 2001 and then, as the Baltic countries were on their way to enter the European Union, the Danish government decided to let Latvian organizations continue this adventure. At the beginning of this “second phase”, the Baltic Sea Forum was a travelling event through the Baltic countries, but since 2005 it always takes place in Riga…

24 projects have been selected for the 2018 edition, reflecting indeed the social and political situation in the region. See the link below.

One of the projects to be presented is by talented Tatiana Soboleva, whose films, first of all “The Floating Hospital” I have written about/praised on this site. The new film to be presented is called “The Russian Way” (PHOTO) and the description goes like this:

After twenty five years spent abroad, Natalya comes back to Russia and tries to change the life in her native village by using European experience. Her attempts are not approved by the local authorities and makes her neighbors fear…

http://balticseadocs.lv/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /5

Written 12-07-2018 10:24:23 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /5

Jane Magnussons Bergman – Et år, et liv er et dramatisk kunstnerportræt om omkostningerne ved at satse hele livet på kunsten… (Kim Skotte)

 

DOKUMENTARFILMINSTRUKTØR

Så kom de danske anmeldelser af filmen, jeg sådan glæder mig til, Jane Magnussens dokumentarfilm om Ingmar Bergmans liv (og måske også hans værk, det er stadigvæk lidt uklart for mig), men i dag har den premiere i en række biografer (desværre ikke også i min by) og så får de udvalgte se. Jeg selv prøver at følge lidt med i anmeldelserne, og i mine aviser i dag finder jeg to. De er naturligvis begge mest optaget af Ingmar Bergman og dokumentarfilmens belysninger af de fortrinsvis mere udvendige sider af hans biografi, ikke så meget af dens behandling af det kunstneriske indhold i hans værker, i teateropsætningerne, fjernsynsproduktionerne, bøgerne og filmene.

Heller ikke dokumentarfilminstruktøren Jane Magnusson journalistiske / cinematografiske kunst er i fokus i de to tekster, til trods for hun må siges at være hovedpersonen. Ikke Bergman for så vidt, men hun har premiere i dag. Der er dog i konklusionerne blevet plads til at kommentere hendes arbejde. Jeg skriver lige lidt af fra disse afsnit:

Fra Caspar Vangs anmeldelse i Randers Amtsavis (Kultur, JF Medier) til 4 af 6 stjerner disse citater:

”Med fornemt overblik og konstant pendulering tilbage til skæbneåret 1957 fortæller Magnussen historien om den store svenske filmskaber, mens der sættes spørgsmålstegn ved, hvor meget der i virkeligheden er selviscenesættelse. Uden at der rokkes ved Bergmans status som kunstnerisk ikon og svensk films mægtigste skikkelse.



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Categories: Cinema, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /4

Written 09-07-2018 11:21:57 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /4

Jane Magnussons Bergman – Et år, et liv skildrer hele mennesket Bergman – alle hans sider…


PRIVATLIV

Det drejer sig om hele mennesket Bergman forstår jeg på pressemeddelelsen, jeg håber det også drejer sig om hans film, teateropsætninger, tv-produktioner og forfattervirksomhed, altså Bergmans hele værk og dets indhold. Jeg har ikke set filmen, så jeg ved det ikke, men jeg glæder mig meget, rigtig meget. Og jeg forbereder mig lidt ved at læse, hvad jeg sådan lige her og nu kan finde om Magnusson og hendes film. Først altså fra biograf.blog pressemeddelelsens synopsis:

”Jane Magnusson har med filmen forsøgt at portrættere HELE mennesket Bergman – alle hans sider. Både de fantastiske og de mindre flatterende for at forstå denne store kunstner endnu bedre. Filmen tager sit udgangspunkt i 1957, hvor Ingmar Bergman fik sit store gennembrud. 1957 var året, hvor Bergman var allermest produktiv – han lavede to spillefilm, havde premiere på ”Det syvende sejl” og ”Ved vejs ende”, stod bag fire teateropsætninger, en TV film, havde seks børn med tre forskellige kvinder, og der skete samtidig en masse andre vigtige ting i hans liv. Ingmar Bergman betragtes af mange som en af verdens absolut største kunstnere i moderne tid, først og fremmest indenfor film og ikke mindst ved Cannes Film Festival efter gentagne triumfer. Bergman – Et år, et liv havde sin verdenspremiere på ”Bergman – Et år, et liv” havde sin verdenspremiere på Cannes Film Festival i år.”

Dernæst læser jeg altså så anmeldelser fra Cannes deltagelsen. I The Hollywood Reporter ser jeg dette indholdsreferat, en synopsis sådan lidt mere lovende:

”Bergman: A Year in a Life is nominally structured as a look at what Magnusson argues might be Bergman’s most “productive year of his career,” from the premiere of The Seventh Seal, in February 1957, through the premiere of Wild Strawberries, on Boxing Day. But the focus on those specific months, during which Bergman turned 39, is for the most part a structural device that’s kept in the background, while Magnusson free-associates and roams throughout Bergman’s entire life to illuminate and explore his character. The work’s Swedish title, which literally translates as A Year, A Life, is a more accurate description of what to expect. “ Boyd van Hoeij fra The Hollywood Reporter konkluderer sin anmeldelse sådan:

“… Magnusson is a TV journalist and director who has previously explored Bergman’s legacy in the Trespassing Bergman/Bergman's Video project, which looked at his influence on filmmakers ranging from Woody Allen to Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese, who all visited Bergman’s iconic Faro Island location. She here makes a more clearly biographical work that delves into the life and work of the writer-director and only occasionally gets carried away by the impression he left on other famous people, like when Barbra Streisand recounts her set visit to Bergman’s 1970 English-language debut, The Touch, which starred her then-husband, Elliott Gould. While what’s being said is fun to hear in a trivial kind of way, the film’s few snippets of celebrity talking heads — others include Holly Hunter, John Landis and Lars von Trier — are unnecessary distractions that don’t add all that much (a few at the end especially feel like an unnecessary retread of Trespassing Bergman territory). “



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Categories: Cinema, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /3

Written 07-07-2018 22:49:50 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /3

Ingmar has a great feeling for the unique situation of the actor… (Erland Josephson)

 

SKUESPILLER

Torben Skjødt Jensen havde 4. juli et opslag på sin facebookside om Erland Josephson. Jeg blev interesseret ved hans første begejstring for Ingmar Bergmans film, meget interesseret i hans og Ulf Peter Hallbergs film om Erland Josephsen fra 2006, Spelar du i Kväll, en film jeg til nu intet havde hørt om, og jeg blev dybt er dybt fascineret af det Bergmanafsnit, den monolog, næsten, af Josephsen, som Skjødt Jensen præsenterer i sit opslag ved et link til et You Tube klip, som sidder ved. Klik endelig og se under alle omstændigheder det hele. Link til Facebooksiden længere nede, hvor Torben Skjødt Jensen beretter:

”Den 14.Juli er det 100 års fødselsdag for Ingmar Bergman, og der kommer bla. en ny dokumentar om han op, også her i Danmark, som jeg glæder mig rigtigt meget til at se - jeg blev for alvor smittet af begejstring for Bergmans film da jeg lærte Hans Henrik Lerfeldt at kende tilbage i 1987 (og hans begejstring for den svenske mester havde jo sit eget personlige afsæt i Fanny og Alexander serien/filmen), men tættest på ham kom jeg jo nok da jeg i årene 2003 - 2006 sammen med Ulf Peter Hallberg over en årrække indspillede filmen "Spelar du ikväll?/Are you playing tonight" om Erland Josephson og hele hans liv i skuespilkunstens tjeneste, med udgangspunkt i hans 50 som skuespiller på Dramaten i Stockholm, men også hans samarbejde med store instruktører som netop Ingmar og Tarkovsky.

Filmen blev til på den helt ekseptionelle måde at Peter og jeg over en årrække besøgte Erland i Stockholm og så enten samtalede Peter og Erland eller de havde skrevet en scene med Erland og andre skuespillere som jeg så teknisk instruererede og fotograferede og efterfølgende klippede til vores næste tur: som var vi på en lang og intensiv workshop - og flere gange undervejs oplevede vi når vi kom i hjemmet hos Erland så sad han i sin ugentlige samtale med Ingmar og vendte livet og kunstens væsen - og grinede meget og højlydt. Det havde vi meget morskab ud af.



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Categories: Cinema, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics, Web

Claude Lanzmann 1925 2018

Written 07-07-2018 09:08:38 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Claude Lanzmann 1925  2018

Even if I lived a hundred lives, I still wouldn’t be exhausted…

 

MURMELSTEIN

The Guardian published a very interesting article Tuesday, May 14th 2013, Agnès Poirier had seen the new film by legendary Claude Lanzmann about Benjamin Murmelstein, who collaborated with the Nazis as the last Jewish Council President in Theresienstadt. Poirier talks to Lanzmann about Murmelstein and the film that will be shown in Cannes tomorrow (May, 18 2013). I have taken some quotes from the long article:

... There are two men on a balcony looking out at the panorama of Rome. It is the summer of 1975. "Are you happy in Rome?" says one. "As happy as an exiled Jew can be," says the other. The man asking the question is Claude Lanzmann. He has just started work on what will take him 10 years to finish: Shoah, the ground-breaking, nine-and-a-half-hour film about the Holocaust, composed of first-hand testimony and eschewing historical footage...

Still: Lanzmann and Murmelstein, Rome 1975, “The Last of the Unjust” (2013)

Lanzmann never included Murmelstein in ”Shoah”, now he gets ”his own film”… Murmelstein, who called himself "the last of the unjust", perfectly represented (those) contradictions...



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Categories: Cinema, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Poetics

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /2

Written 05-07-2018 16:46:42 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r  /2

I Marie Nyreröds tv-serie Ingmar Bergman på Fårö, 2003 som denne tid genudsendes på SVT Play og som bestemt skal ses igen, er der i sidste afsnit et sted, hvor Bergman fortæller om sin daglige gåtur. Det er det første han gør om morgenen. Det er fordi dæmonerne ikke kan lide den friske luft, siger han. Så er de væk, når han efter en halv time til tre kvarter vender tilbage og sætter sig ved skrivebordet og hver dag skriver tre timer før frokost.

 

LOMMEBOG

1

Den 29. juni. Jeg begynder og umiddelbart tror jeg det er Bergmans film, at han er dens forfatter og dens instruktør. Men tænker jeg mig om, ved jeg også, ser jeg det også, at det er Marie Nyreröd. Bergman er jo iscenesat og udspurgt. (Fortællepositonen er så afgørende for mig, og de to driller mig…)

2

Jeg ser Nyreröds film, men det er Bergman jeg lytter til, som meningen også er. Hele tiden. Er tv-dokumentaren så Nyreröds eller Bergmans – den er naturligvis Bergmans. Hans instruktøroverblik og -vilje kommer helt klar frem.

3

Skuespillernes altafgørende betydning i al Bergmans arbejde... (for Nyreröd og mig optræder han ind imellem så muntert, ellers bare er han, hele tiden på i scenen, altså skuespiller)

*

Bergmans beslutsomme brug af tv-interviewets mulighed (som fjernsyn engang)



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: TV, Film History, Poetics

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /1

Written 04-07-2018 14:06:45 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r  /1

Det må så blive manden selv, som alene i huset ved havet ved skrivebordet i arbejdsværelsen tager et sidste opgør med sig selv. Det er i Trolösa, 2000, som Liv Ullmann instruerer på Bergmans manuskript. Bordet står midt på gulvet. Bag det reoler med bøger og plader, tekster og musik og den indbyggede bænk i nichen med det store vindue med havet lige udenfor. Igen bordet midt på gulvet, hvor manuskript efter manuskript er blevet afsluttet med ”Fårö…” og så datoen. Som gør, at jeg fornemmer vejret den dag, han var færdig.

Jeg ser igen ivrigt efter i Marie Nyreröds dokumentarserie Ingmar Bergman på Fårö, 2003, som SVT Play genudsender disse dage. Jo, det er intakt, det rum. Det er en fast kulisse. Filmenes billeder står alvorlige og rolige omkring teksterne herfra. Vi ser huset og havet. Personerne kommer ind på scenen. I begyndelsen er bænken ved vinduet tom. Bergman begynder manuskriptet sådan:

”En mild forsommerdag. Vinduet står åbent. Havet og fyrretræerne bruser. Jeg sidder ved skrivebordet, der står midt i værelset. En rødbrun soldatertæge kravler tøvende op over bordkanten. Der står helt afgørende nogen bag min ryg, selv om døren hverken er blevet åbnet eller lukket. Der står altså nogen bag min ryg, men det er ikke Døden…” (Trolösa, 2000)

Det er kvinden, skuespillerinden, som endnu en gang dukker op der i erindringsarbejdet, i selvangivelsen før døden. Han havde tilsagt hende, men glemt det...

https://www.svt.se/ingmar-bergman/ (SVT Plays gratis streaming af Marie Nyreröds tv-serie i 3 afsnit Ingmar Bergman på Fårö.)


Categories: Cinema, TV, Film History

Godard Makes Festival Spot

Written 03-07-2018 08:24:45 by Tue Steen Mller

Godard Makes Festival Spot

87 year old Jean-Luc Godard  has made a festival spot for the 22nd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival. It was released here in Karlovy Vary yesterday. I have copy pasted fragments from the press release published with quotes from festival director Marek Hovorka:

And even if nothing turned out how we’d hoped, it would not have changed what we’d hoped for,” says Godard in the festival spot. “This year’s festival spot created by Jean-Luc Godard follows in the line of outstanding works made for the festival by such figures as Godfrey Reggio, Jan Němec and Jóhann Jóhannsson. The festival spot comes in the format of a short film, an intimate haiku. Even within the framework of this minute-long minimalist format, Jean-Luc Godard remained loyal to his signature method of layering meanings and references. Each new viewing opens up new interpretations,” says Marek Hovorka, the director of the Ji.hlava IDFF. 

Godard sets filmmaking in the context of the history of arts, works with references to popular works of fine arts. At the same time, it shows how inseparable the work is from the author and how important role inner authenticity plays in terms of authorship. Flipping through photos in Godard’s cell phone, the history of arts spontaneously alternates with his own memories, selfies and the perspective of a dog that gives the human position a different angle,” adds Hovorka.

Watch the official spot of the 22nd Ji.hlava IDFF


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Premiere of Bridges of Time

Written 02-07-2018 15:47:08 by Tue Steen Mller

Premiere of Bridges of Time

I write this the day after the premiere of the film by Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys at the festival in Karlovy Vary. Warm applause after the screening of a film with many layers, an auteur film but first of all an homage to the masters of the Baltic New Wave: Herz Frank, Uldis Brauns, Ivars Seleckis, Andres Sööt, Robertas Verba, Henrikas Sablevicius, Arvis Freimanis, Mark Soosaar. The three of them still very much alive and kicking were there, see photo, Soosaar, Sööt and Seleckis.

The festival, that I have never visited before, has set up screenings of short films made by the directors in the 60’es and 70’es during the period of Soviet Union. We hope that “Bridges of Time” will make you want to go and see the films we quote from – around 20 are screened in four programmes, that also include films by Audrius Stonys himself and Laila Pakalnina.

The two were in focus this morning in a “Meet the filmmakers” session of the festival. Audrius



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Stonys & Briede: Bridges of Time

Written 30-06-2018 22:57:06 by Tue Steen Mller

Stonys & Briede: Bridges of Time

Wow, it's tomorrow at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival that Bridges of Time has its premiere. The film, a co-production between the three Baltic countries, is introduced like this by the festival: "Kristīne Briede and Audrius Stonys’s meditative documentary essay portrays the less-remembered generation of cinema poets of the Baltic New Wave. With finesse, they push beyond the barriers of the common historiographic investigation in order to achieve a consummate poetic treatment of the ontology of documentary creation."

A fine intro, however, I would make it a bit longer with these words: "This is a film for all cinema lovers. It tells about the Baltic poetic documentary cinema that was created during the Soviet Union. In opposition to the USSR propaganda films. It was a wave of a personal free visual language that celebrated life and humanity. Together with Latvian Kristine Briede, Lithuanian director Audrius Stonys, who in his own work continues the tradition for a poetic look at reality, has picked magical moments from unique long and short documentaries to let them meet the old masters as they look today or when they were in front of the camera decades ago. The directors in the film about this special artistic phenomenon in film history are Herz Frank, Uldis Brauns, Ivars Seleckis, Andres Sööt, Robertas Verba, Henrikas Sablevicius, Arvis Freimanis, Mark Soosaar."

I have been invited to come for the premiere in Karlovy Vary, which I do with great pleasure as someone whose professional life changed completely in the 1990'es, where I discovered the Baltic documentary on the island of Bornholm where a festival, Balticum Film & TV Festival took place until 2000. Today it is my joy to go to Riga every year to take part in the Baltic Sea Docs that is a continuation of the adventure on Bornholm, as is the collaboration of the three Baltic countries cinema-wise with this celebration os something very special - the film will be followed by a superb retrospective of the primarily short documentaries made by the masters in the documentary. More will come from this event. Photo of the poster of the film. 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocAlliance Puts Focus on Vitaly Mansky

Written 29-06-2018 12:57:42 by Tue Steen Mller

DocAlliance Puts Focus on Vitaly Mansky

Today starts the festival in Karlovy Vary, Kviff, and tomorrow is the first (of three) screening of Vitaly Mansky’s “Putin’s Witnesses”, that has its premiere at the festival. To celebrate this and the director, DocAlliance, www.dafilms.com launches a curated programme with the title “A Probe into the (Not Only) Russian Soul”, in all respects an impressive offer from the VOD.

I copy-paste the presentation text from DocAlliance:



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Workshop with Stefan Tolz

Written 12-06-2018 10:32:59 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Workshop with Stefan Tolz

One of the producers of ”Leaning into the Wind” Stefan Tolz, who in the absence of the director Thomas Riedelsheimer, on behalf of the film, took part in Magnificent7 in Belgrade, did one of the workshops which are part of the festival, situated at Dombank Dvorana in one of the smaller cinemas.

Tolz told about his going at the film school in Munich in the 1980’es – together with Claas Danielsen, former director of the DOKLeipzig festival and now director of the MDM, Middle German Film Fund, placed in Leipzig. Already in the school Tolz got to know Thomas Riedelsheimer – and a couple of years after they met and won awards at the San Francisco Film Festival – Riedelsheimer with his first film about Andy Goldsworhty, “Rivers and Tides”, Tolz as director with “On the Edge of Time”. In 2004 the set up the company Filmpunkt – take a look at the website http://www.filmpunkt.com/de/home/ - which is based in Köln with Tolz living in Tbilisi Georgia and Riedelsheimer in München. Quite international!

Tolz was very well prepared and after his introduction about how the company works, how the



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Arrival

Written 07-06-2018 21:42:46 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Arrival

There we are, my wife and I, back in Belgrade to take part in the 14th European Feature Documentary Film Festival, Magnificent7 – seven films, one per night, starting tomorrow on the 8th with the Polish masterpiece, “The Prince and the Dybbuk” by Piotr Rosolowski and Elvira Niewiera, who will be present at the screening that is said to be sold out – there is space for 1300 spectators!

From heatwave in Copenhagen to the same in Belgrade with a warm welcome in the airport by Nevena Donlic, program coordinator and Nebosja, driver for the festival through many many years. In to our home for the next week, the Belgrade Excelsior Hotel on Kneza Miloša close to the Parliament and the new venue of the festival Kombank Dvorana. Mr and Mrs. Festival, Zoran and Svetlana Popovic were waiting for us, we got the room and we carried luggage and survival kits up the stairs. Survival kits… for years one of the many jobs at the festival that is carried out by brilliant camerawoman Jelena Stankovic… she buys snacks, chocolate, water, juice, wet wipes, tissues, much needed and one of many specialities of the hospitality, we have enjoyed during all the years. It is an understatement that guests are taken well care of at this festival!

Off to lunch outside in the restaurant Jovac, me starting with my classic rakija, the Losa, it’s from Montenegro, the Serbian waiter said – and followed by salad and schnitzel. From there to a fabulous coffee place ZRNO, means the grain, in the part of the city called Vracar, cafés and restaurants on each corner. Nevena Donlic takes her coffee there - understandable!

14th edition… thinking back on the many films and directors, whose films (91 films) and company we have enjoyed through the years, let me just mention some of them – I go to the facebook page of the festival and look at photos: Audrius Stonys, Miroslav Janek, Nicolas Philibert, Sergei Loznitsa, Sylvain Biegeleisen, Helena Trestikova, Pernille Grønkjær, Wojciech Staron, Jerzy Sladkowski, German Kral, Frank Piasecki Poulsen, Gianfranco Rosi, Marie-Clémence and César Paës, Mika Ronkainen… and late Michael Glawogger (PHOTO). In the coming week Magnificent7 welcomes European documentary cinema makers to Belgrade.

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


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

To Be in a Jury/ To be Awarded

Written 02-06-2018 08:27:07 by Tue Steen Mller

To Be in a Jury/ To be Awarded

My countryman Lars von Trier’s last film “The House that Jack Built” was not in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. In an interview he was asked, if he was sorry about that. No, he said, I don’t believe in competition within art – words to that effect. Well, of course he is right, how to compare an apple with a pear, on the other hand I am sure that he was not sorry to receive all the awards he had for previous films before he became a “persona non grata” at the festival! Who does not appreciate that your film is evaluated as price-worthy? “For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?” to quote W.H. Auden’s poem written for the classic British documentary “Night Mail”.

Here in Krakow there are many awards. I have seen all films in the main competition and let’s see whether the critics points match those of the jury! It’s not always the case, luckily.

Does it mean anything for the filmmakers to be awarded? Of course - Apart



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Parajanov in Tbilisi

Written 08-05-2018 13:34:54 by Tue Steen Mller

Parajanov in Tbilisi

Anna Dziapshipa, a true friend, great photographer and organiser through SAKDOC in Tbilisi, in preparation for a film, took me for a tour down to Old Tbilisi as I wanted to see the monument of Parajanov - see previous post. I was inspired by a photo of Audrius Stonys in front of the sculpture and asked Anna to do one for me. She did.

The sculpture is based on a photo that Yuri Mechitov took of the director and the artist who did it is Prasto =

Vazha Mikaberidze - Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, 1967. Studied at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts from 1984-1992. In 1993 he moved to Italy and continued his studies in Riaci Academy in Florence from 1993 to 1995. Currently he lives and works in Pietrasanta, Italy.

Oh, it reflects the energy of the master of Cinema, his love to life...

http://prasto.eu


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

No Voice Over, No Music in Docs Please

Written 04-05-2018 08:54:32 by Tue Steen Mller

No Voice Over, No Music in Docs Please

Ukrainian Darya Bassel, part of the DocuDays team and producer of My Father is my Mother's Brother, is at HotDocs in Toronto and writes on FB: "I think there’s one really important thing. We have to ban voice over and text captions and (yes, you gonna suffer now) music from documentary cinema. Just for one year. I’m sure the results gonna surprise everyone. Just imagine nobody thinks you’re an idiot anymore and each small thing has to be explained to you. Finally you’re allowed to have little bit of your own understanding of what’s going on and not only follow the storyline but also reveal those incredibly beautiful details which are usually hidden..."

Sounds like bringing back the Dogma... but I have so often had the same feeling as Darya. That a voice over is explaining what you can see for yourself, television has played its role here, and that music is meant to tell you what to feel - or to fill in gaps where nothing is really happening, as a Danish editor, just out of film school, told me they were taught.

BUT remembering Chris Marker and many other film essayists, a voice over can be a fine piece of literature in itself, the personal voice, and it is my impression, as so many documentarians have given up on television support and rules, that the first person narration is being used more and more. Let me just mention the two Danes Jørgen Leth and Jon Bang Carlsen as examples. As for music, yes take it easy please, and/or watch Pirjo Honkasalo's masterpiece "3 Rooms of Melancholia" that Sanna Salmenkallio composed music for. No more muzak in documentaries!

So good that Darya raises this question and congratulations with the film at the festival.


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Copenhagen Architecture Festival

Written 01-05-2018 20:21:51 by Tue Steen Mller

Copenhagen Architecture Festival

It’s the third of the kind and it takes place not only in Copenhagen but also in Aarhus, Aalborg and Odense in Denmark from May 3rd till 16th. And it’s brilliant in thought and program. From the website, here is the introduction by the festival director Josephine Michau: CAFx investigates the role and impact of architecture in our lives and the world we live in. Architecture is more than just bricks, frameworks and compartments. It is sensual, corporeal and social. It is of political, historic and cognitive relevance. We live in constant interaction with architecture; it lives and changes alongside us and affects all aspects of our existence. Each year, the festival explores and presents ideas on the relation between the architectural world and human life through a broad public program of talks, films, performances, workshops, seminars and exhibitions in collaboration with various institutions and (inter)national partners…

On our site we would like to draw attention to the film program, that starts tomorrow where the festival opens with Danish director Boris Benjamin Bertram’s “Human Shelter”, that “takes you on a poetical expedition all over the world – an anthropological exploration of how human beings are creating our homes on planet earth”. There is a retrospective of films by Agnès Varda, and of films by Carl Th. Dreyer – see how he works with space in the photo above from “Ordet”, there are portraits of architects, of course, like Frank Gehry, Utzon, Bjarke Ingels, films on Niemeyer’s Brasilia, there are films by grand master of Danish documentary Jørgen Roos, and his niece Lise Roos.

Surprise for me is that – Sunday 13th of May 2pm at Cinemateket there is a launch of a book written by Claire Thomson, “Short films from a Small Nation” and the trilogy of Jørgen Roos, “A City Called Copenhagen” and his less known films on Hamburg and Oslo, all from the 60’es are screened.

And Palle Vedel makes a preview of his silent Copenhagen city symphony “with an original soundtrack” – in yellow, Dziga Vertov and Walter Ruttmann in memoriam.

OBS! The festival with many film screenings also takes place in Aarhus, Aalborg and Odense – and there is a lot to watch on the DRK.

Fantastic initiative – take a look on the website and see all the events that accompany the festival.

http://cafx.dk/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Robert Frank: Me and My Brother/ 2

Written 29-04-2018 19:52:33 by Tue Steen Mller

Robert Frank: Me and My Brother/ 2

In the blogpost below you find a text of what Allan Berg and I did the other day: Watched the film by Robert Frank from 1968, with a quote from the text of Sara Thelle, when she saw the film three years ago. We also referred to the fine Steidl publication of the script. After a closer look at that we found that the fascinating ending of the film includes a brilliant conversation between Frank, the director and Julius Olovsky, the man who after many years is released from a state institution to be taken care of by his brother Peter. In the following we present the two final pages of the script that indeed is about making films, about acting, and about the camera and what it can represent:

Photos: Steidl and Maria Berg Briese


Categories: Cinema, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Poetics

Robert Frank: Me and My Brother

Written 28-04-2018 11:26:00 by Tue Steen Mller

Robert Frank: Me and My Brother

The editors of this site, Tue Steen Müller and Allan Berg, met in Randers where Berg lives. It is a tradition that we watch films together, when we meet and as Berg had a fine script publication of Robert Frank’s “Me and My Brother” including a dvd with the film, this was an obvious choice. The famous publisher Steidl is behind the publication that was given to Berg by Sara Thelle, who in 2015 wrote about the film after a retrospective of Frank’s film at the Cinemateket in Copenhagen:

Me and My Brother was a slap in my face. It opens up with a very disturbing scene that takes you right to the bottom of a deep and complex matter. Soon it is turned into a film within the film and becomes a sort of meta-reflection and investigation into the questions: how do you film other people, how do you use others in your art, how do you use yourself, what do you make money from, how does it feel to be filmed, what does it do to you, when are you yourself and when are you acting. It is a hybrid film, mixing real life with staged acting, colour with black & white, at times the characters are “played” by themselves and at other moments by actors.

Originally, Frank was set out to make a film adapting Allen Ginsberg’s poem Kaddish, written about his mentally ill mother. But over time, the project becomes a film about Ginsberg’s partner Peter Orlovsky’s brother Julius, who after having spent 15 years in a psychiatric hospital is let out and left in care of his brother. So the setting is Julius, a catatonic schizophrenic, living with Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg. The film is about how to live with and among mental illness, about how the brother Peter deals with it, and in this way – maybe – it becomes indirectly an adaption of Ginsberg’s poem. And at the same time it is a film about Frank’s doubts about filming this.

It sounds wild and it is. It is radical and most unique. Avant-garde and uncompromising, not as a stylistic or artistically experimental take, but because it is necessary for a purpose: a search for truth…

USA, 1968, 85 mins.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3200/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3392/


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

The Baltic Cinematic Miracle/ 2

Written 25-04-2018 08:22:21 by Tue Steen Mller

The Baltic Cinematic Miracle/ 2

Nedenfor fortælles om den store retrospektive serie, som filmfestivalen i Karlovy Vary afvikler i anledning af 100-året for de tre baltiske landes selvstændighed. Mindre kan gøre det og med vanlig sans for kvalitet arrangerer Cinemateket i København, i samarbejde med Det Danske Kulturinstitut i de baltiske lande, en mini-serie hvori også optræder to nye dokumentarer af international kvalitet: Ivars Seleckis "To Be Continued" og Arunas Matelis "Wonderful Losers - A Different World". Begge film er i biograferne i Letland og Litauen, sidstnævnte film fra cykelsportens verden har til dato solgt 15.000 billetter i et land med et par millioner indbyggere. Jeg har fået lov til at indlede Matelis film - jeg har kendt ham siden vi mødtes på Bornholm til Balticum Film & TV Festival i 1990'erne og har fulgt hans filmiske karriere, der er fyldt med hædersbevisninger. Både til den nye film men også til "Before Flying Back to the Earth" fra børneafdelingen på et hospital, hvor hans datter var indlagt med leukæmi. 

https://www.dfi.dk/cinemateket/biograf/cinemateket-markerer-100-aret-baltisk-selvstaendighed


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

The Baltic Cinematic Miracle/ 1

Written 25-04-2018 08:02:47 by Tue Steen Mller

The Baltic Cinematic Miracle/ 1

The headline is a quote from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival director Karel Och. The festival celebrates beautifully the 100th anniversary of independence of the three Baltic countries. The following is a copy-paste of the website text that accompanies the news from KVIFF published some days ago. The festival runs from June 29 till July 7.

The section Reflections of Time: Baltic Poetic Documentary, which will consist of six blocks of short- and medium-length films and two feature-length documentaries, represents a rare opportunity to see key works of documentary film from the Baltic countries within the context of films made in neighbouring countries. “Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia share with the former Czechoslovakia not just the year in which they declared their independence, but also an exceptionally artistic outpouring of cinematic production in the 1960s. We are glad that this year’s festival will be able to offer a unique report on the Baltic cinematic miracle,” says KVIFF’s artistic director Karel Och.

In the 1960s, Baltic documentary film underwent a narrative and



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sergey Dvortsevoy in Cannes

Written 20-04-2018 13:22:30 by Tue Steen Mller

Sergey Dvortsevoy in Cannes

In 2010, at DOKLeipzig, I attended a masterclass with the director, whose documentaries I have always adored and still do. One of the true masters of modern documentary. I knew him from the 1990’es, where his ”Paradise” was shown on Danish television. Later on came ”Bread Day”, also shot on 35mm material, a no-budget film that he made from the negative material that he had won as awards for ”Paradise”. Ratio: 1:2,5!!! And ”Highway” and ”In the Dark”, a film about a blind man in Moscow, it was four years in production. Dvortsevoy is a director, who makes no compromises, always looking for precision.

The year before I had written an open letter to the director, a quite pathetic one, where I express my regret that he had turned to fiction with ”Tulpan”. My criticism: ” You got some of the magical documentary moments that you can not put into a script. But you also have a story and it is full of humour and warmth. It is close to the reality you know, but they act, you can see that they perform, some of them over-act. I like it but you lose something in terms of the truthfulness you have in your previous work…”

You had explained to me that one of the reasons for turning to fiction was to avoid the problems you had had with ”Paradise”, where the people who took part in the film was heavily critisized for showing the Kazakh reality as poort and miserable. Respect for that. So Dvortsevoy went for fiction, as did Kieslowski.

Years ago, when in Moscow, my wife and I met Dvortsevoy, who told us passionately about his new film project, that is now finished and taken for the main competition in Cannes next month. Original title is ”Ayka”, international title is ”My Little One”. The synopsis goes like this ” A young Kyrgyz girl - Ayka - lives and works illegally in Moscow. After giving birth to her son she leaves him in hospital. Some time later, however, her motherly yearning leads her to desperate attempts of finding the abandoned child… Dvortsevoy told us that he had done the research with a video camera, the whole film, to be sure that all would work when the real filming was to start.

So curious to see how many magical documentary moments the great director has found this time!

#abn_berg


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltic Frames i Aarhus

Written 03-04-2018 17:25:14 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Frames i Aarhus

Det her skrives på dansk for vi skal have folk i Aarhus og omegn i biografen, hvor de skal se baltiske film. Det foregår i kunstbiografen Øst for Paradis og det er ifølge arrangøren Det Danske Kulturinstitut i de baltiske lande ”(en) perlerække af rørende, morsomme og dybsindige film”, som er valgt ud, (også) for at lykønske de baltiske lande med 100-årsjubilæet. Endnu et citat: “For 100 år siden, i 1918, kunne Estland, Letland og Litauen for første gang erklære sig selvstændige stater. Filmfestivalen Baltic Frames 2018 er en dansk markering af dette vigtige jubilæum for tre lande, der de seneste 100 år har gennemlevet radikale omvæltninger. Et konstant element i de tre landes udvikling har været fornemme filmtraditioner, der også helt aktuelt fostrer medrivende og nyskabende produktioner.”

Det er sandt, hvad såvel Allan Berg og jeg, redaktører af filmkommentaren.dk har erfaret siden vi mødte baltiske film på Bornholm for 25 år siden på festivalen Balticum Film & TV Festival. Efterfulgt af ture til de dejlige lande.

Festivalen Baltic Frames åbnes på fredag 6. april med en af verdens bedste



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Film History/ Ukraine

Written 01-04-2018 11:04:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Film History/ Ukraine

Exciting it was to visit Dovzhenko Film Studios in Kiev, originating from 1927, carrying the name of Alexander Dovzhenko (1894-1956). And sad as well as the buildings stand alone (apart from a couple of sound studios and a fantastic store with props) and deserted – as I have experienced in other former Soviet republics, Latvia being one of them. But you can easily imagine the studio, that is like a small city in itself, with everything needed space-wise for big productions, flats for the important directors – and Dovzhenko was here.

Just to remind us, a text clip I googled:

”Along with Dziga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein and Vsevolod Pudovkin, Alexander Dovzhenko is one of Soviet cinema’s early masters. Best known for his silent films, Zvenyhora (1928), Arsenal (1929) and Earth (1930), Dovzhenko holds a dominant place among avant-garde directors. It has generally not been recognized that Dovzhenko’s early canon was also an integral part of the Ukrainian cultural renaissance. This work looks at Alexander Dovzhenko’s Soviet Ukrainian trilogy in the light of the silent cinema’s early aesthetic and presents an analysis of the silent trilogy in the context of the Ukrainian Cultural Renaissance (1917-31)[2] and its dialogue with a wider modernist avant garde.”

The studio is today owned by the Ukraine state.

Photo taken by Roman Bondarchuk: Ellen Fonnesbech-Sandberg, Dar’ya Averchenko and me.  

http://rayuzwyshyn.net/dovzhenko/Introduction.htm


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Arunas Matelis Class with a Master

Written 29-03-2018 18:48:43 by Tue Steen Mller

Arunas Matelis  Class with a Master

Confession: I insisted to be the one to talk to Lithuanian Arunas Matelis in the class that the organisers of Docudays in Kiev had set up to celebrate the director and his work for the last 25 years with his short documentaries, his ”Before the Flight Back to the Earth” and the new one, ”Wonderful Losers”. As you can see from the photo he was also in the jury – one of them – of the festival, watching 6 Ukrainian feature documentaries and a short film program.

Insisting… as I have known Matelis since the beginning of the 1990’es where he with Audrius Stonys came to Bornholm to the Balticum Film & TV Festival as young talents impressing us all with their word-less visual poems, a word Matelis used at the class, where around 25 people attended – many more will have the chance to see what we talked about, when Docudays put the recorded talk online.

I put two short films into the program: ”Flight Over Lithuania” that he made with Stonys for an Expo Exhibition in 2000 and ”Ten minutes Before the Flight of Icarus” from 1990, a film that was shot just before the country, the beautiful country described in ”Flight Over…”, became independent.

Arunas Matelis is a man of reflection, a man who – now he does more than when I met him 25 years ago – does not like to talk about his films because words take away from the images, the visuals that he put so much emphasis on. I am in Paris now coming from Kiev this morning and I see with great pleasure that some of his films – as well some made by Audrius Stonys – are shown in the festival I attend, Festival des Films Autour de l’Europe. It is therefore more than appropiate to say that Arunas Matelis is un grand auteur. 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

New Top Portraits

Written 26-03-2018 23:10:18 by Tue Steen Mller

New Top Portraits

After a long time with three male directors, three female directors go to the top of the filmkommentaren.dk:

Maite Alberti, Agnès Varda, Giedre Zickyte.

Maite Alberdi, Chilean director, is known for her warm-hearted films, to be mentioned ”Tea Time” from 2014 and ”The Grown-Ups” from 2016, many times awarded, both of them got the main award at DocsBarcelona. She co-directed in 2016 the short film ”I’m Not from Here”, a gem of a documentary, with, to the right

Giedre Zickyte from Lithuania, who made the beautiful love story ”Master and Tatyana” in 2014, introducing to us the superb photographer Vitas Luckus and his dramatic life in Soviet Lithuania. Before that, in 2011, she had made ”How We Played the Revolution” that goes back to 1984, the beginning of perestroika in the USSR, where the rock group Antis had an impact on the fall of the empire…

Agnès Varda is in the middle, 89 years old master of cinema, who needs no further introduction for her volume of short films, fiction and documentaries, the latest – together with photographer JR – ”Faces, Places”, full of energy and originality.


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Modern Times Review Spring 2018

Written 10-03-2018 17:28:00 by Tue Steen Mller

Modern Times Review Spring 2018

… with the subtitle ”The European Documentary and Non-fiction Magazine” is out with its 3rd printed version, and let me start with a strong promotion of what is ridiculously cheap, 28€ per year:

”A yearly subscription gives you the spring and fall issues of Modern Times Review, full access to all (soon 1000 articles from the last 20 years) online articles, and the monthly documentary screenings.”

I met the chief-editor Norwegian Truls Lie in Prague the other day, where he brought the magazine to the big documentary community attending the East Doc Platform and the One World Festival. He told me that this spring issue of the magazine comes out with a focus on films that are being shown at the festivals in Thessaloniki, Prague, Oslo, Copenhagen, Nyon, Krakow. Within the 24 pages there are small interviews with the festival directors of the mentioned festivals to give you an idea of where their focus lies. It’s nice and informative.

Otherwise - and most important – the quality of the reviews and articles are high. Let me mention two excellent writers, Nick Holdsworth and Neil Young. The first has an impressive analysis of the controversial Czech documentary ”The White World According to Daliborek” (PHOTO) by Vit Klusak, the latter, Neil Young, gets a whole page to write a beautiful article on short films based on his visit to the International Film Festival Rotterdam. ”Short documentaries has a capacity to dazzle and delight”, he writes and reviews in details two Ukrainian short films, Tobias Zielony’s ”Maskirova” and Anna Jermolaewas ”Leninopad”. It is a scoop that Lie has Neil Young to write about shorts in the magazine. I am sure many readers know Young from his (long) documentary reviews in Hollywood Reporter… And he gets around, Neil Young, who told me that he was at 28 festivals last year. Gosh!!!

Again a big Bravo to Truls Lie for continuing what was done with the DOX Magazine. A tribute to the documentary genre. SUBSCRIBE!  

www.moderntimes.review


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Agns Varda & JR: Faces Places

Written 19-02-2018 14:28:14 by Tue Steen Mller

Agns Varda & JR: Faces Places

The title in French is Visages Villages – more precise than the English one, as it is mostly villages the two artists visit to meet locals, take their photos, make them grand format, large scale and paste them on big walls. The name of the mobile photo booth of JR is Inside Out Project – a project it is, that the two perform and the result is the creation of a charming and warm meeting between the two of them – she 88 and he 33 – who travel to make homage to people they meet, and to places that are abandoned in the French countryside.

There is the touching sequence from the former mining town, where only one woman lives. Varda and JR put photos from the good mining times on the walls, of miners, and of the lonely woman, who is touched to see herself in that scale.

Each photo tells a story, says Varda, who as a true documentarian declares in the beginning of the film in her home/studio in Rue Daguerre in Paris that ”chance has always been my best assistant”, so let’s go. And they do and invite the audience to meet farmers, goats with and without horns, lots of cats, she is a cat lover Varda, dockworkers and their wives, a postman who is no longer coming by bike and many others.

But the film also turns its perspective towards Varda, who remembers, goes to the tiny graveyard where Henri Cartier-Bresson is buried, to Normandy where she took photos of the photographer Guy Bourdin, we are with her to the eye doctor, which is no problem for her – cut to Bunuel and his ”Un Chien Andalou” – and she wants to honour Jean-Luc Godard and make JR take off his dark glasses as she made Godard do in a short film from 1961.

This review is written with a smile on the face, I have just seen a playful essayistic documentary by a master, masterly co-directed by JR, who as Varda says is very good with old people – together they go to his grandmother, who is over 100 years old.

France, 2017, 89 mins.


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sergei Loznitsa to Receive Award in Krakow/ 1

Written 02-02-2018 17:32:03 by Tue Steen Mller

Sergei Loznitsa to Receive Award in Krakow/ 1

A press release came in from Krakow Film Festival two days ago. Here comes the essence of it, followed by a post of some references, we have made to films of a very productive and excellent director of short and long documentary and fiction films:

This year, the Krakow Film Foundation Programme Council decided to honour the eminent director of documentary films, Sergei Loznitsa, with the Dragon of Dragon award in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the development of the international cinema. The 21st laureate of this prestigious award is at the same time the youngest winner of the award in history… big names like Jonas Mekas, Werner Herzog, Marcel Lozinski, Albert Maysles are among previous winners as are Priit Pärn, the Quay Brothers, Jerzy Kucia and Paul Driessen – remember that the festival is also the place for artistic animation films.

The President of the Programme Council, the film critic and film theorist, Prof. Tadeusz Lubelski, gave three main reasons for the nomination: "First, the consistent, extremely original and fruitful explorations of the form. Loznitsa created his own style of documentary film, resulting from patience and distance to the world, based on long shots and brilliant soundtrack. Kracauer would have had an insoluble problem with his works, because this is the cinema of pure recording, at the same time completely created. And the end result tends to be worthy of the dramas by Beckett.

Secondly, Loznitsa as a film-maker is an inquisitive and unyielding explorer of Russia. He discovers the weight of its past (often bringing archival tapes to life), but also its unique, sometimes shocking present. To this aim serve him the explorations of the documentary film's form, though he often uses them also in feature films, such as the recent brilliant film "A Gentle Creature." Thirdly, this is a film-maker who is connected with our festival since the very beginnings of his artistic work, that is, for over twenty years. So we can almost view this director - born in Baranavichy, educated in Kiev, residing in Germany for many years – as a film-maker from Krakow."

http://www.kff.com.pl


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sergei Loznitsa to Receive Award in Krakow/ 2

Written 02-02-2018 17:26:32 by Tue Steen Mller

Sergei Loznitsa to Receive Award in Krakow/ 2

… and here are some quotes from Loznitsa films, we have been writing about on filmkommentaren. It’s very few, only documentaries. If you want to see the full filmography go to Loznitsa’s own website, link below.

The Event (2015) - … Loznitsa is not in Moscow in this film, he is in Leningrad and gives me exceptional material from what happened in the streets and the squares, that I love so much today, where people gathered to try to understand what is going on in 1991. +  he gives me the legendary mayor Sobchak and his impressive speeches, “the sea of faces” listening to him, the USSR flag being substituted by the Russian, the slogans used like “fascism will not prevail”, bring the “coup gang to justice” and the name of Yeltsin shouted again and again. Fascinating…

Maidan (2014) - He is distantly observing and not involved (not meaning that he does not have a point of view, indeed he has), he makes the viewer observe and have the eyes go around his images, that are like paintings, as the jury stated in their motivation for giving an honorary award to the film (in Leipzig, ed.). Several long shots included the singing of the Ukrainian anthem, where you let your eyes wander within the frame, as was it a work by Brueghel! Unique moments they are.

My personal favourite is ”Blockade” (2005) about the 900 days siege of Leningrad during WW2. Will watch again and write…

Austerlitz (2017) - Loznitsa´s construction of the sound score is a superb alliance to the black & white images, where there is no camera movement and where every frame is precise and full of meaning in its composition. Back to the sound… it goes on my nerves when I am confronted with the sound of steps of all the tourists, who are visiting the camps – after visiting several, Loznitsa decided to concentrate on Dachau and Sachsenhausen – in their almost naked summer dress with their smart phones clicking all the time, their audioguides linked to the ear, and their selfie-photo-taking.

http://loznitsa.com/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Wajda at Work

Written 18-01-2018 20:52:53 by Tue Steen Mller

Wajda  at Work

He died in 2016, Andrzej Wajda, 90 years old. A quote from Guardian’s obituary: ”Polish cinema burst upon the world in the 1950s with Andrzej Wajda’s war trilogy, A Generation, Kanał and Ashes and Diamonds, with the director becoming the voice of disaffected postwar youth. A generation later, Wajda, who has died aged 90, was the voice of Poland again, as the country struggled to survive political and economic turmoil.”

And why this text now… simply because I first now got to watch the film about him, ”Andrzej Wajda – Let’s Shoot”, filmed during the shooting of ”Katyn” that came out in 2007, the film about the Soviet massacre in 1940, where about 22.000 Polish prisoners of war were killed in the forest Katyn in Western Russia.

The film about Wajda making the film, however, is not about the



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Kristoffer Hegnsvad: Werner Herzog

Written 31-12-2017 14:20:26 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Kristoffer Hegnsvad: Werner Herzog

DEN ANDEN USKYLD

Den trænede læsers (filmlæsers / filmpublikums) læseproces (filmtilegnelse) bør se således ud: 1) at opleve teksten (filmen) umiddelbart og uhildet, 2) at nærme sig teksten (filmen) fra så mange sider som man kan overkomme og med så megen viden og indsigt som muligt – Erik Lunding: 'den eneste gyldige metode er den pluralistiske'  – dvs. at forstå og vurdere alle detaljer og deres sammenhænge og helheder: tekstens (filmens) udseende og lyd, dens ord, dens billeder og figurer, vers og sætninger (optagelser og scener), dens motiv og holdning og genre, dens helhed – og tekstens (filmens) placering midt i sine kontekster, trådene ud til psykologiske, sociale, historiske og litterære (cinematografiske) sammenhænge, alt det tidsbetingede i den tidløse enestående tekst (film). 3) Når dette er nok, da: at glemme det hele og opleve teksten (filmen) igen, i den anden uskyld som er både forståelse og oplevelse, som er kunstværkets mening og hensigt. (Poul Borum, 1966, frit modificeret ved parenteser af abn, idet Borum jo skrev om litterære tekster)

1

Kristoffer Hegnsvad tager i sin bog Werner Herzog - Ekstatisk sandhed og andre ubrugelige erobringer udgangspunkt i sit møde foråret 2016 med Werner Herzog på The Rogue Film School i München og bruger herefter sin viden om ham og sine læsninger af hans film som illustrationer, billedliggørelser og eksempler i en skildring af Herzogs filosofi om tilværelsen og æstetikken, virkeligheden og den kunstneriske bearbejdelse af den, skriver en Herzogs poetik så at sige ved siden af Aristoteles’ oldtidige essay.

Måske er det formidling mere end undersøgelse, altså mere akademisk undervisning og folkelig oplysning end det er nye læsninger af filmværkerne. Men hvis formidling og fortælling er bogens ambition – ja, så er den velskabt og lykkedes – og jeg tror bestemt det er fortællelysten som driver Hegnsvads tekst så lydefrit og letlæselig. Vil jeg nyere og mere komplicerede læsninger af filmene skal jeg jo blot købe en bog mere og lægge den ved siden af eller i forlængelse af Hegnsvads inden for sin ambition så fine tekst. (5. december)

Werner Herzog



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics

Best of DAFilms 2017

Written 18-12-2017 13:46:24 by Tue Steen Mller

Best of DAFilms 2017

… DA standing for DocAlliance, “the creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals…”. We do it again, recommend our readers to sign up for a subscription for this unique quality vod. €5 per month!

“The end of the year is a perfect time for retrospection, evaluation and best of charts. In December, we at DAFilms traditionally give our program selection over to you, our viewers. The Curated Program includes the films that you liked and watched the most in the past year. Plus, as a Christmas bonus, we added a few new films that were successful at festivals and now receive an online premiere at DAFilms!

Our Christmas selection includes a whole range of documentaries. If you love animals, don’t overlook Do Donkeys Act? about the life of donkeys; narrated by Willem Dafoe! However, if you don’t come to DAFilms for animals, watch for instance El Sicario – Room 164, a portrait of a hitman who speaks on camera in strict anonymity…”.

Let me mention some of the gems among the 20 films mentioned in this x-mas greeting: Chris Marker (PHOTO) with “Lettre de Siberie” (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3983/) (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3946/), Ognjen Glavonic’s “Depth Two” (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3475/),

Salome Jashi’s “The Dazzling Light of Sunset” (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3525/). The two latter were both on this site’s “Best of 2016”.

And Viktor Kossakovsky’s “The Belovs” (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3371/)

Two classics and two neo-classics, can one put it like that?

www.Dafilms.com


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Web

Miroslav Janek: Universum Brdecka

Written 15-12-2017 23:57:02 by Tue Steen Mller

Miroslav Janek: Universum Brdecka

Got the newsletter from Czech IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) yesterday. One of the news highlighted was that Miroslav Janek has made a new film that will be released December 21. Janek is one of the heroes of filmkommentaren.dk, we have posted a lot of texts about him and his work and his portrait is with Robert Frank and Herz Frank on top of the site.

The new film is made together with Tereza Brdeckova, journalist and author and daughter of Jiri Brdecka - the artist the film is about, as the title says: ”Universum Brdecka”.

Marta Jallageas has made a fine mini-interview with Janek about the film – an interview that makes me curious to see the film and know about another fine Czech ”screenwriter, author and artist”, who made ”Lemonade Joe, The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, Dinner for Adele, The Emperor and the Golem... These are just a few of the successful films written by Jiří Brdečka”, as the interview says.

The film has over five thousand cuts, says Janek, who again worked with his wife Tonicka as editor. ”We spent five months in the editing room… It seems like we were trying to break some editing world record here but that’s obviously nonsense. It’s about the way we tell the story. We picked a style that requires a lot of cuts but many would be hard to notice even for professionals… The key to selecting material was simple. Excerpts from Brdečka’s movies are not used to illustrate or inform about his work. Instead, we used them to create meaning so that they fit in with the subject discussed in individual scenes and enhance them both emotionally and aesthetically…”

Always interesting to read Janek’s thoughts on filmmaking, can’t wait to see the film about an artist I have never heard about. And the article includes the trailer of the film, very inviting, in Czech language, but does not matter, you get an idea of the man and the style of the film.

www.dokweb.net


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Serbian Documentaries in Paris

Written 02-12-2017 21:28:43 by Tue Steen Mller

Serbian Documentaries in Paris

It’s a pleasure to see that Serbian documentarians get international recogniiton. They deserve it. And I know what I am talking about. Since the beginning of this century I have had the privilege to go to Belgrade to help Svetlana and Zoran Popovic to make selection for the Magnificent7 film festival, that will happen for the 14th time in 2018.

Through the festival I have kept contact with talented and skilled filmmakers, who have fought to raise funding for their films, and for several of them they have also been instrumental to make the festival happen. Four of them will next week be in Paris. Their



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Srgio Trfaut: Treblinka

Written 26-11-2017 12:25:46 by Tue Steen Mller

Srgio Trfaut: Treblinka
The portuguese director Sérgio Tréfaut/ Serge Tréfaut (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3388/) was back in Copenhagen with the film Treblinka. The screening took place at the Cinématheque at the Film House.
The Cinématheque that we so often have praised on this site for its excellent programming  and that I (Allan Berg lives in Randers hours away from Copenhagen) visit far too little even if it is only 10 minutes walk from home. Well, not totally right, we often go with the grandchildren to watch the morning screenings of mainly animation films.
Back to Tréfaut saturday night 7pm. Almost full house, a majority invited through the culturally active Portuguese embassy. Jesper Andersen.
programmer, who like me admires Tréfaut and his work, had chosen “Treblinka” knowing that the director also is a great speaker, which he
demonstrated before and after the 61 minutes long film.
About the background for the film he told the audience that he had had long conversations with the French director and writer AND holocaust
survivor Marceline Loridan-Ivens (born 1928); her last name refers to her long life with legendary documentarian Joris Ivens. He was impressed
by her will to life - “this small woman is like a bomb” - and had read her memoirs and heard her talk about her relations to trains. She is still
scared to enter a train… the trains to the camps…
That was one of the reasons why Tréfaut chose to let his film take place in trains passing though foggy or snowy Eastern European landscapes, with images that are most often doubled, with naked men and women sitting in the trains, some of them reciting the text, with the constant train sound. The images, composed by João Ribeiro, and the editing, create a dreamerish atmosphere, something horrible that happened in the past, the ghosts are still there for the survivors whatever they do to enjoy the Life.
The film essay, yes that’s what it is, is based on the memoirs of Chil Rajchman (Treblinka: A Survivor’s Memory), a Polish Jew, who was arrested
with his younger sister in 1942 and sent to Treblinka - a death camp where more than 750,000 were murdered before it was abandoned by German soldiers.
It took Tréfaut only weeks to film in the trains but a year to edit the work, that has been to festivals in 20 countries.
I had seen the film before on my computer, I can not recommend that. Was happy to watch it on a big screen with the brilliant aesthetic choice of
image and sound to convey an almost unbearable theme. No more holocaust films, it has been said many times especially at pitching sessions. Nonsense, you think, when you see Sérgio Tréfaut’s masterly done piece of Cinema.
 
Portugal, 2016, 61 mins.

Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

IDFA 2017 Opening

Written 16-11-2017 08:41:25 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA 2017 Opening

It was a brilliant IDFA opening night yesterday at the amazing Royal Theater Carré in Amsterdam. Film and tribute to Ally Derks, who has stepped down from her post as director of IDFA that she co-founded 30 years ago. The hall was full of people, who was more than pleased to join a standing ovation to her after a beautiful speech by Derk Sauer, chairman of the Board of IDFA, who characterised Derks as we know her, energetic, always on the side of the directors, the makers, and not that fond of all the administration and meetings, that follows when a festival has reached the size that has IDFA: 280.000 tickets sold last year! Before the speech to Ally Derks, who received a medal from the royal family, there were acrobats on stage and afterwards the new artistic director, Barbare Visser, introduced the programme of this year highlighting the program section “Visual Voice” which is dedicated to Ally Derks, a whole day at De Balie with the presence of documentary masters, who have grown up with the festival…. and then the opening film, Amal by Mohammed Siam, fine choice for a more than fine film, touching, more about that later.

www.idfa.nl 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

The European Documentary Magazine/ 2

Written 14-11-2017 12:32:03 by Tue Steen Mller

The European Documentary Magazine/ 2

The second print edition of the documentary magazine, MODERN TIMES REVIEW, that took over when DOX was stopped by its publisher EDN (European Documentary Network), is out. It was in the festival bags at DOK Leipzig and it will be at IDFA as will the editor, Norwegian Truls Lie, chapeau for him and his work. 24 pages, lots of reviews, features, opinions – it took me hours to read it all, very good quality.

The magazine says that it deals with ”… keywords could be conflicts, peace work, surveillance, control societies, climate. Ecology, ethics and philosophy…”

Over two pages three of the competition films at IDFA are reviewed: Jessica Gorter’s ”The Red Soul” (PHOTO) (the Stalin cult today and before), Mila Turajlic’s personal ”The Other Side of Everything” from Serbia today and before, and Håvard Bustnes visit to Greece, ”The Golden Dawn Girls”. Watch the films and read the reviews afterwards to see if you agree. There is also a mini interview with IDFA’s artistic director Barbara Visser, who says that IDFA is there ”to promote the cinematic documentary… the cinematic experience is something that many  filmmakers aspire to, and for good reasons: one works on film to create a memorable experience, not just to transfer information”. Agree, but don’t underestimate the information side. Another question to her was ”what do you think about the term ”movies that matter”. Answer: ”All good movies matter”. YES, and let’s get rid of that kind of meaningless slogans!

Take a subscription to the magazine and read about the new films and dig into the archive:

”A yearly subscription gives you the spring and fall issues of Modern Times Review, full access to all (soon 1000 articles from the last 20 years) online articles, and the monthly documentary screenings.”

www.moderntimes.review 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Masters at IDFA

Written 13-11-2017 16:33:29 by Tue Steen Mller

Masters at IDFA

Not all films can go to the competitive sections, of course not, so festivals arrange strands like Panorama and Masters, at IDFA both are there, with 32 titles in the first and 29 in the latter, where also older films are brought into the spotlight.

As a visitor for five days I know it is impossible to watch all the films, which are listed in the masters section. Luckily there are several that I have already seen and that we have written about on this site, and luckily there are films that we can take a look at later in the long dark winter nights coming up in our part of the world…

This is really gonna be a slate of name-dropping: Malek Bensmail tells the story behind Pontecorvo’s ”The Battle of Algier”, Andres Veiel has made a film on ”Beuys”, Romanian ”The Dead Nation”  by Radu Jude ”is a documentary-essay, which shows a stunning collection of photographs from a Romanian small town in the 1930's and 1940's. The soundtrack, composed mostly from excerpts taken from the diary of a Jewish doctor from the same era, shows us what the photographs do not: the rising of the anti-Semitism and eventually a harrowing depiction of the Romanian Holocaust, a topic which is not very talked about in the contemporary Romanian society.”

I am so much looking forward to seeing Agnès Varda’s ”Faces



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Andreas Horvath: Helmut Berger - Actor

Written 18-10-2017 17:56:20 by Tue Steen Mller

Andreas Horvath: Helmut Berger - Actor

In the 1970’es my friend Kjell Væring and I went to see Luchino Visconti’s ”Ludwig” about King Ludwig II of Bavaria, 235 mins.(!). A masterpiece that we watched in a big cinema on Champs Élysées in Paris. We wrote about the film for a Danish newspaper and our admiration for the master director was made bigger with that film as with those that followed – ”The Damned” and ”The Conversation Piece”. Very much because of the unique acting by Helmut Berger, the companion of Visconti.

So I expected that Andreas Horvath’s film on Berger from 2015, decades after the films mentioned, would be about how it was to live with and act in films by Visconti. The life of an actor, what is acting… I am sure that was also what Horvath intended to do. It never happened. Well he cuts some times to a signed photo of Visconti on the wall in the flat in Salzburg, where most of the film takes place.



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

What is documentary?

Written 17-10-2017 09:30:41 by Tue Steen Mller

What is documentary?

A month ago I was teaching at the film school department of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius. The first morning of the week I asked the students to write down 3 words that comes to their mind, when they hear the word “documentary”. We put the words on a whiteboard. At the end of the week we looked at the many words after having discussed and watched many films. Screenwriter student Eva Sinicaite (PHOTO)volunteered to make an essay out of the words, here it comes:

Wikipedia describes documentary as a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record.

But anyone would agree, that this is a big understatement. Documentary is much more than that. It is an observation of reality. Three partners – time, sound and picture – dance together, creating poetry on screen. Using your own style and aesthetic, you can create a unique world. This world can be directed, put into structure or set free to flow naturally – like life does. Documentary enables you to portray emotions, very intimate and sensitive moments. These truthful glimpses change you. There is no better way to see the point of view of others, to acknowledge different perceptions. To explore the lines between concepts – subjective or objective, fiction or reality. To teach and learn history through individual stories. To get to the core of philosophy simply by contemplating life. To give an ironical approach, to provoke people, to make contrasts, to inspire…

There are so many words that the description of documentary cinema contains, almost as many as the concept of existence does. Maybe because documentary is life itself. So just open your eyes, hearts and minds and indulge in this extraordinary world.

The photo is from the favourite documentary of Eva Sinicaite, “Earth of the Blind” (1992) by Audrius Stonys. 


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Poetics

DOK Leipzig Alvarez, Varda, Kluge, Panh, Rau

Written 15-10-2017 11:42:34 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig  Alvarez, Varda, Kluge, Panh, Rau

Yes, political films, films on political issues, film history. DOK Leipzig offers at its 60th edition 24 short and longer documentaries under the title ”commanders, chairmen, general secretaries”. Which refers to an event at the festival. Catalogue text by Ralph Eue goes like this:

”An experimental application of the thesis of many early theorists of cinematography according to which cinema is less an illusion machine to transport ready-made narratives than a machine to pioneer a new type of thought and narrative. Alexander Kluge gave his nine-hour audiovisual investigation of Eisenstein’s plan to adapt Marx’s “Capital” on film the title: “News from Ideological Antiquity. Marx – Eisenstein – Das Kapital” (2008). Intelligent work on a monument has turned into a monument itself by now. Let us address it by making this appeal: Re-Think!

The media scholar Christian Schulte, co-editor of the “Alexander Kluge-Jahrbuch”, and the publicist Jörg Becker invite us to a joint reading of some passages of this mammoth project (and other, thematically related films, contributions and broadcasts by the director). What is the purpose of this reading? Recovering from ideological antiquity a few clues, even though they may be only fragments, that will help us to better understand the future.”

Otherwise I am tempted to watch and rewatch ”Black Panthers” by Agnés Varda, ”My Brother Fidel” by Santiago Alvarez, ”A Day at the Grave of Karl Marx” by Finnish Peter von Bagh, ”The Missing Picture” by Rithy Panh and ”The Moscow Trials” by Milo Rau.

Rau also has a film in the international competition, ”The Congo Tribunal” (PHOTO) , 2017, 100 mins. Go to the site of the festival to watch the impressive, strong trailer. And check the website of the tribunal and the comments of the director.

https://filmfinder.dok-leipzig.de/en/?&section=236

http://www.the-congo-tribunal.com/film.html#statement


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig Loves Polish Documentaries/ 2

Written 15-10-2017 10:49:18 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Loves Polish Documentaries/ 2

Leena Pasanen, director of DOK Leipzig, wrote this to me yesterday:

Dear Tue, bad news from Poland indeed. This is the text i had written for our catalogue to introduce our Polish special programme. Had no idea at that time, that Sroka would be fired a week later:

“It took a decade of constant development, hard work and financial effort to bring Polish films back to their former fame, but it paid off. Today Polish filmmakers are again familiar faces at award ceremonies all over the world and respected and wanted co-producing partners.

How long will it take to vitiate this success, if the shadow of right-wing populism reaches the filmmaking community and puts in danger the current support system? How long will it take, before the market is full of pretty little films of Polish history, if the decision makers are selected by political and not by professional merits? This little programme is to show how much we love these films and how very unfortunately it would be for the whole filmmaking world, if these films would not exist.”

Photo: Communion by Anna Zamecka, part of the programme


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig Loves Polish Documentaries

Written 14-10-2017 11:37:27 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Loves Polish Documentaries

… and has put together a special program, ”a declaration of Love to Polish docs”, for the festival. Readers of this site will know that Polish documentaries are highly valued through reports from the Krakow festival, lots of positive reviews (last one being ”The Prince and the Dybbuk” some days ago) and below you will find a link to an article called ”Why I love Polish Documentaires”, a love story that has lasted more than 25 years…

More about the Leipzig program later, first some sad news that makes one wonder if the good period for Polish films is over with the increasing involvement of the government, that through their minister of culture has made the move to dismiss the director of the Polish Film Institute, Magdalena Sroka. You can read all about it on the site of Film New Europe, link below, but here comes some quotes:



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jihlava International Documentary FF

Written 12-10-2017 23:30:11 by Tue Steen Mller

Jihlava International Documentary FF

… takes place October 24 till October 29, DOKLeipzig starts October 30 and runs until November 5, 10 days later it is IDFA in Amsterdam. It is rather crowded with important documentary festivals within a month, one can say, I have before been able to jump from one to the other, this year I go to Leipzig and Amsterdam.

But let me start by commenting on some of many fine elements of the 21st festival in Jihlava in Czech Republic: 10 competition sections, including ”testimonies” on politics, knowledge and nature. Let me mention one fine title from each – ”Ghost Hunting” by Raed Andoni, ”… when you look away” by Phie Ambo and ”Wilder than Wilderness” by Marián Polák. I saw a clip from Polák’s film in Prague in March, very appealing, here is the synopsis: ”An expedition into the Czech countryside reveals the adventurous stories of plants and animals that take place all around us, and explores fascinating places where nature is returning after being devastated by man. The film, narrated by the filmmaker, captures the true wildness of nature and the course of filming.”

Film history is represented through a retrospective of films by legendary Jean Rouch and I would have loved to be in Jihlava to



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Niewiera/Rosolowski: The Prince and the Dybbuk/ 2

Written 11-10-2017 09:44:00 by Tue Steen Mller

Niewiera/Rosolowski: The Prince and the Dybbuk/ 2

I had high expectations to the new film by Elvira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski. I liked their ”Domino Effect”, link to the review below, and I have followed ”The Prince and the Dybbuk” through a read of the treatment and I  attended a clip presentation at the Krakow Film Festival. The expectations became even higher, when it was picked for the festival in Venice and won a big award. Had the couple succeeded to fulfill their ambitions to make a big, archive-based adventurous Film? YES they had! For me "The Prince and the Dybbuk" is a strong candidate to be the Documentary of the Year. I will tell you why in this review, but first an intro to the story. Here comes a synopsis borrowed from the catalogue of the festival in Venice:



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Finland in Focus in Belgrade

Written 07-10-2017 15:26:56 by Tue Steen Mller

Finland in Focus  in Belgrade

The M7 in Belgrade stands for the Magnificent7 Festival – 7 feature duration European documentaries. The festival has launched 13 editions, number 14 is coming up January 31st till February 6th 2018.

But before that the tireless director couple of the festival, Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, has decided to put Finland in Focus this month, very soon: October 13 & 14th. As an extra M7 activity.

To be shown are what you could call Finnish neo-classics, and gosh they have made good films in that country. Opening film will be ”Screaming Men” (2003) about the famous screaming men choir. It is the hope of the organisers that the Mika Ronkainen, who will be present, will scream the National anthem of Finland!

The next day ”Living Room of the Nation” will come to the screen, the film by Jukka Kärkkäinen from 2010, followed by Ronkainen’s ”Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart” (2013) and ”Soundbreaker” (2012) by Kimmo Koskela with the fantastic mucisian Kimmo Pohjonen.

Ronkainen will have a busy stay in Belgrade as there will also be a masterclass with the director, whose presence has been supported by the Finnish Film Foundation, Marja Pallassalo.

All films have been shown at…

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


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig Loznitsa & Rosenblatt

Written 30-09-2017 16:59:53 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig  Loznitsa & Rosenblatt

One more quote from a DOK Leipzig press release:

Two DOK Masterclasses will cover the topic of archival footage given by world-renowned directors. Sergei Loznitsa will introduce his personal way of working with found footage, talk about the power of montage to shape a film, and discuss how he deals with the boundary between documentary film and fiction. This event is taking place in cooperation with ARTE. Experimental short filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt, to whom the festival dedicates its homage this year, will explain how he assembles his collage and essay films. For his sometimes highly personal films he uses, for example, excerpts from educational, amateur and corporate films.

Various discussion formats address current trends and pressing issues of the documentary film industry. The Industry Talk "North American Distribution Expanded" will explore the distribution opportunities and strategies that the North American market has to offer. Panelists include Orly Ravid (The Film Collaborative, Los Angeles) and Robin Smith (Kinosmith, Toronto). The risks to filmmakers, protagonists and funders when shooting documentary films will be addressed in the talk "Protecting Yourself, Protecting your Protagonists" with Mike Lerner (Nutopia Films; work includes "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer"), Zeynep Güzel (Yeni Film Fund, Istanbul) and Yulia Serdyukova (producer of "All Things Ablaze" (PHOTO) among others). 

As part of the rough cut presentations "DOK Preview Germany" and "DOK Preview Training" (in cooperation with seven European training initiatives) 13 film projects are set to be presented, all of which are ready for international distribution. Around 80 decision-makers from 30 countries will be present…

http://www.dok-leipzig.de/en/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Message2Man St.Petersburg

Written 16-09-2017 22:43:33 by Tue Steen Mller

Message2Man St.Petersburg

The festival in magnificent St. Petersburg started last night with an opening ceremony on the Palace Square, in rain as last year where I was there – unfortunately not possible for me to be present this year. Look at the picture of Marcel Ophüls (born 1st of November 1927) on the stage to be honoured for his contribution to the history of cinema. Let me mention the two titles that appear in all 100 Best Documentaries lists: ”Le Chagrin et la pitié” and ”Hotel Terminus”. The film shown at the opening was a restored version of ”Man With a Movie Camera” by Dziga Vertov, made in 1929… when Ophüls was two years old!

At the festival there is a series of independent Chinese documentaries and a well deserved retrospective of Helena Třeštíková’s Czech Chronicles. Also to be noticed that the trilogy of Bulgarian Andrey Paounov is in the programme, with the masterpiece ”The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories” in the foreground.

Kirsten Johnson is in international competition with ”Cameraperson” as is Lidia Sheinina with her ”Harmony”, both reviewed on this site as is Mariam Chachia’s ”Listen to the Silence”.

http://www.message2man.com/en/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Henrikas Sablevicius - Sobles Kino Klubas

Written 11-09-2017 20:01:36 by Tue Steen Mller

Henrikas Sablevicius - Sobles Kino Klubas

Finally I am at the film school in Vilnius - Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre - to teach for a week. On this first day my host Giedrė Kabašinskienė took me to see Sobles Kino Klubas named after my dear friend Henrikas Sablevicius from the time of the Balticum Film & TV Festival on Bornholm. I took the photo of a poster on the wall and re-post a text written 6 years ago on this site:

They know how to remember and honour their artists in Lithuania, including the documentary filmmakers, I was reminded again today at the Vilnius Documentary Film Festival. Talking to directors Giedre Beinoriute and Audrius Stonys, they told me that a film club had been established in the name of Henrikas Sablevicius, a wonderful teacher and a fine documentary director, a father figure, for many the main creator of the Lithuanian documentary tradition, based on the image, always with many layers, lyrical in tone, like the city Vilnius often filled with an atmosphere of spirituality.

Henrikas Sablevicius (1930-2004) came to the Balticum Film & TV Festival on the Danish island of Bornholm in all 10 years of the festival’s existence. He was the proud leader of the delegation, he was the one who stood forward and made speeches and introductions, he invited the audience to retrospectives of Lithuanian documentaries, including some of his own, and he was a generous party organiser after the screenings at the Kino Gudhjem on Bornholm. He was also the one, who received us, the Danish selection team, when we came to Vilnius to watch films. He organised the screenings at the Film Studio in the city (torn down, what a shame!) and he served us tea and 999, the secret code that later became the way that I and director Arunas Matelis for years adressed each other.

I got a book on Sablevicius today, published last year, edited by Ramune Rakauskaite, entitled ”Soble” (his nickname), with contributions from colleague filmmakers and students like the three names I have mentioned. I can not read it, but just browsing through the book looking at the photos of the charismatic man with the wild beard, brings me back to our meetings on Bornholm, always with conversations that included an interpreter... Sobles Kino Klubas is the name and it has a facebook page!

http://www.facebook.com/sobles.kino.klubas

http://mubi.com/films/didnt-come

http://www.documentary.lt/?Lang=EN


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

TUE STEEN MLLER 70 R

Written 29-08-2017 08:25:35 by Allan Berg Nielsen

TUE STEEN MLLER 70 R

Photo: Nenad Puhovski


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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics

DocAlliance: Hybrid Films

Written 27-07-2017 17:57:56 by Tue Steen Mller

DocAlliance: Hybrid Films

Look at this list of films presented by DocAlliance:

Life in Denmark (Jørgen Leth)

Cooking History (Peter Kerekes)

Blind Loves (Juraj Lehotský)

Alda (Viera Čakányová)

Ex Press (Jet Leyco)

The Wolf from Royal Wineyard Street (Jan Němec)

The Perfect Human (Jørgen Leth)

Love from Above (Petr Marek)

I can warmly recommend you to take a film historical look at the two films by Jørgen Leth, “Life in Denmark” (1972) and “The Perfect Human” (1967), both of them have been inspiring new generations of filmmakers in Denmark, the latter being the starting point for the film he made with Lars von Trier, “Five Obstructions” (2003). Jørgen Leth celebrated his 80year birthday this year, he is still going strong, working on a biographical film, working title “I Walk”.

“Blind Loves” (2008) by Juraj Lehotsky with Marko Skop as the producer was one of my favourites, when I was working with the training program Ex Oriente being able to see how the director found solutions that quite rightly can be called hybrid. As can for sure another masterpiece, “Cooking History” (photo) (2009) by Peter Kerekes.

The rest of the package I have not seen – yet. Here is the intro made by the DocAlliance, that again shows generosity and sense of artistic quality:

“Is it possible for a documentary film to capture reality in a way that is undistorted? Is it possible to truly see reality reflected in a documentary film? Where is the boundary between documentary and fiction? In our selection focused on hybrid films, we examine the borders of fictional worlds.”

Available until August 6.

https://dafilms.com/program/633-hybrid-films


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Joshua Oppenheimer

Written 23-07-2017 05:15:58 by Tue Steen Mller

Joshua Oppenheimer

…there's never been a deeper or more diverse time for documentary cinema… That’s how IndieWire introduces its article about the 25 documentaries four critics have found the best in the still young 21st century. And it is an impressive list of films that are to be found. Mostly American and English language films. That can be discussed of course, but what is indisputable – the two films of Joshua Oppenheimer are there, “The Look of Silence” as number 4, “The Act of Killing” as number 1.

Which leads me to turn to the upcoming Sarajevo Film Festival (starts August 11), where “A Tribute to Joshua Oppenheimer” is part of the programme with a masterclass with the director, a so-called career interview that I have been asked to lead. With great pleasure! On the website of the festival Oppenheimer’s two films are presented like this:

Born in 1974, USA, two-time Oscar® nominee Joshua Oppenheimer’s debut feature film, THE ACT OF KILLING (2014 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary), was named Film of the Year in the 2013 by the Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll, and won 72 international awards, including a European Film Award, a BAFTA, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, a Berlinale Audience Award, and the Guardian Film Award for Best Film.

His second film, THE LOOK OF SILENCE (2016 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary), premiered at the 71st Venice Film Festival, where it won five awards, including the Grand Jury Prize, the international critics award (Prix FIPRESCI) and the European film critics award (FEDEORA Prize). Since then, THE LOOK OF SILENCE has received 72 international awards, including an Independent Spirit Award, an IDA Award for Best Documentary, a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and three Cinema Eye Honors, including Best Film and Best Director.

I wonder how many people have seen the two films. Does he know that, I will ask him in Sarajevo…

http://www.sff.ba/en/news/10562/tribute-to-joshua-oppenheimer

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/07/best-documentaries-21st-century-1201857688/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOCAlliance /3 DIMANCHE PKIN

Written 11-06-2017 12:03:15 by Allan Berg Nielsen

DOCAlliance /3  DIMANCHE  PKIN

CHRIS MARKER: DIMANCHE À PÉKIN

Chris Marker er på optagelse, det er 1955, det er i Kina… Det var jo tidligt efter krigen, så det var tidlige scener fyldt med ærbødighed og håb for den unge revolution han optog. Jeg ved ikke om han var alene, det må jeg have fundet ud af, men jeg ser at Agnes Varda er krediteret for Kinakyndig medvirken. Og det har sat sig smukke spor så det nye Kina det smukke lille essay igennem spejler sig i og på mange mange måder ses fortsætte og udvikle de bevarede elementer af den gamle kultur som Marker lærte at længes mod i sin barndoms billedbøger og fortællinger om drager og kejsere og sværdsvingende atleter og dybt disciplinerede boksekæmpere.

I den velskabte korte film, som kom ud af det som et stykke fejlfri cinematografi, mønstergyldig i samtiden, virker alle elementer kongenialt med Markers mesterligt klassisk akademiske optagelser uden lyd, den gennemtænkte nykomponerede musik af Pierre Barbaud, de muntert præcise lydeffekter ved Arkady (groupe des XXX) lagt på den kunstfærdige lydside af Antonio Harispe i sin tids design, Fracine Gruberts yderst elegante klipning , produceren Madeleine Casanovo-Rodriquez også fra (groupe des XXX), hendes sikre hånd og først og sidst den kloge gennemløbende stemme henover, som Marker har skrevet i sin tænksomt formulerede patos med sommerfuglens lethed.

Chris Marker: Dimanche à Pékin, Frankrig 1956 (restaureret i 2013), 19 min. Kan ses disse dage på:

https://dafilms.com/film/10152-sunday-in-peking



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DOCAlliance /2 LA JETE

Written 10-06-2017 15:11:59 by Allan Berg Nielsen

DOCAlliance /2  LA JETE

CHRIS MARKER: LA JETÉE

Det var i 2008. Jeg havde været til festival Cinéma du réel, og jeg skulle jo have noget med hjem til min filmklub. Noget fra Paris. Noget rigtigt. Jeg fandt det i Pompidoucentrets butik. En nyrestaureret dvd udgave af den udødelige film om byen, om kærligheden og om døden. Om tiden og om krigen og om det umulige i at undslippe. Dette billede er fra afsnittet om mødet og forelskelsen og foråret i Paris. Det er et still fra location. Jeg havde et andet Paris billede med også. Det er et still fra samme film. Byen lige før udslettelsen.

BIOGRAF

Filmen består af sådanne stills. Den er optaget med Pentax 24x36, bortset fra en enkelt, naturligvis berømt filmscene med øjne som bevæger sig, optaget med et Arriflex 35 mm lånt en enkelt time. Marker kalder det en filmroman. Han hylder i en lille tekst i programhæftet sin barndoms lommebiograf Pathéorama med serier af lysbilleder, ”… mais ces scènes étaint des plans, magnifiquement reproduits, de films célèbres, Chaplin, Ben Hur, le Napoléon d’Abel Gance.” En onsdag aften dengang så vi filmen i FOF filmklubben her i byen. Jeg var en begejstret og forvirret oplægholder, det her var filmhistorie og levende nutid på samme tid, det var noget rigtigt, noget dybt betydningsfuldt og noget mærkværdigt fra min ungdom, og jeg skrev et par notater til min præsentation af La jetée og to Marker film yderligere, som jeg selvfølgelig heller ikke havde forstået ret meget af, det mærkede man tydeligt, mærkede jeg tydeligt.



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Chris Marker Collected posts & notes on his works

Written 08-06-2017 18:55:12 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Chris Marker Collected posts & notes on his works

... and the euphoric discovery of "direct cinema" (you will never make me say "cinema verité") and on the crew's day off, I photographed a story I didn't completely understand. (Chris Marker)

 

JUXTAPOSITIONEN

I et interview med Chris Marker i Libération, 5. marts 2003 spørger intervieweren: ”… Hvorfor har De indvilliget i at udgive nogle af Deres film på DVD, og hvordan foretog De valget? ”

Der er tale om en to Arte / CNC udgivelser, en med med La jetée, 1962 og Sans soleil, 1983 og en med Le tombeau d’Alexandre, 1992, sat i album med Alexandre Medvedkines Le bonheur, 1934. Alle franske originalversioner med engelsk speak og undertekster. Marker svarer intervieweren:

”Tyve år skiller La jetée fra Sans soleil. Og andre 20 år skiller Sans soleil fra nu. Hvis jeg skulle tale i den persons sted, som lavede disse film, ville det ikke længere være et interview, men en seance. I virkeligheden tror jeg ikke jeg valgte eller accepterede: nogle talte om det, og det blev gennemført. At der var et særligt slægtskab mellem disse to film var noget, jeg var klar over, men jeg mente ikke, jeg behøvede at forklare det - indtil jeg fandt en lille anonym tekst i et program i Tokyo, hvor der stod:

’Snart vil rejsen være til ende. Det er først på det tidspunkt, at vi vil vide om juxtapositionen af billeder giver nogen mening. Vi vil forstå, at vi har bedt med film, som man må på en pilgrimsrejse, som vi må hver gang, vi har været i nærheden af døden: på kattenes begravelsesplads, stående foran den døde giraf, sammen med kamikaze-piloterne i take-off øjeblikket, foran guerillaerne dræbt i uafhængighedskrigen. I La jetée, ender det dumdristige eksperiment at se ind i fremtiden med døden. I bearbejdningen af det samme tema 20 år senere, har Marker ved bønnen overvundet døden.'

Når man læser dette, skrevet af en, man ikke kender, en som ikke kan vide noget som helst om filmenes tilblivelse, rammes man af en særlig følelse. Et eller andet er sket…” (Notat, 2008, ABN)

 

GODARD NAILED IT

The interview that Allan Berg refers to in his Danish language article Juxtapositionen is in English and is one of the very rare conversations that are printed with the enigmatic French master. The interview is wonderful reading. Here are two bites to evoke your hunger for more:



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics, Directors

DOCAlliance /1 CHRIS MARKER

Written 07-06-2017 12:21:16 by Tue Steen Mller

DOCAlliance /1 CHRIS MARKER

I had a talk with colleague Allan Berg yesterday. He remembered the time of repertory cinemas, where classics could be seen. Nowadays this is mostly the film historical job for the cinematheques. BUT, we agreed, some vod’s have classics on their repertory and when it comes to high quality, nothing compares to DOCAlliance.

That now launches a scoop: 7 films by legendary master of the essay film, French Chris Marker (1921-2012). Quote from the presentation:

DAFilms presents a cross section of the work of the writer, photographer and explorer, ranging from Sunday in Peking from 1956 through his most renowned documentary essay Sunless and The Pier which inspired Terry Gilliam to make his cult film 12 Monkeys to one of the most famous cyberpunk films Level Five from 1997. Read an interview with Bamchade Pourvali, French film critic and author of Marker’s biography. Le temps de la rétrospective est arrivé!

The films are (English titles): Sunday in Peking (1956), Letter from Siberia (1957), Level Five (1997), Sunless (1983), Junkopia (1981), Description of a Struggle (1960), The Pier (1962). Sunless = Sans Soleil and The Pier = La Jetée being the most famous.

Dear readers, the cost for a monthly subscription to DOCAlliance is 5€!!!

https://dafilms.com/program/628-chris-marker


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Web

Their Finest Hour and Humphrey Jennings

Written 08-05-2017 20:19:36 by Tue Steen Mller

Their Finest Hour and Humphrey Jennings

… is the title of the British WW2 comedy drama, directed by Danish Lone Scherfig, that I saw this morning in Grand Teatret in Copenhagen. It is a lovely picture to bring up the same term the protagonists use, when they talk about their job, which is to make good scripts for propaganda films that serve one purpose: to keep the population optimistic while Hitler’s bombs are hitting London and other bigger cities. The propaganda films were screened after a short film and before a feature. And there were many of them.

Authenticity and Optimism are – in the film - the key words given by the leaders of the Film Division of the Ministry of Information during the years of 1940-1945. But I suppose that these words were also important for the documentarians, who worked at that time. While watching the film by Scherfig I was thinking about the true auteur of that time, Humphrey Jennings, whose films I saw when I got the job at Statens Filmcentral (National Film Board of Denmark) way back in 1975. Thanks to Werner Pedersen who loved his works as did another mentor of mine, Niels Jensen. They imported and promoted several British war time propaganda films.

Derek Malcolm wrote in the Guardian about Jennings and his ”Fires Were Started” (check Youtube) from 1943, 65 mins. – a quote: ”… Jennings had founded the Mass Observation movement which collected information on the British way of life much as Malinowski had documented the behaviour of the South Sea islanders. He put this to good effect in Fires Were Started and other films, notably the equally famous Listen To Britain and Diary For Timothy. But, though ineffably patrician, he transcended the class clichés of the time by recognising the way war can unite disparate people and by making us think about what would have been lost if the conflict had gone the other way…”

Yes, ”Listen to Britain” from 1942 (it is on Youtube) is THE masterpiece of British wartime propaganda documentaries… written together with Stewart McAllister. 19 minutes of superb seducing montage and use of sound (including songs), reconstruction of authenticity (!). It is still a very modern film in its playfulness.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listen_to_Britain

www.theguardian.com/film


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocAlliance Celebrates Ex Oriente Film

Written 04-05-2017 11:49:24 by Tue Steen Mller

DocAlliance Celebrates Ex Oriente Film

A press release came in: ”In collaboration with its organizer, Institute of documentary film, Film, we have prepared a selection of the best works that have gone through this prestigious workshop throughout its history of 15 years! Nine critically acclaimed films, among which you won’t miss festival winners or even an Oscar nominee, are going to guide you across the film region that has been bubbling over with excitingly increasing energy incomparable with the rest of Europe…”

I was Head of Studies of Ex Oriente until 2009 and have only sweet memories of the three yearly sessions organized by the people at the IDF (Andrea Prenghyova, Ivana Milosevic, Hanka Rezkova, Filip Remunda and many others), as well as the many skilled tutor colleagues (Miroslav Janek, Emma Davie, Kristina Pärvila, Jan Gogola, Stan Neumann not to forget the two who took over as “Heads”, Mikael Opstrup and Marijke Rawie). BUT first of all the filmmakers, who came with their film projects, got feedback, learned about market and storytelling, and got inspiration from the mentioned people and colleagues.

The ”nine critically acclaimed films” offered by DocAlliance to



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Pavel Kostomarov: Together

Written 04-04-2017 11:04:00 by Tue Steen Mller

Pavel Kostomarov: Together

Do you remember the film by Kostomarov called Together, Roman Bondarchuk asked me on the Virmanska Street, when we sunday were walking around in sunny Lviv in Western Ukraine. The couple in the film, Ludmila and Vladimir Loboda, were sitting outside the café. We joined them for a grappa and Turkish coffee and I was proud to tell them that I had written a review about the film, praising them and their Love Story – and their art. They told us that they were very happy with the film but since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, they had no contact with Kostomarov – and Vladimir had no longer a gallery in Moscow selling his work. The film is excellent as you can read in this repeat of the review from 2009:

A house in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe a house in the centre of the universe. A couple lives there. They are artists, they do paintings and wooden sculptures. The sculptures have their own home in the house, a room for themselves where they stand in a circle, in harmony, in a room that is visited by the artists with lamps in their hands, pointing at them, making them come alive. It is a phantasy world with a couple – the man, who is talking in philosophical terms moving his arm around, a bit of a pretentious performance, but charming and with humour, if he is not throwing rude language at the woman, calling her dumb at one moment, and praising her as Mother Earth in the next. She looks strong, moves around as a powerful independent character, but she has her views on the relationship between man and woman: ”If she dominates it’s over”. Well, from the 48 minutes that I was invited to share with her and her husband, I did not get the impression of a suppressed woman.

And that is not at all what brilliant cameraman and director Kostomarov is after. He goes for beauty. The light playing in the face of the woman. Their hands cutting the sculpture figures. Their hugging and caressing, their letting the outside world be rude and cruel – they are murdering us, the man says peeping out of the window after a sequence with cranes and cars destroying something that we dont get to know what is. Not important, what is important is what we see inside, what Kostomarov (cameraman and co-director of ”Mother” and previously cameraman for Loznitsa) catches of Life and Love between two people who have been together for a lifetime. The name of the couple is Vladimir and Ludmila Loboda, and to summarize: This is such a wonderful intimate close-up of a Russian artist couple, an observation, yes, but what makes it extraordinary is the interpretative layer that the director adds, or should I say paints with his camera. There are superb sequences playing with light and shadow, where you see objects in the house or art pieces in compositions that stays in your mind. Taking the risk to have King Crimson music as an accompagnement!

Russia, 2009, 48 mins.


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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /Kirsten Johnson

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

CPH:DOX 2017 /Kirsten Johnson

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.


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /Modern Times Review

Written 17-03-2017 08:08:40 by Tue Steen Mller

CPH:DOX 2017 /Modern Times Review

First day of the 2017 CPH:DOX. I went to the new festival centre, Charlottenborg, got my accreditation, ran into always energetic Frank Piasecki Poulsen, who ordered me to go up to see the impressive colourful so-called social cinema, where the morning had hosted a lot of young people discussing ”democracy”, meeting journalists and opinon-makers. Poulsen also told me to see his ”blue room”, where he resides with his ”Every Day” videos and a small kitchen, that is open – with Frank as cook – at 6pm every night… amazing! CPH:DOX is much more than a film festival-

I was happy to meet Norwegian Truls Lie, the man behind ”Modern Times Review” (MTR), the European Documentary Magazine, that



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Joe Bini at East Doc Platform

Written 10-03-2017 15:36:12 by Tue Steen Mller

Joe Bini at East Doc Platform

Of course it was a scoop for the organisers, IDF (Institute of Documentary Film), to have an editor capacity like American Joe Bini as a tutor and to have him deliver a masterclass like he did yesterday at the Cervantes Institute for a full house. It was obvious that we liked what we heard and saw from the editor, who has been working with Werner Herzog on 27 films.

Bini started his class reading from a paper what he thought of film or rather – liked that – cinema language, because of the reading difficult to convey to you, and after he told us how much he dislikes American documentaries for their journalistic language, he became lovely concrete in his story about how he has been working with Herzog.

He showed clips from ”Little Dieter Needs to Fly” (1997), ”Into the Abyss” (2011) and ”Grizzly Man” (2005) as well as the opening of the film he edited ”Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” (2008) by Marina Zenovich.

Herzog is an instinctual filmmaker, Bini said. He shoots so little footage, it’s insane how little; he decides in advance that this is gonna be in the film. Most of the films with him have been edited in 3 months. With ”Grizzly Man” I found out that this was to be a film about ”the relationship between this German guy and the American bear lover, Timothy”, who had a totally different understanding of nature.

The famous narration of Herzog… With ”Grizzly Man” we made it during the editing. Herzog wrote a text, I often corrected his English, he had a microphone, the recording was done and we put it in immediately.

How do you decide to take on a film? I watch material and if I see that you speak the language of cinema…

Photo: Bini and Herzog at a screening - years ago.

https://www.dokweb.net/en/


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Miroslav Janek: Normal Autistic Film

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

Miroslav Janek: Normal Autistic Film

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

The Poetic Documentary

Written 17-01-2017 16:06:33 by Tue Steen Mller

The Poetic Documentary

I think we said ”poetic documentary” more than a hundred times in Aarhus during the weekend, where the mini-festival Baltic Frames took place. The theme for the festival chosen by the curators Signe Van Zundert and Niels Bjørn Wied, also included the word: Capturing the Poetic Everyday. But what is ”poetic”? I went to one of many online dictionaries, where ”Poetry” was defined like this: ”the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts”. If you take away the reference to literature, where most of the words come from when we talk about films… then maybe we get closer. But as one of the participants at the seminar sunday asked: Is a poetic documentary merely one that shows beautiful landscapes… No, was the answer from Audrius Stonys, who is – together with Kristine Briede – the director of the film under production, working title ”Baltic New Wave”, a poetic documentary, he said, can deal with any topic, it’s about the aesthetic choice and the personal angle. But, said I, if there is a poetic documentary, there must also be a prosaic documentary… Yes, said Stonys with a smile, Michael Moore does not make poetic documentaries!

Equally with a smile, Ukrainian director Roman Bondarchuk, who showed his ”Ukrainian Sheriffs” at the festival and a clip from his wonderful ”Dixie Land”, asked if Stonys found his films were ”poetic”. The answer came immediately, ”of course they are”. To go back to the definition above, ”the exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative and/or elevated thoughts”, is created through (also)



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Categories: TV, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Uldis Brauns 1932-2017

Written 15-01-2017 10:05:29 by Tue Steen Mller

Uldis Brauns 1932-2017

Sad news, Audrius Stonys said, when we met at the cinema Øst for Paradis in Aarhus, where the mini-festival Baltic Frames takes place: Uldis Brauns passed away, 84 years old. Brauns was with Herz Frank the leading man in what has been called the Riga Poetic School of Cinema. I asked Stonys how he would characterise Brauns – and Frank – he answered in a beautiful way: Frank was the brain, Brauns was the soul.

The Baltic Frames in Aarhus has the subtitle ”capturing the Poetic Everyday”, Stonys is par excellence the representative of the poetic cinema in the Baltic countries today and he will be directing the film – together with Kristine Briede – on ”The Baltic New Wave”, where Brauns will be a central director. The main producer of this upcoming film, to have its premiere in 2018, is Latvian Uldis Cekulis, who I again will thank a lot for taking me to meet Uldis Brauns in September 2014. This is what I wrote at that time:

… 90 minutes from Riga you turn down a dirt road and drive twenty minutes to reach a house standing alone (2,5 kilometer to nearest neighbour) in what you can only describe as a paradisiacal garden with tall trees, chickens and geese walking and running around, a greenhouse for tomatoes, rows of vegetables and a river down at the bottom of all the green. Silence! Not to forget an old chevrolet



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Roy Andersson

Written 13-01-2017 18:27:23 by Tue Steen Mller

Roy Andersson

We have to wait until 2019 but Roy Andersson is always worth waiting for. I was happy to read this today and hurry to do a copy-paste from the (free) newsletter of Nordisk Film & TV Fond:

(Roy) Andersson’s About Endlessless and three documentaries have received funding from Nordisk Film & TV Fond last December. About Endlessness produced by Pernilla Sandström (Roy Andersson Filmproduktion AB) was granted NOK 2.5 million. Like the horn of plenty of life itself, the film shows the preciousness and beauty of our existence, awakening in us the wish to maintain this eternal treasure and pass it on.

In Andersson’s typical and unique style, About Endlessless is a juxtaposition of tableaux capturing moments in life. The new element is the voice-over with a woman as main narrator. Among the characters featured are…Adolf Hitler (played by Magnus Wallgren), a marketing director (Kristina Ekmark), a woman who loves champagne (Lisa Blohm) and a priest (Martin Serner).

The SEK 40 million Swedish film is co-produced with 4 ½ (Norway), Essential Filmproduktion (Germany) and Société Parisienne de production (France) as well as SVT, ARTE, with support from Eurimages, the SFI, NFI, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. The Co-production Office handles world sales and TriArt domestic distribution.The film starts filming on February and delivery is set for 2019. 

Still from a previous Andersson film, “Du Levenda”.

http://www.nordiskfilmogtvfond.com


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

My Name is Popovic

Written 12-01-2017 21:05:28 by Tue Steen Mller

My Name is Popovic

Yes, look at the lovely photo taken by Maja Medic yesterday in Belgrade at the award ceremony at Dvorona Kulturnog Centra, where the new award "Nebojša Popović" was given to SVETLANA and 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.”

Nebojša Popović, prominent and respected film critic and programmer, who died in 2015, has given name to the award.

Back to the photo and the name Popovic: Zoran and Svetlana Popovic in the foreground, daughter, son and wife of Nebojša in the background: Lara, Mihajlo and Vesna.

Love that picture and I warn you – you are going to read much more about and from Belgrade, where the 13th edition of the Magnificent7 festival will take off February 1st. Headed by Popovic.


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Michael Glawogger: Untitled

Written 07-01-2017 16:22:35 by Tue Steen Mller

Michael Glawogger: Untitled

Good news on a sad background – coming from the Berlinale. I am so much looking forward to see the film by Master Glawogger and Monika Willi – it will have its world premiere in Berlinale’s Panorama 2017:

“This film is intended to show an image of the world that can only be created when one does not pursue any subject, or make any value judgement or follow any objective. When one lets one’s self be carried along by nothing more than one’s own curiosity and intuition.”

Michael Glawogger passed away in 2014 during shooting for a movie. The editor Monika Willi has realised a fascinating film with material that was shot during a journey of four months and 19 days through the Balkan states, Italy, and Northwest and Western Africa – a journey undertaken in order to observe, to listen and to experience, with attentive eyes, bold and raw.

105 mins.

http://www.austrianfilms.com/film/untitled


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltic Films in Aarhus Denmark

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

Baltic Films in Aarhus Denmark

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

Best Documentaries 2016

Written 30-12-2016 15:13:26 by Tue Steen Mller

Best Documentaries 2016

Photo from Homeland, Iraq Year Zero by Abbas Fahnel

Rahul Jain: Machines

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3772/

Raoul Peck: I Am Not Your Negro

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3770/

Kirsten Johnson: Cameraperson

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3632/

Ugis Olte & Morten Traavik: Liberation Day

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3752/

Torstein Grude & Niels Pagh Andersen: Mogadishu Soldier

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3750/

Audrius Stonys: The Woman and the Glacier

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3748/

Sergei Loznitsa: Austerlitz

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3738/

Miroslav Janek: Normal Autistic Film

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3737/

Salomé Jashi: The Dazzling Light of Sunset

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3525/

Ognjen Glavonic: Depth Two

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3475/

Piotr Stasik: 21 x New York

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3578/

Abbas Fahdel: Homeland, Iraq Year Zero

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3645/

Laura Israel: Robert Frank – Don’t Blink

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3630/

Martin Sola: Chechen Family

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3570/

Pawel Lozinski: You Have No Idea How Much I Love You

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3595/

Vitaly Mansky: Close Relations

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3737/


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

No Nation Films

Written 21-12-2016 18:45:04 by Tue Steen Mller

No Nation Films

A mail came in on the 14th of December from old friend Orwa Nyrabia, here is first a quote from the mail and then one more from an article written by Melanie Goodfellow for Screendaily, link below, read it all:

Nyrabia: A trademark conflict has emerged over Proaction Film’s name in Germany, our new home. We took this as an opportunity to revisit our stand, rethink what motivates us to make the challenging films we make and to consider how drastically we have changed as filmmakers over the years since we created Proaction Film in Syria, back in 2002. After some 15 years of independent and selective film productions, we are still charged by the anguish and the ambition of the uncompromising filmmakers with whom we



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jon Bang Carlsen, Pamela Cohn, Viesturs Kairis

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

Jon Bang Carlsen, Pamela Cohn, Viesturs Kairis

… 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

Rembrandt, Ukrainians, Eisenstein, Goldin

Written 09-12-2016 15:09:53 by Tue Steen Mller

Rembrandt, Ukrainians, Eisenstein, Goldin

And what do they have in common? I will tell you in this small report from New York, where everyone talks about – well, you know who, we had to struggle to pass his blocked corner at his Tower on fifth Avenue, where media people and visitors were waiting to get a glimpse of the president-elect. OMG.

Earlier that day we had the pleasure to meet with Dar’ya Averchenko and Roman Bondarchuk, who came from Los Angeles, where they had been promoting their ”Ukrainian Sheriffs” for the Oscars, with several screenings and presentations also in New York – and now they are back in Kiev to take part in the preparations of the Docudays festival in March. I am looking forward to be there again and take part.

With Dar’ya and Roman we were talking about Odessa, a city that



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

A Visual Weekend in Philadelphia

Written 05-12-2016 20:10:43 by Tue Steen Mller

A Visual Weekend in Philadelphia

 

must include a visit to the extraordinary Barnes Foundation. We were there thanks to Philly citizens Anita Reher, ex-EDN and now running the Flaherty in New York, and Robert Goodman, photographer and film teacher. So first some words about the ”…mission of the Barnes Foundation, which dates back to its founding in 1922, is “the promotion of the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts…”. For the dramatic history of the foundation and its locations, its founder Dr. Barnes and his passion for collecting Renoir, Cezanne, Modigliani, Degas, Soutine, van Gogh and many many others, I will advice you to read the entry at wikipedia. The collection itself is amazing. A gem for art lovers.

The beautiful museum in the centre of Philly was opened a few years ago with rooms arranged and paintings hanging as they did in the old place, according to Barnes (who died in 1951) wishes and vision. So when you enter a room the walls are packed with lovely art, a visual bombardment that does not care about genres and –isms, but have the individual pieces speak to each other.

That’s the permanent exhibition but before looking on that, we went for ”Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography 1890-1950”. Thematically organised you were offered to watch lots of Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï (oh Paris…), André Kertész as well as Man Ray, who is born in Philadelphia.

The photo taken for this text reflects ”the decisive moment”, to quote Cartier-Bresson, where Robert Goodman, Anita Reher and Ellen Fonnesbech studied the exhibition of photographic masterworks.

http://www.barnesfoundation.org/


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Torben Skjdt Jensen: Flneurtrilogien

Written 04-12-2016 19:53:36 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Torben Skjdt Jensen: Flneurtrilogien

For nogen tid siden skrev Torben Skjødt Jensen på sin Facebookside at en blogger i USA var optaget af hans tredje Flâneurfilm fra 1998: ”Walter Benjamin FB-siden har fundet en omtale af 2 film om Walter Benjamin hvoraf den ene er den som Peter Hallberg og jeg lavede i 1998, Benjamins Skygge - og de kan godt li' den... rart! Følg linket herunder og så kan man faktisk også se filmen - godt nok i en frygtelig YouTube opløsning, men med engelske undertekster - og det er jo bedre end ingenting for jeg kan desværre ikke overtale DFI til at min Flâneur-trilogi burde være på Filmcentralen/Filmstriben - de er åbenbart lidt for meget kunst til danske øjne!”

FLÂNEUR III (1998)

Jeg husker de tre sindrigt sammenhængende, kloge, omhyggeligt udførte film og fulgte selvfølgelig linket (som findes nedenfor) og læste: “… In the 1998 film, Flâneur III: Benjamin’s Shadow, Danish director Torben Skjødt Jensen and writer Ulf Peter Hallberg collaborate on an impressionistic black-and-white meditation on Paris, overlaid with Hallberg’s ruminations and quotations from Benjamin. Benjamin’s fascination with nineteenth-century Paris drove his massive, unfinished Arcades Project, an excavation of the inner workings of modernity. Where John Hughes’ One Way Street: Fragments for Walter Benjamin, 1992 is marked by a very dated 90’s aesthetic (which may look chic now that the decade’s back in fashion), the above film (Torben Skjødt Jensen's) is both classical and modernist, a testament to the beauties and contradictions of Paris. I think in this respect, it is a more fitting tribute to the critical and contradictory aesthetic theory of Walter Benjamin. “ (Josh Jones, a writer and musician based in Washington, DC @jdmagness)



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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Jihlava International Documentary FF 20 Years

Written 20-10-2016 14:37:57 by Tue Steen Mller

Jihlava International Documentary FF 20 Years

It starts the coming tuesday October 25 and runs until October 30, the documentary film festival in provincial Czech town Jihlava. I have been there many times, I have enjoyed it a lot, watching films and/or being part of the Ex Oriente workshop. I have been in the jury, I have been sleeping in a pension next to the zoo and the church with interesting wake-up sounds in the morning!

Monday this week I received the longest press release I can remember entering my mail-box. Presenting the selection of films, the variety of events connected to the festival, IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) activities, Ex Oriente, KineDok and East Silver market including the announcement of the competition for short, medium length and long documentaries with names of jury members. I am proud to be one of them, in the short category. You will hear more about that.

What can I do with such a long press text but tell you to go to the site of the festival and get information on what will happen – and that is a lot. Let me just again again promote two films that we have written about on filmkommentaren.dk – Miroslav Janek’s latest masterpiece ”Normal Autistic Film”, Salome Jashi’s ”The Dazzling Light of Sunset” and Robert Kirchhoff’s extraordinary ”A Hole in the Head” about which I wrote briefly in an email to the director, ”original in storytelling, emotional, a true Documentary.”  

The film, that was not taken by the Locarno festival and IDFA, will



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jon Bang Carlsen: Premiere/ Retrospektiv/ Samtaler

Written 17-09-2016 15:29:15 by Tue Steen Mller

Jon Bang Carlsen: Premiere/ Retrospektiv/ Samtaler

Det er flot og fortjent og ret og rimeligt at Det Danske Filminstituts fremragende Cinematek hylder Jon Bang Carlsen fra i morgen og frem til den 2. Oktober. Med sædvanlig redaktionel opfindsomhed har Cinematekets folk sat tre samtaler op med den danske auteur, som han bliver kaldt i omtalen af serien. I morgen skal Carlsen tale med Joshua Oppenheimer om ”Hotel of the Stars”, som instruktøren af ”The Look of Silence” mm. er helt vild med. Han er ikke den eneste. Og så vises ”Før gæsterne kommer” som udgangspunkt for en snak om ”dagligliv i Jylland” mellem Søren Ryge Petersen og Bang Carlsen. ”To af landets luneste og skarpeste menneskebetragtere”, står der som introduktion. Og så er Lars Movin selvfølgelig inviteret, ”Blinde engle” er filmen, det kunne have været andre for Movins mobbedreng af en bog om Bang Carlsens film er den man skal orientere sig i, hvis man vil bag om de mange film og rejser, som Bang Carlsen har foretaget.

A Man of the World, hvad vi også her på filmkommentaren har haft blikket rettet imod siden vi startede for snart ti år siden. Vi har skrevet et væld af tekster om Jon Bang Carlsen. Og der kommer én til snart om hans nyeste værk, ”Déjà Vu”, som har premiere i Cinemateket den 22. September.

Her er programmet:

Søndag den 18. september kl. 19:00 'Hotel of the Stars' + Joshua Oppenheimer i samtale med Jon Bang Carlsen

Tirsdag den 20. september kl. 19:30 'Før gæsterne kommer' + Søren Ryge Petersen i samtale med Jon Bang Carlsen

Tirsdag den 20. september kl. 21:15 'Ofelia kommer til byen' - med introduktion ved instruktøren

Torsdag den 22. september kl. 16:30 'Blinde Engle' + Lars Movin i samtale med Jon Bang Carlsen

Torsdag den 22. september-onsdag den 28. september: Daglige visninger af 'Déjà vu' - den første med introduktion af instruktøren.

Onsdag den 12. oktober kl. 16:45 'Ofelia kommer til byen' (Jon Bang Carlsen, 1985)

Alt sammen i Cinemateket, Gothersgade 55, Kbh K, 33743412

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/2569/


Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Baltic Docs Flying Back in Time

Written 14-09-2016 15:12:35 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Docs  Flying Back in Time

It’s 9.45am June 13th 1997. The location is the old Kino Gudhjem on Bornholm, the island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. The first Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries is to take off, there is a panel of commissioning editors waiting to listen to words from those pitching and to watch a trailer.

25 projects were lined-up, and a long day lay ahead of us. 15 minutes were given to each project according to the rules that had been set up years before at the Forum in Amsterdam. Those same rules that are still used at the many documentary fora all over the world.

The panel was strong. Makes me smile with nostalgia, when I think of experienced people like Björn Arvas from Swedish SVT, Flemming Grenz from Danish DR and Eila Werning from YLE in Finland. They have all, 20 editions later, retired now, but again and again this trio came back to support the filmmakers from the region. As did – in the first years of the Forum - Nick Fraser from BBC and Mette Hoffmann Meyer from TV2 Denmark. Not to forget Karolina Lidin from National Film Board of Denmark (Statens Filmcentral), who was already involved in the festival, that had been running on Bornholm since 1990, founded by TV2 Bornholm’s Bent Nørby Bonde, who then set up BMC, Baltic Media Centre.



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Dola Bonfils: Det signerende blik

Written 23-08-2016 11:52:42 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Dola Bonfils: Det signerende blik

"Dokumentarfilmene har i de cirka 100 år, de har eksisteret, repræsenteret en form for kulturel organisering, der ligesom museerne ordner virkeligheden for os og reflekterer de idéer og den erkendelse, der har givet verden en vis mening. Dokumentarfilm tilbyder en vision af verden i et kunstnerisk formsprog, det vil sige disse forløb i tid er ikke blot registrerende for eftertiden, men er også bearbejdet af en personlighed, der signerer sin vision, giver sig til kende med sit blik…” (Dola Bonfils: Det signerende blik, 1993. Nationalmuseet, katalog film/video til udstillingen Museum Europa)

ROOS PRISEN

Dola Bonfils modtog 20. august på Filmhøjskolen i Ebeltoft under det årlige branchetræf for dokumentarfilmfolk Det Danske Filminstituts Roos Pris, som hvert år ”påskønner en særlig bemærkelsesværdig indsats for dokumentarismen i Danmark. Priskomiteen består af sidste års prismodtager, denne gang fotograf Henrik Bohn Ipsen samt direktør Henrik Bo Nielsen og afdelingschef Ane Mandrup fra filminstituttet. De motiverede tildelingen således:

"Dola Bonfils tildeles Roos Prisen 2016 for hendes utrættelige engagement og fordomsfri nysgerrighed, for hendes undersøgelser af magtens strukturer og tilværelsens kompleksitet – samt lysten til at formidle og diskutere sine indsigter på tværs af kunstarter, teknologier og generationer.

Dola Bonfils er som skaber, igangsætter, inspirator og formidler drevet af et enormt videbegær. Hendes egne værker spænder vidt i både tematikker og formater – fra observerende dokumentarfilm om magtens institutioner til eksperimenterende film, hvor kunstarterne mødes og nye erkendelser opstår. Intet emne er for vanskeligt, og nye fortælleformer afprøves frygtløst i forsøget på at gøre os alle klogere på tilværelsen.

Kolleger fremhæver Dola Bonfils' grundighed og fasthed. Hun er altid velforberedt og opdateret på allernyeste viden, og hun holder fast i sine ideer, også når de møder modstand eller uforståenhed. Hun fremhæves også for sin omsorg og medmenneskelige interesse – og for sin evne til at se andre menneskers potentiale. En evne, som hun blandt andet udnyttede i perioden som filmkonsulent på Det Danske Filminstitut."



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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics

Film History at Doclisboa

Written 04-08-2016 13:48:29 by Tue Steen Mller

Film History at Doclisboa

The Lisbon documentary festival that takes place October 20-30 announces two retrospectives of important film historical interest.

One is mentioned as a full retrospective of the works of Peter Watkins… ”Peter Watkins is the subject of a full retrospective. Active between 1950’s and 1990’s, Watkins won 1966 Academy Award for Documentary Feature with “The War Game”. Being one of the pioneers of docudrama and fake documentary, Watkins (photo) is a leading figure in political and resistance film. His work questions and criticises the media role in urgent issues such as nuclear warfare or the establishment, both by dissecting and re-enacting historical episodes in an openly revisionist approach. His criticism towards audiovisual media as an instrument of power is central to Watkins’s work. The retrospective is a partnership between Doclisboa and Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema.”

The other is a thematic retrospective set up by Michael Chanan with the title “For an Impossible Cinema: documentary and avant-garde in Cuba”. The press release presentation text goes like this:…” consisting of the Cuban documentary movement around the Revolution, an Avant-garde episode in Latin America usually ignored. With the radical change brought about by the triumph of the Revolution and as political and aesthetic opposition to Hollywood, a new cinema is born, in which documentary figured centrally. Together with the impulse to show a new reality and rethink the public function of the image, documentary in Cuba merges the factual record with the aesthetics of shock, producing a unique visual manifesto. Santiago Álvarez, founder of Cuban Film Institute “Latin American Newsreel”, is one of the leading figures. His “nervous montage” technique and his using “found materials” is considered a precursor to the modern video clip. Júlio Garcia Espinosa, who recently passed away, is another leading figure in Cuban film. Espinosa also wrote “For an Imperfect Cinema”, a reflection on revolutionary film. The retrospective is a collaboration with Reina Sofia Museum, from Madrid.

http://doclisboa.org/2016/en/noticias/2063/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Dokufest Prizren 2016: Music Documentaires

Written 18-07-2016 10:02:13 by Tue Steen Mller

Dokufest Prizren 2016: Music Documentaires

… As each year passes, it gets a bit trickier to unearth moving image gems with music at the core of their stories. With many feature-length music documentaries becoming a bit stale and formulaic – more and more so every year – our music program tries to reveal a deeper layer of artist-made films, handcrafted, marvelously original glimpses into the less traveled territories of emotional vibration.

Consisting of half a dozen features and a 5-film shorts program, ranging in production year from 1930 up until the present day, each selection – fiction, nonfiction, somewhere in between – explores bespoke landscapes of monumental spaces, collective acts of recuperation through image and sound, and the ephemerality of hidden notes and tones that connote strong ties to things not quite earthbound. But they walk and talk and sing and dance among us just the same…

This fine introduction text is a quote from curator Pamela Cohn, who is in charge of the “Magical Substances: Music on Film” section at the upcoming Dokufest in Prizren (August 5-13). It consists of 6 features and 5 shorts, including two by legendary Les Blank (“A Poem is a Naked Person” (1974) and “Thailand Moments” (1967) AND the 1930 classic by Aleksander Dovzhenko “Earth” (Photo). Here is the catalogue text:

”Avant-garde ”Earth”, a recognized cinema masterpiece, was banned 9 days after release and glorified in Ukraine only after Dovzhenko’s death, bringing forth dozens of controversial interpretations. Full of lyrical pantheism and utopian exaltation, it demonstrated the ambiguity of Ukrainian geopolitical choice in the 1920s. The new soundtrack for Earth was created by Ukrainian ethno-chaos band DakhaBrakha, whose music shifts the emphasis from the film’s ideological connotations to universal ones.”

Below a link to where to get a copy of the film.

Ukraine, 1930, 83 mins.

http://www.dovzhenkocentre.org/eng/product/34

http://dokufest.com/dokufest-xv-announces-full-slate-festival-theme/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jonas Mekas: I Had Nowhere to Go

Written 15-07-2016 12:23:44 by Tue Steen Mller

Jonas Mekas: I Had Nowhere to Go

Wow, that sounds exciting, the diary of Jonas Mekas, ”I Had Nowhere to Go”, made into a film by filmmaker and video artist Douglas Gordon, the man who made the super-aesthetic film about Zinedine Zidane… The film has its premiere during the Locarno Film Festival, August 3-13. Here is two clips from the website of the festival:

”The Concorso Cineasti del presente will open with a film that is unique in its protagonists and for the concept that is the basis for the project. I Had Nowhere To Go by the filmmaker and video artist Douglas Gordon is based on Jonas Mekas's diary…

I Had Nowhere To Go is his story of exile; brought on by the horrors of the twentieth century, propelled by the need to create rather than destroy, to move on, to make sense... or not, where bewilderment is more honest. It's been over 70 years since Jonas Mekas left his village in Lithuania to escape Nazi persecution. He was 22 years old. Today he is one of the last surviving members of a displaced generation. He is also one of the greatest documenters of the human experience”.

The artistic director Carlo Chatrian of the Locarno Festival: Although I do not want to reveal any more about this extraordinary project, I can say that Douglas Gordon offers us a truly sensorial experience, which challenges the concept of seeing, and links the idea of the present with that of memory. Looking so much forward to meet this film somewhere some day.

www.pardolive.ch


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Robert Franks Dont Blink In New York

Written 12-07-2016 18:43:30 by Tue Steen Mller

Robert Franks Dont Blink In New York

I got an email from Laura Israel this morning, the director of the film on Robert Frank, with whom she has working for years as an editor. “Getting the Word Out” she wrote and told that the film is running at the wonderful New York cinema Film Forum July 13-26 = from tomorrow. Later today the producer Melinda Shopsin posted a reference to an enthusiastic review of the film by Matthew Eng, Tribecafilm.com. It deserves a quote, see below and remember that we have several texts on Frank on this site. I also want to recommend the website of the film.

…Don’t Blink is the rare documentary — and Israel the rare documentarian-cum-cinematic curator — that understands that the best way to elicit both appreciation and understanding for an artist’s creations is to allow us to see these creations first-hand. And when the creations in-question are as electrifying and contextually-profuse as Frank’s, it’s especially hard to look away. His famously era-specific photography is so striking in the direct spontaneity of its gritty Americana, the scattered snippets of his films so arresting in their shaggy ecstasy, that as each of his works slips and seeps into one another, one can’t help but struggle to keep up…

https://tribecafilm.com/stories/don-t-blink-robert-frank-is-one-of-the-most-original-art-documentaries-in-years-laura-israel

http://www.dontblinkrobertfrank.com


Categories: Cinema, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ung i Randers/Youth in Randers 1978-1979

Written 20-06-2016 20:12:56 by Tue Steen Mller

Ung i Randers/Youth in Randers 1978-1979

Later this week I will visit an exhibition in Øksnehallen in Copenhagen. An exhibition that has been set up by the two photographers Finn Larsen and Lars Johansson, wholived and worked in Randers, the sixth biggest city in Denmark, around 60.000 inhabitants.

This is also the home of Allan Berg, co-editor of filmkommentaren.dk and at that time festival organizer and filmmaker in works with the two mentioned Larsen and Johansson.

Here is their introduction to the exhibition, that I will review in Danish and English:

Back in 1978-79 the background was years of museum work. Although we were young, we had worked in many different ways. New and old, local and foreign. Learned and thought. Photography became the tool and the form, more and more. The tradition of documentary. The working title was Among young people in Randers. First contact was Landstrygerne. A moped club that eventually became a motorcycle club. It was in color – slides, were what they were called. 8B from Tirsdalens school was let into the museum. It became It’s about us. They did most of it themselves. Areas of the city were searched, mostly in the evening. Black/white and flash. When the asphalt sways. The title came along the way. Films were important at the museum. We can do that too. Images of youth 16 mm color, shot with heavy equipment. The meeting lasted two years. There has not really been anything similar more made in Denmark before or since. Reunion. This is a re-exhibit. A glance at a time and at a Randers that was contemporary for young people not so long ago. When you had to make plans to meet, you went out into the hallway where the phone was, picked up the receiver and dialed a number that you had memorized or written down in a little book. Otherwise you went around the corner to the grill bar, where your friends hung out. Or you met in the evening at the club under the church or at school.

It was seen for a while.


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Svend Johansen: Cykelmyggens far

Written 14-06-2016 19:01:39 by Tue Steen Mller

Svend Johansen: Cykelmyggens far

- med undertitlen "et portræt af tusindkunstneren Flemming Quist Møller" er en herlig film, hvor jeg sad og klukkede af glæde over at se og gense. Det er nemlig en film, som er en del af min egen historie som ansat ved Statens Filmcentral fra 1975 og 20 år frem, parallelt med at instruktør og producent Svend Johansen, min jævnaldrende, startede sit filmselskab Filmforsyningen og stod bag en række af vores mest efterspurgte film i SFC. Jeg bliver helt nostalgisk, når jeg tænker tilbage på en tid i slutningen af 70'erne, hvor vi arrangerede filmdage rundt i landet og hvor Svend og hans Tegnedrenge stort set altid var med.

Var Svends debut i den sammenhæng noget med en film om en kattekilling, som blev vist i Haderslev? Det er helt naturligt at det er Svend, som har stykket et omfattende, vidunderligt arkivmateriale med Quist Møller sammen. Det er underholdende, det beskriver en mand med et unikt kreativt talent, tusindkunstneren er det helt rigtige ord, kunstner ja, og hans arbejdskolleger og hans søn taler så præcist og varmt om ham. Det er anekdotisk på den informerende måde, altid uden at intellektualisere, tv-klip, filmklip - åh "Bennys Badekar", Hugo-filmene, "Snuden", "Kedsomhedens gåde", "Det usynlige pattebarn"... For ikke at tale om historien om "Prins Piwi". Og musikken med Koppel og Peter Bastian. Og tegningerne, og interessen for at iagttage fuglene, klyden! Karismatiske Quist Møller! Og for mig et filmisk gensyn med afdøde Per Tønnes Nielsen, og hans makker Anders Sørensen og naturligvis mesteren Jannik Hastrup.

Tak for dette fine stykke multikunst-historie, Svend Johansen, igangsætter, producent, instruktør. Tak på danske børns, små og voksne, vegne.

Danmark, 2016, 57 mins. Kan ses på DR K.


Categories: TV, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Til lykke med fdselsdagen JRGEN LETH

Written 14-06-2016 15:04:33 by Tue Steen Mller

Til lykke med fdselsdagen JRGEN LETH

... ønsker vi her fra Filmkommentaren. Vi gør det med et af vores yndlingsportrætter af dig, det er godt nok dit, fra  din blog, men vi tilegner os det lige, for det er et af de mest inspirerende, et af dem hvor du er på arbejde. Og så vil vi bare endnu engang henvise til det, vi gennem nogle år har skrevet om dig og dine film, mest om filmene i vores rå opsummering ”Jørgen Leth - Collected Texts on his Works”, som begynder med en lille kursiv …the Danish director, who has been an inspiration for generations of Danish filmmakers. With Lars von Trier as number one as readers will know from the film”The Five Obstructions” og så fortsætter med første post, som er et af mine mange dagbogsnotater på bloggen: “Mid wednes(day) off from Copenhagen with troubled SAS to Amsterdam to attend the 25th idfa (International Documentary Film Festival). On board is also Jørgen Leth on his way to idfa as several times before. This year to be in the main jury with (among others) Michael Glawogger, and to attend his own ”My Name is Jørgen Leth” exhibition that is part of the idfa ”Expanding Documentary” that opens at 7pm tomorrow November 15th at De Brakke Grond here in Amsterdam…” Læs eventuelt videre og så igen tillykke og hav en dejlig aften! Allan og Tue


Categories: Cinema, TV, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics, Directors, Essays

Doker 2016 Profile

Written 20-05-2016 16:24:46 by Tue Steen Mller

Doker 2016 Profile

A thoughtful and clear text taken from the site of Doker:

Moscow International Documentary Film Festival DOKer has stemmed from the project of the same name which screens independent non-fiction. DOKer project is aimed at analyzing and screening in Russia various genres and forms of the world's documentaries as a separate line of cinema in all its esthetic and socio-cultural diversity.

The Festival focuses on independent documentary cinema that incorporates both poetic narrative and social blockbusters; footage and mockumentary; art-house and science-fiction; classic and experiment.



Read more / Ls mere

Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Lars Movin versus Jrgen Leth

Written 19-05-2016 14:11:20 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Lars Movin versus Jrgen Leth

MOVIN MØDER LETH, Lars Movin meddeler det på sin Facebookside, og jeg skynder mig at meddele videre, især at det er NU! NU I AFTEN I ÅRHUS!

Movin skriver: ”Så er det i aften, at jeg har den ære at være med til at åbne festivalen Vild med ORD i Dokk1 i Aarhus sammen med den unge mand på billedet her. Okay, jeg ved da godt, at publikum kommer for at se Jørgen Leth – som efter vores samtale vil levere flere Spoken Words akkompagneret af de to musikere i Vi Sidder Bare Her – men ikke desto mindre skal det blive en fornøjelse at lægge endnu et kapitel til den dialog, som vi har ført gennem knap tyve interviews siden 1989. En dialog, som ikke mindst har udmøntet sig i tre bøger: “En dag forsvandt Duke Jordan i Harlem – tekster om jazz” (Bebop, 2008), “Kunsten at gå på gaden – tekster fra tresserne” (Gyldendal, 2012) og “Alt er i billedet – om Jørgen Leths film” (Gyldendal, 2013).Dagen efter (fredag) vil der være flere ord fra undertegnede, nærmere bestemt ved et arrangement klokken 14:30 (ligeledes i Dokk1), hvor jeg med udgangspunkt i bogen “Amerikansk avantgardefilm” (2016) vil fortælle om (og vise) to beat-relaterede avantgardefilm, nemlig “Pull My Daisy” (1959) af Robert Frank & Alfred Leslie og “Towers Open Fire” (1963) af William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Ian Sommerville & Antony Balch. Vild med ord, ja – men også vild med billeder, film, musik …”

Foto: lm / 2015


Categories: Festival, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics, Essays

Andreas Fischer-Hansen hdres

Written 17-05-2016 11:20:41 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Andreas Fischer-Hansen hdres

Andreas Fischer-Hansen er igen i Tallin, han er selvfølgelig nødvendig for evalueringen på Baltic Film and Media School ved universitetet i Tallin disse dage. Han var leder af fotograflinjen, Head of Cinematography 2006-2009. Men der er derudover en særlig årsag til hans nærvær. På fredag udnævnes han til æresmedlem af lærerkollegiet ved denne filmskole på universitetet. FILMKOMMENTAREN ønsker ham tillykke.

Andreas Fischer-Hansen skriver i Fotografens øje (2009) om det at være lærer ved en filmskole: ”Når jeg ser på mit cv, går det op for mig, at jeg egentlig har brugt en stor del af mit liv på at omgås elever, primært fotografelever. Tænker på, at det har været berigende – eleverne har inspireret, udfordret, været kloge og dumme (måske var det mig der var dum).

At lære fra sig indebærer også at modtage, at diskutere og som filmmenneske at se film, som måske er ukendt, men som netop eleven bringer som en oplysning – måske oven i købet som en åbenbaring”.

Still: Tre blink mod vest, 1992 (Ulla Boje Rasmussen), som Andreas Fischer-Hansen fotograferede.

Foto: Andreas Fischer-Hansen til møde i Paris 2012 blandt kolleger i den franske instruktørforening.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3249/ (Tue Steen Müller skriver om en ny digitaliseret udgivelse af 1700 meter fra fremtiden,1990 og Tre blink mod vest,1992)

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/944/ (Jeg skriver om Fotografens øje. Dansk filmfotografi gennem 100 år, 2009, som Andreas Fischer-Hansen redigerede sammen med Dirk Brüel og Jan Weincke)


Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Film Uni Babelsberg Konrad Wolf

Written 13-05-2016 08:50:58 by Tue Steen Mller

Film Uni Babelsberg Konrad Wolf

It’s nice to teach. I have done so for three days and have the final round today in green and rich Potsdam, at the impressive film school (now Universität) named after Konrad Wolf. Invited by Peter Badel for the second time to come and talk to his camera students, I arrived with a bag full of dvd’s and my MacBook with links to films and websites that the students should know about when they leave the protected area of a film school that has all the facilities one can dream of. Including a big cinema for the teacher to convey to the students my documentary passion and knowledge.

I have never made a film myself so my advantage is very simply that I have seen documentaries for (OMG) more than 40 years, that I have met so many great makers that I have stories to tell accompanying the clips and the words about the market, the pitching sessions, the many after-film school possibilities that are offered.

A must on occasions like this is a promotion for Ricky Leacock’s memoirs, the book that exists in a disc version with clips and full films available by a very gentle click on the title that the master is writing about. ”The Feeling of Being There” is the name of the book and is that not the feeling we viewers appreciate when watching a documentary. And the young students had never heard about the two Frank’s (see photos on top of the site): Herz Frank and Robert Frank (photo). I made a tribute to Polish Wojciech Staron yesterday, clips from ”Siberian Lesson”, ”Argentinian Lesson” and full film ”Brothers” – a cameraman who is also a director.

This morning Daniel Abma has generously agreed to visit to meet the students and talk about/show a new trailer of his ”Transit Havana”.

Vielen Dank Peter Badel, also for letting me have your bike to go to the school.   

http://www.filmuniversitaet.de/en/home.html


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

6 Types of Documentaries

Written 12-05-2016 08:40:54 by Tue Steen Mller

6 Types of Documentaries

It’s the never ending story – the discussions around the definition of what is a documentary and which words to use. We still go to literature to characterise, using phrases like ”a film poem”, ”an essay”, ”novelistic” etc. And we sometimes go back to Grierson and Flaherty to introduce the word ”creative” (treatment of actuality), which is what all pitching sessions are calling for: creative documentaries. Anyway, important or not, I met this text on FB yesterday and want to share it with you:

…What is a documentary? Webster’s dictionary defines documentary as “consisting of documents: written down.” After a better Google search, Wikipedia defines a documentary as “a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspects of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record.”

It also opens into the history of documentaries while referencing Bill Nichols classic text Introduction to Documentary, where he outlines the six modes (or “sub-genres” or “types”) of documentaries. While there’s a lot of variation within, these are the six main categories of the genre in which all documentary films can be cast…

Words written by Jourdan Aldredge, link below, with examples of trailers from the films within the mentioned categories.

Photo from the film that at the BFI poll to find the Greatest Documentaries of All Times was on the top: Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, 1929, Mihail Kaufmann fixing a camera to the train.

http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/6-types-of-documentary-film/?platform=hootsuite


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Michael Madsen Posts/Blogindlg

Written 06-05-2016 10:46:48 by Tue Steen Mller

Michael Madsen Posts/Blogindlg

There is still time to pick up on the free retrospective of Michael Madsen on DocAlliance, an event that made editor Allan Berg update our posts on the Danish director, quite many actually, from Celestial Night to The Visit, written by Allan Berg in Danish and Tue Steen Müller in English with citations in English from various festival catalogue texts.

Enjoy!

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/2299/


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Michael Madsen Retrospective For Free

Written 04-05-2016 09:04:37 by Tue Steen Mller

Michael Madsen Retrospective For Free

- with this headline on the DocAlliance website: Visual Philosophy of the Unknown. The (unsigned) article on the website is a very fine introduction to an original auteur, who with few films have reached international fame. Here is a full copy-paste:

From mediocrity to alien civilizations, from a theatre theme to 3D technology, from conceptual art to documentary film. Explore the unexpected and original ways of the art world of Danish director Michael Madsen, one of the leading filmmakers of the Nordic cinematic superpower. Watch the director’s film retrospective for free and do not miss your first encounter of the “third kind” via the Czech online premiere of the documentary sci-fi THE VISIT in the week from May 2 to 8!



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Web

Christian Braad Thomsen: Fassbinder /2

Written 01-05-2016 11:33:01 by Sara Thelle

Christian Braad Thomsen: Fassbinder /2

Danish documentary master Christian Braad Thomsen’s Fassbinder portrait opens in theatres in New York today. Richard Brody praises the film in a great article in The New Yorker (April 28 2016), in which he compares it with another portrait film about Hannah Arendt and thus describes the "differences between an artistic experience and a prefabricated time-stuffer" ! 

"Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands is the rarest of portrait-films: in addition to being a crucial addition to the critical and biographical record, it’s a cinematic experience in itself, a work of art that can stand on its own as a movie. If Fassbinder were no real person but a fictional character created by Thomsen, the film would endure as a deeply imagined, fierce, and graceful drama..."

Read the rest:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/the-documentaries-they-deserve-hannah-arendt-and-rainer-werner-fassbinder

Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands (Denmark 2015) is being screened at The Metrograph in New York May 1-5:

http://metrograph.com/film/film/113/fassbinder-to-love-without-demands

http://braadthomsen.com/

Photograph courtesy Christian Braad Thomsen 


Categories: Cinema, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocsBarcelona 2016

Written 30-04-2016 18:18:08 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona 2016

The program is announced for DocsBarcelona 2016, May 23 to May 29. I have below copy-pasted the press release that came out today. As one of the programmers for the festival part, I am looking forward to attend and participate in the triangled meetings between film, audience and filmmaker. Number 19 it is, but there was actually a prologue in Granada with the presence of DocsBarcelona’s Joan Gonzalez, who fell in love with pitching and convinced us at EDN to move it to Barcelona. It was the right solution:

Everything is ready for the nineteenth edition of DocsBarcelona. About to turn two decades of history, the festival will screen 46 films from 28 countries at the CCCB, and the Aribau Club, bringing together more than 500 professionals in its financial market, and to the activities for the industry.



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Torben Skjdt Jensen: Eksil /2

Written 27-04-2016 15:47:05 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Torben Skjdt Jensen: Eksil /2

Scenen er fra Teater Nordkraft i Aalborg fra Mikkel Flyvholms opsætning i 2013 af ”Eksil” skrevet af Andreas Garfield på grundlag af Jakob Ejersbos roman fra 2009 med samme titel. Skuespilleren med front mod os er Sofie Saaby Mehlum. Hun er et uartigt barn, en vild pige, en udfordrende kvinde. Hun er Samantha fra romanen, hun er den fjerne kvinde som vi i vignetformede spillefilmscener i en anden skuespillers ganske anderledes fremstilling så i Christian Holken Bonkes film ”Ejersbo” på DR2 Dokumania i aftes, hvor der i et lag for sig kan læses synes jeg ”… en fortællelinje som dannes af interviewene med søsteren, faderen, moderen, vennen i Tanzania og kæresten i Danmark, et forløb som er en næsten nyfigen skildring af hvad der egentlig er en ganske privat familiehistorie, hvor der kun i ét af temaerne, i tegningen af kærlighedsforholdene skimtes poetisk kraft i Holten Bonkes ellers nøgternt prosaisk episke behandling af dette stof, allermest i skildringen af forholdet til en sjælsallieret, en vigtig fjern kvinde. Dette afsnit har Bonke fint og kontrolleret smukt viet en iscenesættelse af en rekonstruktion.” (Filmkommentarens anmeldelse). Denne vigtige fjerne kvinde er Samantha.

Hun er efterhånden blevet en mytisk skikkelse i dansk litteratur- og filmhistorie, for mig i høj grad fordi Torben Skjødt Jensen i en forrygende overførsel til tv og samtidig en klog og følsom fortolkning har fastholdt Garfields, Flyvholm og Saaby Mehlums teaterværk i et dokumentarisk filmværk, hvor ”hun (Saaby Mehlum som Amantha) lader hvert øjeblik med sin energi, sin musikalitet, sin autenticitet i hver eneste reaktion og hvert eneste udtryk. Og netop det er noget, dokumentarens iagttagelse om ikke muliggør at se, for sådan er det heller ikke, men udpeger og understreger, så jeg ikke alene oplever en 15 årig kvinde, men en voksen kvinde i sit mimesiske øjeblik på øjeblik på øjeblik, en skuespiller i sin kropslige erindring.” (Filmkommentarens anmeldelse)

Skjødt Jensens dokumentarfilm da på en eller anden måde kunne gøres tilgængelig for publikum så forevigelsen den sådan fortjener, kan nå sit mål: Vi må have de to Ejersbofilm ved siden af hinanden, så hans Samantha kan leve videre i nye skikkelser, nye forståelser.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsRZqbe4-JM (Teaser fra ”Eksil” på Teater Nordkraft)

http://www.peripeti.dk/2013/03/26/eksil-pa-teater-nordkraft-instrueret-af-mikkel-flyvholm/ (Anmeldelse af teateropførelsen af ”Eksil”)

http://www.filmdir.dk/da/torben-skjdt-jensen(Torben Skjødt Jensens lange filmografi med dokumentarversionerne af teateropførelser som de nyere af hans værker)


Categories: TV, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

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