Filmkommentaren

Sarajevo FF: Documentary Winners

Written 17-08-2018 08:42:25 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Documentary Winners

Happy to say that I agree with the competent decisions made by this jury: Leena Pasanen (Festival Director of DOK Leipzig, Germany), Luciano Rigolini (Artist-photographer, producer, Switzerland), Marina Gumzi (Producer/ Scriptwriter, Slovenia). I give you the links for the reviews I made during the festival 

HEART OF SARAJEVO FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM

SRBENKA

Director: Nebojša Slijepčević 

Croatia 

Financial award, in the amount of 3,000 €, sponsored by Government of Switzerland.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4308/

SPECIAL JURY MENTION

NINE MONTH WAR/ KILENC HÓNAP HÁBORÚ

Director: László Csuja 

Hungary, Qatar

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4315/

HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD

ARAF (PHOTO)

Turkey, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Director: Didem Pekün 

Best film of the Competition Programme – Documentary Film dealing with the subject of human rights. Award in the amount of 3,000 €, sponsored by Government of Switzerland.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4316/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: DocuTalents from the East

Written 16-08-2018 22:48:30 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: DocuTalents from the East

Here comes a copy-paste of the press release from Jihlava FF. The presentation of the projects took place at the same conference room in Hotel Europe as the Rough Cut Boutique, this time, good for the presenters, they were in spotlight, it helped to create some passion from the very diverse group of people, who were selected by Marek Hovorka and his festival team. I was a member of the jury, so no personal comments would be fair. Here comes the text:

"Ten outstanding documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe, planned for theatrical release during the upcoming 12 months – the Docu Talents from the East –  were presented yesterday at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Projects from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine made it to the final selection of Docu Talents from the East 2018.

The Docu Talent Award was newly granted to the most promising projects. The international jury selected two winners: An absurd tragicomical Ukrainian-Belarussian documentary placed in today’s Crimea My Granny from Mars directed by Alexandar Mihalkovich and produced by Volia Chajkouskaya, and an intimate artistic documentary film Birthday directed and produced by Hilal Baydarov from Azerbaijan. The awards are accompanied with financial prize 2,500 USD for each project, in cooperation with the festival’s partner Current Time TV.

The jury gave the following statements:

“For a choice of charismatic protagonists, treated in a highly cinematic way, and for the sense of absurdity in a difficult and unstable environment.”
 

(My Granny from Mars)

 (PHOTO)

“To a new voice that reveals a pure sense of time, by capturing the universal nature of reality.”

(Birthday)

http://www.dokument-festival.com/industry/docu-talents/2018


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: Rough Cut Boutique Awards

Written 16-08-2018 22:07:31 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Rough Cut Boutique Awards

Yesterday morning the Rough Cut Boutique presented the five projects that under the leadership of Rada Sesic and Martichka Bozhilova were developed with the tutorial help of people like editor Tom Ernst, producer Stefano Tealdi, commissioning editor Hanka Kastelicova, Katrine Kilgaard from CPH:DOX, Aleksandra Derewienko from Cat&Docs in Paris, Jenny Westergaard from YLE Finland and others.

The presentation took place at a conference room of Hotel Europe, not the best place as the presenters were standing in almost total darkness, no spotlight on them, which made the atmosphere a bit sleepy. The verbal presentation (I was told that they were trained in pitching, sorry could not see that) was followed by clips/scenes from the rough cuts. Have to confess that it is difficult to get a true impression of a film from the visual material.

There were awards for the best projects. They went like this:

- 20.000 EUR postproduction award by Digital Cube Romania: DAUGHTER OF CAMORRA, Siniša Gačić

- IDFA Award – the winner will be fully invited to IDFA 2018: DIARY OF A SERIOUS OFFENDER, Danilo Ceković

- HBO Europe Award – 2000 EUR: DAUGHTER OF CAMORRA, Siniša Gačić

- CAT&Docs Award  - 2000 EUR: THE MAGIC LIFE OF V, Tonislav Hristov

- DOK Preview at DOK Leipzig 2018 and visit to the Festival and presentation: ONE OF US, Đuro Gavran

There was a big quality difference among the five with the Finnish/Bulgarian collaboration (Kaarle Aho and Tonislav Hristov) on a high professional level (superb camera work), whereas the others were beginners or less experienced.

Luckily there was a guest project that I knew about from way back, a film – again - dealing with the past, “Aktion DB” (PHOTO); Dana Budisavljevic is the director who pitched together with producer Miljenka Cogelja. An extraordinary story about an extraordinary woman Diana Budisavljevic, who during WW2 helped children and women out of the concentration camps set up by the Germans and their Croatian partners, the Ustashas. It’s 10000 children and the film is a docufiction using an actress to play DB, sequences with survivors who go the places, where the camps were and shocking archive material from the camps. The director has – from the scenes I saw – found her form, she has made her aesthetic choice, b/w and colour mixed, the b/w maybe tinted a bit, it looked impressive.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Hulahop+films&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: The Story of Amir

Written 16-08-2018 15:25:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: The Story of Amir

There he was on screen and in persona among the audience, 22 year old Amir Śeśic, whose story was presented by Mirna Buljugic from BIRN, that stands for Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. And what a story: Amir has never seen his father, who was one of the victims of the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. When he was 3 months old, his mother left him, he grew up in an orphanage, was with a new family, fought to understand what a mother could be, does not want to have anything to do with his own mother AND has written a book.

It took me 2 years to write it, he said, the young energetic man, who is now going around launching the book, that many at the presentation done by Mirna Buljugic told him to make in an English version as well. Buljugic told us that the book is a very emotional experience, describing also what the stay in the orphanage meant for Amir, who regularly visits his father’s grave in Srebrenica.

http://birn.eu.com/network/birn-bosnia-and-herzegovina/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: Dealing With the Past Stories

Written 16-08-2018 11:05:37 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Dealing With the Past Stories

Back in Copenhagen. Thinking of the many documentary adventures I take with me from the Sarajevo Film Festival. To be part of the training team of representatives from ngo’s and human rights organizations was the experience for me. Engaged, committed people who every day deal with human beings who suffer from the consequences of the wars in the 1990’es – and try to help them. Respect!

In an article by Vladan Petkovic for Screen Daily, link below, the stories delivered to a full hall Monday afternoon at the Hotel Europe are described. Read that and let me introduce the panel on the photo:

From right colleague tutor and here moderator Robert Zuber and on stage Goran Zoric, Edin Ramulic, Mediha Haskic who translated for Edin, Augustina Rahmanovic, Sabiha Husic and Mirna Buljugic.

https://www.screendaily.com/news/sarajevos-true-stories-market-opens-competition-for-producers/5131637.article


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: Talk With Mila Turajlic

Written 15-08-2018 08:41:45 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Talk With Mila Turajlic

The theme was how to deal with archives in a creative way; it was a bit more than one hour skype conversation with Mila Turajlic talking to us from her home in Belgrade - the flat those of us, who have seen "The Other Side of Everything" know so well. Turajlic was excused not to be in Sarajevo, because of illness but as the fighter she is, she had prepared clips for the presentation and the conversation went very well giving the audience of primarily young people inspiration to their film work.

The first clip brought us back to the film Turajlic made in 2010, "Cinema Komunisto", the scene from the partisan feature film (Battle of Neretva, 1969) where Tito has given the order



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Sarajevo FF: Talk With Sinisa juricic

Written 14-08-2018 11:12:12 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Talk With Sinisa juricic

As part of the "Dealing With the Past" there was a talk with producer Siniša Juricic, who co-produced and was a character in "Chris, the Swiss", a film that was taken to the Cannes Film Festival, a film not loved by Croatian film and tv authorities, they don't like to see it as a film from Croatia, but not the only film that Juricic has made as a producer; he has not been able to get funding from the Croatian Audiovisual Fund for three years. He was service provider for the Danish production "15 Minutes. The Dvor Massacre" and for this he was "accused of being a traitor" and "blacklisted" at the Fund.

The talk had the long title "Working with films that tackle sensitive issuses from the past" and Juricic, well prepared, had brought along clips/trailers from his filmography: "Dead Man Walking", "Velvet Terrorists", the mentioned two films, "Houston, we have a Problem" as well as a clip from a new film about a cartoonist, who was killed by the partisans in Belgrade 1944. It looked very fascinating. Juricic, interviewed by Robert Zuber, said that he now "seriously considers to make comedies" - I don't believe him having seen his talent as a producer not only for the mentioned films but also for fine works as "Cash and Marry", one of my favourites from my time at the training programme Ex Oriente, and "Sofia's Last Ambulance" that is a small masterpiece. What comes out of a talk like this is sadness, well anger that the Croatian film and tv authorities are so scared of anything that is controversial and finds it necessary to blacklist a talent like Juricic. At the discussion after "Srbenka", the director Nebojša Slijepcevic was asked if the film would end up on Croatian television. With a smile, he said that this would not happen. Something is rotten, not only in the state of Denmark...  


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: Full House for Docs

Written 14-08-2018 10:08:15 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Full House for Docs

 

Sarajevo hosts an amazing film festival. The variety of programs and projects is overwhelming. Films in many cinemas, discussions and presentations after the screenings, and in the Hotel Europe where workshops take place and the Atrium has full houses for presentations linked to industry matters.

I am happy to say that documentaries have a visible and important place in



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Laila Pakalnina: Fishing in the River of Time

Written 11-08-2018 14:39:42 by Tue Steen Mller

Laila Pakalnina: Fishing in the River of Time

The Latvian filmmaker, who has made feature and documentary films, that have gone all over the world, who has made long and short films and who indeed has her own style, is quoted from a blog that advertises a workshop that she leads in Poland in October:

– Every film for me means risk. I am not craftsman; I am not delivering certain product. I am making film and that means breathtaking balancing between shit and art. I hope for art of course. And I admire this risk. As for me this is the only way how to make film… – I call my method of work “Fishing in the river of time”. As life is extremely talented, we just put camera, set composition and wait. And life happens. So film happens. Sometimes immediately, sometimes in hours and even days…

– I like to make films on simple subjects – delivery of the mail, bicycle road, just a bridge etc. In fact like in very beginning of film history brothers Lumiere did – Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat; Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory etc. Maybe it is because filming simple things or actions you always catch something more, something meaningful. As for example in the shot with postwoman there is something more than just postwoman, there is universe – because it is documentary, it is not created by me but by life. I am just fixing this universe from the certain angle in certain framing…

Film Spring Workshop will take place from the 17th – 26th of October in Krakow, Poland.

The still is from a film that Pakalnina is finishing right now, “Spoon”

https://filmspringopen.eu/en/laila-pakalnina-to-tutor-the-documentary-group-at-film-spring-workshop/

https://filmspringopen.eu/en/register/


Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Nuri Bilge Ceylan: Turkey Cinemascope

Written 10-08-2018 21:21:19 by Tue Steen Mller

Nuri Bilge Ceylan: Turkey Cinemascope

This is a copy paste of a text from the website of the Sarajevo Film Festival to show you a photo taken by the wonderful Turkish director:

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, one of today’s most acclaimed filmmakers, will receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival. Ceylan will receive the Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to the art of film and support of Sarajevo Film Festival. Ceylan is also the honorary guest of the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival's Tribute to programme.

The opening of the exibition Nuri Bilge Ceylan: Turkey Cinemascope will be held on Saturday, 11th August 2018 at noon, in Art Galerry of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ceylan’s photographs, just like his films, encourage the observer to think. They provide no obvious answers, but rather mere hints of emotion. The expressions on the faces of his subjects – both in film and in photography – are always ambivalent, reflecting the complexity of life and the human soul, and confirming Ceylan’s status as a talented narrator and a profoundly important and ethical artist.

https://www.sff.ba/en


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Didem Pekn: Araf

Written 09-08-2018 14:14:33 by Tue Steen Mller

Didem Pekn: Araf

Surprise me, give me something extraordinary, make the form important, challenge me, make me learn something new. This Turkish film, 45 minutes long, fulfilled the wishes of this old documentary addict. It has many layers and instead of me trying to give a summary of the content, here is the description from the filmmakers as I read it after watching the vimeo link:

Araf is an essayistic road movie and diary of a ghostly character, Nayia, who



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Lszl Csuja: Nine Month War

Written 08-08-2018 21:32:39 by Tue Steen Mller

Lszl Csuja: Nine Month War

The film, that has its world premiere at the Sarajevo Film Festival August 14, is a psychological drama featuring a young man and his mother with the young man’s girlfriend as an important side-character. I wrote man but take a look at the picture, he is a playful boy, happy, full of life, in love with the girl, he wants to marry her, he belongs to the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, gets drafted and chooses to go with the Ukrainian army. Much against his mother’s wish. She is the one, who suffers, wants him to stay at home, is happy but worried, when he is home for leave and relieved, when he finally finishes his military duty. After nine months, a reborn child.

The playful boy becomes a disillusioned young man. And the film shows that, indeed it does show, what damage on the soul a war can do. Letting us viewers look at his face. Built up in a very simple way, the film is based on shootings from the family’s house in a village, and the cell phone material that Jani, the son, shoots, when sent to the war between Ukraine and Russia. A lot is the soldier’s life - fun, shooting his pals, and other’s is deadly serious footage from the combat zone in Eastern Ukraine. The story he tells about the pal who is killed next to him is what changes him completely. It sent him to hospital and made him strongly wanting to go home “missing mum”.

At home he is lying on the sofa watching the material he shot, he is bored and does not know, what to do with his life. It seems like he does not want to marry the girlfriend he proposed to nine months earlier – on camera.

The return of a soldier to normal life, there are loads of films dealing with this topic, fiction and documentary, however this one has an interesting character approach – mother and son/girlfriend – and a clever set-up with the two very different cinematic takes, with the calm observation of the family life in the village contrasting the nervous, hectic soldier life shot by the young boy turned man - that shifts from being just a funny boy-game to a question of life and death, leaving scars on the soul.

Hungary, 2018, 73 mins. 


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Paul Pauwels Stops as EDN Director

Written 08-08-2018 14:55:02 by Tue Steen Mller

Paul Pauwels Stops as EDN Director

After 6 years as director of EDN (European Documentary Network) Paul Pauwels has decided to leave the association that is looking for a new man/woman to lead the membership organisation with around 1000 members, deadline for applications September 7 - much more on that you can find on the website of EDN - http://edn.network/news/news-story/article/edn-is-hiring-a-new-director/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=111&cHash=e2121e1f089ed874a75254a72cbd48ee

Paul has on the same site given his reasons to resign:



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Sarajevo FF: Dealing With the Past

Written 07-08-2018 13:28:16 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Dealing With the Past

This is a copy paste of a text from the website of the festival, written by Maša Markovic, the programme manager of the Dealing with the Past project of the Sarajevo FF supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung:

In 1991, Christian Würtenberg, a 26-year-old reporter from Switzerland and the protagonist of Anja Kofmel's feature-length debut CHRIS THE SWISS, took a train from his hometown to war-torn Yugoslavia. In his diary, he noted that the sense of war became noticeable with every passing mile. "With each stop,” he wrote, “the train empties out a little more, until only a few shady characters remain."

More than two decades later, it feels as though we are still on that same ride – except that now, with every stop, the train gets more crowded. The seats



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Momir Matovic: TAM 4500

Written 05-08-2018 22:55:01 by Tue Steen Mller

Momir Matovic: TAM 4500

Oh, it’s lovely this short film by veteran Momir Matovic from Montenegro. A 22 minutes love declaration to a small group of people somewhere in his country with the vehicle TAM 4500 as the car that transports kid(s) to school, goods to the grocer, flour to the old woman, hay to the younger woman, wood for heating in winter to the man. Risto is the name of the driver, who tells us that the car is 65 years old and that he has been having it for decades, helping the others and never himself. You believe him in this gem of a film that has dialogues the director has asked them to say – life philosophy at the purest - reminds me so much of early documentaries by Danish Jon Bang Carlsen, it’s the same kind of love to people, who normally do not appear in the media, a love expressed through images and the small story. Absolutely the same as seen before in films by Matovic, do you remember “Meters of Life”, the one about the old deaf mute man, who leaves his home to walk long down to the cinema to watch films in a very interactive manner.

Dear festival people all over, show this film, your audience will love it, it shows hard life with a big heart.

I have met Matovic a couple of times, hope to see him in Sarajevo, to say hvala to him and maybe drink a glass of Montenegrin Vranac with him.

Montenegro, 2018, 23 mins.


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Senka Domanović: Occupied Cinema

Written 05-08-2018 10:40:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Senka Domanović: Occupied Cinema

… and a review of the third film praised by Sarajevo FF documentary programmer, Rada Sesic who in her catalogue foreword writes: … The debut feature length film by Serbian new talent Senka Domanovic, Occupied Cinema, with which we open our Competition section, succeeds so well to show not only the drama of the months-long protests against the closing of the oldest Belgrade cinema but to reflect the temperature of the society, especially among the urban young population…

I agree with the programmer, it’s a powerful film that makes me sad and (a



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Mladen Kovacevic: 4 Years In 10 Minutes

Written 04-08-2018 14:13:55 by Tue Steen Mller

Mladen Kovacevic: 4 Years In 10 Minutes

I made the decision to take a look at the three documentaries praised for their editing by Sarajevo FF programmer Rada Sesic. After “Srbrenka” here comes my comments to “4 Years In 10 Minutes”. Sesic wrote this:  

“Mladen Kovacevic… is lucidly experimenting with someone else’s quite personal amateur footage and is confronting the audience with the notion of life and death.”

She refers to the material brought back from a Mount Everest expedition by Dragan Jacimovic, who reached the top in May 2000. It is amateur footage of quite bad quality and it is quotes from the diary of the climber, personal reflections the whole way through, put on the screen so it covers the whole picture. Again and again, quite a disturbing and boring cinematic decision, I have to confess was my impression until we get to the top with Jacimovic 36 mins. into the film, where we are with him, who is alone with no one to share his success and with huge problems in breathing. He shows the Yugoslav and Serbian flag and one from a sponsor I guess, “I am spitting blood”, 4 years in 10 minutes. This is where the film lives, were the viewer is invited to be present.

And then he has to hurry to go down again to get oxygen and his texts on the screen explain about hallucinations and about being unconscious; there is no pride in the texts it’s about life and death as Rada Sesic wrote.

The film was awarded as the best Serbian documentary at the Beldocs festival in Belgrade and it was premiered at Visions du Réel.

Serbia, 2018, 63 mins.


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Sarajevo FF Documentaries

Written 01-08-2018 19:15:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF Documentaries

The festival that starts August 10 and continues until August 17 has again this year an impressive competition programme put together, again, and of course, by Rada Sesic, who is also the mastermind (together with Martichka Bozhilova) behind the Rough Cut Boutique for projects close to be finished. Many of which when finished ends up in the competition.

16 films have been selected, among them a handful of shorts.

I have taken a quote from Rada Sesic’s introduction to the film program – here it is, and I will before the festival review the three films mentioned, the first one to be “Srbenka”:

… In some way, this year’s selection also celebrates the importance of creative editing. Obviously, the editing process is crucial for many documentaries for finding the narrative and establishing the proper rhythm for a particular narrative, however, this year we have several films that are exactly thought through and created during that stage. One of those is the brilliantly edited and through editing smartly directed Srbenka (Photo) by Croatian maker Nebojsa Slijepcevic that participated at the Docu Rough Cut Boutique last year in Sarajevo. Similarly, films that are done from loads of material as the result of a long process of following an event certainly require a miraculous editor. The debut feature length film by Serbian new talent Senka Domanovic, Occupied Cinema, with which we open our Competition section, succeeded so well to show not only the drama of the months-long protests against the closing of the oldest Belgrade cinema but to reflect the temperature of the society, especially among the urban young population. Another Serbian maker who is daringly challenging different documentary textures in each new film and regularly gets recognition at the European film scene, is Mladen Kovacevic. In his 4 years in 10 minutes, he is lucidly experimenting with someone else’s quite personal amateur footage and is confronting the audience with the notion of life and death.

https://www.sff.ba/en/news/10819/competition-programme-documentary-film-2018


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Nebojsa Slijepcevic: Srbenka

Written 01-08-2018 18:43:15 by Tue Steen Mller

Nebojsa Slijepcevic: Srbenka

I can only echo what Sarajevo FF documentary programmer Rada Sesic writes above about this film that has already won the DocAlliance Award, announced it was in Cannes: … brilliantly edited and through editing smartly directed…

Background for the film and the theatre play that is followed, taken from the production company’s website:

“In the winter of 1991. a 12-year old Serbian girl (Aleksandra Zec) was murdered in Zagreb. A quarter of century later director Oliver Frljić is working on a theatre play about the case. Rehearsals become a collective psychotherapy, and the 12-year old actress Nina feels as if the war had never ended.”

It’s done many times before, it’s difficult, it demands a clever director and editor, and an interesting theatre play director. Oliver Frljić is one, it is fascinating to follow how he works with the actors, how they involve their own experiences in a post-war Croatia, were nationalism is strong and where right-wing media objected to the play: When will Croatian kids (killed in the war) get a theatre play. Frljić is harassed and wants his actors to react to the criticism of the play in the media. They don’t because “then we’re giving them space, they don´t deserve”.

The film lives because of the excellent cinematography, the many close-ups of the 12 year old Nina, and because of the director and his emotions, and the many voice-offs are given beautiful space with images from an empty stage. An intense film with a tone, and a distance via the theatre play, an invitation to reflection. 

http://restarted.hr/en/movies.php?recordID=163

Croatia, 2018, 72 mins.


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Dokufest Kosovo 2018

Written 29-07-2018 15:01:28 by Tue Steen Mller

Dokufest Kosovo 2018

Three important film festivals in August in the Balkan region. I have visited them all, in Sarajevo, Skopje (Makedox) and Dokufest. Will present them all on this site, with pleasure, the one in Sarajevo on location.

But first Dokufest in Kosovo, that starts August 3 and runs until August 11 with a variety of great offers to those, who come to the cosy Prizren. And – take a look at the program and its sections – a festival that can inspire



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Docs at Venice International FF

Written 26-07-2018 13:39:52 by Tue Steen Mller

Docs at Venice International FF

Docs at Venice International FF. The festival (29/8-08/9) announced its program yesterday and I went to search documentaries in the “Out of Competition” section, where they are placed.

Ten titles – as the festival puts it – by established directors: Amos Gitai, Victor Kosakovsky, Emir Kusturica, Sergei Loznitsa, Ron Mann, Francesca Mannocchi & Alessio Romenzi, Errol Morris, Giorgio Treves, Tsai Ming-Liang and Frederick Wiseman.

From the latter, the 88 year old American master of observational documentary, comes “Monrovia, Indiana”, 2 hours and 23 minutes, I stole this description from the internet:



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DOKLeipzig Opens with Gorbachev, Herzog and Singer

Written 24-07-2018 15:28:28 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKLeipzig Opens with Gorbachev, Herzog and Singer

It’s a scoop for the DOK Leipzig festival, edition 61 (!) to have “Meeting Gorbachev” as the opening film on the 29th of October.

And to have Werner Herzog present to talk about the film and attend screenings of 



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Odesa International FF

Written 22-07-2018 15:16:12 by Tue Steen Mller

Odesa International FF

… ended last night and two documentaries reviewed on this site were awarded:

“Delta” (PHOTO) by Ukrainian Oleksandr Techynski got main award in the category “National Competition. Features”. I saw it at DOK Leipzig last year, where it was in the “Next Masters Competition”. A quote from the review: “… It is multilayered, it has a clear aesthetic choice with a skilled camerawork that suits the theme or rather the location, it’s a Film: the delta of the Danube, a kind of Klondyke, where people live under harsh chaotic conditions and where men with worn faces struggle their way through the reed that they harvest to sheaf, to bring in to be sold…”

And Alisa Kovalenko’s “Home Games” got first prize in the “European Documentary Competition”. A quote from the review: “… The film lives from its ability to create a feeling of presence in the situations with Alina and the kids. Here there are fine, often poetic moments in the claustrophobia of the small flat. On the football pitch, it is not poetry that reigns, when the coach states to the girls that they have “to die on the pitch”, a sentence which will probably be used many times the next month in a neighbouring country (world championship in Russia).

And another quote from the press release from the festival: “… Janina Sokolova and Oleh Paniuta reminded everyone that the hunger strike of Oleg Sentsov has been lasting for 69 days already as for 21st of July. ”The OIFF and all of us wish him to stay strong and to come back to his artistic occupation to the native land.”, - Janina Sokolova said. And as well as at every screening and the Opening ceremony there was a special seat reserved for the Ukrainian director/political prisoner at the Closing Ceremony.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4258/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4073/

https://oiff.com.ua/en/festival/news/urochista-tseremonija-zakrittja-9-go-omkf.html


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IDFA 2018

Written 20-07-2018 15:03:51 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA 2018

IDFA – November 14-25 2018 – has sent out a Newsletter “for Industry” revealing that “this year (we) will present an inspiring, diverse program featuring many impressive screenings… led by our new artistic director Orwa Nyrabia”.

With a click I went to discover what were the “new program sections and other changes to the festival”. Here are some of them with my comments and questions:

FEWER films in total with only 12 films in each competition category… to be



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Nicolas Wagnires: Hotel Jugoslavia

Written 19-07-2018 22:41:56 by Tue Steen Mller

Nicolas  Wagnires: Hotel Jugoslavia

Since the beginning of this century I have visited Belgrade once per year – as readers of this site will know because of reports from the Magnificent7 documentary festival. Every year one of our tours for lunch goes to wonderful Zemun at the the Danube, and to go there we have passed the Hotel Jugoslavija. What is the story of the hotel, I have asked local hosts. Ahh, it used to be important in Tito’s time but after his death and after Yugoslavia stopped being Yugoslavia, it stopped being important. Were the short answers you get in a car passing by the huge building.

Now I know much more thanks to the film of Nicolas Wagnières, his first long documentary. His mother was born and lived in the country until the sixties, bringing him to visit, he became fascinated, fell in love with the ideas that were once behind the non-aligned country – unity, brotherhood, collectiveness and self-management.

In stylized images, with constant camera movements through the empty hotel, beautiful as it was, then totally in ruins and built up again, but not totally, once a superb hotel built on the order of Tito, in 1969, a hotel where top politicians and celebrities checked in, placed beautifully in New Belgrade, then later in the 1990’es home for criminals, bombed by NATO in 1999, as Arkan and his gang was supposed to operate from there… he set up a casino, and there is still a casino there, I was there a couple of years ago, super posh with no soul.

Wagnières makes the hotel a symbol for a country falling apart, he has interviews with his mother, with people working at the hotel, he goes from images from inside the hotel to interviews, to propaganda films, to archive footage showing the mourning that followed Tito’s death in 1980, but he also includes clips from fiction films, one of them a recent action film, where the hotel is blown up. And there is Milosevic with his nationalism.

Wagnières says that he during a decade has come back to the city and the hotel and that he has filmed “pour garder and pour regarder”. He conveys his point of view very much through his personal voice off - one of the best sequences is the interview with the mother, who remembers how people stood together after the ww2, eager to build a new society of unity and brotherhood, values that are no longer part of the Serbian society. Wonderful propaganda footage.

The film is not deep, it is not an analysis of the history of a country, there is too much "it was much better before", but the director is an outsider, his style and approach is to be respected, and as I have seen and experienced Belgrade during the years of visiting, I can only share the director’s and Belgrade friends worry for what is happening with the city and its development, when you see the glass skyscrapers popping up at the water front. Which he captures well at the end of the film.

Switzerland/France, 2017, 78 mins.

https://hotel-jugoslavija-film.com/en/home-an/


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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Peter Kerekes: Occupation 1968

Written 17-07-2018 13:54:23 by Tue Steen Mller

Peter Kerekes: Occupation 1968

A Russian comes to the passport control in a Western European country. Occupation asks the passport official? No No, answers the Russian, just visiting…

A classic joke that I dare put as the beginning of this review of the omnibus film, with Peter Kerekes as the main producer. 5 films, 5 directors from the 5 Warsaw Pact countries that occupied Czechoslovakia in August 1968. 5 films seen from the point of view of those, who took part in the occupation. Excellent idea and excellently performed even if, as with all omnibus films I am afraid, the difference in style and quality is sometimes disturbing.

From me as a visitor to Prague during the Prague Spring in 1968 months before the invasion, with several visits to the city during the communist times and with tears in my eyes when the velvet revolution took place in 1989 and I saw Dubcek and Havel saluting and being saluted by the population from the balcony in Prague… Thanks for dealing with the past.  

I put Kerekes at the top of this text and included the joke as it is obvious that



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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

Mansky Wins in Karlovy Vary

Written 10-07-2018 09:49:55 by Tue Steen Mller

Mansky Wins in Karlovy Vary

The winner of the documentary competition at the festival in Karlovy Vary was – no surprise – “Putin’s Witnesses”, which I did not manage to watch while at the Czech festival, that had – according to competent sources – a good documentary section. I take a bite of the review at Cineeuropa, written by Vladan Petkovic:

…With Mansky's approach, the film might as well have been titled Putin and I, as his closeness to the Russian ruler during that period provides for unprecedented access and remarkable insight. You would be hard pushed to find such intimate and close-up footage of the president in his early days elsewhere. But what Mansky does best here is showing us the reasons for Putin's popularity and detailing his rise and gradual evolution into the autocrat that he is today. While the president will still essentially remain a mystery to us mere mortals, Mansky's film brings us much closer to him than, say, Oliver Stone's panegyric The Putin Interviews..

http://cineuropa.org/en/newsdetail/356761


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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

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

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

Aleksandar Reljic: Enkel

Written 26-06-2018 12:11:05 by Tue Steen Mller

Aleksandar Reljic: Enkel

Enkel is German for grandson – and that is what Rainer Höß is. His grandfather was Rudolf Höß, commandant in the Auschwitz concentration camp for three and a half year from 1940. He was the one behind the expansion of the camp to be divided into three areas and for the development of the most efficient – gas and burning - way for the mass murders. At the Nürnberg trials Höß expressed:

“I commanded Auschwitz until 1 December 1943, and estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease, making a total of about 3,000,000 dead…”

Another holocaust story… I thought, when executive producer of the film



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Tal Amiran: Sand Men

Written 25-06-2018 12:22:48 by Tue Steen Mller

Tal Amiran: Sand Men

We met at Amdocs festival in Palm Springs, where the English director showed his fine short documentary “Seven Days a Week” about a man, who sells newspapers in a street of London.

Now the director is back in the streets with “Sand Men”, a touching social documentary with three Romanian men, who have left their country, where no job was available for them, ending up on knees on the pavement skillfully making their sand dog, in all kind of weather, collecting coins from people passing by - money to be sent back to their families, to provide for them. One of them has his family with him, he and his wife and their child sleep in a car.

“I suffer for a good cause”, one of them says, “the family”.

The director has made interviews with the three; voices are put over images that follow their artistic work. It’s precisely edited, this slice of reality from a Europe 2018.

The documentary has been at more than 30 festivals with several awards.

UK, 14 mins., 2017

http://talamiran.com/


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Ji.hlava IDFF 22: Memory as Theme

Written 23-06-2018 16:59:36 by Tue Steen Mller

Ji.hlava IDFF 22: Memory as Theme

Yesterday festival director of Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival in Czech Republic announced the theme of the 22nd festival, that takes place October 25-30: Memory.

“Numerous documentary filmmakers focus on historical events, record testimonies, creating a map of personal memory. Actually, anything that is captured by camera lenses will be preserved for future generations, only the recording media are always new and different. Places and things have their own memory, too,” said Hovorka in connection with a presentation of the festival’s visual design, see the poster above.

The artist behind the poster is Slovak Juraj Horváth, who has written this poem:

I don’t collect, I just find
Used, 
Bleached, 
Cracked, 
Worn, 
Dusty, 
Broken, 
Decayed...
Objects.
I place them next to each other, on top of each other.
I slightly shape them, 
Combine and complete their stories.
Soft documentation.
Story seemingly falling into place,
But I also lay traps, false tracks.
I exaggerate, steal others’ memories.
To get rid of my enemy,
To train my imagination.

Furthermore, exciting, what will come out from his hands and eyes: Jean-Luc Godard has agreed to make the festival spot for the festival. Will be premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on July 2. His latest work, “Le Livre d’Image” will be screened in Jihlava.

http://www.dokument-festival.com/news-detail/41890%7CMemory-Godard-Jihlava%2521


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Magnificent7 Closing/ Sanna Salmenkallio

Written 17-06-2018 12:14:01 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Closing/ Sanna Salmenkallio

The closing film of the 2018 edition of the Magnificent7 Festival for European documentaries in Belgrade was Finnish “Entrepreneur” by Virpi Suutari with music composed by Sanna Salmenkallio, who was there to introduce the film that had the highest amount of spectators of the seven magnificent films shown, 876, in the new venue of the festival, Kombank Dvorana at the centre of Belgrade on the Nikola Passic Square – Pasic (1846-1926) was prime minister of Serbia and Yugoslavia and mayor of Belgrade.

Sanna Salmenkallio talked briefly about the film, received on behalf of the director Virpi Suutari the traditional BelMedic Award, a diploma and money, and was welcomed by a local violinist, who played a piece from the film´s music score.

And I – with the 875 other spectators – sat down to enjoy the film with a



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Magnificent7 Workshop with the Swedes

Written 17-06-2018 10:21:13 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Workshop with the Swedes

… Malla Grapengiesser, Per Bifrost and Alexander Rynéus, the trio behind “Giants and the Morning After”, was what we in Danish call “hyggelig” with Zoran Popovic as “hyggeonkel” (uncle), asking questions about Ydre, the small society 300 km south of Stockholm towards Malmø. Malla, who is from Ydre, and who was the director and producer, with the two young men doing the camera, had in the beginning the idea to make a series, she showed the material shot to film consultant Cecilia Lidin at the Swedish Film Institute, who was not able to support a series. “We did a lot of interviews in the beginning but ended up not using them”, she said. “It was basically a wide and broad idea and we wanted to capture the mood of a place, where life goes on with all its contrasts”. “We were there to shoot 19 times and ended up with 200 hours of material”. “We aimed at creating a fairy tale atmosphere in the film”.

“Through Folkets Bio we had 30 screenings in different small places in Sweden and the screenings



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Wonderful Losers and Ancient Woods Win

Written 14-06-2018 19:24:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Wonderful Losers and Ancient Woods Win

Last night the Lithuanian Film Academy presented the annual Silver Crane Awards and there were appreciations for two of the outstanding recent documentaries, ”Wonderful Losers: A Different World” by Arunas Matelis and ”The Ancient Woods” (Photo) by Mindaugas Survila.

Both of them reviewed on this site, links below.

Arunas Matelis film was the Best Documentary, had the best composer (Alberto Lucendo) and got the Audience Award. Mindaugas Survila got the award for best cinematography and the Best Professional Work Award went to the film’s Saulius Urbanavičius and Jonas Maksvytis.

Both films are travelling the world to festivals and have had an enormous success in cinemas in Lithuania – all together around 50.000 tickets sold for the two films.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4086/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4048/


Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Workshop: Simon Lereng Wilmont

Written 14-06-2018 13:33:56 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Workshop: Simon Lereng Wilmont

With few well placed questions by festival director Zoran Popovic, director of “The Distant Barking of Dogs” Danish Simon Lereng Wilmont performed a fine 2 hour workshop, sharing with the participants the doubts he had had when filming in Eastern Ukraine, and the decisions to be made. Being asked about the final sequence, which is shot with her mobile phone by the babushka, the granny, Aleksandra is her name, Simon said, that he had made the decision to have it there NOT to end with a “happy ending” = granny and the boy Oleg sitting calmly in the landscape. She actually shot several scenes of the kids and their reactions, when bombs were falling, Simon said, but if I had put more in, it had ended being a war film and that was not the idea! The scene shows that Yarik is not as used to being in the war zone as Oleg.

Simon told about his two previous short documentaries that had children as characters – one about the son of a sumo wrestler and one about children fencing – and how he had problems getting funding for the film at the Danish Film Institute; should it go to the documentary consultants and/or the children film consultant. It helped, when the two short films won Al Jazeera awards that enabled the director and the producer Monica Hellstrøm from the company Final Cut for Real to start the research and casting. “I wanted a boy who lives in the shadow of the war”, Simon said, “how do you feel when you are afraid”, he asked Oleg, who answered in a way that made it easy for the director to make him the protagonist.

Funding-wise the film was pitched at Nordisk Panorama and later at IDFA in Amsterdam, where



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Scott Barley: Sleep Has Her House

Written 14-06-2018 10:44:30 by Tue Steen Mller

Scott Barley: Sleep Has Her House

Painting with an I-phone! I had the most amazing aesthetic experience for a long time in the cinema yesterday night at the Kombank Dvorana cinema during the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade. 90 minutes with landscapes, rivers, valleys, woods, sunset, barely visible graphic prints on the film screen, from pleasure to nightmare, no dialogue, cinema pur, a rollercoaster of impressions and associations remembering our Danish master Per Kirkeby seeing some of the colourful images, created by Scott Barley, a visual artist using the film medium, making a visual installation in the dark room that the cinema constitutes, thinking of Casper David Friedrich of course but also of Muybridge and his horses or maybe better of the white horse in Pirjo Honkasalo’s “Three Rooms of Melancholia” – and towards the end it’s Götterdämmerung without Wagner but with lightning and thunder at a sound level that made me want to hold my ears and close my eyes to avoid the epileptic seizures that I could have inherited from my father. I can’t remember being so much physically attacked by the film medium. I read that the director is born in 1992, this Anselm Kiefer of cinema, gosh I was suffering with this nightmarish pleasure!

www.magnificent7.org


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Magnificent7 There is an Audience...

Written 13-06-2018 18:38:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 There is an Audience...

... indeed there is, at the new venue of Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade at a new time of the year, in June, where it previously was in January/February. The cinema Kombank Hall, before it was Dom Sindikata, totally renovated, has an atmosphere of openness, you feel welcomed, and sitting with around 1000 spectators watching a documentary on a big screen... what else can you ask for being part of a festival that is in its 14 edition and has always attracted the clever Belgrade audience. The image and the sound, no complaints from my side and the reception of festival director Zoran Popovic (Photo), when he goes on stage to introduce the film and the director/filmmaker present is second to none. The audience adores him!

There are still two of the seven films to be screened: Scott Barley's "Sleep Has Her House" and Virpi Suutari's "Entrepreneur". Barley is here as is Sanna Salmenkallio, the composer of the Finnish film. Two extraordinary films to be enjoyed by the Belgrade audience inside - outside the cinema the temperature has luckily dropped from the 32 degrees yesterday.

More reports will follow but let me give you a quote brought to Belgrade by Georgian Stefan Tolz, artist Andy Goldsworthy about filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer: "Why are Thomas' films so special?", "I think it's the fact that he does very little directing or asking me to anything in particular. He's a hunter like I am. He's always waiting for opportunities to occur".

http://www.magnificent7festival.org


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Scott Barley: Sleep has Her House

Written 13-06-2018 08:57:10 by Tue Steen Mller

Festival directors Zoran and Svetlana Popovic write about the film:

Scott Barley, a young British author, is already proclaimed by some critics to be "the greatest filmmaker of the millennial generation". Due to his works, which in a unique way merge documentary shots, drawings and animation, he has become one of the leading authors of Remodernist Film and Slow Cinema Movement.

"Sleep Has Her House" is a work of a powerful irrational charge that deeply pervades every frame, every scene. This is the film of images that haunt each other as spirits whose presence we merely perceive by intuition, unable to see them. These are the visions of the space that we recognize in the contours of the real and the material, and on the big cinema screen, they become alive and pulsate with an exciting inner rhythm. This is a fascinating visual testimony of omniconnection in the nature that arouses all of our inner senses and evokes our concentrated, active viewing in which we equally enjoy the beauty documented by the lens of the modern "writing" tool of a young author - "iPhone", as well as the work of the painter, visual artist and the creator of dreams.

Scott Barley, whose works are classified in "slow cinema movement" together with films of Tarkovsky and Bela Tar, as a great master of specific poetisation of visual impressions, introduces us into the studies of the night landscape scenes in which he forms his own visions by the procedures of adding new images to the recorded images, sometimes even in sixty layers. The avant-garde artist documents the transformation of images of reality into elusive inner dream scenes.

Exquisite avant-garde film!

UK, 2017, 90 mins.

https://www.scottbarleyfilm.com/Sleep-Has-Her-House


Categories: Festival, 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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Malla,Per,Alexander: Giants and the Morning After

Written 12-06-2018 09:11:34 by Tue Steen Mller

Malla,Per,Alexander: Giants and the Morning After

Magnificent7 festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic write about the film:

"Giants and the Morning After" is a cinematic hit whose screenings are currently taking place throughout Sweden, while at the same time embarking on a trip to world festivals. The director's trio, Malla Grapengiesser, Per Bifrost and Alexander Ryneus made funny and revealing walk through a Swedish small place in a country side. By combining myths, fairy tales and everyday realism, Swedish authors create a discrete comedy in a documentary of an unusual atmosphere.

Layers of past time interweave with everyday life. Beautiful, thick, dark forests enclose Idra. Neat spaces filled with houses, farms, small companies. Everyone here, both old and young, has one's own business or entertainment, and together they create this little world in which everybody has an important place and a sense of belonging. In scenes of church gatherings, joint artistic endeavors, business ventures, children's games or discreetly shot warm, intimate moments we witness the richness of life. Even when various newcomers are coming, planned or unplanned, they do not disturb the true peace of this small place immersed in a nature of the untouched beauty. Nevertheless, behind all this, in the darkness of the forest and in the shadows of giants that once shifted rocks, there is some dark anxiety that creates a threat to this rural idyll.

Malla Grapengiesser, Per Bifrost and Alexander Ryneus equally convincingly create a view of space and people, as well of intimate circles of friendship and love. They turn this seductive portrait of the seemingly sleepy Swedish countryside into a funny, lively and playful picture. Great, brilliant cinema!

http://www.giantsandthemorningafter.com/

Sweden, 2018, 88 mins.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Andy Goldsworthy

Written 11-06-2018 08:56:45 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Andy Goldsworthy

No need to state that Thomas Riedelsheimer’s film on and with Goldsworthy, “Leaning into the Wind” is masterly done. A great artist filmed by a great cameraperson and photographer.

But what I was thinking of, watching the film last night at Magnificent7 in Belgrade, is the inspiration Goldsworthy is giving us. SEE, ENJOY THE WORLD we are living in, while we are here on this planet, and PLAY with nature. The artist has this wonderful childish way of taking leaves from the trees to put them on his hands or let them decorate the stairs in the city or flow in the water or… you can see that he enjoys it like when our grandchildren proudly take a leaf from the tree in the garden or take a stone and decorate it. Just you wait, Samuel and Anna, 4 years old both of them, when we come home, we have new things we can do in the garden with the inspiration of an artist, who in his sixties have kept the child within him.

http://www.leaningintothewind.com/


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Simon Lereng Wilmont: The Distant Barking of Dogs

Written 11-06-2018 08:13:24 by Tue Steen Mller

Simon Lereng Wilmont: The Distant Barking of Dogs

Festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic write about the film:

"The Distant Barking of Dogs" started its impressive festival and award quest at the largest documentary film festival IDFA in Amsterdam where it won the First Appearance Award.

This is a film that follows a wonderful author's thread initiated in the unforgettable poetic achievement "Ivan's Childhood" about a boy and a war, made by one of the greatest film art masters Andrei Tarkovski. The space is close to Tarkovsky's, now Ukraine, but this time it happens today and the hero of the story is called Oleg. He has ten years and does what all the boys in the world do - he plays, goes to school, and most of all, he likes to wander and discover the world around him. And the world begins from his yard and the street and spreads endlessly through meadows, forests, along riverbanks. And in this world of beauty and secrets the most important places have his brother, friend and grandmother with a big heart. But the dark outline of the invisible, yet dramatically present, and dangerous war noise becomes equally important and fills a little, almost empty village. Moments in which everything turns into fear, while the film becomes even more a moving poetic antiwar story about the small and unprotected in the whirlwind of big events.

Simon Lereng Wilmont discreetly, boldly and devotedly follows the little hero in various everyday situations, creating extremely convincing collisions of carefree childhood and cruel threats of war. The camera is not merely a distant observer, but always an accomplice in permitted and secret boyish endeavors. A truly great feat of a young documentarist who breaks linguistic and cultural barriers to create a work of universal value using the language of film images.

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, 2017, 90 mins.

http://www.finalcutforreal.dk/distant-barking-of-dogs


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Thomas Riedelsheimer: Leaning into the Wind

Written 10-06-2018 09:26:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Thomas Riedelsheimer: Leaning into the Wind

Two great artists - a sculptor who shapes nature and creates surreal scenes of reality, Andy Goldsworthy, and filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer, meet again sixteen years later. Again, as in the big film "Rivers and tides - Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time" they poetisize nature and create a fascinating work on the true sense of art.

From the urban landscapes of Edinburgh and London to the south of France and New England, we are exposed to street and nature sights that the sculptor Goldsworthy converts into incomparable works of land art, and the camera captures them as outstanding, highly aestheticised film images. The "Leaning into the Wind" conveys thoughts and ideas about art, artistic creation and process, and even more, tells a story of the relationship between man and nature. And this is where the true primeval saga of the great love of a passionate fighter for nature begins - environmental activist Goldsworthy touches every stone, every grass, petal, branch, every drop of water as a precious being and within it recognizes the internal pulsation that permeates the planet. And these touches, followed by the explosion of colors and unexpected shapes, create a nature in which man and space become one.

Riedelsheimer's sophisticated filmmaking proceeds from breathtaking physical matter and goes beyond trying to reveal the ideas that move the artists. And before our very eyes these ideas are transformed into remarkable forms pervaded by the rhythms of nature.

UK, Germany, 2018, 93 mins.

http://www.leaningintothewind.com/

www.magnificent7.org  


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Magnificent7: Thomas Riedelsheimer

Written 10-06-2018 09:08:17 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7: Thomas Riedelsheimer

I still remember that day in 2005 when the very first screening of a European feature length documentary took place here in Belgrade – and the Magnificent7 festival started. We had no real idea of how many spectators, who would come to the Sava Centre. It was around 1000! Who had a wonderful experience watching Thomas Riedelsheimer’s “Touch the Sound”. Now he is back with “Leaning into the Wind”, again a film about an artist, actually the second one about Andy Goldsworthy, the first one was “Rivers and Tides”. “Leaning into the Wind” is the title.

Here are some words from the director’s website:

"In 2011, during a shoot in Scotland, I met Andy Goldsworthy again. It had been ten years since we released Rivers and Tides and we had not seen each other in the interim. From the very first moment I felt like no time has passed at all – it felt as though we had just waved farewell a few days before. It felt intimate immediately and I became aware of my never-ending interest in this man and his work. People who know "Rivers and Tides" think they know Andy Goldsworthy. And so we both felt that adding a new perspective to him and his work would be fascinating.

"It has been a great time, an unforgettable experience. LEANING INTO THE WIND offers a different angle, a different perspective, another perception on many levels. It is not only an expansion of the former film but stands by itself. Another moment in time, of Andy´s life - and of my life."

http://www.leaningintothewind.com/


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Petra & P. Lataster: Miss Kiets Children

Written 09-06-2018 09:49:09 by Tue Steen Mller

Petra & P. Lataster: Miss Kiets Children

This text is written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, the directors of Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade:

This touching film story, without any interview or narrator, introduces us to the turbulent world of small, irresistible, charismatic heroes who have just arrived to a small place in The Netherlands and entered the classroom of an ordinary elementary school. For them, this is all new and confusing, they don’t fit in, they are too sensitive and scared. But like all children, they are also restless, naughty and unsubdued, and from the very first moment their brilliant teacher, Miss Kit, begins a great battle using all her skills of an excellent pedagogue. A battle in which, apart from discipline, learning and knowledge, mutual respect and dignity are top objectives.

Discreetly shot at the child's eyes level over a period of one year, this film is a story of joy and experiences that change children and shape their world. Experienced pair of documentarists Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster with their perfectly selected participants, through masterly captured moments and true empathy with little heroes in front of their warm and penetrating camera lens, unfold moving sequences of school days and discreetly build a course of one school year. They create a brilliant visual study of learning and maturing, emphasizing at the same time the importance of those who are preparing the society of the future.

Holland, 2016, 115 minutes

http://dekinderenvanjufkiet.nl/en/


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Magnificent7 Speech by Elwira Niewiera

Written 09-06-2018 09:17:03 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Speech by Elwira Niewiera

Elwira Niewiera, co-director with Piotr Rosolowski of ”The Prince and the Dybbuk”, the opening film at the 14th edition of the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade, had to cancel her presence because of illness. From Berlin the Polish co-director sent this text as a sound bite. It was played before the screening:

"I am very, very sad that I can't be there with you today. This is an exceptional festival, created by some very special people.

I would like to say a big thank you to Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, and also to Tue Steen Müller.

When we started to work on this movie, one of the Polish filmmakers told us, that even if you are making a film about someone who passed away, remember that it’s still very important for that person what kind of film you are going to make.

It was a big challenge to make a film about someone, who constantly erased/or had to erased his own traces, changing names, religion, titles or countries.

This mechanism became a way of life for him, and also a means of survival, as it allowed him to outsmart the spirit of intolerance.

Over the next few weeks, we will all be excited about the football World Cup taking place in Russia. But when we will be supporting our teams in front of the TVs, please let us at the same time remember the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who is imprisoned in a labour camp, is on a hunger strike and is slowly dying in the very same country - in solidarity with other unlawfully convicted people.

Thank you and I wish you a nice screening and a nice opening of the festival“.

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


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Anita Reher Back in Denmark

Written 08-06-2018 12:28:34 by Tue Steen Mller

Anita Reher Back in Denmark

I worked with Anita for the 9 years, I was at EDN. It was pioneer times building up the organisation. It was fun and exciting, when we at the start stood at the fax machine waiting for filmmakers to sign up - and when we were touring the South of Europe to find venues for the workshops, we had got EU support to arrange with local filmmakers... Anita stayed at EDN for some years more but then she moved to America and got an important position at Flaherty, which she now leaves to come back to Denmark to give her skills and competence to Nordisk Panorama. They are getting the Best! Here is the press release from Nordisk Panorama:



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Niewiera/Rosolowski: The Prince and The Dybbuk

Written 08-06-2018 09:38:57 by Tue Steen Mller

Niewiera/Rosolowski: The Prince and The Dybbuk

This text is written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, the directors of Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade:

Poland, Germany 2017.
82 minutes
directed by: Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski

The best documentary on cinema of The Venice Film Festival 2017. The story of a stunning mystery that is becoming more complex and unexpected as it unfolds before us.

Who was the director and Hollywood producer Michal Waszynski who worked with the biggest movie stars of his time, such as Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Orson Wells? Directors Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski are taking us to an exciting film journey through the life of a man who was known to many, but whose secrets were so deeply hidden that no one really knew him. Prince Waszynski, through the turbulent and dramatic years of his personal and world history, wrote his life story as if he directed the most fantastic film.

A superb modern documentary with an extremely complex structure in which fascinating archival footage is interwoven with shots and scenes of search, witnesses and spaces. Directorial couple Niewiera Rosolowski creates an exciting thriller, but at the same time an equally unusual history of the 20th century in Europe, from the dark times of the rise of Nazism to glamorous Hollywood spectacles. In these turbulent times, behind the curtain of dramatic events, they magically depict the hidden figure of Prince Waszynski, penetrating deeply into imaginary and irrational layers of time.

http://prince-dybbuk.com/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4052/


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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


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Alisa Kovalenko: Home Games

Written 06-06-2018 14:40:21 by Tue Steen Mller

Alisa Kovalenko: Home Games

Alina, 20 year old, Ukrainian, likes football. She plays herself and she is good. In the beginning of the film she is making a collage to hang on the wall, from pictures of famous football players. She cuts off the head of Messi, says sorry to him, and puts her own head on the body of the best football player in the world. At the end of the film Alina is on the football pitch, she is knocked down, gets a free kick, which she kicks herself into the goal just like Messi has done so many times!

A perfect dramaturgical circle (!) for a film, where football is important but that is first of all a warm, heartbreaking social documentary, where Alina is in focus from start till end.

The family includes the granny, the mother, the father, Alina and her two siblings, Renat and Regina, 6 and 7 years old. Plus Alina’s helping girlfriend Nadya. The mother dies, the father is a useless drunkard, the granny is old and not so mobile – so the responsibility for bringing up the two kids lies with Alina, who has games on the football pitch but first and foremost has Home Games to fight. She takes the kids along for a summer training camp, she has to prepare them for the school, she is short of money – the father gets the public support for the kids, he never helps the children – so she and Nadya goes to the street to sell shoes, cell phones, whatever to get some money. She goes with granny and Nadya to have the legal right for the children transferred from the father to her. They are positively received – without this being really followed up in the film except for a text at the end, where it is being said that the father is out of the flat – and you see the two young girls starting a new life refurnishing the apartment. “We want to live like normal people now”.

The film lives from its ability to create a feeling of presence in the situations with Alina and the kids. Here there are fine, often poetic moments in the claustrophobia of the small flat. On the football pitch, it is not poetry that reigns, when the coach states to the girls that they have “to die on the pitch”, a sentence which will probably be used many times the next month in a neighbouring country.

Ukraine/ France/ Poland, 2018, 86 mins.

https://sheffdocfest.com/films/6545


Vurdering:

 
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Alina Gorvola: No Obvious Signs

Written 04-06-2018 20:56:10 by Tue Steen Mller

Alina Gorvola: No Obvious Signs

Oksana Yakobava, major in the Ukrainian army, was at war from 2014-17. Her job was to report on the dead soldiers: identity, how death occurred, how many bullets in the body, was there any torture, any obvious signs, contact and information to family. Tough task, to say it with an understatement.

We viewers meet her, when she is trying to recover from the war experiences. She has had a breakdown, she is being treated for a couple of months with physical training and by a psychotherapist. She is wounded, she is trying to wash away images that stay in her head. As she has been close to atrocities. Warm baths, massage, conversations, will it go away?

The film team has been with her and they go with her, when she returns to the war zone to resign from her position, and they follow her on a tour in the metro one month later. She still suffers, she listens to prayers from her cell phone, it seems like hell for her to be in the street as well.

It is a hard story, it is well made, the film team has the confidence of the protagonist, it makes an impression, it is truthful in all its sadness.

Ukraine, 2017, 64 mins.


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Krakow Film Festival: The Winners

Written 03-06-2018 10:32:03 by Tue Steen Mller

Krakow Film Festival: The Winners

Sometimes it´s jackpot! I had voted for – in my post yesterday – four films and they were all awarded: Talal Derki for his “Of Fathers and Sons” (The Golden Horn and the Fipresci), Marta Prus for her “Over the Limit” (The Silver Horn, The Silver Hobby-Horse (National Competition), The Audience Award – and awards to her editor Adam Suzin, and to her producers Anna Kepinska and Maciej Kubicki), Pablo Aparo and Martin Benchimol for “El Espanto” (The Silver Horn for Best Medium Length Documentary) and Stephen Nomura Schible for “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” (Best film in the DocFilmMusic Competition and Student Jury’s Award).

On top of that a well deserved special mention to Belarussian Anastasiya Miroshnichenko for her “Debut”, a fine film, that I knew from watching a rough cut in autumn 2017, a touching portrait of women in prison and their kids.

It was more than 30 awards – list, click below -  that were handed out in the big Kijew Centrum cinema last night. Always a pleasure to be at Krakow Film Festival with a badge saying “media”, which means I was there to watch films. I did!

Photo: Happy winners from "Over the Limit", producer Maciej Kubicki and director Marta Prus.

www.krakowfilmfestival.pl

http://www.krakowfilmfestival.pl/en/full-list-of-winners-of-the-58th-kff/


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Martin Benchimol, Pablo Aparo: El Espanto

Written 03-06-2018 09:47:23 by Tue Steen Mller

Martin Benchimol, Pablo Aparo: El Espanto

It’s slow, it has no music if I remember correctly, the images are amazing, from countryside of Argentina, the characters are wonderful, full of humour and originality – and mystery because in El Dorado the inhabitants tell good stories and when it comes to illnesses, they can cure them themselves, they don’t need doctors to come around. The filmmakers mostly place the people in front of the camera, they talk, very much about the only disease they can´t cure by themselves but there is one, who can, Jorge (PHOTO), who lives on the other side of the bridge, el espanto is the name of the illness, whatever that is, it is said that it is something that especially women get, but what it is…

The filmmakers give us a glimpse of Jorge, who confirms that he can heal, also citizens from El Dorado come to me, he says, even if they – on camera – deny it. As they deny that there should be any homosexuality in the small society. Jorge refuses to have one more visit by the filmmakers and focus shifts to an accident on the bridge, did someone die, apparently, but many theories come up, they ARE storytellers. And the filmmakers listen and go with them, also to create an atmosphere of comedy like when a wedding takes place, where the groom looks absent and far from happy, while the bride in her wedding dress dances for herself. Yes, love is a theme in this film, you listen to the couples and their comments on this theme, they have a good time – but Jorge does not take part, there is light in his house, but he turns it off and the film, a lovely one, is over.

Argentina, 2017, 65 mins.


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Marcin Sauter: I Grew Up as You Slept

Written 02-06-2018 16:45:38 by Tue Steen Mller

Marcin Sauter: I Grew Up as You Slept

An ordinary story told in an extraordinary way. Because Marcin Sauter is not “only” a skilled director, he is a cinematographer who knows about composition and framing of images. This film has no boring moments, it is intense and full of emotions and beauty. And the music reflects the atmosphere of melancholy surrounding the granny and the granddaughter, when they meet in the countryside of Belarus, the country Karalina (who, according to credits at the end of the film, bears the same surname as the director) has chosen to leave to have more opportunities to develop her music career. In a scene with two friends, also from the music school, it is obvious that she is not the only one, who has left or wants to leave their home country… an ordinary story.

The film operates in present and past. Black and white images constitute the childhood, when berries were picked in the garden, cut to today, where the same action in colour takes place with wonderful granny and red-dressed granddaughter in the picture. The director has made his aesthetic choice. Scene after scene, situation after situation are a pleasure to watch.

An award for this poetic film tonight at the Krakow Film Festival closure?  

For me no objections!

Poland, 2018, 50 mins.


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Music!

Written 02-06-2018 08:36:39 by Tue Steen Mller

Music!

He was a musician, he says, Ryūichi Sakamoto, in the portrait film “Coda” about him. He talks about Andrey Tarkovsky and in the film a clip from “Solaris” is shown, a close-up on drops of water bringing nature’s sounds to the screen. It’s a wonderful film that again makes me think that music is the most interesting art form, where film is so much more concrete, concluding and interpreting. With music you can create your own images – and yet Sakamoto, the master of film music (Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” (1983), “The Last Emperor” (1987) and “The Sheltering Sky” (1990), “The Revenant” (2015) by Alejandro G. Iñárritu…) states that he tries to think “cinematically”, when he in his studio in New York and on his journeys to the North Pole and Africa collects sounds to be used in his composing. The film by Stephen Nomura Schible gets very close to the composer, who reveals that he is fighting against a cancer illness; it is in itself a piece of film history with clips from the films mentioned above plus archive material that shows Sakamoto in his psychedelic period and as an activist against nuclear plants to be rebuilt after the Fukushima catastrophe. To be linked to his “Opera” from 1999, where he summarizes the state of our civilization with continuing quotes from the man who “invented” the atom bomb, Oppenheimer.

After having seen all films in the documentary competition, I “took the day off” to let me be



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Over the Limit

Written 02-06-2018 08:32:20 by Tue Steen Mller

Over the Limit

In November last year I wrote this on filmkommentaren.dk about Marta Prus “Over the Limit”: An (almost) perfect film. Plays with the classical dramaturgical rules in terms of characters and rythm – positive mood and development, crisis, winning, losing, crisis as a gymnast, crisis because of her father’s illness, music that fits, brilliant camerawork, it’s like an opera or a ballet, great pleasure to look at this film with its universal appeal: Trust yourself, find yourself, the tough and direct coach is (maybe) right in much of what she is saying… Another masterly done Polish documentary!

The festival referred to above was IDFA in Amsterdam and now – after numerous festivals – the film has its national premiere! As an invited journalist I am giving it top points as you can see on the rating scheme. I do so after having recently seen the film two times more, in Tbilisi Georgia and in Barcelona. I have put parenthesis around the word almost as I have no objections to the film, none at all. It fills so well the big screen. And happy to say that the audience at both festivals reacted with enthusiasm.

Apart from that let me express a lot of admiration for Marta Prus after three



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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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Magnificent7 Festival Moves to New Venue

Written 01-06-2018 18:30:54 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Festival Moves to New Venue

The Belgrade festival that screens 7 films, one per night, from June 8 till June 14 is moving from the Sava Centre to central Belgrade, to Kombank Dvorana.

I asked the festival directors to give me words about the new venue that opened after a total renovation a month ago. Here they come:

Dear Tue. it's hard to put in two lines the history of the very first elite concert hall, festival hall and congress hall in socialistic Yugoslavia. Also the place of many different events that were attractive for big audiences and for media, sometimes European, sometimes from all over the world.Legendary kings of jazz (Luis Armstrong, Miles Davies, Oscar Peterson, B.B.King among the others) were there on the stage during sixties and seventies. Film stars at the biggest film festival FEST - Sophia Loren, Kirk Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Richard Burton, Elisabeth Taylor. Concerts of the most popular singers, groups, but also of some high class musicians like Artur Rubinstein.

Here is a small history:

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

You should pay attention to the new name of the place KOMBANK DVORANA (where KOMBANK is the name of the bank giving the money for overtaking the name) and DVORANA that means hall.

Varme hilsener (Danish for Warmest) Svetlana and Zoran Popovic

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


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Magnificent7 Belgrade 2018

Written 31-05-2018 07:15:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Belgrade 2018

There he stands, the Prince Waszyński, in his palazzo, smoking a cigarette. An elegant man. Like a character in a film by Luchino Visconti. Did they ever meet the two in Rome, where the Prince passed his last years? After the more than turbulent life he had lived. His story is what Polish Elvira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski unfolds in “The Prince and the Dybbuk”, that is the opening film for the 14th edition of the festival in its new venue, the Kombank Hall in central Belgrade.

And this is for sure, like all 7 films, a film that deserves the big screen. It is Cinema to be enjoyed because of its elegant narrative structure, its use of archive, the editing, the music, the dignity with which the directors treat the Prince.

Do we go for themes, when the selection for the festival takes place? No, we go for the Cinematic quality and originality, that our audience expect – and I say it again, the best audience in Europe is the one in Belgrade. Nevertheless, having done the selection this year, we discover that three of the films put the focus on children.

Oh, I would hope that teachers all over could see and learn from “Miss Kiet’s Children”, with the



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DocsBarcelona: The Winners

Written 30-05-2018 11:51:39 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona: The Winners

I received the English language press release from DocsBarcelona. Here it comes in a slightly edited version:

DocsBarcelona 2018 ends consolidating the growth that began in the 20th edition of the festival, with an increase of days and audience. The 21st edition of the International Documentary Film Festival of Barcelona has hosted 66 sessions and one month of online screenings reaching more than 20,000 spectators, with an average of 133 people per session.

Also, the activities dedicated to the industry and professionals have had an extensive follow-up, with 1,800 attendees.

The main winner of DocsBarcelona 2018 was The Distant Barking of Dogs, whom the jury chaired by Paco Poch joined by Jessica Murray, Xavi García Puerto and Montse Armengou awarded the DocsBarcelona TV3 Award for Best Documentary. Directed by Simon Lereng Wilmont, this film portrays the life of Oleg, a Ukrainian boy, and his grandmother, in a border area where they often live with anti-aircraft fire and missile attacks. The Jury said this is a “film that takes care of photography with a detailed and delicate observation. A look that allows us to listen to the most vulnerable”.

Also, the jury gave a Special Mention to Miss Kiet’s Children, by Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster, about a Dutch teacher who welcomes



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DocsBarcelona: Talal Derki

Written 29-05-2018 21:18:40 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona: Talal Derki

The Syrian director was not at the closing ceremony of DocsBarcelona Sunday night so I did not have the chance to thank him for three meetings we had during the festival: Two times talks with him and the audience after the screening of his masterpiece ”Of Fathers and Sons” and a 90 minutes seminar, where he had chosen 7 clips from the film to make us get closer into what he experienced, when that scene was shot, what choices he had to take during the 300 days he spent with the father and his children, first of all Osama and Ayman.

There were standing ovations after one of the two screenings of the film and after both I had to – as moderator – to raise my hand for “stop” to have time for the questions. I admire filmmakers like Talal Derki, who with respect for the audience take their time, festival after festival, to give an insight to – in this case – what it means to be filming in a war zone. The 7 clips were carefully chosen and there was a lot to talk about at each one. Film talk.

It makes you proud as a programmer, when you feel that the choice of a film is appreciated as well as having the filmmaker present to meet the audience. This was the case with Talal Derki again four years after he was in Barcelona with “Return to Homs”. He did not win this time, but he won the respect of the audience and he took us “behind the scenes” to a place we can not and do not want to go.

“I am a storyteller”, he said to me. Indeed, and a brave one. Many scenes will stay in my mind – like the one where the father talks warmly about his son Osama at the same time as he, as a sniper, is shooting to kill, while the director sitting next to him looks exhausted and frustrated at the whole situation.

The film and it’s director is now at the Krakow Film Festival, I have changed position to be a journalist for this site, and have given it highest points as you can see at the link below.

www.docsbarcelona.com

http://www.krakowfilmfestival.pl/en/58th-kff/festival-newspaper/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocsBarcelona: Children

Written 28-05-2018 13:34:23 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona: Children

Sunday morning I took a walk in the Eixample of Barcelona, where my home has been since the beginning of the festival. Lots of parents were in the street with their kids. Happy moments for boys and girls to be out in the good weather to play, have an ice cream, have fun, make friends…

In the cinemas of DocsBarcelona the reality was different for the children. I will never forget the two boys from “Of Fathers and Sons” by Talal Derki, Osama (Photo) and Ayman, the first one to be sent to a sharia camp by his father, the latter staying at home to take care of the smaller siblings and the father, who had lost his foot at a mine explosion, and who is the one, who decides on the future of Osama to be a jihadist warrior. It’s pretty hard to watch Osama, this soft boy, having his childhood spoilt by religious fanatism.

Another child who lives in a war zone is Oleg in “The Distant Barking of Dogs” by Simon Lereng Wilmont, a film that takes place in the Eastern part of Ukraine. Oleg lives there with his grandmother, a relationship that is described with sensitivity. How to live in the neighborhood of bombs exploding, how to cope with the scars it gives a child when he grows older?

And what about Syrian Zeid, who lives with his father and brothers in Spain in the fine film “Hayati” by Liliana Torres and Sofi Escudé. In a materialistic way, he does not suffer, but his mother stays in Turkey and he communicates with her via skype…

Other children are very much present in “Miss Kiet’s Children” by Petra and Peter Lasaster, where Miss Kiet is teaching refugee children language and how to adapt to live in the Netherlands. My hero here is the little Haya, who struggles with her new situation in a way that you get tears in your eyes.

www.docsbarcelona.com


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DocsBarcelona: Ouaga Girls

Written 27-05-2018 10:49:32 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona: Ouaga Girls

It’s one of those documentaries that makes you smile through the whole film, Ouaga Girls by Swedish Theresa Traore Dahlberg. It was shown yesterday at DocsBarcelona at the Aribau Club cinema followed by a Q&A with the French coproducer Estelle Robin You, who is also involved in the production of “Dolphin Man” by Lefteris Charitos, that plays in the competitive Panorama section of the festival here in Barcelona.

The smile… because of the life energy of the girls from Burkina Faso, who study to become auto mechanics in a male society and enjoy the company of their sisters in the school, where they learn, are introduced to adult life and where they have fun, and share the good and the bad experiences they have and have had in their lives. They all come from a tough social background, which is conveyed to the viewer in tense interview situations with a psychologist. A brilliant cinematic solution where the action – the slate of joyful, lively scenes from the auto workshop and from the classroom and from parties and concerts in the city – is stopped to give close-ups and time for reflection.

Estelle Robin-You told us that the film has been running in cinemas in France – and Sweden of course – that the music score is composed by the father of the director Seydou Richard Traoré – that French editor Alexandra Strauss was called for to help finalising the film; Strauss who has edited “I’m not Your Negro” and has worked for master Roy Andersson.

How can we get a women empowering film like this shown in rural areas, a woman in the audience asked. There must be Ngo’s, who can use the film. Of course.   

http://momentofilm.se/films/ouaga-girls/

www.docsbarcelona.com


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DocsBarcelona: When Directors Meet the Audience

Written 25-05-2018 11:23:20 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona: When Directors Meet the Audience

Aribau Club Cinemas in Barcelona. Two cinema halls, one bigger than the other. The home of DocsBarcelona for four days, yesterday the first where I had the privilege to introduce and moderate three films in the competitive Panorama section. With Pol Roig as responsible for the running of the screenings.

First Polish “Over the Limit” by Marta Prus (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4091/) with half an hour talk afterwards, where the young director told, how she found her characters, how she got permission to shoot, how she filmed for one year and edited for one year, how she wanted the film to look like a feature film, how she as director had to make production decisions as well and of course many words about the trio of women in the film, Margarita the gymnast and the two coaches Irina and Amina.

Second Syrian “Of Fathers and Sons” by Talal Derki (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4094/) the director who was back in Barcelona, where he was in 2014 with “Return to Homs”, that got the first prize at the festival. I asked him how it was to be “playing the role of a war photographer”, an observer, who comes into this mad world of jihadism and refrains from discussing the issues being brought up by the militant father. He explained his relationship to Osama, one of the sons, Ayman, being the other. The reception of the film, measured by the applause, was considerable, an understatement…

Third Greek “The Dolphin Man” by Lefteris Charitos, a film about the legendary Jacques Mayol, his life, his record breaking diving down to 100 meters, his glamorous life with many women in his life, and yet his loneliness, told through archive material, interviews with his daughter and son and amazing underwater camerawork by Stelios Apostolopoulos, in a film that is multilayered and dealing with philosophical and existential questions. Charitos answered all kind of questions from the audience, including those about his suicide in his house on the island of Elba.

All three films had a good audience, the photo shows the line of people waiting to get in to watch “The Dolphin Man”.

And all three films have a second run.

www.docsbarcelona.com


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DocsBarcelona Rough Cut Sessions

Written 23-05-2018 19:30:23 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona Rough Cut Sessions

It's become an institution, the rough cut sessions of DocsBarcelona and I am proud to be the one, who has chosen the projects and the one playing the ball to the panelists, who sit in comfortable sofas in a living room-set-up watching and commenting. Panelists this year were - among others - veteran Jordi Ambros from TV3, Mandy Chang from BBC, Aleksandar Govedarica from sales agent company Syndicado, Yoshihiko Ichiya from NHK, Lelda Ozola from National Film Centre of Latvia, filmmaker Canan Turan living in Catalunya of Turkish origin... The sessions last 2 hours including the full rough cut, feedback and comments. 

The three projects selected this year were "Operation Globe" from Rolling Basis Films, director Ariadna Seuba Serra, "Pariah Dog" by Jesse Alk and "Colis Suspect" by Sofia Català and Rosa Pérez.

www.docsbarcelona.com


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DocsBarcelona: Audience & Form

Written 21-05-2018 16:48:31 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona: Audience & Form

On the way back to Vilnius after two succesful screenings of “Wonderful Losers” at DocsBarcelona, Lithuanian Arunas and Alge Matelis met Joan Gonzalez, director of the festival who was happy to tell them that 210 students in Granollers, a city at 30 km from Barcelona, one of the 9 cities where people can see some of the docs of DocsBarcelona, had seen their film.

Likewise I was happy yesterday to attend the screening of Hendrick Dusollier’s “Last Days in Shibati” (Photo) with a full house at the CCCB Auditorium. As a selector for the Panorama and What the Doc! of the festival, I do not review films in these sections but great to experience that the reception from the audience was overwhelmingly positive. The film’s theme – the demolition of an old Chinese quarter to make space for a new China – is interesting as is the form and method the director has chosen; he comes back to the quarter, makes friends with a trio of people, and he comes the first time with almost no knowledge of the language, the second (6 months later) and third time (6 months later) it is better with the language and he is accompanied by local people, who speak the language. He just goes there to visit… and he knows what he is looking for. Authenticity in the situational sequences.

The same, achieving an authenticity, goes for “Hasta mañana, si Dios Quiere”, which will be shown later in the festival. The film – quote from the catalogue – is “A joyful story about how seventeen women live in a convent of Franciscan octogenarian sisters…” but where the film from China lives from improvisations, Ainara Vera, the director, has very carefully chosen a style, made an aesthetic choice, that makes the film beautiful to watch.

The Documentary genre has many faces! Hurrah for that!

www.docsbarcelona.com


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Visca Barca, Visca Catalunya

Written 21-05-2018 12:42:53 by Tue Steen Mller

Visca Barca, Visca Catalunya

A small break from DocsBarcelona. To experience a historical moment. The end of an era. The last match of Andres Iniesta for FCBarcelona. And the celebration of winning the championship and the Copa del Rey. I was there thanks to and together with Joan Gonzalez in his seats of Nou Camp. It was an outstanding party with fans singing during the whole match A N D R E S  I N I E S T A, the elegantier who has been at the club for 22 years (!) and is respected all over the football world. The match was quite ordinary, Coutinho scored a beautiful goal that made the 1-0 result, Iniesta was taken out 15 minutes before the end of the game to enjoy the extraordinary homage to him, and luckily Messi came in, in the middle of the second half, and it always changes the whole Barca game. Suddenly something happens where before it was a bit sleepy.

After the match there was a light show, music and a presentation of all the players; many came in with their kids in hand, some had babies on the arm - and Andres Iniesta made an emotional speech, tears in eyes as there was for several of his team colleagues.

I was there when Iniesta played his last match for Barca!!! 


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Pep Martn & Xavi Camprecis: Mies on Scene

Written 20-05-2018 10:45:28 by Tue Steen Mller

Pep Martn & Xavi Camprecis: Mies on Scene

… with the subtitle ”Barcelona in Two Acts” was premiered yesterday at the CCCB theatre in Barcelona within the DocsBarcelona festival. Full house for a film about the architectural gem of the city, the Pavilion set up by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich in 1929 at the world exhibition to be removed 8 months later and reconstructed in 1986. A work that – quote from the synopsis - changed the History of architecture forever… its image was always alive in the minds of generations of architects around the world…

It’s not easy to make a film about architecture but I enjoyed and appreciated the cinematic solutions the two directors have chosen. They have thought about composition and framing, and there is a fine balance between the images and the information and interpretative comments from the many people from the world of architecture in Barcelona and in New York, where the archive of van der Rohe is at MOMA.

And the directors do not refrain from anecdotes and letting the speakers be passionate like the wonderful German architect Fritz Neumeyer, who on location expresses his love to the building. Also great to have Oriol Bohigas in picture, the man who was a driving force behind the reconstruction of the Pavilion, that stands there waiting to be visited by anyone, who is fond of beauty!

In the press material the directors write about the building that they have been filming for the last nine years for different purposes:

The Pavilion is a scenario of endless perspectives, lights and reflections, a living building that changes at every hour of the day and at any season of the year. Each time you record it, the Pavilion surprises you with a new reflection or a new visual composition, and you discover that fourth dimension that Mies created with the game of materials and perspectives. A universe where the composition of each frame easily becomes art within art because the Pavilion generates and multiplies beauty.

Catalunya, 2018, 58 mins.

http://www.miesonscene.com/


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Oleg Sentsov on Hungerstrike

Written 20-05-2018 09:43:26 by Tue Steen Mller

Oleg Sentsov on Hungerstrike

Since 2015 we have again and again written about the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who is in prison in Russia. At numerous festivals the message has been sent to the Russian authorities “Release Oleg Sentsov” and Askold Kurov has made a fine film about the man and the case.

According to hromadske.ua – link below, where you can read the whole article – this is the latest horrible development:

Ukrainian film director and political prisoner Oleg Sentsov, who is being held illegally in a remote Siberian prison in Russia, has gone on a hunger strike.

This was put forward in a statement by Sentsov’s lawyer, Dmitriy Dinze, who provided the information to Hromadske. By going on a hunger strike, Sentsov demands the immediate release of all Ukrainians detained in Russia and Crimea.

“I, Oleg Sentsov, citizen of Ukraine, unlawfully tried by Russian judiciary, currently being held in the colony of Labytnangi, declare that I have begun a hunger strike indefinitely as of May 14, 2018,” his statement reads. “The sole condition of its end is the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners located on the territory of the Russian Federation.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has already reacted to the news by calling for the international community to “continue pressuring the Kremlin to free all Ukrainian political prisoners as soon as possible.”

“We continue to fight for them and offer every effort in order to free these unlawfully detained Ukrainians, who are held on the territory of occupied Crimea, Donbas, and the territory of the Russian Federation,” Poroshenko said on his Facebook page.

Dinze also says he warned Sentsov of the possible consequences of a hunger strike, including irreversible health risks. The lawyer does not rule out that Sentsov may soon become subject to “compulsory psychiatric observation and forced feeding.”

“He has been transferred to a safe place, where individuals refusing food and going on hunger strike are located,” Dinze told Hromadske, adding that the filmmaker has not specified whether it is a dry hunger strike. “He is confident in his decision to continue the hunger strike to the end until there is some sort of result.”

Sentsov is one of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners located on the territory of occupied Crimea and the Russian Federation… 

https://en.hromadske.ua/posts/ukrainian-filmmaker-oleg-sentsov-goes-on-hunger-strike-in-russian-prison


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Abend & Loeff: La Flor de la Vida

Written 19-05-2018 11:57:46 by Tue Steen Mller

Abend & Loeff: La Flor de la Vida

DocsBarcelona 2018: Lovely film by Claudia Abend and Adriana Loeff, who in promotion of the film use this phrase as a logline, so precise it is: What happens when Life lasts longer than Love?

Take a look at the photo, Aldo and Gabriella in the airport of Montevideo waving goodbye to their daughter Leila, who lives in another country – as do all their children. The old couple do not live together any longer, they separated after 48 years, spending a lot of their active time in Venezuela, where Aldo was working in the construction business, and where the family life was pure happiness as shown in the huge amount of great family film footage that are shown skillfully.

But the film starts in present time. Old people enter a theatre stage to sit in a



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Catalan Rumba Opens DocsBarcelona

Written 17-05-2018 08:50:20 by Tue Steen Mller

Catalan Rumba Opens DocsBarcelona

... and it did so with a full cinema of spectators, who expressed their enthusiasm over the sweet film about the sweeet and charismatic man on the screen and in the cinema, where he got standing ovations. The film is a very entertaining portrait of a man, who is ill and often has to get oxygen to go on as he has a dream... from the catalogue:

"Petitet is a Catalan gypsy pursuing a dream. Former musician and son of one of the “palmeros” (hand-clapping performers) of the mythical Peret, he suffers from a rare chronic disease that causes acute muscle weakness. In his fifties, he wants to fulfil the promise he made to his mother before she died: to take Catalan rumba to the stage of a great theatre. The dream begins to



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Srbenka Wins DAS Award 2018

Written 14-05-2018 20:52:59 by Tue Steen Mller

Srbenka Wins DAS Award 2018

Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of seven key European festivals. One of its activities, Doc Alliance Selection (DAS) Award, celebrates its 11th edition. Each festival nominates one documentary film which is evaluated by a jury of seven film critics from the festival countries. This year’s winner is Srbenka directed by Nebojša Slijepčević nominated by Visions du Réel. Congratulations!

Srbenka
Director: Nebojša Slijepčević
Country: Croatia
Nominated by Visions du Réel

Srbenka is a film about peer violence toward children of different nationality in Croatia. It examines how the generation born after the war copes with the dark shadows of history. In the winter of 1991, a 12-year-old Serbian girl was murdered in Zagreb. Quarter of a century later, director Oliver Frljić is working on a theatre play about the case. Rehearsals become collective psychotherapy, and the 12-year-old actress Nina feels as if the war had never ended.

Boris Senff (24 heures) – nominated by Visions du Réel
Jakub Demianczuk – nominated by Docs Against Gravity FF
Kristoffer Hegnsvad (Politiken) – nominated by CPH:DOX
Francisco Ferreira (Expresso) – nominated by Doclisboa
Ivan David – nominated by Ji.hlava IDFF
Erwan Floch’lay (Répliques) – nominated by FIDMarseille
Dennis Vetter (taz) – nominated by DOK Leipzig

Doc Alliance Selection Award is powered by seven key European documentary festivals: CPH:DOXDoclisboaDocs Against Gravity FFDOK LeipzigFIDMarseilleJi.hlava IDFFVisions du Réel.

https://dafilms.com/program/657-Doc_Alliance_Selection_2018


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Cindoc-Tbilisi Awards 2018

Written 12-05-2018 16:50:17 by Tue Steen Mller

Cindoc-Tbilisi Awards 2018

… were many and you can read whoi got what via the link below. My positive comments are that the winners also here were made by directors from or dealing with Eastern and Central Europe. Serbian Mila Turajlic’s “The Other Side of Everything”, winner at IDFA 2017, was a candidate for a prize, the Romanian “Licu” by Ana Dumitrescu, who won at DOKLeipzig 2017, was in the Romanian guest country section – and the main winners were Danish Simon Lereng Wilmont with “The Distant Barking of Dogs”, shot in Eastern Ukraine, followed by Polish Marta Prus with “Over the Limit” and Hungarian Bernadett Tuza-Ritter with her “A Woman Captured”. I have in a previous post praised the winner of the best documentary from Caucasus, “Transparent World” by Vakhtang Guntsev-Gabashvili, Georgian director, who also works in Germany.

Let me stay a while with Bernadett Tuza-Ritter and Marta Prus, who were at the festival and met the audience answering questions that they have probably heard 20 times before. Bravo for coming, taking your time to make, what a festival should be: the meeting between the film, the filmmaker and the audience. And thanks for your ethical dedication to filmmaking. Both are still in contact with their protagonists – Edith from “A Woman Captured” is living with her daughter and grand daughter, working like hell to make ends meet, Margarita from “Over the Limit” has given up the sport, wants to settle down and have a child with her husband…

For me it was especially interesting to hear Marta Prus talk about her five-years-in-the-making of a film, where the first couple of years were spent to get permission to film from the protagonists, the three women, Margarita and her coaches Amina and Irina. She got close with her brilliant cameraman Adam Suzin, ended with 210 hours of material and stayed in the editing room in one year – and took part in several European training programs. “Over the Limit” is the feature length debut of Marta Prus, who before made “Talk to Me” http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3545/ a fine work, where she showed her big talent, that will bring her to fiction film, she told us, being a true control freak, as she formulated it at the 45 minutes long Q&A.

http://www.cinedoc-tbilisi.com/?page_id=7022


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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


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Harry Tamrazian: Sergei Parajanov

Written 07-05-2018 07:37:49 by Tue Steen Mller

Harry Tamrazian: Sergei Parajanov

"Everyone knows that I have three Motherlands. I was born in Georgia, worked in Ukraine and I'm going to die in Armenia." A quote from an interview with Sergei Parajanov, this master of Cinema, whose life - with interviews, clips from some of his film, archive footage - is described in the Current Time TV production directed by Harry Tamrazian, feature length, informative, a good tv-documentary.



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Cinedoc: Cinema Mon Amour

Written 05-05-2018 12:04:28 by Tue Steen Mller

Cinedoc: Cinema Mon Amour

The festival here in Tbilisi has a country focus on Romania. One of the films selected is "Cinema, Mon Amour" by Alexandru Belc from 2015 that has gone around to festivals like IDFA and DOKLeipzig, a Romanian-Czech coproduction, an HBO production, a very charming film because of its main character Victor Purice, whose life has been dedicated to keeping Dacia Panoramic Cinema, a man who suffers because there is very little audience coming to his films, but also a man who fights to improve the cinema facilities together with his two female colleagues. But still it is cold in the cinema during winter; the three brings hot tea and blankets to the few who come.

There are memorable moments in this film like when Purice enthusiastically plays air guitar to remind himself that he still is young!

After the screening Boglarka Nagy, who is the programmer of the Elvira Popesco cinema in Bucharest, which is part of the Institut Francais, told the audience what it means to run an arthouse cinema in a country, where the amount of cinemas have decreased dramatically. Boglarka won the Best Programming Award at the Europe Cinemas Award ceremony 2017.

On the photo you see Boglarka and me at a festival reception in restaurant Dariani, a fine place. I talked to the owner, who told me that Dariani was an artist and a muse for many painters, a kind of Georgian Coco Chanel.

http://www.cinedoc-tbilisi.com/


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Cinedoc Tbilisi Opening Night

Written 04-05-2018 11:37:31 by Tue Steen Mller

Cinedoc Tbilisi Opening Night

Yes, this is how an opening night should be - presentation of the program through trailers, a speech from the Minister of Culture and Sport, some words from your correspondent and from the director of the festival, Artchil Khetagouri.

Most important, however, was the opening film, Georgian "Transparent World" by Vakhtang Kuntsev-Gabashvili. The film about young talented Beka and his father took the audience by the heart and made the opening festive and memorable. How often have you experienced 5 or more round of applauses during the film? Beka is charming and wise, many of the things that he is saying about filmmaking is spot on and you laugh and suffer with him, when he is trying to overcome the obstacles he is facing when he is trying to make the film about the old scientist and composer - and his wife, who forbids him to film in the kitchen of their home. Beka has problems, he gets angry with himself and the world around him, to be the next moment the most gentle grandson with granny, who lives with the family. On the photo you see the father and Beka, the father is amazing patient with his son, who likes his help one moment and is irritated the next moment because he does not want the father to interfere with his work as a filmmaker and photographer.

I understood completely why the director of the film dedicated the film to "all fathers".

For those who are here in Tbilisi there are addintional screenings of the film - and I can't see why the film could not go to other international festivals.

http://www.cinedoc-tbilisi.com/


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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

Cinedoc Tbilisi Starts Tonight

Written 03-05-2018 16:53:36 by Tue Steen Mller

Cinedoc Tbilisi Starts Tonight

Arriving to Rustaveli Palace Hotel in Tbilisi this morning after two flights from Copenhagen. Five hours of sleep and then out to re-discover lovely Tbilisi ending up with a cappuccino and a chacha outside the Marco Polo restaurant, where Current Time TV’s Kenan Aliyev and his Georgian filmmaker friend were sitting. Kenan told me that he intends to continue – with his Russian language channel – to support emerging filmmakers and he is also here to hand out awards during the Civil Pitch, as he did in Kiev at the DocuDays. A small looking back: This restaurant was some years ago the breakfast place for – among others – Latvian Uldis Cekulis and British Peter Symes. We had – Georgian tradition – at least in the countryside it was said – a morning chacha to give us a kick before the tutoring of documentarians at the Goethe Institute closeby.

And then off to Amirani theatre, where most of the screenings will take place. To collect the bag with the badge and the program, and to say hello to Artchil Khetagouri and Ileana Stanculescu, the two festival directors. They were there surrounded by a dedicated group of staff members and volunteers preparing for the opening night, carrying wine to the cinema lobby as you can see on the photo.

The opening film is “Transparent World” by Georgian Vakhtang Kuntsev-Gabashvili, warm and wonderful it is, here is the description of the film:

“Life is not only about giving birth to a child, it is about the responsibility that new life brings into our existence, that the child will be brought up as a legitimate person. Right-minded parents will gracefully share the duty of being patient and loyal to their child.

Today Beka is 26 years old... His father taught him his profession. Beka makes art photography and a film about a physicist and composer. He had his first photo exhibition recently. Father's patience and understanding helped him to introduce his son to adult life and make him believe in his own talent…"

Back to my festival bag, where there was also to be found a football shirt and football shorts and a whistle… There is a film about football, Romanian called “Infinite Football”, about a man who wants to change the rules of the noble game. “They”, the festival organisers, want me to be the referee of the match that is a test of the rules… Oooh, I am already dead nervous. Not Kenan from Current Time: I want to play!

http://www.cinedoc-tbilisi.com/


Categories: Festival, 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/


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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig 2018

Written 27-04-2018 10:35:21 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig 2018

Demand the Impossible! is the motto of this year’s edition of DOK Leipzig (October 29 – November 4). In 2018, the festival’s Special Programmes will revolve around films that seek to bring about changes or depict processes of transformation, with the focus firmly on the emancipatory power of art. “We see the festival motto as a compass that helped us create our Special Programmes. The phrase Demand the Impossible! served as an inspiration to us when working on the conception of this year’s edition”, explained programmer Ralph Eue.

The motto is also a reference to this year’s Retrospective, which is dedicated to the years surrounding 1968. 50 years on, the Special Programme traces out that era’s virulent urge for aesthetic and social renewal and gathers together films from half a century that centre on 1968. “1968” is to be understood here as a symbol of pioneering events whose effect is still felt today. The Retrospective doesn’t approach these radical changes in society and aesthetics from the focal point of the protests themselves, but rather from the margins, with the idea being to consider the brittleness of existing orders in many different places at the time that eventually carried social upheaval into everyday life.

This year’s Homage honours filmmaker Ruth Beckermann (“The Dreamed Ones”), who is regarded as one of the founding members of Austria’s independent film scene and



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Categories: Festival, 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

Cinedoc Tbilisi 2018

Written 22-04-2018 16:19:32 by Tue Steen Mller

Cinedoc Tbilisi 2018

The sixth edition of the documentary festival in Tbilisi takes place May 3-8. I am going there again. Why? Because I am impressed of what good people are doing to improve the conditions for the documentary in the country. Building up a culture for documentaries, in other words. The two women who got me to come to Georgia almost 10 years were Anna Dziapshipa and Salome Jashi, filmmakers and tutors and organisers of training events through their Sakdoc. This year they are doing rough cut sessions for Georgian filmmakers.

The festival itself, however, was set up by two other good friends, the filmmakers Artchil Khetagouri and Ileana Stanculescu, who again this year offer a variety of choices for the audience and the professionals, who come to wonderful Tbilisi to enjoy films and the warm hospitality by the organisers. There is an industry section, and of course an international competition with DOKLeipzig’s Leena Pasanen as one of the jury members, there is a Focus Caucasus competition with Ukrainian director Roman Bondarchuk as a jury member… and Romania is the guest country with great films as the DOKLeipzig winner ”Licu” by Ana Dumitrescu, ”Tarzan’s Testicles” by Alexandru Solomon, ”Cinema, Mon Amour” by Alexandru Belc and ”Infinite Football” (PHOTO) by Corneliu Porumbolu.

For a football freak the latter is quite interesting, introducing a man who wants to change the football rules and has quite precise plans for how this can improve the noble game. There are rumours that the festival organisers will test the proposed rules – in a match where the festival plays against the guests!

http://www.cinedoc-tbilisi.com/


Categories: Festival, 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

DocsBarcelona 2018

Written 18-04-2018 14:34:56 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona 2018

DocsBarcelona has existed for more than 20 years. As an industry event, a market, where documentary projects are developed and pitched, where professionals meet to exchange ideas and push films further.

The DocsBarcelona as a festival, however, started small scale in 2007, getting growing to be what it is today with 40 films, competitions, an official Panorama section, a section called Latitude (”a selection of the best documentaries made in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America”), a section called ”What the Doc” for ”the most radical and innovative films of the current documentary scene..” Plus special sections and Doc-U, films made by local universities.

The selection is great, hmm - I can say so as I took part. But having films in



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Elvira Lind: Bobbi Jene/ 2

Written 17-04-2018 11:24:18 by Tue Steen Mller

Elvira Lind: Bobbi Jene/ 2

Med mere end 50 filmfestivaler på sit cv – og flere i vente bl.a. Ciné-doc i Tbilisi og DocsBarcelona i maj måned – får den fremragende danske dokumentarfilm ”Bobbi Jene” af Elvira Lind biografpremiere i Danmark den 19. April. I dagens Politiken er der et fint baggrundsinterview med instruktøren og filmens hovedperson. Gå ind og se den film, som har energi i hver eneste scene. Det er en sjælden smuk og usædvanlig oplevelse! Et citat fra pressematerialet:

Elvira Lind: "Da jeg mødte Bobbi Jene, stod hun som kvinde og kunstner konfronteret med et dilemma, og jeg så muligheden for at fortælle historien om en kompromisløs kvindelig kunstner, der ikke var bange for at skubbe grænser. Hun var aldrig bange for at være sårbar, samtidig med at hendes styrke og uafhængighed blev opretholdt. Jeg havde selv lyst til at se en film om nogen som hende."

Jeg så filmen i Vilnius Litauen for et halvt år siden på stort lærred og med de studerende lavede vi en anmeldelse, som jeg citerer fra:

… The love she feels for the 10 year younger Or… of course we talked about that. She is so open about it and she expresses her feelings constantly. Her smiles, her doubts, her disappointment when he does not want to stay with her in NY. I am not ready, he says and Israel is my country.

A student referred to Pina Bausch. Dancing is healing. I don’t know if the artist Bobbi Jene, who works so hard ”to get to a place where there is nothing to hide”, would formulate it like that. Her dancing is so strong and expressive, sculptural, naked both literally and as a metaphor for her search for freedom in all aspects. Her nakedness, even her voice has this fragility that you could call naked, one student said.

What a drama, what a film. I explained the students that we at filmkommentaren work with a rating system. How many pens would they give? Strong majority for 6… The best!

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4030/


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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Veronika Kaserer: berall wo wir sind/ 2

Written 16-04-2018 18:43:47 by Tue Steen Mller

Veronika Kaserer: berall wo wir sind/ 2

Veronika Kaserer graduated from the Zelig school in Bolzano/Bozen in Italy in 2010. Since then she has done many non-film activities and some shorter works. At the Berlinale she came with the feature duration documentary that won the festival’s

Compass-Perspektive-Award. I know Veronika from teaching at Zelig, she asked me to watch the film, I did – and want to share with you the fine, reflective jury motivation for the award. So well formulated it is:

Veronika Kaserer has made a film about grief, which at the same reminds us that life is worth living. With an astonishing closeness, unconventional montage, and many surprising moments, she portrays the last weeks and days of Heiko Lekutat, a 29-year-old Berlin dance instructor, and, most notably, his wonderful, big-hearted family. Does the film cause us pain because the family’s sorrow distresses us so, or do we suffer because we feel that the great intimacy to those grieving oversteps a line and in doing so impinges on our own sense of well-being? The editing constantly flashes back and forth between “before” and “after” Heiko’s death. Is it legitimate to disrupt the process of dying in this way in order to arouse, on an abstract level, empathy for the psychological and emotional process of grieving? The fact that a film triggers fierce sentiments and debates is a fine quality. We congratulate director, producer, and camerawoman Veronika Kaserer.

I wrote to Veronika…: It’s a very emotional film, it goes very close, you use the family archive material beautifully, you give the viewer time to breathe - I am amazed that the family gave you such an access and when we meet one day I would like to hear about your relation to Heiko, what you talked about, what shooting agreements you made with him; you show a lot of respect and you really catch the feeling of what it meant for the parents and the sister to go through all this.

I think you and Kathrin Dietzel (love that you stick together - with her and with Jakob Stark as Cameraperson, both former Zelig students) have chosen a daring editing structure. To comment on the jury’s comments above, it feels right to go before and after death, but is also means, my small criticism, that towards the end it feels a bit too long and repetitive some times. It’s a detail in comparison with what you have achieved.

There must be many festivals waiting for your film.

Germany, 2018, 92 mins.


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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Camilla Magid: Land of the Free

Written 15-04-2018 20:49:29 by Tue Steen Mller

Camilla Magid: Land of the Free

Time, yes, again Time means everything for many documentaries. And the other big T, Talent. And of course the most important quality for the documentarian, who cares… curiosity and compassion, maybe that is a big word, but in this case also a word that fits to the work done by a group of people, an NGO of volunteers, in Los Angeles, a priest, a psychologist/therapist and other social workers, who want to help people and families suffering from longer or shorter emprisonments. Camilla Magid, caring and compassionate, share the ambition to take strong human stories to the audience and she does it so well, because she has taken her time – the film is shot over a period of two years – and because she has a strong filmic talent as she already showed in her 2012 documentary ”White Black Boy”.

The film is structured around meetings in this Continuum, where



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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Visions du Rel Starts Tomorrow

Written 12-04-2018 13:21:10 by Tue Steen Mller

Visions du Rel Starts Tomorrow

… and seems to keep the high quality for ”auteur” documentaries that was the profile created by Luciano Barisone. The festival, in Nyon Switzerland, now with Emilie Bujès as artistic director, goes on until April 21, and announces on its website the following numbers: 174 films from 53 different countries, 78 world premieres, 23 international premieres, 2 European premieres, 42 Swiss premieres, 139 film directors attending the Festival. The last numbers are important… 139 out of 174, important!

There is a special focus on Serbia this year with 18 documentaries, including of course newer titles as ”Depth Two” by Ognjen Glavonic, ”In Praise of Nothing” by Boris Mitic, ”The Other Side of Everything” by Mila Turajlic, but also older ones like Dragan Nikolic’s ”The Caviar Connection” and ”Dragan Wende – West Berlin” by Dragan von Petrovic and Lena Müller, both of them important films.

Also to be mentioned: French Claire Simon is ”Maitre du Réel” with



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

FilmHotel und FilmUni Konrad Wolf

Written 06-04-2018 17:12:08 by Tue Steen Mller

FilmHotel und FilmUni Konrad Wolf

I live for several days at the Hotel am Griebnitzsee, which is wonderfully situated – as the name indicates – and the last two day I have been breakfasting in the terrasse of the hotel. Frühling is hier – in Potsdam, where the hotel is full of film: old cameras, photos. I pass every morning ten photos of the one and only ”die Asta” (Nielsen), Danish film star, who was acting in many films in Germany (1881-1972) before WW1 and after up to the end of the thirties, where she returned to Denmark. The only true film star we ever have had in Denmark.

At the Film University I have met 10-15 (depending on the days) dedicated film students (camera and direction and one from animation). They have seen and discussed films like ”Cameraperson” by Kirsten Johnson and ”Wongar” by Andrijana Stojkovic. The latter was awarded the other day in Belgrade, I am happy to say that it worked fine with the young German students, who have also heard their teacher talk about Agnès Varda, Frederick Wiseman, Miroslav Janek, Kossakovsky, Loznitsa, Pennebaker, Robert Frank, Herz Frank, Juris Podnieks, Maysles… and many others. And pitching and market.

This third day, however, has been the day of student films to be shown and discussed. Have to say it has been both joy- and fruitful, open discussions and constructive criticism. Tomorrow is the last day, we are to see Stasik`s ”21 x New York” and wrap up trying to define what is a documentary today.

Thanks to Peter Badel and Daniel Abma, who got me here and have treated me so well.

PS. Forgot to say that Rahul Jain passed by yesterday to show his masterpiece ”Machines” in one of the big cinemas that the school has. Rahul is excellent in talking about his film and where the inspiration came from.


Categories: TV, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Martovski Festival Awards Andrijana Stojkovic

Written 03-04-2018 11:42:05 by Tue Steen Mller

Martovski Festival Awards Andrijana Stojkovic

Two days ago Martovski Festival = The March Festival, 65th edition = Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival gave the main award for Best Long Documentary to Andrijana Stojkovic for “Wongar”. If you click below you can read what I have written about this extraordinary film that had the director go to and fro the editing room for years. It was worthwhile and my hope is now that the film will have the festival life it deserves – and maybe one or two tv stations as well, if they dare celebrate a high quality creative documentary. Here is the English translation of the jury motivation:

Out of the thematically strong selection the jury decided to award the film that distinguished itself by its minimalism, modesty, wisdom, cinematic value and a purposeful and rounded film form. A film about a foreigner in a foreign country, who, after his life spent in recording and fighting for the voice and rights of those who are systematically abolished, is seen in the old age. Old age marked by attention and calmness devoted to the dingos with whom he lives, wild dogs in which he recognised and found his mysteriously missing family, wife and children.

By making a conscious decision the author Andrijana Stojković does not explain to us the film, does not impose an attitude and an opinion about her hero, does not use the medium as a platform to hold historical or moral lessons to the audience. The director decided only to show us - without external interventions - to hand us over the universe she deals with in the film. This she accomplishes with long, melancholic and static shots that carefully capture the details of that world, at the same time submerging us in its rhythm, rules and values.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4137/

http://martovski.rs/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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