Written 31-10-2009 08:58:14 by Tue Steen Müller
The small town in Czech Republic is full of people, who are here to watch films. There is a big local, young audience. There are professionals who come from all parts of the world to buy films for their tv channels, pick up films for their festivals, filmmakers with films to be presented and discussed with the audience and filmmakers with film projects to be developed and pitched for eventual financing. Documentaries all over.
I had the chance to see a film that is not yet released: ”Katka” by Helena Trestikova, who had a huge success with her previous film, ”Réné”. That will also happen with ”Katka”, which is a touching and tough drama about a young girl over a period of 10 years where she gets into a drug addiction that she is not able to leave. Railway stations, squatted totally devastated houses, meetings with social workers, tears and violence. Katka gets pregnant, her Teresa is born, she wants to keep her child but can only do so if she gets clean. The film is on its way to theatres in Czech Republic and festival goers all over the world will meet it, I am sure.
Finnish Iikka Vehkalahti from the national broadcaster YLE presented the web-doc project that he has initiated in Finland. Lönrott it is called – small stories from Finnish people inspired by the David Lynch supported, American Interview webdoc compilation that has been written about before on this site. Vehkalahti travels the festivals right now (he will also go to Sheffield and Amsterdam) to spread out his Finnish concept to become a global series.
Written 28-10-2009 09:25:14 by Tue Steen Müller
Documentary festival in Jihlava. Accompanied by the East European Forum that I am part of as a tutor and moderator. There will be project development and pitching of around 20 projects during the coming weekend. To a panel of another 20 broadcast and film fund representatives. A varied film festival programme and a huge digitalised market. The competence and professionalism behind the so-called industry programme comes from IDF, Institute of Documentary Film.
The East European Forum started yesterday with 3 inspirational case studies from former participants, who finished their films successfully. All three films have been written about or reviewed on this site: ”The Deconstruction of an Artist” (PHOTO) by Latvian producer Uldis Cekulis, ”The Moon inside You” by Slovak director and producer Diana Fabianova, and ”Rabbit a la Berlin” by Polish producer Anna Wydra. 1) Cekulis talked about the immense work it was to raise funding for a film about an artist, Gustav Klucis, that very few people had ever heard about – and how he and the director Peteris Krilovs fought to find the right style and rythm of a film, that now stands out as a brilliant historical art and love story.
2) Fabianova, who came into the Ex Oriente without any experience at all in film production and with just a small documentary course on her cv, gave the participants the unbelievable story about her film on menstruation – that has now been sold to 17 countries, has a life in educational circles, will be released in theatres in several countries, and will make a profit! Not usual for a creative documentary. 3) Anna Wydra, producer and creative collaborator on the 40 minute masterpiece of Bartek Konopka, German title ”Mauerhaase”, was more than enthusiastic about the fact that the film was on the shortlist of an Oscar together with 7 American productions. The nominations will be out by February 1st for a film that had a hard time to find the perfect narrative balance between rabbits and people, between wild life and history – but it did and watch out readers for the tv programmes on November 9, the 20th year date of the fall of the wall. It could very well be on your channel.
Written 27-10-2009 10:19:08 by Tue Steen Müller
The final pitching session of the Documentary Campus Masterschool took place in Leipzig in the building of the local broadcaster MDR, on the 13th floor with a beautiful view to the city. Only to be watched in the breaks as the showing of film clips (also called trailers, teasers, tasters, demos, pilots) was not a good match to the strong autumn sunlight of this last weekend. The room was darkened when commissioning editor Claudia Schreiner welcomed her colleagues (around 30) around the table as well as the film producers and directors present, waiting to present (pitch) their documentary projects:
Our situation ressembles the one of many of you editors in this room. We have to spend the little money we have for so many documentaries as possible, she said. In this way she characterized the poor situation for European public broadcasters, who face general cut downs in staff and money.
Nevertheless, the atmosphere in the room was as always very ”homey” as the pitchings took off under the moderation of Canadian Rudy Buttignol, who did all he could to set a good mood. Without hiding that the channels who are normally financially strong for the creative documentaries have problems. The European cultural channel arte is going more and more mainstream, and France Télévisions (hosting FR2, FR3, FR4, FR5) has for a long time been in a reconstruction phase that will bring more centralisation.
Topics on the first day were – among others – a classical British social theme on youngsters in Manchester getting into criminal affairs ruining their lives, a television programme on poker-playing, a beautiful emotional story on a Japanese woman who grew up without a mother, married a Greek man and moved to the island of Crete and a cinematic story from a faraway place in Georgia: a house, a restaurant, a barking dog, waitresses. A place where time has stopped.
Photo from film project "Soldiers of the Lord" by Michael Krass, awarded the best pitch in Leipzig.
Written 27-10-2009 10:16:59 by Tue Steen Müller
The reactions from the panel of broadcasters in a pitching session, when the editors are positive, are normally ”let’s talk more”. Which the editors and the project holders then do in private meetings. Which then may result in an agreement, be it a pre-buy or a coproduction, which then again normally goes through a local producer. In other words it is seldom that a broadcaster commits him- or herself on the spot. The financial process is long but the success stories are many of international coproductions that have crossed orders for the benefit of the audience.
But something happened in Leipzig. Two projects got what I would call jackpot: One was from Serbia, ”The Battery Man” – clip from the description of the film project:
... about an extraordinary man who can fry a hot dog with his own hands... able to accumulate electricity and he can consciously control its power while discharging it... MDR said YES, arte said that this is a must-see film and the Sundance Channel urged the filmmakers to make a feature length film for a live audience.
The same overwhelmingly positive reception was given to ”Polish Faith”, a film project about the catholic radio station ”Radio Maryja” that is obtaining a lot of support for its anti-abortion, and to a certain degree anti-semitic propaganda that it wants also outside the Polish borders.The Berlin based channel RBB committed itself, as did Lithuanian television, the Greek Skai – and BBC4 controller Richard Klein wanted to know more.
Photo from film project "Taste the Waste" by Valentin Thurn.
Written 25-10-2009 20:26:08 by Tue Steen Müller
Prizes were given yesterday in Lisbon and there was 15.000€ for the Chinese film ”Petition” by Zhao Liang. Here is what the film is about: Since 1996, Zhao Liang has been filming the “petitioners”, who come from all over China to file complaints about the abuses and injustices committed by the authorities. For the most part, they live in makeshift shelters for months or even years until they can obtain justice. A unique testimony about China today.
Two films that have previously been written about on this site were among the winners: Aliona Polunina’s ”The Revolution that Wasn’t”, as best investigative documentary (5000€) and ”10 min.” (PHOTO) by Jorge Léon as best short documentary (3000€).
Written 25-10-2009 20:08:55 by Tue Steen Müller
The Prix Europa for the Best Documentary Television Programme 2009 goes to a Film that is also available for the participants of the DOKLeipzig – the stylistically brilliant close up on people who come to the hospital to receive chemotherapy, made by Pawel Lozinski, who is known for other very fine works, among them the short film ”Sisters”. Here is a quote from the press release about the film that hopefully will travel the world. The jury said at the prize ceremony:
"This documentary once again underlines how important it is that we continue to celebrate and commiserate the human condition in our work. The sensitivities displayed both on the other and this side of the camera should make us all in this hall proud of our commitment to documentary film making.
And yet, by the end of the film the director and his team had impressed on us the strengths, wisdom and humour of those who attempt to defeat or come to terms with this hideous and deadly disease."
Written 23-10-2009 23:59:42 by Tue Steen Müller
The innovative Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in Czech Republic announces the following that will interest not only his Danish friends and fans like this blogger:
The principal guest of Jihlava IDFF will be the distinguished Danish documentary maker, writer and poet Jørgen Leth. The festival has prepared for him “five Jihlava obstructions” (a variation on the well-known film The Five Obstructions, made by Leth with the provocative director Lars von Trier): The selection of the winner of this year’s Opus Bonum, author’s reading of controversial stories from Haiti, acerbic comments on new world documentaries, Leth as an Erotic Man and in 27 scenes from the film by Amir Labaki.
The festival takes place October 27 – November 1.
Written 22-10-2009 19:42:01 by Tue Steen Müller
Ania, Gosia and Ilona go to the city from the countryside, where possibilities to get work are small or non-existing. They are sweet and natural and they react differently to the new world with many temptations. The film is shot over a long period and suffers a bit from the jumps in time that you hear about or understand but do not sense. Arranged scenes help to push the action so the overall impression is that this is an honest report from Poland today, and I guess it could take place in any bigger country. The first station is a boarding house, the next ones are either to return home as does Ania for her boyfriend Andrzej and Ilona for her small child.
... and just want to praise again the producer and director Krzysztof Kopczyński from Eureka Media for his work – you can find other of his films mentioned and reviewed on this site: Stone Silence and Kites.
Written 21-10-2009 19:47:04 by Tue Steen Müller
Ukraine, in the countryside. A man who talks. A real talker. A man full of Life and energy. And a man with a mission: he wants to honour people. Which he does in his own way by constructing and placing monuments on the cemeteries without any discrimination of where the dead come from. Whether they were Poles, Jews or Russians. He restores and improves the simple graves, we see him in his outdoor workshop in his garden, we see him inside in his modest home writing a letter to his brother in London, or putting down on paper short notes on what he has been doing during the day. And away he goes again on his bike for new works and new stories that he conveys to the cameraman and director – the same person. Choirs and masses in the church, veterans in uniforms, hymns to the liberation of Ukraine. Patriotic, yes, but also a meeting with a man that you cant help have sympathy for. A good meeting because of a good observant and situational documentary film.
Contact for the film: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ukraine, 2009, 70 mins.
Written 21-10-2009 08:35:43 by Tue Steen Müller
... with the subtitle: The CIA´s covert war in Laos... is a brilliant piece of journalistic research combined with a very effective documentary tv language in the best sense of the word: strong characters interviewed, a precise commentary, characterizing tone-setting music, wonderful archive, and a beginning, middle and an end. In that order.
There is reason for huge respect for the work of Marc Eberle, he gets very close to his witnesses and makes them open up, and contrary to a BBC approach he does not take the official line and make politicians speak and make statements. On the contrary he goes for emotions among the so-called ordinary people, who became the victims.
It is all about another blood filled action or series of actions performed by the Americans to make Laos the place from where the Vietnam war could be led through air raids and illegal bombardements. Long Chen is the name of the air base in Laos, a whole community of heroin addicts among the soldiers, hmong people dragged in to beat the Pathet Lao, brutality, prostitution. If today, this would have been the perfect research material for Coppola and his ”Apocalypse Now”. It is an exciting piece of modern unrevealed history from beginning till end. And it includes material never seen before.
Germany, 2008, 52 mins. and 72 mins.
Written 20-10-2009 17:50:09 by Tue Steen Müller
What is it that makes a festival nice to visit? The atmosphere of course, which is about the venue and the people hosting you. The information given to you about the programme – website, catalogue, introduction of visiting directors – and the programme itself. Being serious about the art of documentary but in a unpretentious setting. And daring to fight for better conditions for the documentary on a national and international level.
They have it all in DOCLisboa. Thank you and please stay on this high level! I have left the festival that is still running, wish you all the best! And dear readers and professionals, there is a new festival next year.
Photo is from Reminiscenses from a Journey Back to Lithuania by Jonas Mekas, who is the guest of honour of DOCLisboa with a 25 hour retrospective of the director´s work. Several clips can be watched on the site of the festival, inclusing a new film he made on Martin Scorcese.
Written 19-10-2009 19:52:51 by Tue Steen Müller
This is the start: A monkey looking into your eyes, an orangutan’s gaze into the camera. At US, those who are outside the glass. Or just looking into nothing. No sound, or very soft sound from the streets around the Parisian Jardin des Plantes, that has been the home of Nénette, since she was 3 years old. She is now 40, an usual high age for an orangutan. Alone she is, having survived three marriages. They all died, the males. She has children around her, and she gets pills so no incest happens. Because what do we actually know about monkeys and their behaviours, what they think, how they behave, if they are as sad as they look or if this is just something that we on the outside of the glass project into them as we are in need of these emotions?
Nicolas Philibert, master of documentary, celebrated on this site many times, has made this 55 minutes long documentary that never leaves Nénette and uses a voice-off very intelligently. Spontaneous comments from children vary with those from couples, and with thoughtful reflections from so-called experts, anthropologists and from a man who as been working in the Jardin des Plantes for 35 years. Music and a song to the orangutans.
Do you think Nénette understands where she is and who we are, she who has spent her life doing nothing as it is said!
I saw the film on a small computer screen, I look forward to the big screen but I can see that Philibert again has made something special with his fine humanistic, non-intellectual approach to Film and Life. Nénette was looking at him behind the camera, as if the camera was not there, an old wise creature she seems to be and you can’t help feel sorry for her at the same time as you are grateful to have met her. And for a film that brings you in an almost meditative mood.
Nénette, France, 2009, 55 mins.
Written 19-10-2009 12:28:52 by Tue Steen Müller
”Kill the Referee” is a film of Belgian and Swiss nationality, directed by Yves Hiant, a film for football fans like this blog writer – as loyal readers and friends have noticed. And it is amazing because of its unique access to a handful of referees and to the back stage of the Euro08. The film crew follows the referees into the dressing room, at the internal meetings where the selection of the teams take place and through the video evaluation of the matches, and into the hotel rooms, and at the homes where parents and wives follow their heroes in action. And heroes, well this is not what the players consider them to be, it is a hell of a job that takes lot of courage. Howard Webb, English referee, was haunted by the whole Polish nation (including death threats againgst him and his family) after his performance in the match Austria against Poland. He gave a penalty to Austria in the last minute of the match – which was absolutely correct and a very brave decision – but had allowed an off side goal to Poland earlier in the match, for which he did not go to the knock-out stage of the tournament. Webb is the hero of the film but there are also fine sequences and follow-ups on a Spanish and an Italian referee. What is the most astonishing in the film is actually that you hear the communication that is done between the referee and his linesmen during the match. Wow, for this technology, and bravo UEFA for letting a film like that be made. Good publicity for the job of being a referee – which does not mean that I will not shout the next time I see an unfair decision from one of those in black!
Kill the Referee, 2009, 75 mins.
Written 19-10-2009 11:50:13 by Tue Steen Müller
Opening film at the festival: ”The Fortress” (PHOTO) by Swiss director Fernand Melgar, who was not present at the screening as his documentary was released in theatres in Japan. The story, a real European one, I would say, at least it could perfectly have been Denmark as location, is told in a Wiseman-like observational style from an institution for asylum seekers. The camera is omnipresent and catches moments of despair and hope from the side of the seekers, the people who wish for a better life in another country than their own and have to go through the endless interviews that are performed to check their stories. It is very moving, but also comic-tragic when you see and hear that the seekers change their stories to get a better chance to stay in what they can only consider as Wonderland = Switzerland. The people who represent the authorities are in general very kind and take part in scenes far away from their own reality, like the white office manager who goes to a mass for black seekers and try hard to find the rythm of the music. Hilarious!
Some people try desperately to get into modern society, other leave it. The documentary of Gianfranco Rosi, ”Below Sea Level”, has already been awarded several times, so well deserved, for this big film about a series of men and women, who for different reasons have moved to the desert to live a different life in their campers or in buses turned into homes, or in tents. Whatever, the originality is proven to be of huge format, and it is a film made over such a long period, that you sense that the characters are totally confident with the presence of the camera. There is humour but also grief as their back stories are being presented. There is love and argument between them. There are great thoughts on Life. The people come out of the films as individuals and not as weird subjects being observed.
The Fortress, 2008, 100 mins.
Below Sea Level, 2008, 110 mins.
Written 19-10-2009 09:38:11 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Endelig er Per Kirkeby kommet ind i det legendariske hus i Vindeby. Godt nok for sent til at træffe Richard Winther. Han er der ikke. Han er død. Men i tide til at møde hans værk i huset, billederne på vægge og lofter. Man er med på besøget i de kolde rum. Berørt af situationen som Kirkeby er det. Han havde sammen med John Hunov planlagt eller i hvert fald talt om at køre dertil. Men de kom aldrig af sted. Og så lagde Winther sig som Kirkeby udtrykker det. Mildt bebrejdende. Nu er huset tømt for de mange, mange ting, som før fyldte det. De er flyttet langt væk. Men billederne på pudset og betonen og brædderne er der endnu, og Kirkeby er tydeligt rørt og ærligt overbevist. Dette er stort. Det er ikke vitserne fra Gl. Holtegaard udstillingen. Dette er den gamle og alvorlige akademiker. Og det er i den historiske sammenhæng Picasso og Goya. Det er derimod ikke Matisse. Kirkeby forklarer præcist hvorfor og hvordan.
Steen Møller Rasmussen har begge sider af manden med på sit fotografi af maleren i kurvestolen med opsatshat. Både det vitsede og det akademisk/statuariske. Begge sider skildret i en tydelig alvor. Men filmen koncentrerer sig udelukkende om denne særlige storhed, som overrasker Kirkeby, fastholder den i Kirkebys tøvende uforsigtige fremstilling. Usentimentalt og klart i en reportage delt på tre fortællende og kommenterende medvirkende vidner, ud over Kirkeby keramikeren Grethe Bull Sarning og kunsthistorikeren Christian Vind. En tredelt reportage (tredelt i stil, indhold og emotionel egenart), som tager sig selv alvorlig som gennemført metode hos en fotograf, som tør tage reportagen på ordet: at fortælle det som det er – og på den måde som det der var.
Steen Møller Rasmussen: Richard Winthers hus, 2008, 78 min. Findes på dvd-udgivelsen Tjener for en bydreng - Richard Winther og mig, 2009, sammen med to ældre film, Richard Winther - en undersøgelse, 1999, 21 min. og Wie, 2005, 16 min. + bog, 160 sider med biografisk essay af fotografier og tekster. Forlaget Plagiat, 2009 www.kunsteen.dk
Written 18-10-2009 11:39:13 by Tue Steen Müller
Festival director Serge Trefaut launched a passionate attack on Portuguese public broadcaster RTP at the opening of the festival. The young festival (7 years of age with an audience of 40.000 last year!) and its director has managed to get the message to newspapers, radio and television: RTP does not live up to its public service obligations and does not at all care about the creative documentary.
A panel was put together to discuss the state of the art in other European countries. Anna Glogowski, commissioning editor in France, talked about the situation in a country where the re-organisation of the public channels (FR 2,3,4,5) is in process. Jordi Ambros painted the picture of TV3 Catalunya where he is responsible for coproductions and acquisitions for his late night slot for creative documentaries. And I talked about Danish DR and its new prime time slot Dokumania on tuesday evenings – as well as the upcoming digital channel for history and culture. With the addition of a well deserved praise of the Finnish YLE and its many slots for documentaries and internationally active commissioning editors.
The input was meant to be an inspiration for the Portuguese to continue their action for a better documentary environment in a country with many fine filmmakers, I could add. A festival doing film policy. Next step probably an open letter to the government. Bravo!
Photo: From the new film of Serge Tréfaut, "City of the Dead", selected for idfa competion 2009.
Written 15-10-2009 18:33:12 by Tue Steen Müller
It is a very good move that the Jan Vrijman Fund supported films are to be seen at idfa. It is very often among these low budget documentaries that you find films that are made out of necessity and heart. By filmmakers who do not live in countries with strong support systems, and/or in political systems where political and social criticism is not welcomed. Here is the press release inclding the list of the films: A total of 22 films realised with support from the Jan Vrijman Fund have been selected for IDFA 2009. A variety of films representing all Southern continents and made in different styles. Films dealing with a diversity of subjects ranging from a portrait of Pablo Escobar’s Son, keeping a family together in changing China to the survival of the last tightrope dancer in Armenia.
The Jan Vrijman Fund films selected for IDFA 2009 have been programmed in the following sections: Feature Length Competition: Last Train Home by Lixin Fan, 9 Months 9 Days by Oscar Ramírez Gonzalez Short Length Competition: All Restrictions End by Reza Haeri First Appearance Competition: Addicted in Afghanistan by Jawed Taiman, Sins of my Father by Nicolas Entel Reflecting Images - Panaroma: The Belgrade Phantom by Jovan Todorovic, Dead Youth by Leandro Listorti, For Home Viewing by Mikhail Zheleznikov, Gipsy in the Flower by Ju Anqi, Island Belarus by Victor Asliuk, The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia (PHOTO) by Inna Sahakyan and Arman Yeritsyan, NARGIS when time stopped breathing by young Burmese filmmakers, Nero's Guests by Deepa Bhatia, News by Bettina Perut and Ivan Osnovikoff, The Peddler by Adriana Yurcovich, Eduardo de la Serna and Lucas Marcheggiano, A Place called los Pereyra by Andrés Livov-Macklin, Shungu: The Resilience of a People by Saki Mafundikwa, Story of a Day by Rosana Matecki, The Tight Rope by Nuria Ibáñez, They Come for the Gold, They Come for it All by Cristian Harbaruk and Pablo d'Aló Abbá, Together by Nenad Puhovski, Women in Shroud by Farid Haerinejad and Mohammad Reza Kazemi.
Written 12-10-2009 23:25:04 by Tue Steen Müller
The European Film Academy proudly announces that the award EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY DOCUMENTARY 2009 – Prix ARTE goes to the film THE SOUND OF INSECTS – Record of a Mummy by Peter Liechti, Switzerland.
The incredible story of how the mummified corpse of a 40-year-old man was discovered by a hunter in one of the most remote parts of the country. The dead man's detailed notes reveal that he actually committed suicide through self-imposed starvation only the summer before. Liechti's film is a stunning rapprochement of a fictional text, which itself is based upon a true event: a cinematic manifesto for life, challenged by the main character's radical renunciation of life itself.
2009, 88 mins.
For the nominated films, see below.
Written 11-10-2009 09:32:02 by Tue Steen Müller
The Popovics (Svetlana and Zoran), the organisers of the festival Magnificent7, that takes place every year in January in Belgrade, and has done so for five years, with my privileged post as co-selector of the seven films (you can read a lot more about it on this site, go to ”search”) arranged the most beautiful four day (almost) film-free tour for me and my wife at the end of September. I want to share some visual moments with you and can only warmly recommend you to go to the Serbia south of Belgrade to experience landscapes of green mountains, fields, rivers, lakes, monasteries and churches – and food and wine and slivovitj and rakija.
Written 11-10-2009 09:28:05 by Tue Steen Müller
There is a golden rule when you are on the road and get hungry – go where the truck drivers go. In combination with the knowledge of our hosts, including Misko, the driver, who take film crews around in his van, we ended up in fine local lunch restaurants, and had meat and water and good bread, and soup, and the Montenegrin wine Vranac. Lunch times are a bit more flexible than we are used to in Northern Europe – could easily be around 3pm.
Written 11-10-2009 09:25:19 by Tue Steen Müller
Yugoslavia, a country that once was. At a time that was much easier for many people. It is absurd when you get to talk to people in Serbia and ask them where they come from... well, my mother was born in Croatia and my father is from Montenegro and my grandmother... and they all speak the same language with tiny differences.
Written 11-10-2009 09:23:15 by Tue Steen Müller
Two images came constantly to my eyes when we travelled the amazing landscapes of Serbia – reminded us in many places again and again of Tuscany. One was all the unfinished houses, the reason for which we were told to be a combination of vanity (”we must have a two-store house as the neighbour”) and the fact that when your house is still under construction you dont have to pay tax. So many move into the basement floor and never finish the floor above.
Written 11-10-2009 09:19:59 by Tue Steen Müller
And what has Maradona to do with Serbia... a lot since Emir Kusturica made a film about him that I saw in the Stanly Kubrick Cinema in Kustendorf, a village on a hill top set up by the same Kusturica with typical Serbian houses, a perfect weekend holiday place with fine rooms, restaurants and small streets named after Bergman, Fellini, Ivo Andric and many others from cinema and culture.
Written 10-10-2009 10:25:46 by Tue Steen Müller
Latvian director Peteris Krilovs' documentary about legendary artist Gustav Klucis took several prizes at the National award ceremony in Riga a week ago: best director, best editor (Danish Julie Vinten), best script (Pauls Bankovskis) and best sound mix (Andris Barons). A big triumph for the company Vides Film Studio and its energetic leader Uldis Cekulis, who could also find joy in the fact that Maris Maskalans was given the prize as Best Cameraman for his work in "Three Men and a Fish Pond", another production of the studio.
To our Danish and Swedish readers: The film about Klucis (one hour version) was shown on Swedish television (SVT2) yesterday and will be repeated October 11 13.30 and October 14 23.05.
Written 09-10-2009 16:28:29 by Tue Steen Müller
Respect - the idfa has sent out this press release:
In honour of his 80th birthday, this year’s IDFA will be devoting special attention to the work of Frederick Wiseman. Wiseman has directed and produced dozens of documentaries, which often focussed on social relations within American institutions. He is regarded as one of the major exponents of Direct Cinema. Alongside a retrospective programme compiled by himself, screening of his latest film and a masterclass, the festival will also be looking at Wiseman’s work as a theatre director.
Read more / Læs mere
Written 08-10-2009 20:30:12 by Tue Steen Müller
A press release from The European Film Academy announces the nominations in the category EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY DOCUMENTARY 2009 - PRIX ARTE. There is a total of ten documentary films nominated, and the jury is Nino Kirtadzé, documentary filmmaker, France/Georgia & Franz Grabner, producer / editor ORF, Austria & Viktor Kossakovsky, documentary filmmaker, Russia. Prize to be announced by December 12. The films are:
Written 08-10-2009 09:35:46 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Peter Laugesen sagde engang (jeg husker det - er sikker - men jeg kan ikke finde stedet), at en bog skal indeholde det hele. Jeg har nok ikke forstået, hvad han mente, men jeg har hele tiden siden vidst det. AT det er sådan. Al ting er i bogen. Hele tanken, alle digtene, samtlige billeder. Den samlede eksistens og virkelighed.
Sådan er det også, hvis der tilsyneladende er et emne, et tema. En afgrænsning, en ramme. Eller udtrykkeligt en titel på bogen (som Retro, som Den hellige Hieronymus' damekreds, som Tjener for en bydreng). Temaet eller titlen er indgangen. Indeni er det hele. Hver gang. I alle bøger - af den slags.
Sådan er det også med film af den slags. Steen Møller Rasmussens film er alle den slags, i hvert fald dem, han selv har bestemt over. (Han har ofte været, er ofte, bydreng, præcis og loyal). Samlingen i denne dvd-udgivelse (lagt ind i en bog) er helt hans egen og i den grad den slags. Og alle delene er egensindige, ubestikkelige, hensynsløse. Samlingen har ligget længe på mit bord, næsten anklagende i tillokkelsen. Jeg har tøvet, for det er stort. Filmene og bogen er det hele. Jeg kunne ikke ønske mig mere. jeg kunne ikke ønske det anderledes. Jeg forstår det ikke, men det er sådan..
Steen Møller Rasmussen: Tjener for en bydreng - Richard Winther og mig, 2009, dvd med tre film, Richard Winther - en undersøgelse, 1999, 21 min., Wie, 2005, 16 min. og Richard Winthers hus, 2008, 78 min. + bog, 160 sider med biografisk essay af fotografier og tekster. Forlaget Plagiat, 2009 www.kunsteen.dk
Written 07-10-2009 00:00:18 by Tue Steen Müller
Sounds enigmatic the title of this blog text. It refers to a new initiative of the Institute of Documentary Film in Prague, often mentioned on this site. Organised together with the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival the East Silver ” is the first documentary market dedicated exclusively to Central and Eastern Europe. Its main goal is to provide an annual overview of new documentary releases, create a comprehensive catalogue and an open video library, accessible to a broad circle of film professionals (broadcasters, major film festivals, sales agents) throughout the year.” And it works very well, the above signed blog writer can confirm. And the new prize to be given in connection with the festival in Jihlava goes like this:
Written 05-10-2009 13:19:13 by Tue Steen Müller
The title is in Danish because I want our Danish readers to go to DR2 tomorrow, tuesday night at 20.45 to watch a very strong and personal documentary by Vardan Hovhannisyan (photo), who took years to make this honest and touching war-and-peace film based on material shot by himself when he was part of the horror. A fine description of the film was found on the site of IDF, the initiator of the development of documentaries programme called Ex Oriente that I have been part of for more than 6 years. Vardan is one of most gentle persons I know from these years, a man who is totally dedicated to documentary making as a producer and director. I have often written about him and his company on this site. The text:
Written 05-10-2009 01:09:46 by Tue Steen Müller
A couple of months ago this was posted on filmkommentaren.dk: The city of Kazan in Tatarstan in Russia, around 800 km East of Moscow, hosts the 4th International festival of Muslim Cinema, ”Golden Minbar”, taking place September 30 to October 4. 14 films have been selected for the documentary competition, 3 of them have been reviewed on this site: Hungarian Ferenc Moldovanyi’s beautiful ”Another Planet” (photo top right of the site), Czech/Canadian Petr Lom’s actual Iran-film ”Letters to the President” and Polish Beata Dzianowicz film from Afghanistan, ”Kites” (photo).
Prizes were given last night, and first prize went as in many other festivals worldwide to the film of Moldovanyi, "Another Planet", whereas Beata Dzianowicz received the prize as the best director. Both films deal with the lives of children.
Written 04-10-2009 12:08:55 by Tue Steen Müller
... and the still young documentary festival in Copenhagen announces some audience attractions for its coming festival, November 6-15: We are now in the final stages of programming for CPH:DOX 2009, and we will regularly be announcing selected titles and revealing what else is in store in November here on the website. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the liberalisation of visual pornography in Denmark as the first place in the world. One of this year's special series will focus on the most popular documentary genre of them all and will highlight what sex on film also is. Amongst other titles, we will screen the brand new Swedish feminist film project 'DIRTY DIARIES' by Mia Engberg, which provokes more than mere reflection.
There is also plenty political provocation in the political section of the programme, which is as strong as ever. We look forward to showing audiences the adaptation of Naomi Klein's revealing bestseller 'THE SHOCK DOCTRINE', which she has headed in collaboration with Michael Winterbottom and Matt Whitecross. We also welcome the the fearless activist duo The Yes Men and their newest film 'THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD' (photo). (See filmkommentaren.dk).
In a videocracy the image rules. In Italy all images are owned by one man. The succesful and surreal media revolution of Silvio Berlusconi is the subject of 'VIDEOCRACY', which has been selected for the year's DOX:AWARD competition. Politics and plastic boobs are part of a systematised symbiosis in the country, where Silvio Berlusconi has recently appointed one of his former TV bimbos Minister for Equality.
Written 04-10-2009 11:17:00 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Tim Sloth Jørgensen er den gennemgående uheldige helt i tv´s fortsatte reportagefilm fra forsvarskommandoen. Jeg følger den med stigende spænding og voksende forfærdelse. Den mand er altså vores anfører i krigen, vi er havnet i, hvis vi altså er et vi, en samlet nation i dette. Jeg tøver lidt.
Hans forgænger i embedet, Jesper Helsø, var en noget anden type helt. Han havde hovedrollen i Dola Bonfils grundige skildring af ham, hans nærmeste folk og begivenhederne under pressede situationer på samme location. Helsø spiller rollen barsk og morsom. Med autoritet og udstråling. Tim Jørgensen ses hele tiden som hans nærmeste medarbejder. Det var dengang. Nu sidder han med det hele i egne hænder. Måske. Måske ikke.
I Bonfils fremragende film kommer vi helt ind i de inderste rum og overværer med fryd, hvordan i andre sager, pressechefens spin fabrikeres. Det er lærerigt og muntert skildret. Men filmens komedietone holdes i stram snor og autoriteten understreges af den kyndige fortællerstemme læst kongenialt af Lasse Jensen. Jeg ser en militær ledelse, som jeg respekterer, selv om jeg ikke just er tilhænger af organisationens berettigelse.
Nu er organisationen til grin på en ganske anden måde. I det daglige tv-afsnit. Og der er ikke forsonende kompetente træk at få øje på. På den baggrund er det yderst lærerigt at finde Dola Bonfils film frem og gøre sammenlignende studier af to forsvarschefer.
Written 04-10-2009 10:36:52 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Karin Westerlunds film er fortsat aktuelle for os i FOF-filmklubben efter oplevelsen med Gud, lugt og hende, som ikke bare slipper og bliver til glemsel. Vi må have fat i de tidligere kortfilm og den ene lange film. Desværre kan man kun vanskeligt komme til at se dem, de findes godt nok på biblioteket, men kun i VHS kopier. Westerlunds film fortjener nu at udkomme på dvd. Samlet. Det drejer sig ud over Gud, lugt og hende om fire titler, tre kortfilm og en lang:
Lisanak hosanak insonto sanka, 1993, få minutter, som findes i SFC-antologien, Jeg civiliserer mig om morgenen (titlen på Kirsten Hammanns bidrag). Den understreger, at med Westerlunds film er det nødvendigt med forkundskaber. Nødvendigt at kende betydningen af titlens arabiske ordsprog: ”Min tunge er min hest, og passer jeg godt på den, passer den godt på mig.” Derefter er det helt enkelt. Den korte film er reduceret til en enkelt idé, én eneste sammenstilling af billedsidens smukke heste og en telefonsamtale mellem kvinden (i Stockholm vil jeg tro) og manden (i Cairo vil jeg tro). Kan sproget betvinges, så de to kan mødes? En tanke parat til at udfolde sig, hvad den så har ventet 15 år på. Hvilken vedholdenhed!
The last stranger, 1998, 46 min. Jeg har bestilt filmen via www.bibliotek.dk og venter og vender nok tilbage med en kommentar. Jeg så den dengang for ti år siden. Nu tror jeg, den falder helt på plads. I mig, fordi den hele tiden nok har været del af et værk på vej.
If I give you my humbleness, don’t take away my pride, 1999, 14 min. Gunilla Röör og Ashraf og Abdel Baki spiller og gennemlever en stor erotisk scene ude I den ægyptiske ørken. Jeg så den dengang, glemte den ikke, overhovedet ikke! Og det gjorde de to heller ikke, vil jeg tro. I Gud, lugt og hende mødes de så igen. I den samme ørken. I en videreudvikling af det forskelligt gensidige begær og den fortsat psykologiske magtkamp, kamp for at blive forstået af den anden.
Helgoland, 2001, 12 min. Et film-frikvarter, som slet ikke har med de andre film at gøre. Men den skal jo være med, fordi instruktøren er med og fordi vi ser netop det, hun ser, når hun tager ud til badeanstalten sommer og vinter, gennemfører ritualet, fastholder fortagendet.
Og så. På den samlede dvd-udgivelse, som jeg sådan ønsker og anbefaler, skal jo forrest være den nye film, som lige har haft dansk premiere, Gud, lugt og hende, 2008, 93 min. Nu må Zentropa i gang med at finde pengene og få den dvd-ting lavet. Det skylder de os, og det skylder de Karin Westerlunds seje træk og dybe originalitet.
Written 03-10-2009 16:35:31 by Tue Steen Müller
It might interest our DANISH READERS that something very interesting for documentarians takes place on the other side of Copenhagen. Cross the bridge and you are there. This is what it is about:
MDOX (22 – 25. October) is the yearly industry meeting for the Swedish documentary scene consisting of master classes, work in progress sessions, film screenings and a pitch for Swedish broadcaster SVT. MDOX is organised by the local film fund Film i Skåne.
And this is how it is presented in Swedish: Torsdag den 22/10 startar vi M:DOX med två Work in Progress-projekt presenterade av dokumentärfilmskonsulent Tove Torbiörnsson från SFI. EDN kommer också att presentera ett seminarium kring hur man bäst samproducerar med större europeiska tv-kanaler, och Media Desk Sverige bjuder in till mingel och samtal.
Fredag den 23/10 fortsätter vi med ytterligare två Work in Progress- projekt presenterade av Tove Torbiörnsson. Du kommer även ha möjlighet att höra producenten Arik Bernstein berätta om det dokumentära crossmediaprojektet Gaza/Sderot (ARTE), och hur man i detta projekt gick till väga både berättarmässigt och produktionsmässigt för att skapa dokumentärt innehåll för webben. Lördag den 24/10 gästas vi av den holländska regissören Coco Schrijber, som presenterar sin film "Bloody Mondays and Strawberry Pies". Efter filmen kommer Schrijber att hålla en master class i idé- och manusutveckling där hon berättar om hur man hanterar mer abstrakta teman i en dokumentärfilm. Under lördagen kommer det också att hållas ett klippseminarium med klipparen Jesper Osmund och regissören Fredrik Gertten, där de utifrån arbetet med "Bananas!*" (foto) samtalar om de kreativa val man ställs inför som dokumentärfilmare, och vad som skiljer dokumentärfilm från journalistik.
Written 03-10-2009 09:20:32 by Tue Steen Müller
”Kill the Referee” is one of the films that are included in the ”foot doc” section of the coming DOCLisboa (October 15.25). It is new, made by Yves Hinant, a Belgian/Swiss coproduction, 75 mins. long. 7 other films are there to be enjoyed by football freaks like me – Ken Loach with ”Looking for Eric” (Cantona), but also classics like the one about the legendary Brasilian magician Garrincha, made in 1962 by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade.
As previously highlighted on this site, the Portuguese festival also has a section called ”Love Stories” with ”Long Distance Love” (photo) (Elin Jönsson and Magnues Gertten) and ”Padre Nostro” (Carlo lo Giudice), both reviewed on this site. And a huge presentation of the work of Jonas Mekas, and music documentaries, and competition programmes for international as well as Portuguese documentaries. What a feast!
Written 03-10-2009 09:14:54 by Tue Steen Müller
You might not know it but Jihlava is in Czech Republic and hosts an international documentary festival (October 27-November 1) with an always interesting innovative selection of films, and a huge industry programme – a pitching session East European Forum, a market East Silver, masterclasses... you name it...
A premiere is scheduled, read this press release:
October 30, 7pm, the gala premiere of five films collectively entitled Breathless, Dominance of the Moment takes place at the Dukla as part of the Jihlava IDFF. The Czech-German project dedicated to documentary film was launched in 2007 by Zipp - Czech-German Cultural Projects, the Institute of Documentary Film and DOK Leipzig.
Two Czech and three German directors who were selected by a panel of experts based on their proposals present original takes on the subject of time. Audiences may look forward to a visual rendering of diary entries of an ordinary woman (Jan Gogola ml.) (photo); a cinematic exploration of time as a physical quantity (Karel Žalud); a documentary about the performance of a John Cage composition set to last 639 years (Anca Miruna Lazarescu); a portrayal of the post-industrial stasis of a region in Montana (Rainer Komers), and a depiction of the endless moment of a car accident (Marie-Catherine Theiler, Jan Peters).
Written 03-10-2009 09:04:26 by Tue Steen Müller
The biggest of them all takes place in Amsterdam (November 19-29). The programme is not yet announced, that will happen on October 15, but here is a press release that again is an evidence of the growth of the political film:
The themes of the environment and globalisation will play an important role in the festival programme at the upcoming IDFA. As in previous years, various aspects of the environment issue and globalisation will be discussed under the title Green Screen. This year, the accent will be on the exploitation of natural resources and the global food industry.
What was still a special programme at IDFA 2005, is now a recurring theme at IDFA. Each year, under the title Green Screen, documentaries are screened on all manner of aspects of the worldwide environmental issue. Last year, for example, The Age of Stupid screened at IDFA and – contrary to recent reports in the media – the film had its world première on that occasion. This year too, Green Screen documentaries of great interest have been selected, both in the competition programmes and in Reflecting Images.
A number of these Green Screen films focus on the exploitation of natural resources and pollution by large companies. In Crude, Joe Berlinger follows the court case being conducted against Texaco by 30,000 Ecuadorians, whose living environment has been destroyed by oil extraction. Oil is also the topic of Nicole Torre’s Houston We Have a Problem. The film investigates how our dependence on oil has led to the current energy crisis, and looks at clean alternatives. Another sub-theme of Green Screen is the global food industry. Colony by Ross McDonnell and Carter Gunn deals with the worrying phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), whereby colonies of bees become disoriented and disappear. Food Inc. by Carter Gunn focuses on the American food industry and investigates how the food sold in supermarkets is produced. In total, some fifteen Green Screen titles will be screened.
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John Burgan: Sounds like a great initiative - just the sort of exchange that both schools can really benefit from....
Benoit F: J'ai déjà acheté mes places de concert......
matala: Wow, my exact feelings and thoughts could not be articulated this perfectly about Kievan film fest audience; what I saw in Molodist three yrs ago was ...
Tue Steen Müller: The films mentioned in the text of Sevare Pan are available on arteeast.org...
PP: Wise words....