Written 28-02-2010 22:19:29 by Tue Steen Müller
It is difficult to dislike Daniel Ellsberg, and why should you? An important name in new American history, a whistleblower, a man who was among those whose job it was to provide Robert McNamara with plans for an efficient war in Vietnam, and a man who saw how his superior lie to the American public, as did Lyndon Johnson. He changed his mind, and his life completely, by publishing the so-called Pentagon Papers – and became an example, some would say the example of non-violent civil disobedience. And he still is around when it comes to demonstrations against US in Iraq and Afghanistan – take a look at his website.
The film tells the story about a conscientiuos objector in a classical way, as the filmmakers have said it themselves: a three act character-driven drama, that uses interviews, archive material and the voice of Ellsberg to take us through his own story. He makes references back to his childhood and the tragic death of his mother and sister because the father fell asleep while they were out driving. And there is a constant love story running in the foreground through interviews with his wife Patricia, who is at his side in the numerous archive interviews with him back in 70’es. It is all very efficiently told with music and small reconstructions that help give the film a drive.
The film goes out theatrically in the US, is nominated for an Oscar 2010 (got a Special Jury Award at idfa 2009), let’s see if it will win as did Errol Morris in 2004 with his film on McNamara, ”Fog Of War”, a much more authored film than the one on Ellsberg... interesting now to have a film on the war criminal and one on the activist and whistleblower, a very charming and charismatic character in a well crafted documentary.
USA, 2009, 96 mins.
Written 27-02-2010 16:32:30 by Tue Steen Müller
This yearly initiative of EDN (European Documentary Network) takes place March 6 from 2pm to 10 pm with breaks for coffee, talks and a a sandwich. The Danish Film School in Copenhagen rooms this mini festival that has proved to have a succesful format could easily be exported to other countries. The Danish Film Institute supports the Marathon Dok, that is open for participation to students and professionals from the film and TV industry only. The programme is still in its completion phase but this is what is confirmed so far. Chapeau for the emphasis on actuality and the short documentary. Click the titles and you can read – and in some cases watch – the titles online:
1st Screening Block - Starting at 14.00: Poste Restante (Poland, 2009, 14 min, DigiBeta) by Marcel Łoziński. Drona & Me (The Netherlands, 2009, 20 min, DigiBeta) by Catherine van Camp. Portrait of a Reluctant Gentleman (Sweden, 2008, 13 min, HD) by Gustav Danielsson. Civil Servant P327JUM (Sweden, 2008, 14 min, DVD) by Johan Bjerkner.
2nd Screening Block - starting at 16:00: Hanasaari A (Finland, 2009, 15 min, DigiBeta) by Hannes Vartiainen. What Remains (Austria, 2009, 33 min, DigiBeta) by Clarissa Thieme. I love my boring Life (Czech Republic, 2009, 27 min, 35mm) by Jan Gogola
3rd Screening Block - Starting at 18:00 TBA
4th Screening Block - Starting 20:00
Last Train Home (China, 2009) (PHOTO) by Lixin Fan. Idfa winner 2009
Written 25-02-2010 22:22:25 by Tue Steen Müller
3 stronger characters and some accompanying. Not unusual. And three characters with the same in common: the desire to gamble; driven by an addiction that has heavily influenced their lives. One is no longer alive, the father of the filmmaker, the two others still practise in different ways, on different levels and in different areas of operation. One is in prison and talks with a low voice about what he has been doing, waiting to get out very soon. This does not happen, he has his imprisonment prolonged because he can not refrain from gambling (= swindling) from his cell via his mobile (cell!) phone. The other is a festive man full of stories and fun and lust for life. A showman, who offers the viewers a guided photo tour picturing the women with whom he has enjoyed life – for a certain period, as long as they could compete with the real love and passion of his life: Gambling. We see him as the charming bookmaker, he is, and we sense the back side of the coin, the loneliness, as he speaks.
The main character, however, is the father of the John Appel, as he is seen and described by the son. Appel approaches the character of his father in a very fine and balanced manner, where he leaves a lot of reflection to the viewer. He intertwines the story of his father with the two other addicts and maybe he was a mix of the two – the low voice prisoner and the outspoken party seeker and show man. That Appel is an experienced filmmaker and knows the rules of storytelling is evident, and again it is a pleasure to hear a well written and spoken personal commentary. Towards the end of the film, Appel tells us that he after the death of the father often drove with his mother to the place of the horse races. This is where the father had his seat every sunday. They sit there in the big car, all is silence – one of many beautifully composed images full of the melancholy that suits this film so well.
Holland, 80 mins., 2009
Written 25-02-2010 07:36:07 by Tue Steen Müller
A text quote from the site of an amazing film festival that has it all – a thematical focus, a distribution strategy, debates, and a catalogue full of strong films:
“Over 100 films, dozens of foreign guests – primarily film directors, screenings for schools, streamed films online, a range of accompanying events and more – these are the things that you can look forward to at the 12th edition of One World. The main festival will be held in Prague between March 10 – 18, 2010 followed by the Regional One World festivals in 29 towns and cities of the Czech Republic through the end of March into early April. In addition, a select number of films screened at One World, the biggest human rights documentary film festival in Europe, will be presented in Brussels in mid April.
This year’s festival will feature 101 documentary films from over 30 countries within both competition and thematic categories. These have been selected from more than 1600 submitted films. This year’s festival will open with the Iranian documentary Green Days, which portrays a current and striking example of human rights being repressed (see below).”
The following films, that have all been written about on this site, will be screened in Prague: Salome Jashi: The Leader is Always Right (photo), Pawel Lozinski: Chemo, Bories & Chagnard: The Arrivals, Fredrik Gertten: Bananas!, Andreas Apostolides: A Place Without People, Neta Efrony: Kalandia-A Checkpoint Story, Gianfranco Rosi: Below Sea Level, Anders Østergaard: Burma VJ, Linda Jablonska: Welcome to North Korea!
Written 25-02-2010 07:25:55 by Tue Steen Müller
The opening film of the 12th annual One World festival (March 10-18) will be the Iranian documentary Green Days. This extremely relevant film documents one the worst examples of the suppression of democratic principles in recent years. Since the violent crackdown of post-election demonstrations last summer, People in Need has helped organise discussions, screenings and happenings in support of the Iranian opposition. During this year’s festival, People in Need would also like to emphasise the longstanding role played by student activists in the pro-democracy movement in that country.
The protagonist of Green Days is a young Iranian theatre director called Ava, who finds herself caught up in the euphoric pre-election demonstrations being held by the supporters of the presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Through spontaneous interviews with Mousavi’s followers, the film takes a very open look at an opposition movement imbued with optimism. Just a few days after the rigged elections, however, these pictures are replaced by shocking footage from small handheld cameras and mobile phones recording the brutality of the Iranian police, which had already claimed hundreds of victims. This film by the 21-year-old Iranian director Hana Makhmalbaf (who had to leave her country for fear of arrest) won the Bravery Award at last year’s Venice International Film Festival.
Written 23-02-2010 11:41:12 by Tue Steen Müller
I was in Edinburgh this weekend to meet the 12 candidates for the 2010 Bridging the Gap production scheme, headed by SDI, Scottish Documentary Institute. Pure pleasure it was to listen to and comment on the presentation of the 12, from which 7 will be picked and supported financially. That will happen mid March. Here is a descriptive text quote from the site where you also can find films to be watched for free, from previous seasons of a great documentary short film initiative. That ought to be exported to other countries!:
“Since 2003 Bridging the Gap is the only documentary new talent initiative for cinema in the UK offering training linked to production. It is funded by Scottish Screen National Lottery fund, Skillset Film Skills Fund and supported by Edinburgh College of Art and is open to all UK-based filmmakers. Since 2008 BBC Scotland & Highlands & Islands Enterprise are also supporters of Bridging the Gap. We have an annual themed call for entries from which we select 12 project ideas for a development period in which filmmakers attend a series of training workshops and masterclasses based in Edinburgh. 7 ten-minute documentaries are then commissioned at a pitching session with a budget of 16K (8K cash, 8K in kind), intended for distribution in cinemas and international festivals.”
Bridging the Gap hosts also several masterclassses - therefore a photo of a master, Nicolas Philibert, who was in Edinburgh for Bridging the Gap.
Written 22-02-2010 16:41:31 by Tue Steen Müller
From February 28 March 7 the sixth edition of ZagrebDox will take place in the capital of Croatia. I have attended previous editions – but have other obligations this year. But this should not refrain me from making publicity for a festival that was started by and is produced by Nenad Puhovski and his strong team. Here is a text clip from the website of a festival where you will be able to watch many films that have been reviewed or mentioned on filmkommentaren.dk
… some 140 documentaries will find their way to Zagreb audience! The major thing about this year's edition of the festival is its new location – for the first time, it will take place in Movieplex in Kaptol Center. The new venue has been selected in order to provide even better conditions for the audience because it has five theaters with top-notch equipment.
The official international and regional competition programs include 65 films that will compete for the main prize, Big Stamp. Besides three existing programs – Musical Globe, Controversial Dox and Happy Dox – a new addition to the official program is The State of Things program, giving us an unusual insight into the world we live in through documentary stories about the problems from various social spheres. Nenad Puhovski: “In addition to the acclaim of more than 20,000 viewers who came to see the world’s best documentaries, ZagrebDox and I received two more recognitions in 2009: one from the documentary professionals and one from the community we work in. European Documentary Network (EDN) presented us with its annual award for ‘outstanding contribution to the development of European documentarist culture’, and the Mayor of Zagreb awarded us the Medal of the City of Zagreb for ‘a success beyond all expectations that the festival has made’. However, even greater recognition for us was the requests we received from numerous Croatian and regional authors during preparations for this year’s festival: they want their latest films to have their world premiere right here, at ZagrebDox. Accepting this honor, which is an obligation at the same time, we have introduced Dox Events program in which we will show the latest Croatian and regional documentaries, introduce their authors and enable them (due to the more spacious venue) to talk to the audience. This is yet another way for ZagrebDox to pay its debt to authors and viewers without whom the festival would not be possible,”
Words from a man who has all reason to be proud! (Photo from Pawel Lozinski: Chemo, in international competition programme)
Written 21-02-2010 19:14:13 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Mens Katrin Ottarsdóttir turnerer til et par byer mere med sin nye film, som er afslutningen på trilogien om kunstnerisk arbejde, kan vi som bor i andre byer end de fire udvalgte, låne hendes tilgængelige film på biblioteket og vente på dvd-en med Jóanis Nielsen til det bliver marts. Disse titler findes i udlån: Atlantic Rhapsody, 1989, vhs, Regin Smidur, 2003, vhs, Ingen kan lave det perfekte, 2008, dvd og En linje om dagen er nok! 2008, dvd.
Selv lånte jeg lige en kopi af filmen med Hans Pauli Olsen på mit uundværlige bibliotek. Jeg har ikke set den før - så, hvordan er så den? Denne begyndelse til Ottarsdóttirs projekt?
Billedhuggeren danser tango. I filmens første scene med hustruen i den hjemlige stues varme stearinlys. I filmens sidste scene med modellen i det rå ateliers kolde neon. Jo, det er skam et jalousiforhold. Et sted gør hustruen rede for det, tidligere var hun hans model, men nu er hun erstattet af den anden. Sådan må det være, hun resignerer.
Og filmen drejer sig efterhånden mere og mere om den model. Ikke som person, men netop som model. Det afgørende er forskellen på en portrætteret og en model. Og mod slutningen af filmen er det tydeligt den forskel, modellen grunder over, da hun kommer til udstillingsåbningen og står foran det værdige værk. Er det mig? Ligner det mig? Nej, det er et værk om optagetheden af kvinden som sådan. Hans Pauli Olsen har tidligere i filmen fortalt om den optagethed – og demonstreret den under arbejdet med modellen og værket, som filmen følger fra trin til trin.
Katrin Ottarsdóttir har søgt sig og fundet tre smukke og velskabte modeller til sit trefløjede værk om kunstnerisk liv – og hvordan hun har det med sådan en, en model, ja, det er det hun udvikler som et af lagene i den første film.
Written 20-02-2010 16:06:56 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Så er den trefløjede tavle færdig. Tre film med først Hans Pauli Olsen dernæst Tóroddur Poulsen, som begge blev færdige i 2008 og nu den tredje med Jóanes Nielsen, Sporene gror ud af ord, som har været vist i København to gange på Nordatlantens Brygge i onsdags. I dag vises den i Øst for Paradis i Århus.
Ebbe Iversen anmeldte den i torsdags, og han er temmelig glad, for Katrin Ottarsdóttir har i sine tre film med billedhuggeren og de to digtere ”en fornem evne til at få kunstnerne til at slappe af og tale frit foran kameraet, og hun lader loyalt bemeldte kamera underordne sig emnet og distraherer ikke med alskens stilistiske krummelurer… når man ser denne kloge og sympatiske film, får man virkelig lyst til selv at læse mandens digte. Hvad der givetvis præcis er meningen.” Iversen konkluderer med fem stjerner ud af seks.
Og Jóanes Nielsens nye samling Broer af sultne ord udkom også i dansk oversættelse i onsdags. I en lomme ligger en dvd med nogle af hans oplæsninger. Vel klip fra filmen.
Sporene gror ud af ord bliver vist i Biffen Aalborg 3. marts 17:00 og i Nicolay Biograf Kolding 9. marts 19:00. Engang næste måned kommer den på dvd, formodentlig på www.tutl.com Her kan man i forvejen købe Ingen kan lave det perfekte og En linje om dagen må være nok!
Written 17-02-2010 17:02:50 by Tue Steen Müller
First the annotation as it appears on the cover of the dvd and on the site of the production company, Libra Film in Romania: “Birds Road is a creative documentary that follows the daily routine of a Russian Lipovan community struggling to survive and maintain their traditions in spite of the overwhelming intrusion of modernity. The testimonies of these Old Believers about recent transformations, dying religion and their struggle to preserve archaic traditions reveal the vulnerability and secretiveness of a traditional community.”
And then my congratulations to the directors for making a theme so far away from my urban jungle up in the Northern Europe – interesting, fascinating, warm and human. Why? Because of their obvious long stay down there close to the Danube where mostly – according to the film – old people live, close to their religion and language and rituals. The people in the film have found the filmmakers trustworthy and invited them into their houses. Here you are, this is our life.
The generous answer given to this hospitality and openness comes out in an amazing cinematography by Trencsenyi, who catches the simple life and its beauty with respect and love. Story? Not in a classical sense – one storyline, from a to z – but with many smaller stories being unfolded in a nice and quite way: About the prison for political prisoners at the the river, about tourism, about the lack of a priest chosen by the Believers themselves, about the young man they want as a priest but he has no wife (!), about funerals, and the Slavonic language that only two can read now. Empty village roads, children playing. A pleasure to watch and learn from this fine observational documentary.
Romania, 2009, 56 mins.
Written 16-02-2010 19:05:46 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Lars Becker-Larsens dokumentarfilm om den moderne naturvidenskabs tilblivelse modtog søndag den 14. februar hovedprisen som bedste dokumentarfilm i Torino på kulturarvsfestivalen AVICOM.
Festivalen i Torino arrangeres af ICOM (International Council of Museums), UNESCO's museumsorganisation.
Filmen har tidligere vundet Best Documentary ved Vedere la Scienza Festival - International Scientific Film Festival i Milano, samt den prestigefulde Grand Prix på den 46. Internationale Festival TECHFILM i Prag.
Den bevægede jord er en omhyggelig fremstilling af, hvordan og under hvilke forhold videnskabsmænd som Kopernikus, Brahe, Kepler og Galilei i renæssancen skabte et nyt verdensbillede og dermed grundlaget for den moderne tanke.
I festivaljuryens motivation hed det: "De visuelle nyskabelser, rekonstruktionerne og den gribende fortælleteknik gør kompleksiteten i det behandlede emne tilgængeligt for et bredt publikum på en fascinerende og let tilgængelig måde. En sand revolution!"
Written 15-02-2010 15:56:46 by Tue Steen Müller
... which was praised on this site, see below, is being screened on arte this coming wednesday 17th of February at 20.35 with a re-run on the 23rd of February at 10.25am. arte shows the 52 mins.version titled CIA-Operation Laos. Here is the review re-posted:
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. It had a whole community of heroin addicts among the soldiers, and it dragged hmong people in to beat the Pathet Lao, into brutality and 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 15-02-2010 12:16:31 by Tue Steen Müller
The documentary by Russian Alexander Gutman, ”17 of August”, was chosen as the best documentary at the Mumbai International Film Festival (for docs, shorts and animation).
Here is a clip from the review that was written on filmkommentaren.dk:
This fine Russian director has, apart from the masterpiece ”Frescoes” from Georgia, made a couple of very strong documentaries shot in prisons, ”Three Days and Never Again” and ”Blatnoi Mir” (directed by Finnish Jouni Hiltunen, Gutman was production manager), and here comes another that I do not hesitate to call masterly done as well.
One day in the life of a prisoner, sentenced to lifetime for murders, a man in a small cell, watched through the small window in the dark cell door, walking from one end to the other, exercising, making a cup of tea, praying with his head towards an icon of the bleading Jesus hanging on the wall, getting some food... and a small walk to a strongly fenced and guarded courtyard, filmed from above to achieve the impression of a man in a cage, A close-up study that works because of the brilliant combination of pictures with the monologue of the prisoner. On Life, on the conditions in the isolated prison, on being alone and away from it all, on being close to guards who are there all the time and in a way sharing his destiny…
Written 15-02-2010 11:36:14 by Tue Steen Müller
Made in Chinatown is the subtitle of this stylistically different but very fresh and well made, kaleidoskopic look at Chinese in Milano. Several – mostly young – Chinese, first or second generation, take part in a documentary that does not refrain from using cut-out animation, split-screen, a chaptered structure, small intimate situations with couples lying in bed talking about their lives in an Italian and in a Chinese culture, in one case the couple has not seen their child in China for years. The film does not – luckily, because we know it so well from everywhere – go (too) much into the prejudices that exist towards foreigners, instead it puts focus on the characters as human beings accompanied by a historical perspective as the Chinese have been in Milano for decades, of course.
The film starts with images of streets being blocked by the police as a killing apparently has taken place. These well known riots in the Chinese community in Italy (one of the biggest in the country) form the starting point of the film but the director did not want a journalistic angle, he went for the ordinary people, with all their extraordinary stories, the generation conflicts, the identity questions. A good choice and an both moving and entertaining insight to something I had not heard about before.
Italy, 2009, 75 mins.
Written 12-02-2010 19:47:43 by Tue Steen Müller
Zeljko Mirkovic, Serbian documentary director-producer (his company is called Optimist Film) and occasionally a very good interviewer, has published a long conversation with Rada Sesic, a very well known documentary director and teacher and festival programmmer – and an expert in Indian cinema. The interview is to be found in its full length at the IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) site, see below. Here is a small clip, where Rada talks about Rasa, a new angle on documentaries:
Mirkovic: Documentary has seriously entered the market and it’s represented best by a large number of subgenres (archive documentary, TV documentary, docudrama, etc.) One of these stands out in the market - a creative documentary. What are the defining elements of a creative documentary?
Sesic: It is difficult to say what a creative documentary is; perhaps it is better to say what it is not. It’s not television reportage, nor superficial coverage of an event, nor a historic account of a certain epoch, landscape, or a person. Every story is acceptable, but the author has to express their personal cinematic style, their personal visual approach, their thinking about a particular content they want to film. Ultimately, film is art and we expect art to touch us, shake us, make us think, ask questions, make us come back to it, change us as reflective beings. There is a text in Hindu Veda called Natya Veda which speaks about the role of art. It contains a tract on drama that can be applied to art in general. It says that every piece of art has to contain various Bhavas (feelings, moods) which will make a viewer experience Rasa (a state of mind), a complex experience of enjoyment (the experience may also be negative in the sense that you may experience fear, sorrow, anxiety). What is important is that Rasa works in such a way that a viewer mentally and spiritually absorbes the intensive experience of art.
Written 12-02-2010 10:20:12 by Tue Steen Müller
The producer of the Oscar nominated Polish film ”Rabbit a la Berlin”, Anna Wydra, has asked me to add the information about their new website
where you can read about the road to the nomination as well as watch the new trailer that can also be approached on
Written 11-02-2010 11:43:11 by Tue Steen Müller
The 60th Berlin International Film Festival starts today and goes on until the 21st of February. The European cultural channel arte celebrates by dedicating a whole evening to the showing of “la version longue inédite du chef-d'oeuvre de Fritz Lang, présentée en ciné-concert”. A 147 minute long version is brought to the viewers in a direct transmission from the Friedrichstadtpalast in Berlin. Here is the French intro to the film screening – but - just to be sure you remember -
You dont need French language skills to watch this silent movie masterpiece in the history of cinema:
Quatre-vingt-trois ans après sa première mondiale, le chef-d'oeuvre muet de Fritz Lang vient de renaître dans sa version d'origine que l'on croyait perdue à jamais. Restauré dans tout son éclat par la Fondation Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau, ce Metropolis est projeté ce soir en avant-première au Friedrichstadtpalast de Berlin, au cours d'un ciné-concert diffusé en direct par ARTE, avec une musique originale interprétée par l'Orchestre symphonique de la Radio de Berlin. Si l'intrigue du film reste la même dans cette version longue, vingt-cinq minutes de scènes inédites rendent l'histoire plus compréhensible, notamment, l'équipée en voiture de Georgy à travers la cité, la visite de Freder et du "Mince" chez Josaphat, des images hédonistes des jardins et de Yoshiwara, la scène où la jalousie de Joh Fredersen et Rotwang éclate au grand jour...
The film starts tomorrow night at 20.45 and is followed by a one hour documentary about ”Metropolis” and its many versions. Some statistics – the film had 310 shooting days, plus 60 nights, 36000 extras, 200000 costumes, 3500 pair of shoes, 500 skyscrapers with 70 floors...
Written 10-02-2010 16:49:22 by Tue Steen Müller
Some filmmakers are (also) born public relation stars. Diana Fabionova is one. First she presents her film as a first timer, then she starts to promote and pitch it, then she raises the funding... and makes the film ”The Moon inside You” that has menstruation as subject with the subtitle ”a secret kept too well”.
Go to the website below and see how many places this film has been shown and read here the newsletter text of today, authored by the production team about where it is going in the nearest future:
Dear Moonfriends and supporters, We are happy to share with you that "The Moon Inside You" was bought by Media Education Foundation and under the name "Red Moon: Menstruation, Culture & the Politics of Gender" will be able to reach millions of young people all around USA http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=240
After been sold out in Brighton, more screenings and festivals are ahead. 10th of February Melbourne, back in Europe, it will warm up the Uteruses in UK, London on 23.2. - 8.3. it will celebrate International Women's day in Lindau cinema, Germany. 9-10.3 Chicago, USA for Sex positive series "Let's talk about sex". 12-20.3 South American premiere will be held in International Film festival of Guadalajara, Mexico. 12-21.3 Women's film festival in Vermont, USA. 13-20.4. Serbia, International Documentary Film Festival, Belgrade. 28.4- 2.5 Norway, Norwegian Documentary Film Festival. 28.4- 5.5 Zurich Lesbian and Gay film festival Pink Apple. 28.4-3.5 Poland and Czech Republic in Český Tešín and Polish Cieszyne. 28-29.6 Paris, France National French Doulas convention. We wish you a great premenstrual, menstrual or postmenstrual days, with love from Your M team... dvd's are sold through
Written 10-02-2010 14:32:29 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Filmen har Jóanes Nielsen som medvirkende og efter sigende hans nye bog Broer af sultne ord som emne og naturligvis Katrin Ottarsdóttirs afrunding af en stor trilogi om kunstnerisk arbejde som indhold. Titlerne antyder film om ufuldkommenhed, langsomhed og tilsynekomst. Vi får se. Det med at det skulle være portrætter, hopper man ikke uden videre på.
Filmene i trilogien er Ingen kan lave det perfekte, 2008, med Hans Pauli Olsen, En linje om dagen må være nok! 2008, med Tóruddur Poulsen (anmeldt her på siden, søg på "Katrin Ottarsdóttir") og så nu Sporene gror ud af ord, 2009, med Jóanes Nielsen.
Sporene gror ud af ord vises i København 18. februar 20:00 i Nordatlantens Brygge, Strandgade 91 og i Århus 20. februar i Øst for Paradis.
Written 09-02-2010 19:17:57 by Tue Steen Müller
An addition to what I wrote below - in Danish - about the Czech films in Cinemateket in Copenhagen. The films also tour to other places in Denmark:
De tre fine dokumentarfilm "Citizen Havel", "Czech Dream" og "René" (foto) bliver også vist i Odense og Århus. Læs om filmene på denne site og/eller på Café Biografens og Øst for Paradis hjemmesider.
Written 09-02-2010 13:51:19 by Tue Steen Müller
It is not only abroad that the Finnish documentary masterpiece ”The Living Room of a Nation” by Jukka Kärkkäinen is being praised (search his name on this site and you will have reviews and report on the film), it is also appreciated in its own nation. The film received the national film prize as the best documentary a week ago. The prize is called Jussi, that have been distributed since 1944 to honour the best achievements within Finnish cinema. The Finnish film professionals association, Filmiaura, gives the awards.
Written 09-02-2010 13:19:33 by Tue Steen Müller
Special service for our Danish readers – about many fine documentaries to be watched at the Film House in Copenhagen at Cinemateket, run by the Danish Film Institute:
Der er meget at komme efter i Cinemateket i februar måned, hvis man er til dokumentar. 3 af de 8 film i en tjekkisk filmserie er dokumentarer, alle sammen fyldigt omtalt eller anmeldt med links på denne blog: det klassiske observerende mesterværk ”Citizen Havel” (foto) af Pavel Koutecky og Miroslav Janek, den banebrydende/underholdende/kritisk satiriske ”Czech Dream” af Vit Klusak og Filip Remunda, og Helena Trestikovas sociale ”René”. Høj kvalitet, som jeg så ofte har skrevet på denne plads: ”East Beats West”.
”Soy Cuba” er navnet på en anden serie i anledning af 50 året for den cubanske revolution, titlen taget efter russiske Mikhail Kalatozovs fremragende film fra 1964, gå ind og se den. Og så er der film og foredrag af og om Theodor Christensen – det er ikke mere end en måned siden jeg mødte en cubansk filminstruktør i Istanbul, som fik tårer i øjnene, da jeg nævnte den danske filmpioners navn. Hans betydning er stor for cubansk dokumentarisme og Cinemateket viser ”Ella” og inviterer til foredrag med Palle Bøgelund Petterson, som har været på ”en fascinerende research-rejse i Theodors fodspor igennnem Cuba”. Og så er der mulighed for vidunderlige (gen)syn af film af Gutiérrez Alea og legenden Santiago Alvarez og hans politiske pamfletter. Spilletider, se
Written 07-02-2010 09:50:23 by Tue Steen Müller
... is running until this sunday, February 7th. It includes an international film festival and a pitching forum, with a variety of masterclasses, award ceremonies and professional meetings. A meeting place for professionals and a generous offer of films to an audience. It is organised by Parallel 40 with local support as well as support from the EU MEDIA Programme and many others. I am proud to be part of the organising team. Below some impressions from a hectic week.
Written 06-02-2010 14:08:12 by Tue Steen Müller
24 projects were presented at the 13th Pitching Forum of DOCSBarcelona February 5-6. 15 broadcasters, film funders and distributors were around the table to comment and eventually show interest in what was verbally and visually pitched. Most of the project pitchers had been trained at a workshop during two days before the Forum. The rules of the game: 7 minutes of presentation including a trailer and 7 minutes of questions and answers from the panel, that was supplemented by a so-called Row 0 of public funders and several Spanish local broadcasters and distributors. Not to forget a couple of hundreds of observers – producers and other professionals – who were there to create documentary partnerships, which in a period of cuts in budgets all over is more necessary than ever. It is not possible to raise all funding for your feature length documentary nationally any longer, you have to co-produce internationally. This situation was very much reflected in the fact that 243 projects were submitted for the Pitching Forum. A record in the history of DOCSBarcelona.
There are many international pitching sessions. With a different touch and emphasis. DOCSBarcelona is a public forum where others go for one-to-one organised sessions: producer meets broadcaster on an individual basis. For me the public pitching is the right format – is is sharing ideas, getting a sense of the market situation, networking. It is indeed hard for the pitchers, some call it a theatre, and of course it is not possible to tell everything in 7 minutes, but it is a unique chance to invite people to take part in your film project. And the pitching is followed by one-to-one meetings.
Written 06-02-2010 14:02:12 by Tue Steen Müller
What were they about, the 24 film projects at the Pitching Forum – what films can you expect to be ready within the next couple of years, what were the themes and stories presented at DOCSBarcelona 2010:
The invention of the personal computer. Mister Edhi – a Pakistani equivalent of Mother Teresa. Chinese in Congo. The fate of an Uighur refugee. My father was a Colombian guerilla fighter. Swedish helpers in Africa. Hitler’s schools in South America. Copyright. Iraqis in America. Bullfighting. Hungary, a horse nation. Llorenc Barber, a composer. Tourism changed Spain. Gospel music unites. Chinese build a railway in Angola. A Russian child in an orphanage. Anacoana, a Cuban female orchestra. Children becoming soldiers in Israel. Housing in London. San Mao, a Chinese writer. Veteran table tennis. The life and death of a mountain climber. School buses buried in the desert! A detective in Bengal.
Quite a mixture! High professional level. Good trailers, with the humourous projects being the easiest to convey in a pitching session.
Written 06-02-2010 13:59:10 by Tue Steen Müller
A special tribute was given to the Swedish commissioning editor Vera Bonnier, who had her last pitch at DOCSBarcelona. For 34 years Bonnier has worked for SVT, the Swedish public broadcaster, and has now decided to retire. She comes from a tradition in public broadcasting where it was possible to commit to a film project and then find place for it on the programme schedule afterwards. Today it is mostly the other way around – first comes the time slot and what it requires, when it comes to theme and approach, and then the film projects have to fit in.
Vera Bonnier, however, has been enormously flexible in her way of getting films she loved scheduled on the cultural slot K-Special, that runs prime time friday night. A personal note: This is a programme that I love to watch as Danish television friday night is nothing but quiz shows and American series.
Also on this last international documentary event for Vera Bonnier, she demonstrated this unique eye for seeing the talent and bending the rules for what can be considered as ”culture”. With warmth and personality. Thank you!
Written 06-02-2010 13:46:21 by Tue Steen Müller
The same philosophy as always: To build a dialogue among film, audience and director. This is how Joan Gonzàlez, DOCSBarcelona director, phrases what he wants the young festival to be, he himself being very much dedicated to the introduction of the documentary genre to a young audience. This is done through the 7-11 section of a festival that otherwise is built with sections: History, Catalan Day, Doc!Doc!Doc! (for new talents who want to enter the international doc community), Le Dernier Repas (films chosen by a film personality, this year the retiring Catalan Cinematheque director Roc Villas), Kids and Teens, X-tra, Panorama and opening/closing ceremony films.
Let me mention one film that has stayed in my mind since the opening of the festival: ”Sins of My Father” by Nicolás Entel. A story told through the eyes of Sebastián Marroquin, the son of Pablo Escobar, public enemy number 1 in Colombia, a drug dealer, who became one of the richest men in the world - in an interview with the son, he is called the most notorious and brutal drug lord in the history of Colombia. Marroquin is here in Barcelona, a mild and generous man, who has had the courage to go and ask for forgiveness to the sons of prominent politicians, who were all killed by his father. The film follows that story, the process of reconciliation, as well as it is describing the life of the father, who controlled everything and made things that goes beyond any gangsterfilm ever made. At some times during the film what is being told is totally surrealistic! Escobar was (to use the phrase from The Guardian, see link below) gunned down in 1993.
Written 02-02-2010 22:38:43 by Tue Steen Müller
What a pleasure to see that two documentaries by committed and skilled documentarians - as they have been praised on this site - both of them non-American in a very American classement, have made it to the grande finale: “Burma VJ” and “Rabbit a la Berlin”! Congratulations! Check the many notes on “Burma VJ” via “search” and read a re-post of the review of “Rabbit a la Berlin” below.
“Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
“The Cove” Nominees to be determined
“Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
“Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa
Documentary (Short Subject)
“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
“Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
“Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra
Written 02-02-2010 22:29:12 by Tue Steen Müller
Yes, this is the way to make a different film for the celebration of the 20 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Playing masterly with the film language, wanting to surprise us. To tell us the same story but in a completely new way. With music that associates a fairy tale with rabbits in the leading roles. But also as an informative commentary-born popular science film about the city lives of a threatened species. With interviews of course. Tongue-in-cheek, sometimes visually from the point of view of the rabbits, sometimes from the anonymous spectator perspective with a look at what happens and happened to the rabbits of Berlin. It is balanced, has its own satirical tone – and beauty – and brutality when you cut together an innocent rabbit and a human body being carried away by a person in uniform. It plays perfectly with the rules of the documentary subgenres: history doc, nature doc, information doc, fairy tale doc... if that did not exist, it has been invented now!
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