Filmkommentaren

And the Winner Was Ingmar Bergman...

Written 16-12-2018 23:02:36 by Tue Steen Mller

And the Winner Was Ingmar Bergman...

... at the European Film Awards yesterday, „Bergman, A Year in a Life“ by Jane Magnusson is the title of the Swedish documentary that took home the prize. Which made many angry... Here is what Krakow Film Festival director Krzysztof Gierat wrote on FB:

“Dear members of the Academy, are you sure that you have watched all the nominated documentary films? How can you reward an academic and historical film about Bergman, when you have very important movies about our reality!”

Others join Gierat in saying that it is obvious that the members of the European Film Academy – how do you become a member this ignorant blogger ask – have not seen all five films and therefore put a vote on a film that carries the name of the world famous director: Bergman.

I am not a member of the Academy and I have not seen the film but from the general positive reviews, I understand that the film is based on interviews with a lot of anecdotes about the master.

Some commentators among the documentarians on FB point at the whole selection and award process as being hopeless, considering that it is not  realistic that the members have/take the time to watch five documentaries as they are also meant to watch a lot of fiction films nominated.

Anyway, les jeux sont faits, in the year that celebrates the 100 year of Ingmar Bergman’s birth, one more film added to the many that already exist about him, was awarded to be the Best European Documentary 2018.

And one more “anyway” – click below and see/listen to the great speech on Europe and European culture and cinema held by Ralph Fiennes at the ceremony in Sevilla.

https://www.europeanfilmawards.eu/en_EN/home


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Cordelia Dvork: Marceline

Written 12-12-2018 16:12:31 by Tue Steen Mller

Cordelia Dvork: Marceline

In the 1980’es I attended Cinéma du Réel in Paris almost every year. It was during the years, where wonderful, charismatic Suzette Glenadel was the director. And where big documentary names like Fred Wiseman and Pedro Costa were  introduced to the French audience. Not to forget that I several times saw the unique couple Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan-Ivens in the cinema. Icons. He with his beautiful white hair, she with her red hair.

Joris Ivens died in 1989, Marceline this year in September. He was born in 1898, she in 1928.

Their life together forms an important part of the television documentary, „Marceline“ with the subtitle „A Woman. A Century“. There are clips from the Vietnam-films and from the China series, that they made together. Not to forget the „Une Histoire de vent“ (“A Tale of the Wind“), the superb poetic last film of the couple, far from the political.

The film, however, is first and foremost with Marceline at home in Paris, talking to visitors or at the hairdresser or in the famous clip from the Edgar Morin classic from 1961, „Chronique d’un ète“. Marceline Loridan-Ivens survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau that she was deported to as did Simone Veil, who died in 2017. A friend during her whole life. And there is a sequence with Marceline signing books for the many admirers, she had. She talks about the books, one written to her father, “But you did Not Come Back”, another, also with the holocaust as a theme, “L’Amour Après”.

France, 218, 58 mins.

You can find quotes from the film as well as other clips with Marceline Loridan-Ivens on facebook.


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Wang Bing on Doc Alliance

Written 03-12-2018 11:07:11 by Tue Steen Mller

Wang Bing on Doc Alliance

... with the title "The Landscape of Chinese Everydayness" - An offer you can’t refuse! DocAlliance keeps on the high quality in its program policy on dafilms.com. This time with 6 of Wang Bing’s documentaries from China. They are long all of them – I am thinking of getting up earlier than normal or go to bed later. It’s a gift to documentary film lovers. Here is what is in the press release from Prague:

Director Wang Bing is a contemporary film star; his films were screened at most world festivals such as Cannes FF, Berlinale, Venice FF, Toronto IFF, FIDMarseille and Doclisboa. Towards the end of 2018, we present a selection of his films online and invite you to meet the master of Chinese cinema whose films capture everyday life in Asia in diverse environments – in a refugee camp, a remote place in the mountains or a factory.

Do not miss Wang Bing‘s six most renowned documentaries which left a mark on modern film history! Our collection includes Ta’ang following immigrants from Myanmar who are forced to emigrate due to ethnic unrest and cross the borders to China with the hope that one day they will be able to come back to their homeland. The film was premiered at Berlinale. The collection further includes the unique 9-hour opus West of the Tracks about the decline of the industrial Tiexi district in China which is critically acclaimed as one of the best and most significant films of today!

Photo: Tobi Sauer.

https://dafilms.com/program/675-wang-bing-retrospective


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Web

Ada Bligaard Sby: The best is yet to come

Written 22-11-2018 07:41:35 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ada Bligaard Sby: The best is yet to come

Så kom postbudet med Ada Bligaard Søbys bog, ”min første bog” havde hun skrevet. En fotobog, vidste jeg det var.

Der var tre citater trykt uden på cellofanindpakningen fra bogbinderen som havde gjort den fornemt udstyrede bog færdig som bog, som en håndfast ting, en genstand. Jeg læste med det samme for eksempel dette af Erik Kessels: ”… Raw, honest and intimate, I cant’t look away.” Mit oprindelige møde med Bligaard Søbys foto- og filmkunst dækkes fuldstændig ind af dette citat, af sådanne anmeldelser på Filmkommentaren. Jeg skrev jo om American Losers i 2006, ”this is a subtle text about two biographies in balance and about a storyteller and portrait photographer and her deliberations: this is not about winners. The montage presented before the title contains all the elements and the whole story in a way. The title gives away the conclusion. I can hardly wait. I must watch this film”.

Og jeg udsatte nu udpakningen og læste i det næste citat, af Brigid Dawson, den tidligere dobbelttambourinist og sanger for Thee Oh Sees: ”It’s something a John Lennon could never do.” Nu tænkte jeg selvfølgelig på Petey & Ginger fra 2009 og at jeg dengang skrev ”at en del af Ada Bligaards kunstneriske særpræg er alvoren bag det hele og den ganske originale og naturlige evne, hun har til nå dybde i den filmiske tænkning. Petey & Ginger bliver og er således først og fremmest et personligt essay om moderne fattigdom på grundlag af en antropologisk undersøgelse, en poetisk og filmisk etnografi, som kommer tydeligt igennem. Efter at have set filmen sidder jeg helt stille, for det her er egentligt tankevækkende. Det er ikke en bekymring, dog, det ligner, men det er noget mere, det er en stille fortvivlelse.” Et citat fra filminstruktøren Dawn Shad, der uden på bogens indpakning kort bekræfter den følelse, fortæller ”you just made me cry in Shoreditch house.”



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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics

Dziga Vertov: Anniversary of the Revolution

Written 21-11-2018 12:04:09 by Tue Steen Mller

Dziga Vertov: Anniversary of the Revolution

Tuesday night I was back in Saint Petersburg after two days at the IDFA festival in Amsterdam. In the cinema. On screen. No, wrong – I was back in Petrograd 1918 through the outstanding film historical event organized so brilliantly by the festival. A full house in the Tuschinski for a film from 1918! By the father of documentary cinema Dziga Vertov. I felt an atmosphere of concentration, a history lesson it was with the images and the inserted texts that conveyed where we are and what happened almost day by day in 1917, in Petrograd and Moscow primarily; and it was a concert with images or a film with musical accompagnement. Everything. Joyful to watch:



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sergey Loznitsa: The Trial

Written 05-11-2018 20:36:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Sergey Loznitsa: The Trial

No doubt, Sergey Loznitsa is the master of making creative archive documentaries – a part of his impressive oeuvre that also includes fiction films and documentaries like “Austerlitz” - http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3841/

in the archive films he stands out with films like “Blockade” (2005), “The Event” (2015) and “Maidan” (2014).

“The Trial” is more than two hours long, you have to be fresh in head and interested in history, I was the first one afternoon at DokLeipzig and I am more and more being drawn to films that deal with history, especially Soviet & Russian.

“The Trial” is astonishing. Let me give you the annotation from the Venice festival website, where it had its premiere:

“Moscow, USSR. 1930. The Pillar Hall of the State House of the Unions. A group of top rank economists and engineers is put on trial accused of plotting a coup d’état against the Soviet government. It’s alleged that they made a secret pact with the French Prime Minister, Raymond Poincaré, aiming to destroy the Soviet power and restore capitalism. All charges are fabricated and the accused are forced to confess to the crimes they never committed. The court delivers death verdicts. Unique archive footage reconstructs one of the first show trials, masterminded by Stalin. The drama is real, but the story is fake. The film gives an unprecedented insight into the origins of a deadly regime, which made the slogan “Lie is Truth” its everyday reality…”

To give you an impression of how the film looks like, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wlNu32e01k

that is a three minutes long trailer of the film, made for IDFA where the film will have three screenings as part of the Masters section. The man speaking is Sitinin, working at a textile factory. He confesses to have been drawn into a group called “Industrial Party” – it never existed – that worked in sabotage against the Soviet government. Loznitsa lets the confessions go the whole way, confessions made through the 11-day process under excellent filming, where you see that the packed hall and its spectators again and again had to protect their eyes – from the sunshine or from the light put up for filming?

And again and again the prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky (1883-1954) (who was also at the Nürnberg trials, Stalin’s man, who later became minister of foreign affairs and the Soviet representative at the United Nations) – again and again he brought up the question of the foreign involvement in planning an overthrow of the Soviet government.

How did this happen, said Vitaly Mansky in his talk at the festival in Leipzig. How could these intelligent men become shadows of themselves and confess something they never did? In the film you see that they all promise – if they are not shot – to remorse and serve the country loyally.

Vyshinsky is leading the Court of the Proletariat, the hall is full and applauds when death penalty is given to several of the accused – and Loznitsa brings in images from the streets where banners proclaim “death to the saboteurs”.

It’s an amazingly (film) historical documentation that Loznitsa presents in this 129 minutes long film shot in the 1930’es in the Soviet Union.

Actuality, Russia today…? Oh yes, in many ways.

Read the post below the background for the film written by the director.   


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sergey Loznitsa: The Trial/ 2

Written 05-11-2018 20:29:19 by Tue Steen Mller

Sergey Loznitsa: The Trial/ 2

I started working on a film about Stalin’s show trials, which were held in the USSR in 1930s, a couple of years ago. My initial idea was to edit the footage from different trials in order to show how the machine of Soviet terror was established, and how the system gradually took over the minds of innocent citizens. However, soon after I began studying archive materials, I discovered the footage, which I found to be absolutely unique. I decided to make the film in such a way, as to give the spectators a chance to spend two hours in the USSR in 1930: to see and to experience the moment, when the machine of state terror, created by Stalin, was launched into action. My intention was to reconstruct the trial stage by stage. We restored and kept all the sound that was recorded in 1930. The only commentary I allowed myself to make in the entire film is right at the very end. I need this commentary in order to tell the truth, since it is impossible to learn the truth from any other episode of this documentary film. In fact, Process is a unique example of a documentary, in which one sees “24 frames of lies” per second.


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Torben Skjdt Jensen: Carl Th. Dreyer min metier

Written 05-11-2018 14:15:09 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Torben Skjdt Jensen: Carl Th. Dreyer  min metier

”De vil lave en film om mig? Men jeg er da ikke interessant. Det er mine film som er interessante.” Carl Th. Dreyers svar dengang for længe siden var til en anden instruktør, en forgænger, men Torben Skjødt Jensen tager i sin film konsekvensen fuldt ud, han laver sin store filmbiografi som en omfattende og dyb overvejelse af alle Dreyers store og små film, af deres æstetik, som de konsekvent etablerer som ufravigelig stil og af den poetik, de afsætter som konsekvens, og som Dreyer selv formulerer, såvel strengt og generelt som i præcise detaljer hentet til filmen fra arkivstof og fra hans omfattende litterære arbejde.

Og det er jo så stil, ligesom den filmmåde jeg har mødt i Skjødt Jensens film al tid, men som først fæstnede sig som stil i min forståelse med Flâneur, 1993 ved en visning i en meget stor biograf i Clairmont-Ferrand. Hans film hører hjemme i biografen. Det er jo fotograferingens drømmende skarphed, musikkens arkitektur i en fremmedheds velkendthed, sætningernes helt nye gammeldags alvor, alt samlet i collagens tillid til associationens relevans af klippenes blide konsekvens.



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Cinema, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

DOK Leipzig Vitaly Mansky and Putin

Written 04-11-2018 23:13:30 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Vitaly Mansky and Putin

You have to be careful with "vonhörensagen" but in this case it had its influence on the talk with Vitaly Mansky, that took place friday afternoon at the Polish Institute in Leipzig, a couple of hours after his film had been screened at the Cinestar Cinema. At the Q&A after the cinema screening of “Putin’s Witnesses”, he was attacked for having made a propaganda film for Putin. One of the attacks came from Viktor Kossakovsky, who according to my sources was pretty rude towards Mansky. It was apparent that the two do not think high of each other.

Is it a propaganda film the moderator, Barbara Wurm (very competent university teacher and festival advisor) asked Mansky picking up on the discussion in the cinema - after she had introduced the film as a kind of found footage and characterized Mansky as one, who has introduced the family chronicle film as a genre in post-Soviet Russia.

A good point I think, Mansky masters the personal commentary and it is nothing but a scoop that he is using material he made at the beginning of Putin’s period as president, where he, Putin – they are talking to each other as if they were old buddies – praises the democracy: I am happy that after a certain period I can go back to a normal life. You can’t do that in a monarchy. 18 years later he is still there – and the democracy does not function, if you are allowed to put(in) it like that!

A pan shot in the room where Putting salutes the victory after the election has been held, is accompanied by a commentary by Mansky, who mentions that most of the people in the room are now in opposition. That the mastermind behind Putin taking over from Yeltsin in 2000 – after the sensational New Year television speech where Yeltsin apologizes – forgive me, he says - his retirement and makes Putin an ad hoc President – is Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana. Mansky makes that pretty clear. The publicity clip Mansky made for Putin was broadcast the night before the election!

One more sentence from Putin: Our main goal is to make people believe in everything we say and do. Did you hear what he said, Mansky almost whispers to us!

Mansky who now lives in Riga, was doubtful, he said, if his festival ArtDocFest will be allowed to continue, a festival of high quality including critical films – see http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4373/ - as there is now a law on its way that will limit the possibilities for the festivals in Russia. Colleagues have made an open letter against the proposal and asked Mansky NOT to sign, as he – Mansky – thinks the law proposal is made because of ArtDocfest

Well. There are many assumptions in this small documentary world. Mansky’s film is important, well made and actual. He takes a standpoint – others think that not having a position is a position, he said with a hint to colleague Kossakovsky. You have to define your position and start from there.

Vitaly Mansky has a long and really important filmography to study - go to https://dafilms.com where his films are to be found  


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig 2018 LBJ and Jan Palach

Written 03-11-2018 18:33:04 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig 2018 LBJ and Jan Palach

I would have loved to see more from the Retrospective 68 - An Open Score but I was anderswo engagiert, i.e. introducing the Lithuanian retrospective and moderating the discussions afterwards BUT I saw the last section, number 7 which was introduced like this in the catalogue:

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and DOK Leipzig share an eventful history that reaches back to the founding of the two festivals in the 1950s. With its long-term festival motto “Way to the Neighbour” and its focus on Eastern European film, Oberhausen during the Cold War was both ally and challenger of the Leipzig Documentary Film Week. The two festivals lived through one of the most turbulent phases of their long-distance relationship in the wake of the departures, ruptures and upheavals of 1968. The major issue was the crushing of the Prague Spring, which strained the East-West dialogue and created a frosty atmosphere for cinematic diplomacy, too. The selection, compiled by Tobias Hering and Andreas Kötzing from the festival editions of 1968 and 1969, is inspired by a spirit of boycott, of refusal, evasive manoeuvres and tit-for-tat that turned screening or not screening a film into a political issue...

The two mentioned introduced and did it perfectly and the five films were French, German, Cuban (Alvarez "LBJ" that is pretty well known in film history), Yugoslav (Zilnik's "June Turmoil") and "The Wake" ("Trzyna") that is a diary built reportage on the days that followed the death of Jan Palach, with a few interviews, one of them introducing a very young Vaclav Havel. 24 mins., they showed a 35mm copy, bravo DOKLeipzig, moving was it to follow more than 200.000 Czecoslovaks in the streets of Prgaue and Bratislava. Get that film out to cinematheques and other festivals!

https://www.dok-leipzig.de


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Viktor Kossakovsky at DOK Leipzig

Written 02-11-2018 14:24:21 by Tue Steen Mller

Viktor Kossakovsky at DOK Leipzig

I have known him for years – since back to the days of the Bornholm festival in the 90’es. He came to Leipzig for one screening of the film and for a talk. We hugged and I told him that “Aquarela” is an ingenious film! No, no the next film is better, he said and went into the room, where the talk was to take place. Viktor Kossakovsky is not one, who answers the questions put to him, he takes his own roads of improvisation. Impossible job to be a moderator, when he is in the chair, does not matter, he is entertaining and has something important to say.

Let me quote Ukrainian Darya Bassel, who wrote on her FB: “Kossakovsky pours nectar in my ears. He sings an ode to a cinema, which doesn’t put story and character (person) in the middle of everything. A cinema which is art not storytelling.”

Yes, that’s what he keeps on saying and thanks for that in times of constant “what is your story, who are your characters”. We make movies for the cinema, the industry should know that, he said. In “Aquarela” you can´t have a shot of water that lasts 1 to 1,2 seconds. It has to be longer to give you a chance to think. When I’m editing, I’m always thinking about 10 people – one will think like this, another like that, and I try to put it together so many interpretations are possible. Why do we make films? If it is to prove our ideas, then it is not cinema! No brain first, I’m trying to use my eyes, my camera. Brain first, it is insulting!

And oh, Kossakovsky always refers to – this time – Leonardo da Vinci, Malevich – and to literature, it’s refreshing, include it in the curriculum of the film schools. (My comment!)

He talked about teaching, that he does not like, he talked about some of the sequences in “Aquarela”, about “how little we are” in this world (as is so obvious in the film), he praised his fellow cinematographer Ben Bernhard, he talked about “Tishe!” that he made while waiting for funding for his next film – a film that none of the tv commissioning editors would take when it was a project (I want to shoot a film from my window in Saint Petersburg), but all bought when it was made. Paper work is needed when you want funding for a film.

I have promised producer Aimara Reques also to watch the film in Amsterdam, at IDFA, I will, and will try to write a review of this masterpiece.


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Werner Herzog Ecstatic Truths

Written 30-10-2018 17:49:55 by Tue Steen Mller

Werner Herzog  Ecstatic Truths

10.30 in the morning, Kupferstrasse in Leipzig. There is a line outside the Kupferhalle, where Werner Herzog is to hold his masterclass or as the DOK Leipzig organisers called it, “a conversation” with Kristina Jaspers, who knows about the director and has written a book about him, (as has Danish Kristoffer Hegnsvad). (And let me lead those who are interested to this site´s “Collected Posts on Werner Herzog”: http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/1940/).

Those in line waited to see if there were tickets to get. We had already been given tickets so in we (my wife and I) went with high expectations as we had heard that Herzog is a brilliant and inspiring speaker. And deep as had colleague Allan Berg experienced at the Danish Film School.

He was not deep this morning where everyone got in – festival director Leena Pasanen mentioned that we were around 500 to listen to the master. Not deep but entertaining he was from the very beginning, where he corrected Pasanen on how to set the audience microphones in the right positions! A director going in details.

Herzog followed up on yesterday’s film “Meeting Gorbachev” saying that on all three



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /13

Written 29-10-2018 08:17:05 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /13

Det er altid særligt at læse virkelig lange romaner. Uanset om den strækkes ud over mange uger eller foregår i en hektisk rus, går læsningen fra at være en oplevelse til at blive en tilstand... (Martin Bastkjær i Informations bogtillæg, 12. oktober 2018)

 

MARGARETHE VON TROTTA: HISTORY AND CINEMA / GESCHICHTE IM FILM

Inde i min optagethed af von Trottas film om Bergman må jeg, igen i en af mine ekskurser, opsøge hendes øvrige film. Især inspireret af den lille scene, hvor hun i en liste over Ingmar Bergmans yndlingsfilm finder sin egen De tyske søstre og fascineret af en scene fra den film hvor de to piger lytter til en præsts prædiken fra den høje prædikestol og ned mod dem på bænken. Som Bergman fortæller at han i sin barndom lyttede til sin far i kirken i Stockholm.

Så blev jeg opmærksom på den her filmede forelæsning, som for mig er en levende filmografis tilblivelse, som jeg trods en forfærdende teknisk kvalitet finder er en gribende fortælling om en instruktørs tumlen med stoffet, baksen tålmodig med at forvandle tekst til cinematografi, lykkes med personligt at leve sig ind til en forståelse af og der dybt indefra skildre fremragende og modige kvinder, hun har lavet biografiske film om og nu i forlæsningerne fortæller om: Rosa Luxemburg (1986), Hanna Weinstein og Lena Fischer i Rosenstrasse (2003), Hildegard von Bingen (2009) og Hannah Arendt (2012).

Von Trotta fortæller under 2017-forelæsningen charmerende og let undskyldende, men tydeligt på engelsk, trods teknikkens vanskeligheder, men for tyskkyndige vil jeg foreslå 2013-versionen hvor hun taler sit eget elegante tysk.

Tyskland 2017, 77 min. og 2013, 83 min. 

Offentliggjort den 11. feb. 2018:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H97nI-A6bow

Margarethe von Trotta at The European Graduate School / EGS. Valletta, Malta. October 24th, 2017. Public open lecture for the students of the Division of Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought. (YouTube)

Offentliggjort den 12. dec. 2013:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXsx6j_67Ck

Vortrag der Mercator-Professorin 2013 der Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE): Margarethe von Trotta am 10. Dezember 2013. (YouTube)

http://egs.edu/faculty/margarethe-von-trotta (detaljeret biografi, engelsk)

Margarethe von Trotta fører i forelæsningen kortfattet og vigtigt linjen tilbage til sin barndom og ungdom og til sine første film Katharina Blums  tabte ære, 1975  og Christa Klages anden opvågnen, 1978. Fotografiet fra en optagelse må være fra den tid...


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

Lithuanian Cinema Travels

Written 25-10-2018 16:10:13 by Tue Steen Mller

Lithuanian Cinema Travels

Here we are – watch our films, meet our filmmakers. It seems like this is the policy of the Lithuanian Film Centre this year, where the population-wise small country celebrates its centenary. According to an article in Cineuropa – link below - … Over the past four months, thanks to support from the Lithuanian Film Centre, the heavy presence of both completed films and projects was evident in almost 20 countries worldwide…

The article mentions fiction films that have travelled, going on to mention documentaries that we deal with (mostly) on this site - … Moving onto documentaries, Rugilė Barzdiukaitė’s debut, Acid Forest [+], premiered at Locarno, whereas the co-production Bridges of Time [+] by Kristīne Briede and Audrius Stonys did likewise at Karlovy Vary. Previously premiered documentaries also pressed on with their festival runs. Lithuania’s Oscar submission, Wonderful Losers: A Different World [+] by Arūnas Matelis, was at the Belfast “Pull Focus” Documentary Festival and Ulju Mountain Film Festival, where it was also awarded, and The Ancient Woods [+] by Mindaugas Survila unspooled at the Sydney Film Festival…

I am still waiting to see “Acid Forest”, the three others have been reviewed on this site.

And when it comes to the so-called “industry presence” - …  the Lithuanian Film Centre was one of the partners in the Pula Film Festival’s Matchmaking Forum (see the news), while Lithuania was featured as one of the countries participating in Locarno Pro’s Match Me! producers’ networking programme (see the news). Also, Lithuanian producers Giedrė ickytėDagnė VildiūnaitėMarija RazgutėPaulius Juočeris and Andrius Lekavičius were included in the selection of the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum and the Glocal Meets the Baltics section of San Sebastián…

DOK Leipzig hosts an impressive retrospective of Lithuanian documentaries from next week – read http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4368/ - and apart from the retrospective two new Lithuanian documentaries are in the “Next Masters” section at the festival: “Animus Animalis (A Story about People, Animals and Things)” by Aisté Zegulyté and “Nijole” by Sandro Bozzolo, produced by Dagnė Vildiūnaitė, experienced Lithuanian fiction and documentary producer. Several directors from the country have been invited to Leipzig.

https://cineuropa.org/en/newsdetail/362126/

http://www.lkc.lt/en/2018/10/cinema-spreads-the-word-about-lithuania-across-the-world-four-months-four-continents-leading-festivals/

https://filmfinder.dok-leipzig.de/en/?&section=284


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Astra Film Festival

Written 18-10-2018 11:57:14 by Tue Steen Mller

Astra Film Festival

… in Sibiu, Romania celebrates its 25th edition. For that reason Cineuropa brings an interview with the founding director Dumitru Budrala. He looks back and makes a status on the state of the documentary art. Here is a quote – but read it all, link below – including a question:

You said that documentary films are “lifeboats in a sea of alternative facts”. Can you elaborate on this opinion on the power and usefulness of the genre?
The audience potential of documentary cinema is amazing, as it can reach both a wider public and a specialised, niche audience. At every edition, Astra Film Festival offers a host of thematic sidebars that explore reality by proposing an intimate, detailed portrait of humanity. These films are a shortcut to social consciousness and a tool for change, “a therapy for the mending of society”, as Cristi Puiu [a jury member at Astra 2018] puts it. Both in Romania and around the world, daily events in the social and political landscape leave a mark on the very essence of the human condition. Reality is more spectacular than fiction – or, as they say, “life beats film”. Documentary has become more and more relevant because people feel the need for an alternative source of knowledge and new tools for understanding reality in a world where fake news, intolerance, cynical dissimulation and the redaction of the past are becoming more and more invasive…

Looking at the programme a thematic choice catches my eye, “On the Road to Europe” that features 10 films that deal with how Eastern European countries have been dealing with the post-communism reality. I was reminded of the fine films by Vuk Janic “Last Yugoslavian Football team” (for a football freak what a great team it was and what a tragedy that all went into pieces, at least football-wise), Hungarian Tibor Kocsis “New Eldorado”, a perfect illustration of new capitalism, Latvian Kaspars Goba’s “Homo@Lv” from 2010 (homophobia, intolerance) and Marcin Latallo’s “Our Street” from 2006, the deroute of working class family.

A clever so-called side-bar in a cleverly curated festival that runs until the 21st of October.  

https://www.astrafilm.ro/films/

https://cineuropa.org/en/interview/361723/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /12

Written 17-10-2018 18:43:29 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /12

MARGARETHA VON TROTTA: SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN (2)

Forrige blognotat sluttede: "… Margarethe von Trotta folder sine hænder netop som jeg ser Max von Sydow gøre, med håndfladerne mod hinanden: ”Først meget alvorligt, men så mærker man, at han nok ikke kan bede så intenst som han gerne ville, vi forstår senere i filmen hvorfor. Så rejser han sig igen og i en lang optagelse går han tilbage til dette sted, hvor vi allerede havde set skakbrættet. Han går ud af billedet og kameraet panorerer til skakbrættet med den sorte klippe i vandet i baggrunden som et advarselstegn. Dønninger vasker over skakbrættet som udviskes. Og så viser en sort skikkelse sig: Max von Sydow ser op: ”Hvem er du?” Anders Ek: ”Jeg er døden.” Max von Sydow: ”Kommer du for at hente mig?” Anders Ek: ”Er du beredt?” Max von Sydow: ”Min krop er beredt, ikke jeg selv.”

Og jeg kan nu vælge at se von Trottas vidunderlige film med Bergmans mesterværk parallelt i tanken…"

KONTRAPUNKT

Og det kan så nu igen lade sig gøre. I Cinemateket i København torsdag 18. oktober hvor filmen vises første af fire gang som månedens film. Og om denne særlige manuskript-parallelitet er jeg siden kommet på dette citat om manuskripttilblivelse i en bestemt af de nye franske film som von Trotta i det følgende afsnit fortæller hun i sin ungdom opsøgte i Paris:



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

Lithuanian Documentaries A Poetic Look at Reality

Written 14-10-2018 21:00:48 by Tue Steen Mller

Lithuanian Documentaries A Poetic Look at Reality

There is a grand focus on Lithuania at DOKLeipzig this year. Festival director Leena Pasanen has since her time at the Finnish television YLE been an admirer of the small Baltic country’s impressive documentary tradition. She stands behind a uniqe presentation of three generations of film directors, who worked during Soviet time, after the independence and today.

The festival shows the films and has arranged a special session, where it invites the audience to meet two of the most prominent Lithuanian directors from the “new generation”, called “the digital age”, Giedre Zickyte and Mindaugas Survila, who will talk about and show examples from their country’s beautiful tradition for documentary Cinema, which is wonderfully described by Audrius Stonys, now “the grand old man of Lithuanian documentary”, in the following way:

“What is called the poetic school of Lithuanian documentary “…created an independent world, free from Soviet ideology, lie and propaganda. It was a declaration of inner freedom. The black and white world of poetic documentary films was full of colours. Sadness was full of joy. And joy was touched by deep existential sadness. These films reminded us about what is Cinema—to film and to enjoy the beauty of the leaves, moving in the wind.”

The two younger directors will refer to the tradition, talk about their own films, how it is to work internationally in a European market, with the television demands – and how they strive to keep their own voice. And they succeed…

In the films by Giedre Zickyté (“How We Played the Revolution”) and Mindaugas Survila (“Field of Magic”) you will see that they have their own style, still with a bridge back to their colleagues.

The meeting is an invitation to explore a unique documentary cinema tradition before and after independence, a wave of a personal free visual language that celebrates life and humanity. Magical moments are waiting for you.

I will be the moderator of this session that takes place Thursday November 1st. I have been privileged to follow the Lithuanian documentary scene for 25 years.

https://www.dok-leipzig.de


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /11

Written 12-10-2018 10:28:35 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /11

MARGARETHE VON TROTTA: SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN (1)

Filmens begyndelse er fælles for de to, ligesom hele filmen vil være det, en instruktør på sporet af sin beundrede forgænger i arbejdet med filmkunsten, von Trotta skriver et filmessay om Bergman.

MEMENTO MORI

Og det begynder med en sekvens på grundlag af en sekvens fra Det syvende segl. Bergmans og Gunnar Fischers billede skildrer et mærkelig bekendt kystlandskab i halvmørke. Musikken er de første takter af Dies Irae satsen i et rekviem for kor og orkester. Margarethe von Trotta kommer i en parallelhandling ned på den samme strand og siger til sit kamera:

”Her er det altsammen begyndt for mig. Med en sort sky og en sort fugl. Vi ser klipperne, havet og disse sten oppefra i en lang optagelse. Og så ligger Max von Sydow her”, von Trotta bevæger blødt venstre hånd som stryger den over et leje, en person”, han har sovet og er lige vågnet og ser op i himlen. Så ser vi hans væbner endnu i søvn på den stenede strand. Kameraet finder hestene”; von Trotta, nu nær i markant profil, tegner kamerabevægelsen med højre hånd, så jeg mærker de heste tilhører netop disse to mænd og hun beskriver videre:

”Så er der et nærbillede af Max von Sydow. Han er meget anspændt og man mærker, at han ikke rigtigt ved hvad der venter ham. Solen står op, dagen begynder. Så vender væbneren sig i sin søvn.” Og jeg ser det i krydsklippet. ”Han ønsker klart ikke at vågne. Max von Sydow går lidt ud i vandet.” Jeg ser det igen i krydsklippet og faktisk også, om jeg lukkede øjnene, i von Trottas tekst som er som Bergmans måtte være før optagelserne dengang. Sådan er hele denne sekvens klippet.

”Han vasker sit ansigt i saltvandet. Som en forberedelse til den bøn han vil bede. Og så er der en lang optagelse hvor han træder op af vandet og knæler på stranden som er fyldt med sten. Det ser ud som bodsøvelse. Han prøver at bede.”

Margarethe von Trotta folder sine hænder, netop som jeg ser Max von Sydow gøre, med håndfladerne mod hinanden. ”Først meget alvorligt, men så mærker man, at han nok ikke kan bede så intenst som han gerne ville, vi forstår senere i filmen hvorfor. Så rejser han sig igen og i en lang optagelse går han tilbage til dette sted, hvor vi allerede havde skakbrættet. Han går ud af billedet og kameraet panorerer til skakbrættet med den sorte klippe i vandet i baggrunden som et advarselstegn. Dønninger vasker over skakbrættet som udviskes. Og så viser en sort skikkelse sig”:

Max von Sydow ser op: ”Hvem er du?”

Anders Ek: ”Jeg er døden.”

Max von Sydow: ”Kommer du for at hente mig?”

Anders Ek: ”Er du beredt?”

Max von Sydow: ”Min krop er beredt, ikke jeg selv.”

... og jeg kan nu vælge at høre og se von Trottas vidunderlige film med Bergmans mesterværk parallelt i tanken eller begynde med at se Det syvende segl endnu en gang som forberedelse til være med på sporet af Bergman.

www.dfi.dk/cinemateket/biograf/filmserier/serie/manedens-dokumentar


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Categories: Cinema, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Ji.hlava IDFF Announces Programme

Written 11-10-2018 17:10:21 by Tue Steen Mller

Ji.hlava IDFF Announces Programme

… IDFF standing for International Documentary Film Festival. A press release came out today from the festival that starts October 25 and runs until October 30. With its 22nd edition.

I have taken some bits and pieces to highlight what is to happen in the Czech provincial town, where I have been many times, especially when I was involved in the Ex Oriente workshop. But click below, the website of the festival tells the details.

Let me start with a quote from festival director Marek Hovorka, a true cinephile: … Altogether, the programme will have 327 films on offer. ‘I’m surprised that documentary films still remain overlooked, even though they are some of the most interesting cinema out there. Compared to narrative films, they more accurately reflect our own questions, doubts, joys and failures. Documentary films aren’t meant to be an escape from our own lives – they are a way for us to better understand them,’ says Marek Hovorka, the festival’s director.

‘The true struggle of cinema happens in documentaries which open up new



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig Official Selection

Written 10-10-2018 20:39:25 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Official Selection

So here it is, the announcement of the Official Selection for DOKLeipzig. The filmmakers were of course informed in beforehand but were not allowed to express their enthusiasm before publication, which they can do now. First step for me who will report from the festival every day, is to copy paste the press release, plus give some links to the programme sections that have already been written about on this site. The festival starts the 29th of October, so those of you who go there have time to study and make your agenda, link below. The press release:

It’s Official! We are happy to present the full programme for DOK Leipzig 2018. From Argentina to Egypt, Lebanon to Latvia, Montenegro to Madagascar, Sierra Leone to Saudi Arabia – this year we are showing a grand total of 306 films from 50 different countries.

Of the 3,150 works viewed by the selection committee over the course of the last year, 160 have now made it into the Official Selection, the further films will be screened in the scope of our Special Programmes.

“The courage displayed by the filmmakers this year is quite remarkable,” as festival director Leena Pasanen reflects. “They engage critically with the world



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jon Bang Carlsen fr livsvarig ydelse

Written 10-10-2018 15:27:51 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Jon Bang Carlsen fr livsvarig ydelse

… fra Statens Kunstfond – ”Hædersydelser fra Statens Kunstfond er livsvarige og kan tildeles kunstnere, der har en sådan kunstnerisk produktion bag sig, at de har placeret sig afgørende som kunstner.”

Og det kan man da vist godt sige at Jon Bang Carlsen har! Uden at overdrive! Han er den danske filmkunstner, som vi på Filmkommentaren har skrevet mest om. Allan Berg har på dansk præsenteret og analyseret de mange fremragende værker fra instruktøren, jeg – Tue Steen Müller – har skrevet på engelsk om de mange gange JBC og jeg har mødtes på festivaler rundt om i Europa, hvor han været efterspurgt til masterclasses og i forbindelse med retrospektiver. Han har forfattet flere bøger og Lars Movin har skrevet den imponerende ”Jeg ville først finde sandheden”, hvor de to rejser rundt til steder i verden, hvor instruktøren har filmet.     

Statens Kunstfonds begrundelse for indstillingen:

Jon Bang Carlsens filmværk har altid stået i dialog med hvad filmkunst også kan være. Længe før dokumentargenren havde nydt nutidens bevidsthedsmæssige gennembrud og popularitet hos det brede publikum arbejdede Bang Carlsen i et dansk hovedværk som ”Før gæsterne kommer” (1984) med iscenesat dokumentarisme, hvor virkelighed og fiktion blander blod og ny virkelighed gestaltes, udfordres og indvindes. Dette personlige og skabende blik på verden udfolder sig videre i en række ligeledes personlige og essayistiske film, såsom ”Addicted to solitude” (1999) og Portræt af Gud (2001).

Det er muligt at opfatte centret i Bang Carlsens filmkunst som selve det fraværende, i forstand af dét som ikke kan ses med det blotte øje eller kameraets objektiv, men som kun kommer til syne hvis set og gengivet inde fra et eget, subjektivt rum. Derindefra hvor også beskueren kan få kastet nyt lys over sig. I den selvbiografiske skæbnefortælling ”Deja Vu” (2016), som sampler og trækker på hele Bang Carlsens oeuvre, genereres en dialog med fortiden og dens forunderlige, talende stumhed i et liv langt senere.

Bang Carlsens fortsatte livsrejse og skæbnefælleskab med selve det at fortælle i levende billeder, dette eksistentielle forsøg på at tilegne sig virkeligheden og fremvise alt det usynlige som livets landskab er vævet af, afventer fortsat hidtil ukendte egne som kun kan besøges af mod som det Jon Bang Carlsen besidder.

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


Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Directors

Mira Jargil / Christian Snderby Jepsen / Roospris

Written 09-10-2018 08:50:47 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Mira Jargil / Christian Snderby Jepsen / Roospris

I går modtog instruktørerne Mira Jargil og Christian Sønderby Jepsen årets Roos Pris for deres bidrag til dansk dokumentarfilm med denne begrundelse:

”For instruktørerne Mira Jargil og Christian Sønderby Jepsen ligger stoffet til deres fortællinger lige for. Det er i de små begivenheder og nære relationer, at de mesterligt udfolder universelle historier om livet, kærligheden og kampen for at leve det liv, man ønsker.

I ’Side om side’ af Sønderby Jepsen har to gamle naboer – den ene instruktørens far – ikke talt sammen i en halv menneskealder, uden at de helt kan huske, hvorfor de er uvenner. Men det piner dem, kan man mærke, noget må ske! Jargils 'Den tid vi har' følger ægteparret Ruth og Arne – instruktørens bedsteforældre – i deres sidste tid sammen. Ruth er døende, og Arne hjælper hende gennem den sidste tid.

Disse to tidlige værker lægger tydelige spor ud til det, der skal blive de to instruktørers signaturer i de mange film, der har berørt og underholdt os sidenhen:

Det er karakterdrevne fortællinger, der formår at forene en insisterende dvælen i de mest intime og sårbare situationer med en dramaturgisk stramhed og et visuelt overskud, der ikke lader Hollywood og Netflix noget efter.

Når Jargil og Sønderby Jepsen vælger deres hovedkarakterer, gør de det ikke let for sig selv. Det kan være helt almindelige gamle mennesker i en jysk provins i ’Til døden os skiller’, eller det kan være en ung mand med cerebral parese og talebesvær, der i 'Naturens uorden' stiller sig det mest hårrejsende spørgsmål af alle: Har jeg ret til at leve?

Det er eksistensen sat på højkant, og det er sådan, det er i Jargils og Sønderby Jepsens film. De opsøger mennesker i eksistentielle dilemmaer og skildrer dem så tæt på og med så stor autenticitet, respekt og værdighed, at vi som publikum følger dem på hele rejsen og deler deres ømhed og forundring over tilværelsens mangfoldighed og menneskets opfindsomhed og evne til at møde livets store udfordringer.”

https://www.dfi.dk/nyheder/roos-pris-2018-til-mira-jargil-og-christian-sonderby-jepsen

Vi på FILMKOMMENTAREN ønsker hjerteligt tillykke. Og vi gør det her med en lille citatsamling fra hvad vi her på siden gennem en række år har skrevet om Mira Jargils og Christian Sønderby Jepsens film:



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Categories: Cinema, TV, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

ME - at IDFA

Written 08-10-2018 21:15:37 by Tue Steen Mller

ME - at IDFA

IDFA presents a main focus program, ME, about the personal and autobiographical documentary film. Me is a selection of different cinematic expressions by filmmakers whose study of themselves is both a journey into their own private history as well as an artistic exploration…

The first paragraph in a press release from IDFA, the festival taking place in November, that announces new titles every Tuesday until then and whose competition programs will be announced October 24… In other words feeding the hungry documentarians with small bites as DOKLeipzig that starts October 29 has done with their announcement taking place on Wednesday the 10th.

ME, I thought when I saw the announcement… we have had enough of that biting my tongue when I think about my constant preaching at workshops and on this site that films have to be personal, maybe not autobiographical but with a personal touch, a personal motivation and – please – a personal handwriting, a personal style…

For that reason it is wonderful to see that the festival has chosen to show both “Father and Son” by Pawel Lozinski AND “Father and Son on a Journey” by Marcel Lozinski. It was meant to be one film by son Pawel, produced by him but father Marcel broke the agreement and insisted on making his version of a fascinating, painful and humorous car trip from Warsaw to Paris. This film is personal and has found its own expression.

Happy also that Avi Mograbi (PHOTO) is there with his “Happy Birthday, Mr.Mograbi”, the most critical, both sarcastic and satirical characterization of Israel and its policy under Bibi – it is almost 20 years old but what it describes is unfortunately still actual and even more worse than in the late nineties.

It is actually a slate of wonderful chances to re-view films by Kossakovsky (“Wednesday”), Ross McElwee (“Sherman’s March”), great to have Andrés di Tella with his masterpiece “Photographs”, Rithy Panh with “The Missing Picture” – and for me to have the chance to discover Japanese Naomi Kawase and re-view Kazuo Hara’s “Extremely Private Eros: Love Song 1974”.

Many more films, it’s very inviting this selection of 20 documentaries from IDFA.

https://www.idfa.nl/en/selection/101804/me 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Helena Třetikov: My Top 10

Written 03-10-2018 11:27:38 by Tue Steen Mller

Helena Třetikov: My Top 10

More documentary film history… chapeau for DOKLeipzig and IDFA that both festivals (more than before?) look back and not “only” take the temperature of what’s new in the documentary world. Here some words on the selection done by Czech documentary superstar (she will hate that I call her so!) Helena Třeštiková, who has been asked by IDFA to make her Top 10. The link below brings you to her article about the choice, she made, personal and with this wonderful quote by Věra Chytilová, whose film from 1963 “Something Different” is on the list: ““A film should have truth, aesthetics, intellect, feeling and a belief, because film should be true, exciting, necessary, beautiful and full of hope”.

 

Of course there must be a film by Milos Forman, “The Firemen’s Ball” (1967), and I loved her choice of Georges Rouquier, “Farrebique – The Four Seasons” from 1946, farmers in France; we had this gem in the catalogue of Statens Filmcentral (National Film Board of Denmark), no objection either to have “The Seine Meets Paris” (1957) by Ivens and Jacques Prévert, and Třeštiková reminds us about Havel, when she writes about “Citizen Havel”:



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jonas Mekas on DocAlliance

Written 02-10-2018 12:01:49 by Tue Steen Mller

Jonas Mekas on DocAlliance

 

I hurry to give you this news from Prague, where the excellent online cinema of DocAlliance keeps on offering film lovers high quality retrospectives into film history – to a very low price:

We present an extensive retrospective of Jonas Mekas, 95-year-old director straddled between Europe and the US, documentary and the avant-garde. Discover the work of the Lithuanian-American director, poet and visual artist often called the godfather of American avant-garde cinema and founder of the diary genre in documentary film.

The collection includes a cross-section of the works by Jonas Mekas which often follow a personal line. We present 13 films altogether, including The Brig about a Marine Corps jail in Japan. Following a day in the life of the inmates, the ultra-realistic film captures the tough treatment and shocking ways of physical and mental humiliation. The film won the Grand Prix at Venice Film Festival in 1964. This Side of Paradise follows the Kennedy family after the death of JFK. Jackie Kennedy decided to distract the children and hired Mekas as a film chronicler. The director spent several summer holidays at the house of Andy Warhol with the family, making a very personal film with a touch of home video and deep friendship which gradually emerged between him and the family. Made in diary style, Williamsburg, Brooklyn shows the neighborhood where Mekas settled after his arrival in the US; most of the scenes were shot between 1948 and 1951 and show the everyday life and little stories from the streets of New York. The film was screened at IFF Rotterdam.

https://dafilms.com/program/671-retrospective-jonas-mekas


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig Enthusiasm

Written 13-09-2018 21:46:07 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Enthusiasm

To meet the audience with a positive attitude is of course the best festival invitation you can make. I thought about it this morning, when receiving a newsletter from Leipzig: They have a good press office in DOK Leipzig that in tone is able to convey what the programmers want to achieve:

We finally have the first film titles for our DOK Leipzig edition 2018. Our Special



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /10

Written 08-09-2018 11:24:59 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /10

TINA RØMER: BERGMAN OG MUSIKKEN

Radioprogram i tre dele som genudsendtes 1. september på DR P2. Kan fortsat høres som podcast på

https://www.dr.dk/radio/p2/bergman-og-musikken/bergman-og-musikken-1

Her kommer derfor og stadigvæk med anbefaling af dette fornemme radioværk flere af mine notater fra min lytten til udsendelserne:

11

Det er radioseriens anden del. Peter Schepelern mener at solocellostykkerne af Johan Sebastian Bach er menneskehedens stemme. Tina Rømer er på færgen. Hun tænker på Bergmans røde jeep som har været der et utal af gange. Jeg burde citere hendes små synopser i afsnittenes begyndelse, så enkle og naturlige. Skrive dem ned. Det når jeg ikke, men husker dem som en glad forventning. Bløndal Bengtsson spiller Bach. Hun fortæller at Som i et spejl fra 1960 er indspillet på Fårö, det var sådan han kom til det sted. Indspillede et kammerspil som var det kammermusik, i et sommerhus bygget til filmen, i det indre af et skibsvrag på stranden og så med celloens søgende, tragiske stemme, menneskelig.



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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics

Baltic Sea Forum Bridges of Time

Written 07-09-2018 08:01:19 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Forum  Bridges of Time

The national premiere of “Bridges of Time” by Audrius Stonys and Kristine Briede took place Wednesday night in several cinemas in Latvia. I was in the art house cinema K-Suns in Riga, where the film was screened with English subtitles, whereas the bigger Splendid Palace cinema was for the Latvian version. Kristine Briede was there, Stonys sent a video message from Bangla Desh, three of the masters who are in the film – Ivars Seleckis, Mark Soosaar and Andres Sööt – were on stage together with producers Uldis Cekulis and Riho Västrik from  Latvia and Estonia – and it was wonderful to meet again Herz Frank and Uldis Brauns, to mention two of the legendary characters from the film, who are alive on screen. I hope that this film will travel to give inspiration to new generations of filmmakers: poetry and documentaries can go together.

During two days of training 24 film projects have been presented to a group of tutors, this morning a rehearsal will take place in the new room for pitching, a hall at the Ministry of Agriculture!

The quality level of projects is high and the pitch teams, who are preparing for tomorrow and Sunday, have been working full time to make the verbal and visual presentation go well together. There is so much talent in this part of the world.

I can only say thank you for being part of this.

Photo: Agnese Zeltiņa, the superb Forum photographer.

http://balticseadocs.lv/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /9

Written 05-09-2018 19:08:02 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /9

TINA RØMER: BERGMAN OG MUSIKKEN

Radioprogram i tre dele som genudsendtes 1. september på DR P2. Kan fortsat høres som podcast på

https://www.dr.dk/radio/p2/bergman-og-musikken/bergman-og-musikken-1

Her følger fortsat og stadigvæk med min bedste anbefaling af dette fornemme radioværk mine notater fra udsendelserne tidligere denne sommer:

6

Tina Rømer og Peter Schepelern fortsætter med at tale om musikken i Bergmans værk, nu om filmen To mennesker fra 1949 hvis svenske titel er Till glädje. Den handler om to violinister i et lille orkester og deres kærlighedsliv og den handler om orkesteret. Det er ikke nogen vigtig film i Bergmans værk, men den er central for radioprogrammet fordi den viser at musikere og musik fra begyndelsen har været særligt integreret i det samlede filmværk, og så er der her det at Bergman i sin bog Billeder i tilbageblikket skriver om sit misbrug af musik. Ubehageligt, men nødvendigt at tænke tilbage på i bogens hensynsløse selvopgør. Jeg noterer så her en længere ekskurs til Bergmans tekst:

”… I Helsingborg eksisterede der et overmåde underdimensioneret symfoniorkester, som frejdigt spillede sig gennem den store symfonilitteratur. Så ofte jeg havde tid og mulighed, overværede jeg orkesterprøverne. Som punktum for sæsonen ville man opføre Beethovens niende. Jeg fik lov til at låne partituret af dirigenten Sten Frykberg, og var i stand til at leve med i det lille orkesters og det uhonorerede, men glødende amatørkors dødsforagtende arbejde. Det var en enorm og rørende indsats. Et pragtfuldt oplæg til en film. Det lå snublende nær at omdanne teatermenneskene i min selvbiografiske film (som Bergman havde planlagt om tiden som chef på teatret i Helsingborg) til musikere og give den navnet Till glädje (dansk titel To mennesker) efter Beethovens symfoni…”

”… To mennesker er en håbløst ujævn film, men den har et par troværdige indslag. En god scene er det natlige opgør mllem Stig Olin og Maj-Britt Nilsson. Den er god, fordi Maj-Britt Nilsson spiller så kompetent. Den er ægte, fordi den på en hæderlig måde anskueliggør mine egne ægteskabelige komplikationer. Men To mennesker er også et umuligt melodrama. En skæbnesvanger primus eksploderer i filmens begyndelse, og Beethovens niende symfoni udnyttes skamløst. Jeg har for så vidt intet imod hverken melodramaet eller den såkaldte soap opera. Ugenert følelesladede muligheder skænkes den, som bruger melodramaet på den rigtige måde. Jeg kan som i Fanny og Alexander, tumle mig i total frihed. Jeg må blot hele tiden gøre mig det klart, hvor grænsen ligger til det uacceptable og komiske. Det var jeg ikke klar over i To mennesker. Sammenkoblingen af konens død og Beethovens An die Freude er sjusket og utrolig letsindig…”



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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Web

Ivars Seleckis and the Children

Written 05-09-2018 07:13:36 by Tue Steen Mller

Ivars Seleckis and the Children

Good news indeed from Riga, where I am at the Baltic Sea Docs for the rest of the week. Arriving I read on FNE News – link below – that the Latvians have done what the Lithuanians did with Arunas Matelis film “Wonderful Losers” – they took a documentary as their Oscar candidate. Here is a copy paste:

“Veteran filmmaker Ivars Seleckis’s



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Gran Hugo Olsson: That Summer

Written 03-09-2018 14:46:35 by Tue Steen Mller

Gran Hugo Olsson: That Summer

The Danish co-producer of the film, Final Cut for Real, gives this description of the film:

“”That Summer” is a feature documentary centered on the film project artist Peter Beard initiated in 1972 with Lee Radziwill about her relatives, the Beales of Grey Gardens. Lost for decades, this extraordinary footage re-emerges in a film that



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /8

Written 01-09-2018 10:24:21 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /8

TINA RØMER: BERGMAN OG MUSIKKEN

Radioprogram i tre dele GENUDSENDES I DAG 15 – 18 på DR P2

Her følger med min bedste anbefaling af dette fornemme radioværk mine notater fra udsendelserne tidligere denne sommer:

1

Første afsnit En kærlighed der ikke er gengældt i aften, fredag den 20. juli. Det kommer bag på mig, at udsendelsen kommer direkte nu mens jeg har P 2 kørende i mit køkken, jeg bliver glad, havde glædet mig, Tue Steen Müller havde gjort mig opmærksom på serien, jeg havde tænkt at finde den på computeren inde på skrivebordet. Nu er det direkte og så er det, at jeg opdager jeg radiokvaliteten, for at bestille den som podcast på computeren vil være noget helt andet. I min radio bevares nuet som tilstand. Jeg tror på at det er Tina Rømer, som taler til mig, som så ofte i Natsværmeren. Radio er nærvær, en stemme i min lille køkkenradio, til mig alene. Podcast er distance, det er som CD er i forhold til koncertsalen, begge muligheder er uundværlige, men næstbedst, men også altså: computeren er min chance og muligheden for at gentage det hele i den tænkte sammenhæng, som her er vigtig, da det er en rejse fra København til Bergmans Fårö og til musikken og hjem igen, som Tina Rømer foretager så naturligt personlig… Og jeg begynder med det samme at skrive notater i min lommebog, de følger her…

Tina Rømer

2

Her er en lille ekskurs: Jeg opdagede en beslægtet radiokvalitet ved P2 morgenandagterne fra domkirken i København som sendes direkte hver dag efter radioavisen klokken otte. Og det var fordi den præst som havde tjenesten den morgen - det var Steffen Ringgaard Andresen - er opmærksom på radiokvaliteten, tænkte jeg med ét, og det var nok fordi han lagde en ekstra kvalitet til, og det gør han hver gang ved jeg nu. Læg en uge han har tjenesten mærke til hans fine, fine behandling af teksterne. Jeg mærker i afdæmpetheden og i den moderne, ja, moderne! - eller tidssvarende måske og voksne udtale og stemmeføring en forståelse af radiomediet. Fra præstens tæt placerede mikrofon som fra et studie uden om det store kirkerums akustik direkte til min højttaler. En forståelse som uden videre fører til min således nu helt anderledes forståelse af teksternes arkitektur og indhold. Morgenandagten er med det ændret fra transmission til radiokunst, fra reportage til gudstjeneste.

3

Jeg kender Tina Rømer fra hendes programmer for en tilsvarende afdæmpethed og sprogbehandling og mediebevidsthed. For hende er opgaven med Bergman og musikken at komme tæt på det sted Bergman holdt så meget af, hvor han boede et halvt liv og igen sin sidste tid. En korsats fra Matthæuspassionen ledsager Tina Rømers dæmpede stemme, hun fortæller det begyndte med, at faderen tog ham med til opførelsen i kirken og henter fra Linn Ullmanns bog De urolige hans drøm om den store koncertsal – Bergmann drømmer han som dirigent træder ind i et vældigt højloftet rum hvor fugle flyver frit omkring og et kæmpestort symfoniorkester og tilsvarende kor sidder og står på gulvet, Bachs og Beethovens partiturer ligger på pulten, Ingmar Bergman er dirigenten, Rømer lader mig høre hvilke, serien er jo et musikprogram på en musikkanal, var Bergman ikke blevet teater- og filminstruktør og forfatter var det bestemt gået med ham som i drømmen.



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics

Baltic Sea Docs: Film Screenings

Written 22-08-2018 20:26:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Docs: Film Screenings

Time for tears in eyes again. Which I had at the premiere in Karlovy Vary

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4288/

and will definitely have, when “Bridges of Time” by Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys will open the mini-festival of the Baltic Sea Docs in Riga at Cinema K.Suns wednesday September 5. Tears from Beauty, Cinematic Excellence, Wonderful Old Masters of Baltic documentary. Clips – among others – from 235.000.000 by Uldis Brauns, do you remember the dancing helicopter and the kids on the beach?

“Bridges of Time” is one of nine films selected by the Latvian organisers of the



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOCAlliance: 1968 online

Written 20-08-2018 18:27:59 by Tue Steen Mller

DOCAlliance: 1968 online

 

DOCAlliance, the favourite vod of filmkommentaren, the place for creative documentaries published this press release today:

Films by Jan Němec and Karel Vachek about the revolutionary Prague Spring 1968 are online at DAFilms.com

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the Warsaw Pact in 1968, DAFilms.com presents two remarkable films focusing on the Prague Spring. The Ferrari Dino Girl by Czechoslovak New Wave classic Jan Němec and Elective Affinities by Karel Vachek include authentic scenes as well as a re-enactment of the period events.

 



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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 /8

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

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /8

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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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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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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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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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Web

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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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Web

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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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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/


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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