Written 31-07-2008 16:27:59 by Tue Steen Müller
3 new photos on the title page of www.filmkommentaren.dk. All with children, all from masterpieces that have been written about:
From left "Ten Minutes Older" by Herz Frank (USSR/Latvia), "Before Flying Back to the Earth" by Arunas Matelis (Lithuania) and "Three Rooms of Melancholia" by Pirjo Honkasalo (Finland).
Written 31-07-2008 16:21:46 by Tue Steen Müller
A short piece of observation that was done by one of Bulgaria´s most talented young documentary directors – in connection with the shooting of a feature film by Stephan Komandarev.
The characters are extras from the film, the village is Sokolitsa in Bulgaria, where live also gypsies and people full of charismatic pocket philosophical wisdom. And faces that can suit any film, fiction or documentary.
There is casting, there is shooting of a scene in a camp, there is kissing and drinking, there is shooting of a scene with a white bearded priest, who the director catches up with to let him be the one that asks the fundamental question that became the title of this small, unpretentious fine film that should tour all festivals that look for films about people.
Bulgaria, 28 mins., 2007
Written 30-07-2008 13:10:58 by Tue Steen Müller
Some documentaries get a lot of publicity even before they are ready to be seen. Not surprisingly a film about Barack Obama made by a producer, who is characterised as the direct opposite of Michael Moore, is talked about on the media right now. See for yourself the clips on the web site. The film comes out September 1. There are other kinds of documentaries than the creative, author driven that we normally write about on this blog...
Written 30-07-2008 11:15:01 by Tue Steen Müller
Just a brief note on this day where Karadzic has been flown to the Hague Tribunal. Actually just a link to the BBC website where you can see not only yesterday's images from the Belgrade protests against the catch of Karadzic, or the joy in the streets of Sarajevo, but also a brilliant small report from a BBC journalist from Sarajevo in 1992 or an interview with Karadzic from 1995.
Written 29-07-2008 09:17:34 by Tue Steen Müller
I have just left Vilnius, this beautiful spiritual capital of Lithuania. I had two nights at the Shakespeare Hotel, which I would like to (an exception on this blog) recommend to everyone.
Anyway, I can report to you that the Lithuanians keep their artistic quality. I have several times on this blog (use search on the site) mentioned the names of Arunas Matelis and Audrius Stonys, manyfold awarded in their own country and filmmakers who are very much esteemed internationally.
IF Lithuania still lacks a healthy and internationally open structure for funding of documentaries, and IF Lithuania has much less money available for production than the two other Baltic countries, the fact that I have recommended the selection committee at DOK Leipzig to watch 6 out of the 9 films that I saw, talks for itself. It is a country that salutes the auteur, the originality, the trust in images to tell the stories and the many layered documentaries that is what makes a creative documentary.
My host in Lithuania, a name I mention with much respect and admiration is Audrius Stonys, who makes one film per year, always related to the culture and traditions of his native country, always challenging to watch, born out of humanistic thinking. This time the title is "Four Steps", made out of a deep fascination of super-8 mm wedding films, shot in 1961, 1972, 1983 and 2007. And of course it is not "only" about wedding traditions, it is also philosophy and literature and songs and music. I look forward to see this film for the third time!
Now I break the rule of one name per country and salute Arunas Matelis as well. He is not only the master behind "Before the flight Back to the Earth" and a series of films that we saw at the Balticum Film & TV Festival in the 90'es, but has also taken the responsability to help the completion of Audrius Mickevicius long awaited and internationally supported (YLE, Finland and MDR, Germany) film about a man and his horse, "The Year of the Horse". A real Baltic documentary. Slooow, image born, no commentary, humour, a hymn to a life far away from the noisy metropoles. And far away from mainstream journalistic docs.
Do you read this, consultants at the Danish Film Institute?
Written 29-07-2008 09:01:26 by Tue Steen Müller
Riga, the city where came to life so many great documentaries during Soviet times and around the fall of the empire. I was invited to teach at the Discovery Campus session that was held at the coast, 40 minutes from Riga, and did the night before a small one hour retro session where also participants from another MEDIA training programme, Esodoc, took part.
I showed, among others, a clip from Juris Podnieks masterpiece from 1991, "Homeland", and the 1978, 30 year young film that Podnieks photographed for his master Herz Frank. Very few of (their youth excuses them) the participants knew anything about this important part of world documentary history and as always all of them were enthusiastic about "Ten Minutes Older". The title of Frank's film. Podnieks died in 1992, but his studio continues in his spirit under the competent leadership of his editor, Antra Cilinska, now both director and producer.
But Herz Frank is still around and I saw his new film,"Perpetual Rehearsal", where he warm-hearted and intelligently invites the viewer into the magic world of theatre. 10 years of video diaries has been put together by Frank from his meeting with the charismatic theatre director Yevgenij Arye from the Gesher Theatre in Tel Aviv.
If Latvia still lacks directors to fully reach the quality level that had the tradition of Podnieks, Frank and Ivars Seleckis, there is much reason to praise the activities of many people around the well functioning National Film Centre and its MEDIA Desk, Lelda Ozola, the person behind the Baltic Sea Forum that now takes place every year in September in Riga.
The current most internationally active documentary name in Latvia is Uldis Cekulis. With his company, Vides Film Studio, he presented this year a handful of films of fine quality. Personally I expect most from the film about Klucis, "Deconstruction of an Artist", that has been written about earlier on this blog, see below. But Cekulis has also a wonderful follow-up to "Dream Land" in his catalogue, one more film in the tradtition of the company - man and nature - made by Maris Maskalans and Laila Pakalnina. "Three Men and a Fish Pond". The first paints with the camera, the latter puts in humour and sense of situation. A happy working marriage.
Written 28-07-2008 23:21:46 by Tue Steen Müller
I went to Tallinn, Estonia to update my almost 20 year long love story with Baltic documentary. And to watch films for DOK Leipzig. I saw more than a dozen from last year's Estonian documentary production at the premises of Estonian Film Foundation in the old city of the capital of Estonia.
The professional level is obvious. The Estonians have maybe more than the two other Baltic countries succeeded to establish a healthy infrastructure for - taken the size of the country into consideration - spending the public funding money for film in a sensible and often very tv-targeted way. The Film Foundation collaborates with ETV, the public broadcaster, which is quite active and has for a long time had a documentary connaisseur to support - with little money yes, as everywhere - and to take home internationally recognised films for the local adience. Her name is Marje Jurtsjenko, her documentary film consultant counterpart at the Film Foundation is Raimo Joerland.
I will mention one filmmaker name from each country I visited. The Estonian name is Jaak Kilmi, who directed the funny and original "The Art of Selling" and now as a producer stands behind two films that I think will travel the world: "Nazis and Blondes" and "The Last Russian Revolutionaries". The first one has support from Eurimages and deals in a creative way with local film history - when Soviet films from the second world war were to be made, the actors for the nazi roles were all picked in the Baltic countries. Clips from the films, interviews, an arranged award ceremony for the films... You will get to see that film in one or another festival near you. Jaak Kilmi plays for the moment perfectly the double role as director and a European orientated producer.
Written 28-07-2008 00:15:43 by Tue Steen Müller
This two part series is made by the famous British company Brook Lapping that has made countless high-budget series for television, broadcast all over the world. About the Vietnam war, about the crisis in the Middle East, about many other current affairs matters. The most famous series, however, was "The Death of Yugoslavia".
"The Blair Decade" is characterised by the same journalistic approach: A lot of research has been done and characters for the film chosen after endless negociations. Top players - like Condoleeza Rice - agrees to be interviewed about Blair and his period as prime minister of England. The whole thing is put together according to chronology with the same "witnesses", all of them close participants in the political game, to make the story unfold. There is a narrator, who links the interviewes and the archive material, that comes first of all from the news. We know as viewers how it ended, it is contemporary history that recorded what Blair did in his rise and fall (the title of another film about Blair) as prime minister and world political figure.
But it is not just putting things in the right order, and edit according to words and not images - as it is being done - it is also a documentary that offers the viewer an analysis of what went wrong and how it went wrong for Blair. It is not just telling what happened, there is a point of view. In the first part, from the very beginning, his relationship to Gordon Brown is the turning point. They wanted to change together, they chose "the great persuader", Blair, to win the battle and settled as a strong couple until the moment where Brown thought that now it was his turn. And this is the focus of the second part. After having shown his perfect instinct for how to react in moments of importance: the death of princess Diana, the 9/11, the getting the Olympic games to London in 2012 etc. it all went wrong for Blair with his close link to George W. and the consequent decision to join the Iraq war taken without the support from the population.
UK/USA, 2007, 2 x 55 mins. Seen on DR2 20 & 27.7.08
Written 26-07-2008 11:22:11 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Teksten her er kommet til på min insisterende opfordring. Jeg har længe vidst, at Opstrup skrev på en lang og udførlig tekst om dokumentarfilmens dramaturgi. For nogen tid siden viste han mig en kort og meget stram version. Vi blev enige om at forsøge at give den poetikkens klassiske form. Og det har Opstrup så gjort. Dette er resultatet.
SKABELSEN AF DEN DOKUMENTARISKE FORTÆLLING
af Mikael Opstrup
Der er ingen forskel på dokumentarfilmen og fiktionsfilmen i dramaturgisk henseende. Begge har én fortælling. Her hører ligheden op.
1. I fiktionsfilmen er der kun én fortælling i skabelsesmæssig forstand. Det handlingsforløb som nedfældes i manuskriptet og siden omsættes til film.
2. I dokumentarfilmen er der både et begivenhedsforløb og en fortælling. Begivenhedsforløbet finder sted i den virkelighed dokumentarfilm beskriver. Fortællingen er instruktørens genfortælling af begivenhedsforløbet.
3. Hvor fiktionsfilmen er dramaturgisk friktionsfri - og skabelsesprocessen lineær - er kernen i dokumentarfilmens dramaturgi modsætningen mellem de to handlingsforløb, det faktuelle og det narrative.
4. Denne modsætning er antagonistisk i arbejdsmæssig henseende men komplementær i kunstnerisk forstand. Antagonisme er det forhold, at to ting er uforenelige modsætninger. At to modsætninger udelukker hinanden. Komplementaritet er det forhold, at to sider af en sag foruden at udelukke hinanden også kompletterer hinanden. At to modsætninger er hinandens forudsætninger.
5. Skabelsen af en dokumentarfilm er en antagonistisk proces, fordi vi skal formulere en fortælling på et tidspunkt, hvor vi endnu ikke kender det begivenhedsforløb, fortællingen gengiver. Det kan ikke lade sig gøre.
6. Men det lader sig gøre. Det sker ved at transformere den antagonistiske modsætning til en komplementær. Hvor fiktionsfilmens forløb ideelt set består af to skarpt opdelte faser: at skrive et manuskript og derpå omsætte det til film, består dokumentarfilmens forløb ideelt set af en uendelig vekselvirkning mellem at skabe fortællingen og at optage begivenhedsforløbet; en proces der ofte fortsætter langt ind i klippefasen.
7. Det betyder, at man hele tiden skal ændre fortællingen efter udviklingen i virkelighedsforløbet. Det vanskelige ligger i at hengive sig til den absolutte stræben, som er forudsætningen for en vellykket og forløst fortælling, velvidende at virkeligheden hele tiden vil ændre fortællingen. Konstant at stræbe mod at strukturere en virkelighedsfremstilling, som må korrigeres af virkeligheden. At kombinere absolut åbenhed med absolut beslutsomhed. At stræbe fuldt og helt mod det uopnåelige. Ja netop at finde styrken til at stræbe, fordi målet for denne stræben, er uopnåeligt.
8. Dette forhold er kernen i arbejdet med den dokumentariske fortælling. At erkende nødvendigheden af at transformere den antagonistiske modsætning mellem virkelighed og fortælling til en kreativ komplementær modsætning, er en bevidsthedsmæssig forudsætning for at skabe dokumentarisk filmkunst. At skabe det fuldendte ved at stræbe mod det umulige er den afgørende evne hos dokumentarfilm instruktøren.
9. Det er heri forskellen mellem journalistisk og kunstnerisk dokumentarisme ligger. Journalisten stræber efter en gengivelse af virkeligheden, instruktøren efter en genfortælling. Begge genrer indebærer en umulighed, men hvor journalistens mål vil være at minimere modsætningen, vil instruktørens være at uddybe den.
10. Dokumentarfilmen forløses kunstnerisk, når kun det ene lag - virkeligheden - er synligt som kontinuerlig fortælling. Når genfortællingen ikke fungerer harmonisk, dvs. hvis enkeltelementerne fra virkelighedsforløbet ikke er fuldstændigt sammenfaldende med scenerne i fortællingen, åbenbares dette andet lag - fortællingen - som et postulat. Derved ændres det virkelige begivenhedsforløb fra at udgøre fortællingens elementer til at blive en ny og selvstændig fortælling. Filmen får dermed to uafhængige narrative forløb, hvorved værket falder fra hinanden. Men når instruktørens fortælling går op i en højere enhed med virkeligheden, ophører den med at være til stede i tid og rum og findes blot som dramaturgisk klarhed.
11. Evnen til at arbejde kreativt forløsende med uforenelige modsætninger er en central evne hos dokumentarfilm instruktøren.
Written 24-07-2008 10:23:36 by Allan Berg Nielsen
CAMERAWORK. "The French preserved the ruins of Oradour just as the Germans left it. The local cemetary held the graves of those who died, their names and photographs set in stone. I walked the length of of the village, deserted, and knew I had found the sequence that would start the series. I sent Thames's best cameraman, Mike Fash, and the director, Hugh Raggett, to see what they could do. Raggett hired a helicopter to skim over and along what had been the main street; Fash and he filmed the square, the ruined church, and a house or two, with a painter's eye, against the skyline, and in light that froze them in time. It cut together marvellously well. Neal Ascherson wrote words that would give the sense of universal experience I wanted, and justify our title..." (Jeremy Isaacs: Look Me In The Eye, 2006)
Still: Before the war..
Written 23-07-2008 20:55:51 by Allan Berg Nielsen
NARRATION. "When the day came to record this, Olivier did it very well. Finished, he stood up in the recording booth, respleendent in red braces, and reached for an elegant brown tweed jacket. I joined him in the booth and remarked, pointedly, 'You do realise, don't you, that those words at the star of this are, out of the whole twenty-six hours, the very first words the viewer will hear?' 'Ah,' he said, and put the jacket down. 'I'll do it again.'
This time we got perfection - with the letter 'a' in the phrase 'Garages and barns' pronounced more ways than you might think possible, and the 'a' in 'Glâne' unlike any other 'a' you ever heard.
When I listen again to Laurence Oliviers narration, the voice I hear is deft, subtle, strong, compelling. I do not believe it could have been better done..." (Jeremy Isaacs: Look Me In The Eye, 2006)
Written 23-07-2008 08:47:24 by Allan Berg Nielsen
SCRIPT. "Down this road on a summer day in 1944 the soldiers came / Nobody lives here now / They stayed only a few hours / When they had gone, a community which had lived for a thousand years was dead / This is Oradour-sur-Glâne, in France / The day the soldiers came, the people were gathered together / The men were taken to garages and barns. The women and children were led down this road / And they were driven into this church / Here they heard the firing as their men were shot / Then they were killed, too / A few weeks later many of those who had done the killing were themselves dead - in battle / They never rebuilt Oradour / Its ruins are a memorial / Its martyrdom stands for thousand upon thousand of other martyrdoms in Poland, in Russia, in Burma, in China - in a World at War..." (Neal Ascherson: Script for narrator, the very first words in the series)
Litt.: Jeremy Isaacs: Look Me In The Eye, 2006.
Written 20-07-2008 23:12:02 by Tue Steen Müller
My co-blogger Allan Berg has for weeks followed the re-run of the classic documentary series, A World at War - on Danish television. The series is available in great dvd-editions - buy it as I will do and throw away the vhs editon of a series that also includes the most wonderful commentary text read by Sir Laurence Olivier.
DVD, UK-version http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/worldatwar/about_the_series.html
The "Genocide" chapter is written about by Jeremy Isaacs in this way:
"Hitler´s genocide against the Jews and gypsies, and the mass murder of others, is not a military subject. But I could not leave it out; not just because I'm Jewish, though that counted, but because I could not separate the evil of Nazi racial doctrine - Aryan supremacy, Untermensch subjection - from the Allied cause. Most people in Britain did not realise what Nazi racism in practice meant until the gates of concentration camps at Belsen and Buchenwald were opened by British troops in 1945. Auschwitz, Solibor, Treblinka - death camps - were worse. I wanted a programme that showed the camps in which millions perished, before the series came to the Reich's nemesis in Berlin. Darlow and Bloomberg's (afsnittets instruktør og dets forfatter) 'Genocide', clear, restrained, compassionate, tackled an almost impossible subject..."
Allan Berg refers to two other classics: Alain Resnais "Nuit et Brouillard" and Claude Lanzmann's "Shoah". Also these two are available on dvd:
If you pass by France go to any Fnac shop to buy them as I have done.
Written 20-07-2008 11:41:13 by Tue Steen Müller
This blog has constantly - through my writing - stressed that originality and creativity in documentary filmmaking of today mostly is to be found in the Eastern part of Europe.
When it comes to films for 2008/2009 there are many pearls to expect. You can witness this at the website mentioned below (of the IDF (Institute of Documentary Film)) where 9 films are presented via a small synopsis and trailers to be watched, normally 3 minutes long.
This initiative is connected to a presentation that was held during the Karlovy Vary film festvival earlier this month. Here is a quote from the organisers text:
The presentation offered a selection of feature documentary films in development aimed for theatrical release, slated to open in 2008/2009. The goal of the meeting was to draw the attention of important film professionals attending the only A category festival in the region also on some of the best films in the documentary genre. We believe that the promotion of films from the very initial stages of development is one of the most efficient tools within the overall support. Each year, festival programmers, distributors, buyers and local as well as international journalists are invited to attend the event...
http://web.docuinter.net/en/net_archive.php?id=410 Still: Vit Janecek: Iveta and the Mountain.
Written 19-07-2008 10:55:02 by Tue Steen Müller
Food for thought: What makes a documentary filmmaker?
This German text is written by a student from the Zelig Film School for Documentary at the exam in June after one year of the three year long studies. Milena Holzknecht has chosen editing for her further studies:
Ein Dokumentarfilmer sollte neben dem technischen Allround-Wissen vor allem viel soziales (politisches, wirtschaftliches, geschichtliches und kulturelles) Wissen und soziale Neugierde besitzen. Er sollte ein großes Interesse für all das haben, was mit Menschen zu tun hat. Neben dieser grundlegenden Haltung bedarf er einer gewissen Sensibilität für spannende und aktuelle Themen, sowie für interessante Menschen. Daher sollte er die ihn umgebende Wirklichkeit stets aufmerksam beobachten. Findet er eine Geschichte, die er erzählen möchte, sollte er sich seiner künstlerischen Freiheit, aber auch seiner ethischen Verantwortung gegenüber dem Protagonisten bewusst sein. Während der Recherche und der Dreharbeit geht er Beziehungen ein, die den Werdegang des Films beeinflussen können (und sollen!). Wichtig ist, dass er den Faktor „Mensch“ während der ganzen Film-Entstehungszeit nicht unberuecksichtigt lässt. Menschliche Beziehungen spielen auch in der Zusammenarbeit des Filmteams eine Rolle. Konflikte sind oft vorprogrammiert, wenn man an einer gemeinsamen Idee arbeitet. Konflikt- und Teamfaehigkeit ist daher ein Schlagwort, das auch ganz oben auf der Liste eines guten Dokumentarfilmers stehen sollte.
Written 18-07-2008 18:38:06 by Tue Steen Müller
Food for thought: This text is written by a student from the Zelig Film School for Documentary at the exam in June after one year of the three year long studies. Philipp Griess has chosen camera for his further studies.
I do not insist on a clear distinction between fiction and documentary. I do not believe in definitions of art. It helps maybe for analyzing, I don’t believe that it helps for doing films. For me Werner Herzog and his opinions in these discussions are a very important reference. I think the main point of (documentary) filmmaking is still to tell an interesting story, that someone else can identify with. So it is almost always about people, or the fate of someone. Films about people impress me, but in the end the story is bigger than just this one biography. It is what Herzog does in “Grizzly Man” or “White Diamond” and it is the story of the young Danish female pilot ("Smiling in a War Zone”) who flies to Kabul to teach a young girl flying. This is also the films of Michael Moore. And for sure “Darwin’s Nightmare”.
New documentary film is also the set up (dt: Inszenierung) of happenings (“Czech Dream” – great film), of situations (“MegaCities” – the beautiful sequence when the Mexican superman dictates a letter to the world, “The heritage of the world is the Abstruse”) and the creation of pictures like in “Black Sun”, “Working Mans Death”.
Film (like every art form) is very closely connected to the spirit of a time. So especially doc films should be open for graphics, drawings, sounds and music in every style, strange editing (“Ghosts of City Soleil”, “Mondovino”) and any other irritation – if it helps to tell what has to be told.
But the documentary film represents from my point of view still a way to tell things the public doesn’t know about – or does not want to know about. It has to be open for more journalistic/historical approaches (“Terrors Advocate” is a good example, or “The most secret place on earth” about the American hidden war in Cambodia).
www.zeligfilm.it Still: It is what Herzog does in “White Diamond”..
Written 18-07-2008 18:34:53 by Tue Steen Müller
A brief and warm salute to the director of the film from Afghanistan that we sneak-reviewed on this blog almost half a year ago. It will have its international premiere at the prestigious Locarno film festival, see site below. A quote from the press realease of the production company:
The documentary film “Kites” dir. Beata Dzianowicz has been invited to take part in
The “Semaine de la Critique” is an independent section, organized by Switzerland's
Written 13-07-2008 20:37:16 by Tue Steen Müller
... var ét af de filmklip jeg morede mig over ved at bevæge mig rundt på nedenstående hjemmeside. Filmen er 1903 og det er naturligvis Peter Elfelt, der står bag. Her er et klip fra DFI's egen introduktion til dette fremragende initiativ:
På Danmarks Nationalfilmografis website er det nu muligt at se mere end 50 korte historiske filmklip. Filmene stammer primært fra stumfilmperioden, men enkelte tonefilm er også tilgængelige.
Nationalfilmografien er en omfattende database, der indeholder oplysninger om samtlige danske spillefilm, alle danske stumfilm og godt 500 danske dokumentarfilm. Derudover indeholder Nationalfilmografien nu også et mediegalleri med filmklip, plakater, stumfilmprogrammer, stills fra filmene og portrætbilleder af omkring 450 skuespillere og instruktører.
Written 12-07-2008 10:57:03 by Allan Berg Nielsen
ET UMULIGT EMNE. Det er eftertankens øjeblik denne tidlige aftentime med dagens afsnit. I aftes det 20. af de 26. Og jeg blev helt stille.. det værste var og er, at jeg jo godt vidste det. Jeg har læst om det, set Resnais og Cayrols Nuit et broullard, set Lanzmanns Shoah, hørt Wiess Die Ermittlung som radiomontage. Men det er mange år siden, og jeg må have lagt låg på, fortrængt den kendsgerning, at selv den mest rystende detalje i fortællingerne om udryddelsen viser sig at være sand. Det er ikke et mareridt, det var og er vågen virkelighed, og det er det hver gang, det fortælles. Når det er vederhæftigt som i aftes. Afsnit 26: Genocide.
Jeremy Isaacs skriver om det: "Hitler´s genocide against the Jews and gypsies, and the mass murder of others, is not a military subject. But I could not leave it out; not just because I'm Jewish, though that counted, but because I could not separate the evil of Nazi racial doctrine - Aryan supremacy, Untermensch subjection - from the Allied cause. Most people in Britain did not realise what Nazi racism in practice meant until the gates of concentration camps at Belsen and Buchenwald were opened by British troops in 1945. Auschwitz, Solibor, Treblinka - death camps - were worse. I wanted a programme that showed the camps in which millions perished, before the series came to the Reich's nemesis in Berlin. Darlow and Bloomberg's (afsnittets instruktør og dets forfatter) 'Genocide', clear, restrained, compassionate, tackled an almost impossible subject..."
For mig står deres Genocide klart ved siden af Resnais/Cayrols, Lanzmanns og Weiss værker som et monument af uafrystelige videner trods mine forsøg på at skubbe dem væk, disse filmoptagelser.
Jeremy Isaacs: The World at War 1-26, UK, 1973-1974. DR2 disse dage (ikke i weekenden) kl. 19:15 http://www.dr.dk/dr2/En+verden+i+krig + DVD, UK-version http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/worldatwar/about_the_series.html Litt.: Mark Arnold-Forster: The World at War, 1973. (Bogen som oprindelig fulgte serien). Richard Holmes: The World at War, The Landmark Oral History from the Previously Unpublished Archives, 2007 og Jeremy Isaacs: Look Me In The Eye, 2006, denne bog om hans 40 år som tv-mand, har et kapitel om denne serie.
Written 11-07-2008 19:59:23 by Tue Steen Müller
De hundrede mest bevaringsværdige danske dokumentarfilm... den opgave blev stillet undertegnede og Niels Jensen for nogle år tilbage. Og den liste kan diskuteres, naturligvis, og I skal vide, hvis I kigger os nærmere i kortene, at når Jørgen Roos, Jørgen Leth og Jon Bang Carlsen ikke er med på listen, så er det fordi deres film allerede er sikret bevaring på bedst mulige måde. Husker I det, filmmuseum? Her er teksten fra hjemmesiden, som I kan klikke jer ind på:
"Det Danske Filminstituts Filmarkiv bad i begyndelsen af 2006 to inkarnerede dokumentarfilmkendere, Tue Steen-Møller og Niels Jensen, om at udpege de 100 væsentligste og mest signifikante danske dokumentarfilm. Denne liste, der fik navnet "Doks 100", anvendes som rettesnor for bevaringsindsatsten i forhold til dokumentarfilm i filmarkivets samling (en lignende er tidligere blevet udformet for danske spillefilm). I forbindelse med det filmografiske arbejde blev listen udvidet med yderligere 39 titler, tilskyndet af Filminstituttets ph.d.-stipendiat Palle Bøgelund Petterson."
Still fra Anne Wivels Giselle, som er med på listen "Doks100" (+39). At filmen også er med på spillefilmlisten er selvfølgelig og dog tankevækkende. (ABN red.)
Written 10-07-2008 20:21:21 by Tue Steen Müller
... er et uundværligt redskab for den, der vil søge tilbage i den danske filmhistorie. Jeg gider ikke beklage mig over at dokumentarfilmen ikke får samme opmærksomhed som spillefilmen, jeg vil hellere glæde mig over den nemme tilgængelighed, der nu eksisterer til tusindvis af oplysninger.
Men... den gamle bibliotekar undrer sig over filmografien under Jørgen Roos, dansk dokumentarfilms største navn. Der er et gabende hul fra 1972-1995, hvor Jørgen var temmelig aktiv. Ret lige det, her i ti-året for hans død. Tak!
Written 10-07-2008 09:18:13 by Tue Steen Müller
Food for thought. This text is written by a student from the Zelig Film School for Documentary at the exam in June after one year of the three year long studies. János Richter has chosen direction for his further studies:
Moderne Dokumentarfilme bewegen sich weg von der klassischen Reportage-Form und bedienen sich aller Stilmittel und Techniken, die schon im Spielfilm oder verwandten Disziplinen wie Literatur und Musik verwendet werden. Sie versuchen authentisch, nicht aber objektiv (z.B. in Sinne des direct cinema) zu sein und haben eine eigene Handschrift. Sie verzichten, wenn sinnvoll, auf Interviews, erklaeren nicht mehr als notwendig und lassen dem Zuschauer Raum fuer eigene Interpretationen, etwa durch ein offenes Ende. Fiktionale Elemente oder gar Mischformen aus Dokumentar- und Spielfilm (wie z.B. bei Larry Clarke) koennen bereichernd, sollten aber als solche zu erkennen sein. Filme, die dem nahe kommen, sind z.B. die von Phie Ambo.
Written 08-07-2008 11:46:12 by Tue Steen Müller
I am on holidays in Tuscany, in Montespertoli, a small nice town in the middle of the wine paradise. Yesterday the four of us went for an open air screening of the new, enormously strong quasi-documentary film Gomorra based on the book of Roberto Saviano that is published all over. "The movie is made up of six episodes with six main characters - all revolving around the foursided criminality between the ports of Naples, Scampia, Castelvolturno and Terzigno" (Variety Profile). Did not understand the language, no English subtitles, this was for a local audience, but could feel the nerve in the film through the hand-held, constantly moving camera and the characters, who played like this was their daily profession. Return of the neo-realism. Watch it when it comes to a cinema near you.
Will be back with a review when I have understood the language.
Italy, 2008, 135 mins. Grand Prix, Cannes 2008. Review from there: http://www.cinematical.com/2008/05/21/cannes-review-gomorra/
Written 07-07-2008 09:46:20 by Tue Steen Müller
Food for thought. This text is written by a student from the Zelig Film School for Documentary at the exam in June after one year of the three year long studies. George Bocher has chosen direction for his further studies:
The essence of what documentary can be today is shown in the Canadian film "Manufactured Landscapes" (Jennifer Baichwal) in the very first shot. A very long shot, a never-ending camera-travel through a Chinese factory-hall.
It's the most impressive dolly shot I have ever seen. Why is it so great?
Because it shows the conflict between our expectations for fictional representation of reality and the representation in documentaries/reportage.
The usual standard-pan inside the hall we would have seen in a TV-reportage would have made it easy for the viewer to swallow the image, to sort it intohis/her categories. It is through this dolly shot that we experience the full dimensions of the hall and the nature of the labour in it.
The sense of a motivated travel of the eye that the dolly usually promises is turned into a nightmarish caricature as we only see the ever-repeating landscape of people at machines. Strangely it is the use of means from fiction-films that makes this reality more real for us again. I think this is one of the paradox documentary makers have to live with today.
Written 06-07-2008 12:08:07 by Tue Steen Müller
Food for thought. This German text is written by a student from the Zelig Film School for Documentary at the exam in June after one year of the three year long study. Kathrin Dietzel has chosen editing for her further studies:
Ich denke ein Dokumentarfilmer sollte die Faehigkeit haben, Vertrauen zu anderen Menschen aufzubauen. Er sollte bereit sein etwas von sich preiszugeben und eine Vertrauensbasis schaffen koennen, in der auch ein Gegenueber sich trotz Filmequipment und Unsicherheit oeffnen kann.
Ein Dokumentarfilmer sollte offen sein, seine Ansichten und Ueberzeugungen immer wieder in Frage stellen und ueberpruefen und keine vorschnellen Urteile faellen. Nur so kann meiner Meinung nach ein Film entstehen, der einerseits persoenlich ist, wirklich eintauchen kann in die Lebensrealitaet eines anderen Menschen und andereseits diesen Menschen mit Respekt darstellt, ohne sensationslustig oder voyeuristisch zu sein oder zu wirken.
Written 05-07-2008 13:18:47 by Tue Steen Müller
The following text was written by a student from the Zelig School for documentary as a motivation from her to go for editing studies in the next two years after the first year of general studies:
Editing is like a balancing act on a tightrope: On the one hand your walk shouldn't be to rigid - you have to be flexible. On the other hand you shouldn't be carried away by emotions: both would be fatal. Editing means declarative power, but at the same time responsability - to the protagonist(s), to the director and of course to the film itself. Editing denotes motion, but in certain moments stand still. It needs conscious decisions, but also letting speak the unconscious. Editing means to search the path, not to see the wood for the trees and to find - exhausted, but happy - the way out of the forest of the cutting process. It represents a creative challenge, which demands consistently new solutions and finds fascinating answers. Editing is an activity, which gives me - because of the reasons mentioned above - a lot of gratification and pleasure. June 2008
Written 03-07-2008 08:20:55 by Tue Steen Müller
My story has no importance, there is nothing special about me, says one of the characters in this fine social story set in Sibiu, Romania. The filmmakers have got the permission to film a group of citizens, who all come to the same bar, are middle-aged and old people, who are as different as the rest of us and who have got their scars in life from too much drinking and poverty and consequently, for some of them, illness, death in the families and other tough marks to carry around.
The film is social in a classical way, but with small playful montage sequences and a well chosen music that includes great nostalgic bar tunes from England. You need to lighten up a film like that and the director succeeds to get in to their homes and bedrooms, put in great anecdotes and pocket philosophical remarks. It creates a light non-sentimental atmosphere to accompany the curious observational camera.
The film was made as part of an international workshop, Aristoteles, financed by MEDIA Programme of the EU, the tv-station Arte and (in this case) TVRomania. Well done, Corina Radu confirms that a lot of good happens with Romanian film right now.
Romania, 2007, 57 mins.
Written 01-07-2008 08:20:24 by Allan Berg Nielsen
SYNOPSIS. Det var i aftes det 11. af de 26 afsnit. Og det var stort. Det var om krigen på østfronten 1941-1943. Det tyske angreb mod Litauen, Letland, Estland, Ukraine, Hviderusland og til sidst Rusland selv. Hele det vældige Sovjetunionen truet over den bredeste front vel i militærhistorien.
Isaacs overlader imidlertid stort set generalernes verden af armeernes betegnelser, divisionernes antal, fremrykningernes ruter, slagene (bortset fra det største af alle, slaget ved Kursk), tilbagetrækningerne og belejringerne af byerne (bortset fra Leningrads som er det forfærdende eksempel) til Arnold-Forster, som i sin bog omhyggeligt følger tv-afsnittene op, så jeg kan repetere de historiske facts. Selv koncentrerer han sig om det, som han til dette afsnit skrev i synopsens to linjer:
Focusing on the non-military aspects of the war in the soviet Union such as industri and morale, the siege of Leningrad, the Soviet partisans, the Battle of Kursk, and the war's ultimate sacrifice in 20 million Soviet dead.
Denne enkle plan har så hele vejen igennem styret arbejdet med afsnittet og skabt et umisteligt tv-epos af rystende filmreportage, gribende beretninger fra medvirkende og først og sidst Laurence Oliviers læsning af den lyrisk-episke voice-over tekst, som her i afsnittet inkluderer store citater af russiske digte. Dette mesterlige arbejde foran mikrofonen låner afsnittet her og serien som sådan shakespeareske toner og dimensioner.
Jeremy Isaacs: The World at War 1-26, UK, 1973-1974. DR2 disse dage kl. 19:10 http://www.dr.dk/dr2/En+verden+i+krig + DVD, UK-version http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/worldatwar/about_the_series.html Litt.: Mark Arnold-Forster: The World at War, 1973. (Bogen som oprindelig fulgte serien). Richard Holmes: The World at War, The Landmark Oral History from the Previously Unpublished Archives, 2007.
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