Written 29-11-2011 11:10:24 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Sådan ser han ud, den seneste i rækken af Christoffersens helte, alle jurister på arbejde for et internationalt retssystem. Han her er på vej, på billedet på vej fra en demonstration langt inde i Perus jungle, arresteret og på vej til bank og måneders fængsel og flere mishandlinger, men også på vej til en erkendelse af, at undertrykkelsen og volden og torturen, forsvindingerne og henrettelserne må bekæmpes i seje og tålmodige juridiske argumentationer i internationalt overvågede retssager på et stadigt udbygget og sikret grundlag af international ret, i hans tilfælde internationale rettigheder for oprindelige folk. Han er jæger og familiefar og leder af en gruppe unge indianere, som har sat sig op mod olieselskabet Pluspetrols metodiske ødelæggelse af deres land. Han hedder José Facin Ruiz, og han læser i dag jura på universitetet i Lima. Den kendsgerning er den lykkelige udgang på Michael Christoffersens film om de forfærdelige forbrydelser i Perus Amazonland under Pluspetrols regime.
Som jeg prøvede at forklare, da jeg i sin tid skrev om Christoffersens Saving Saddam har jeg det sådan med hans film, at dengang the crime of crimes og det historisk set nye internationale retssystem om disse sager og nu et spirende internationalt juridisk system omkring oprindelige folks krav på ret til jord og søer og vandløb og naturressourcer i de nu fire film bliver selve emnet og kernen. I hver film vokser fortællingen og en karismatisk hovedperson sammen med forståelsen af denne jura, denne etik, som altså effektivt kropsliggøres i en smuk bue fra den blide og tænksomme Aspegren i Genocide, over den barske og effektive Geoffrey Nice i Milosevic on Trial, den frustrerede Wilay i Saving Saddam og nu i Law of the Jungle den forbitret argumenterende Jorge Tacuri (indianergruppens advokat og filmens egentlige hovedperson) og hans klient og protegé, den med imponerende værdighed determinerede indianerleder José Fachin Ruiz, en måske kommende folkeretsspecialist.
De fire værker set under ét udgør en samlet journalistisk og dokumentarisk erfaring om international ret lagt ned i ét vældigt værk, som filmet på location disse tidlige år vil bevare sin enestående status som skildring af denne ambition om et samlet retssystem. Denne tidlige historie er hermed skrevet og tydeligt formuleret af de bevægende medvirkende, Michael Christoffersens advokathelte.
Operatøren i BioCity Randers kom ind i salen i aftes, tydelig glad og stolt over at være med i Dox-On-Wheels fornemme næsten simultane visning i 20 biografer i 19 byer, altså også i min. Operatøren var skuffet over et beskedent fremmøde, men jeg kan nu bagefter forsikre ham om, at Law of the Jungle var langt den vigtigste film blandt dem, han kørte i aftes, og at det var stort at se en intellektuelt uomgængelig dokumentar i en næsten ny og RIGTIG biografsal med perfekt videoprojektion og smuk lyd.
Michael Christoffersen: Law of the Jungle, Danmark 2011, 83 min., klip: Niels Ostenfeldt, produceret af Radiator Film, Stefan Frost og ABC Film. Filmografi (Michael Christoffersen): Saving Saddam, 2008, sammen med Esteban Uyarra, produktion: Team Productions, Mette Heide, Milosevic on Trial, 2007, produktion: Team Productions, Mette Heide, Genocide: The Judgement, 1999, Michael Christoffersen for BBC og SVT.
Written 27-11-2011 12:54:12 by Tue Steen Müller
This is not a neutral text. I have been part of the DOCSBarcelona team from the very beginning, and have seen how Joan Gonzalez and his team at Parallel 40 over a period of 15 years has built up a basis for the creation of a documentary culture in the Catalan capital. Wednesday next week is the deadline for film projects to be sent in for the eventual selection for the Forum part of DOCSBarcelona that also includes a festival, masterclasses, a latin forum, and rough cut screenings. Taken from the webiste:
DocsBarcelona Pitching Forum calls for submissions to the 15th edition of the documentary financing session held alongside the International Documentary Film Festival (January 31 – February 5). A board of experts will pick 24 applicants for a two-day prep pitching workshop, culminating in project presentations in front of film professionals and observers, followed by one-to-one negotiation meetings. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2011.
DocsBarcelona Pitching Forum is an established stage for unfinished documentary projects from all over the world seeking financing, promotion or networking basis. With a large number of documentarians as well as film professionals, the venue became one of the major winter season meetings since its foundation in 1996 by EDN. Although the preliminary workshop is optional, it is an essential opportunity for any producer/filmmaker who aims to fine-tune their project before the public pitching itself. In addition to that, Eastern European and “New European” countries (including Malta and Greece) are offered special fees to attend either as a workshop participant, a project pitcher or as an observer. Observers may find special registration form HERE.
Written 26-11-2011 19:11:31 by Tue Steen Müller
From press release of IDFA: The winners of the various IDFA competition programs were announced Friday, November 25 in Escape, during the awards ceremony of the 24th IDFA. Seung-Jun Yi’s Planet of Snail (South Korea) won the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. The Special Jury Award went to 5 Broken Cameras (Palestine/Israel) by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, who also won the Publieke Omroep IDFA Audience Award. The film received financial support from the Jan Vrijman Fund.
WINNERS & AWARDS
VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (€ 12,500) Seung-Jun Yi - Planet of Snail (South Korea)
Special Jury Award
Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi - 5 Broken Cameras(Palestine/Israel/Netherlands/France)
NTR IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€ 10,000)
Jorge Gaggero - Montenegro (Argentina)
IDFA Award for First Appearance (€ 5,000)
Xun Yu - The Vanishing Spring Light (China/Canada)
Dioraphte IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (€ 5,000)
Jessica Gorter - 900 Days
Publieke Omroep IDFA Audience Award (€ 5.000)
Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi - 5 Broken Cameras(Palestine/Israel/Netherlands/France)
IDFA Award for Student Documentary (€ 2,500)
Karen Winther - The Betrayal (UK/Norway)
BlackBerry IDFA DOC U Award (€ 1,500)
Mehrdad Oskouei - The Last Days of Winter (Iran)
IDFA Award for Best Green Screen Documentary (€ 2,500)
Micha X. Peled - Bitter Seeds(USA/India)
IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€ 2,500)
Antoine Viviani - Insitu (France)
Written 26-11-2011 19:05:14 by Tue Steen Müller
The documentary film festival in Montréal RIDM sums up its activities and awards like this, with the DOKLeipzig winner “The Tiniest Place” again very much presented. More information, and trailers to be watched, by clicking on the titles below. To be welcomed that the festival also honours editing and cinematography: The festival presented nearly 200 films, (had) events, and activities. More than 60 special guests from Quebec and abroad participated this year, helping us to bring out the best in reality-based filmmaking.
During the awards ceremony on Nov. 19 at the Grande Bibliothèque, 10 awards were given out to highlight some notable contributions. Prizes worth more than $26,500 in cash and services were distributed to the honourees.
This list of winners is as follows:
BEST EDITING IN AN INTERNATIONAL FEATURE presented by AQTIS Territoire perdu by Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd
GRAND PRIZE FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE presented by Bell Carnets d’un grand détour by Catherine Hébert
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN AN INTERNATIONAL FEATURE presented by Antoine Laoun Opticien El velador by Natalia Almada
BEST NEW TALENT FROM QUEBEC/CANADA presented by the NFB The Vanishing Spring Light by Xun Yu
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM presented by Vox Flying Anne (Anne Vliegt) de Catherine Van Campen
WOMEN INMATES AWARD The Tiniest Place (El lugar más pequeño) by Tatiana Huezo
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD presented by Canal D Bouton by Res Balzli
PS. The film of Frederick Wiseman was shown at the festival - Crazy Horse, photo - as the opening film resulting in a signed letter to the organisers from around 30 filmmakers, who expressed that the festival supported sexism!
Written 23-11-2011 13:45:53 by Tue Steen Müller
This is what is (also) nice about going to idfa – you meet directors and producers, whose work you have seen and appreciated before. Viktoria Szymanska made the wonderful “Themerson & Themerson” (photo) about the magic work of this British couple in early avantgarde cinema, pure dadaism, and Szymanska was successful in getting the tone of the artists into the film.
Now she is here to present another film project about an important artist, the puppeteer Michaël Meshke, 80 years old now, the man who had the fantastic “Marionettheater” in Stockholm, Sweden. Viktoria Szymanska showed me some footage, shot today and some archive clips with Meshke performing. She had shot a scene with Meshke walking the streets of Paris with the puppet Baptiste, a reincarnation of the main character in “Les Enfants du Paradis” – you remember it, Jean-Louis Barrault, Arletty, directed by Marcel Carné. It is indeed a very promising film project.
Szymanska’s film is being produced by Estelle Robin from the French company Balibari, based in Nantes, and Szymanska could not have got a better support for an international production. Robin stood behind the constantly award-winning “Village Without Women” by Serbian director Srdan Sarenac and “La Machina” by Polish/French/Italian director Thierry Paladino.
Written 23-11-2011 13:40:42 by Tue Steen Müller
Breakfast meetings in the hotel. This morning I was lucky to meet Chinese Weijun Chen, the director behind the international successes “I Will Vote for You” (photo) and “The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World”. He was in Amsterdam to meet his producer Don Edkins, the man behind the big series “Steps for the Future” and “Why Democracy”. Now he has entered and launched another mega project “Why Poverty”, see details on the site below.
Weijun Chen stands behind one of 8 long films in the series that has Nick Fraser from BBC and Mette Hoffmann from DR/TV as editors. More than 40 broadcasters around the world have joined the series that will have its premiere in one year and will also provide a website connected, plus several short films.
Here is a text clip from the site describing the film of Weijun Chen, quite a controversial film for China I guess:
In ancient times in China, education was the only way out of poverty – in recent times it has been the best way. But just over ten years ago, when higher education was commercialised by order of the government, the start of a major change in China’s society took place. The equality that once existed for all students has been destroyed, and for the millions of college graduates who come onto the job market each year, the future is bleak. Chinese Dream is a film that charts a societal shift that will have an impact on the future economic progress of China.
Written 22-11-2011 09:50:32 by Tue Steen Müller
It is a bombardment of impressions to be at the biggest documentary film festival in the world. Films, meetings, receptions, ”hello, how are you”, ”nice to see you again”, people with badges walking in the streets around Rembrandtsplein, the square with the huge documentary tent where you can go and get your accreditation papers, catalogues and tickets. It is a fest for the documentary genre, indeed it is. Wonderful. Screenings are sold out so many professionals (programmers from other festivals, buyers from television, distributors) go to the Docs for Sale building to watch the films, or sit at the hotel rooms to get the films online. Rembrandtsplein, the statue of the master stands in a position as was he overlooking what is happening with all these documentaries and documentarians. Logistically it seems to work perfectly, artistically, the state of the art, the level of quality of the documentary today and tomorrow...
Yes, how about that? Monday morning, I paid a short visit to the 19th edition of the Forum for International Co-financing of Documentaries down one of the canals at the beautiful Compagnietheater. It was the start of the festival, the hall was full, good atmosphere, very little money around the table due to the general crisis and to the crisis for the creative documentary in public television. But again the number of project applications to come and pitch was huge, 500 it was, 10% made it to the table so to say, or tables as the Forum today does have several options for the pitching – in a big hall in the mornings, and in smaller halls in the afternoons.
Same procedure as last years, I have to say, the female moderation team, Karolina Lidin and Jess Search, works better than the male, Rudy Buttignol and Axel Arnö, that is not well prepared when it comes to knowing the broadcasters, the first one seems to be more interested in having people in the hall hugging each other to create atmosphere. Continuing in this my slightly grumpy evaluation, it is for me, who has attended all 19 years (!), fine to listen to the project presentations, whereas the comments from the broadcasters are pretty predictable and mostly like ”we will talk more later”. The only one who is really challenging the ones pitching with questions and comments is Nick Fraser from BBC. I listened to 7 presentations, most of them (boring) mainstream investigative, interview based television programmes, two of them with Film potential: ”Tea Time” from Chile to be directed by Maite Alberdi (who has a film in competition, ”The Lifeguard”, ”Map” by Spanish director Léon Siminiani, a personal film that I knew from the DocsBarcelona 2011, plus Justin Webster’s, as it was said from a panelist, damn good story ”I will be Murdered” from Guatemala, supported by BBC and TV3 Catalunya. Webster places himself strongly between the journalistic and the creative documentary.
Financing possibilities are small these days, when it comes to television, are there other options coming up? This was discussed at a meeting on video-on-demand, called ”revenues-on-demand”, you can read about in an article, click below. And do not get confused, I was not at the meeting as the photo (from Edinburgh!) indicates, sorry Peter Jäger from Autlook Films in Austria, not my fault – Peter is much younger than me and he does not smoke cigars!
Written 20-11-2011 09:33:43 by Tue Steen Müller
The Polish tradition for high quality documentaries is very much kept alive by the Wajda Studio, which formerly was called The Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing. Especially the short documentary has had and has a strong home at the school, now studio. The film ”Paparazzi” (33 mins.) is in competition at this years’s idfa, there is a new film by Maciej Drygas screened, "Tonia and her Children" by Marcel Lozinski, teacher at the school, is at Docs for Sale, as is "Argentinian Lessons" by Wojciech Staron. (For the subscribers of DOX magazine a dvd with 3 short films has been made available with the last issue). At idfa the birthday was celebrated at a reception where also representatives from the Krakow Film Festival and the Krakow Film Foundation were present.
From the site of the Studio a small historical outline:
The Wajda Studio (formerly The Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing) was founded in 2001 by two directors, some of the most acclaimed Polish artists - Andrzej Wajda, winner of an Oscar for lifetime achievement, and Wojciech Marczewski, an outstanding director and educator.
The Wajda Studio continues the Wajda School's mission and supports auteur film projects. We are looking for feature, documentary films, and short films on contemporary subjects. The Studio focuses on international co-operation and co-productions. The Studio makes a difference through artistic supervision from the best Polish and European artists, and by playing an emphasis on project development. It offers script doctoring and the production of short fictions and documentaries under the "30 minutes" program and „First Documentary” program. The Studio runs the EKRAN (link) - International Program for Film Professionals. The Studio pays special attention to the promotion and distribution of its projects. Among the achievements of the Wajda Studio there are more than 50 documentary and feature films, and over 200 shorts. In addition, our films have been screened and awarded at major festivals including Berlinale, San Sebastian, Karlovy Vary, Hot Docs, IDFA and DOK Leipzig. The Studio (formerly known as the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing) has twice been awarded the Best Documentary and Short Films Producer prize at the Krakow Film Festival, in 2008 and 2010.
Photo: Wajda in the film about him: Let’s Shoot, made by graduated students, who have all made great documentaries: Maciej Cuske, Thierry Paladino, Marcin Sauter and Piotr Stasik.
Written 18-11-2011 16:30:31 by Mikkel Stolt
What constitutes a documentary film? When is a documentary most trustworthy and/or true to actual facts? Can we depict reality without interfering? Do we WANT to depict reality without interfering? We will never stop argue about these things, but allow yourself four minutes with this excellent video which some will just call “footage” but which I will call a work of self-made art.
A weather balloon was sent up from somewhere in Denmark, equipped with an HD-camera and a microphone. The balloon went up to an altitude of 31 km (and a temperature of 71 degrees below). Upon landing the GPS system failed, so it took some time to find it in the water. Then somebody made these extracts and edited them together. The film is both self-reflective and avant-garde and is also raising implicit questions of a both humanistic and scientific nature. But above all it’s just breathtakingly beautiful.
Watch it here: http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Vejret/2011/11/18/074723.htm and please tell me if I have lost my marbles.
Written 18-11-2011 14:48:52 by Tue Steen Müller
The 24th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) started two days ago and runs until November 27th. If you are not there, you have the chance to watch a fine selection of films, primarily from previous editions, offered for free by the festival. ”For Viewers Worldwide” is the headline, and you will find masterpieces like Johan van der Keuken’s monumental 245 mins. ”Amsterdam Global Village” (1996), as well as the Basque music film ”Nömadak Tx” (2006), several films by the many times mentioned on this site, Syrian Omar Amiralay, Florin Iepan’s ”Children of the Decree” from the time of Ceaucescu in Romania, Heddy Honigmann’s unique Paris work ”The Underground Orchestra” (1997). A lot of important film history is to find.
Bizarre, it will be to watch ”Beauty Will Save the World” from 2004 with Colonel Khadafi in a prominent role. Here is the synopsis from the site of idfa:
Tragic and hilarious account of the first Miss Net World beauty contest. In 2002, a Libyan has the brilliant idea to hold the first beauty contest for the most gorgeous Internet model in Libya. The preliminary national rounds, held on the Net, produce a busload of models who proudly set out for Libya, and vaguely remember that once upon a time something was wrong with this country. But what? Only four years ago, Colonel Khadafi was a tyrant from the Axis of Evil, but meanwhile he has been rehabilitated after making a few noncommittal promises. Khadafi niftily plays his trumps: he makes the models, and the journalists, wait for days before going to meet them. And since they have to wait, they might as well take a tour of his bombed house. Result: sobbing models cursing the war and the evil in mankind. BEAUTY WILL SAVE THE WORLD is a fly-on-the-wall documentary of the beauty contest for which, it seems, the filmmakers just had to film events from a distance. The absurd spectacle unfolds right before their eyes. They follow the nineteen-year-old American candidate Teca Zendik, who later became the first US honorary consul in Libya in twenty years.
Written 17-11-2011 14:22:15 by Tue Steen Müller
17th floor of the Hotel Africa in the capital of Tunisia. Early morning, the city prepares for a new day. Sunshine. To the right the beautiful clock with the sea behind it, to the left a look down the Avenue Bourguiba, that leads to the medina and the kasbah square, which was a main location for the uprising almost a year ago. The avenue is impressive with its trees and accompanying bird concert. It is full of outside cafés and what could be better for a man from the North of Europe to sit here, in the month of November, with a café crème and a warm croissant au beurre, watching life passing by. And the men (not many women at the cafés!) chatting, cigarette smoking.
Inside the hotel the Euromed Audiovisual III, an EU funded programme, hosts a conference for a couple of hundred people, which one way or the other deals with the theme ”Towards a New Mediterranean Cinema?”. The organisers have decided to practise the classical panel format for the conference. Thus one group of people after the other takes the floor to express opinions and convey information. The problem with that format is that you need strong moderation to avoid the time schedule to fall apart. The conference organisation lacked that skill so there was a constant delay and time pressure. At the same time as many speakers seemed to have prepared a half an hour powerpoint presentation, and were given 10 minutes to deliver that. And your prejudice about French speaking people needing more time to make their points was not shot down. Not at all!
Themes – data collecting, statistics about production and distribution, promotion, cinemas, film funds and commissions, the role of television. All on the background of the Arab Spring and the hope for a better and more free cinema, be it fiction or documentary. In the room were film people from Arab speaking countries – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya (!), Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. The clearest optimism was to find in the hosting country. ”You know what”, said the director Ferid Boughedir (”Halfaouine”, 1995, wonderful feature film), ” we were called from the Ministry of Culture. Please rewrite your film project with no self-censorship”!
The main question, however, that came up in all panels, was the lack of Sud-Sud collaboration and whether the Arab spring could spark a new era in that respect. Each country has a close look on own problems – lack of funding, bad television, few cinema halls, dependency of financing from the North (=
Read more / Læs mere
Written 17-11-2011 14:07:40 by Tue Steen Müller
Filmkommentaren.dk has followed the ”kickstarter V for Vinylmania” initiative, where Turin-based film company Stefilm called for help through a crowdfunding campaign and succeeded to collect $37.173 from 395 backers. The money will be used to make an international version by clearing the necessary music rights.
The film will have its national premiere on sunday, November 20th in Rome. This is what the film is about, according to the makers:
A trip into the grooves, Vinylmania is a 75 minute feature length documentary about an object that has never lost its soul: the vinyl record. An epic love story, the film is filled with fascinating characters and internationally recognized artists including PHILIPPE COHEN SOLAL (Gotan Project), WINSTON SMITH (Dead Kennedys, Green Day record sleeve artist), PETER SAVILLE (Joy Division, New Order record sleeve artist) and DJ KENTARO (2002 DMC World DJ Champion). Devotion, ecstasy, infatuation, agony – all feelings that the director of the film, Paolo Campana, has experienced from childhood and shares with like-minded record collectors, Djs, musicians and artists (the said vinylmaniacs) in the documentary. Set in 11 different cities worldwide, the director sets out on a global road trip to find out what role vinyl records play in the 21st century!
Written 16-11-2011 10:00:17 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Selvfølgelig er det fascinerende, men præcist hvad er det, som er så fascinerende? Filmen går ud fra, at det er en selvfølge, og der tager instruktøren fejl. Og fejltagelsen er fatal for hans film, for han bruger den derfor ikke til at finde ud af det der med fascination. Og derfor er det overhovedet ikke en egentlig fascinerende film, det er nemlig ikke en klog film. Det er en tilsyneladende fascinerende film. Og det bliver den ved at efterligne det, den skildrer, først og fremmest hovedpersonen, kokken Rasmus Kofoeds virtuositet. Helt tydeligt derved at klipperen Per K. Kirkegaard og hans hold i klipperummet ligesom gentager Kofoeds og hans holds suveræne præstation, blot altså i deres fag. Se det er en hyldest. Og det holder filmen igennem. Næsten. Jeg tror ikke den tour de force havde holdt mange sekunder længere end de fem minutter over 40 minutters muren. Det var der slet ikke stof til. Men flot, flot klippet.
Ikke stof nok? Ja, filmens kerne er jo selve fascinationen. Fascinationen af træningen, logistikken, roen, overblikket, kraftudfoldelsen på de rigtige tidspunkter. Men der er ikke mere, ikke flere lag, og efter variationerne over fascinationens rent ydre fremtrædelsesform ligesom er udtømt, er der for mig at se ikke mere tilbage i filmen.
Ikke i interviewuddragene hvor sympatisk end Rasmus Kofoed er, ikke i den speak, som med foragt næsten (gætter jeg på) er udeladt, ikke i scenerne fra sportslivet uden for køkkenet.. Ingen eftertanke, slet ikke nogen tvivl, disse elementer, som ellers kan give bastonen. Filmen er glad, begejstret og fascineret for og af sig selv. Lukker sig om fascinationen, kan, hvad den har villet. For så vidt og ikke længere. Den når sit publikum, vil jeg tro, skuffer det ikke, anfægter det heller ikke.
Rasmus Dinesen: Verdens bedste kok (The World’s Finest Chef), Danmark 2011, 45 min. Fotografi: Aske Foss, Niels Thastum, Rune Backs og Rasmus Dinesen, klip: Per K. Kirkegaard, Frederik Strunk Hjorth Nielsen og Klaus Heinecke, lyddesign: Bobby Hess, musik: Rune Funch og Jakob Dinesen, producer: Monica Hellström, produktion: Final Cut for Real Sendt på DR2 Dokumania i aftes. Genudsendes 19. november. Rasmus Dinesen filmografi: United Colours of Football (1998), The Forbidden Team (2003), Diplomacy (2008)
Written 14-11-2011 19:03:40 by Mikkel Stolt
What does a cave being enclosed for thousands of years sound like? Or smell like? This film actually tries to tell us, but first of all it shows us what it looks like. Or to be more precise, it shows us what the 30.000 years old cave paintings look like. And let me tell you right away, that despite being a 3D sceptic I was really flabbergasted by the effect that this format gives you; a unique sense on how the ancient artists used the curves and hollows of the cave walls to create effects that are right down spectacular. Even from today’s perspective this is world class art!
The paintings do take up a lot of time in this film and you actually get the strange sensation that even Herzog himself was overwhelmed by the art in these caves and thus has made a slightly more conventional documentary. We do get a lot of his trademarks, though: The philosophical narration, the “leading” questions to interviewees and the oddball characters, for instance the “perfumerist” who is skilled in finding hidden caves using his nostrils. Also, a typical Herzog-moment comes when his voice narrates that the footprints of a wolf and an 8-year-old boy were found next to each other. Did the wolf stalk the boy, did they walk together as companions or were the footprints sat 10.000 years apart? “We will never know”. Herzog also wants to put art, music and the understanding of human evolvement into perspective and it really does work. But first and last are the paintings themselves of paramount interest to him. Even when we almost think the film is over, we get the best seven or eight minutes of them all: the camera dwelling on the walls with very simple lighting effects and some really beautiful music - an original score by Ernst Reijseger as far as I can detect.
However, a few “buts” arose in my mind. At an early point in the film, one of the scientists asks the crew to be silent so we can hear the sounds of the cave. Herzog can’t stand that silence more than 10 seconds but soon adds a heartbeat and then music, and shortly it gives you an uneasy feeling about the director’s choices. And apart from when we see the paintings themselves; the 3D format is interesting at best and somewhat annoying and distracting at worst.
But in the end the film is just wonderful and Herzog does the unthinkable: he lets us feel that he put the matter of the film in a predominant position because he didn’t have a choice. These paintings are essential to mankind, the film says, and I agree.
Written 14-11-2011 08:15:06 by Tue Steen Müller
The cph:dox festival deserves credit for (also) putting a focus on the changes in the Arab world. With the support of IMS (International Media Support, Danish state supported organisation), no less than a dozen screenings and debates, entitled ”Free Radical”, were on the agenda of the festival, with many invited guests from the countries involved. I attended a handful of them as well as a very well visited seminar held by Danish newspaper Politiken, also a supporter of cph:dox, under the headline ”The Arab Spring and the new Media”, referring to the role of social media like Facebook and Twitter during the revolutions. This meeting included a panel of experts, university people of Arab origin living outside the region, plus Danish professor Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen who made a fine introduction to Syria and the website activity going on – the main source for information from a country closed for foreign press, many times linked on this site under ”The Syrian Revolution".
I mention this because of the clear distinction in terminology and access between that – academic – panel and the bloggers, activists and filmmakers who took part in the festival. No, I am not saying that one is better than the other, only that you feel so strongly the difference between an inside and an outside look on the current affairs. Jon Alterman from Washington thought that the social media's impact was quite overestimated, television's role had been crucial for the changes in Tunisia and Egypt, Skovgaard-Petersen did not have the word ”revolution” on his power point presentation, he talked about ”the uprising” etc.
Orwa Nyrabia, however, Syrian film producer and co-organiser of the Dox Box festival, that has been running for four years in Damascus, unlikely of course to happen next year, did not hesitate to call the uprising ”a revolution”, and gave the audience a good intro to the situation in his country on two meeting occasions. One in connection with the screening of ”Life in a Syrian Village” by late master Omar Amiralay, and another when one of the dox:lab films were to be screened. Danish performance artist Lillibeth Cuenca was meant to be joined by her co-director, Syrian filmmaker Nidal Hassan, who did not arrive to Copenhagen as he was arrested in Damascus when he was about to get his travel documents cleared. The work-in-progress of the two was screened – it was less than promising from a film quality point of view. Nyrabia took the floor and informed with a lot of humour and sarchasm that there is nothing new in Syrian filmmakers being put into prison by the regime, that Nidal Hassan and others are grown up people, who know about the risk they are taking saying what they are saying against Assad and his dictatorship. There is no reason to feel guilty, he said to the Danish performer and others from the festival organisation, keep on inviting us so we can come and tell you what we know and see. Said Nyrabia, a very good friend, who I keep on naming ”the first minister of culture” in a new and free Syria!
The best session, however, was called ”Documenting the Revolution”. Clips, photos, film quoted were shown and the panelists helped each other to give a broad picture to the audience. In the panel were documentary filmmaker Elyes Baccar (Tunisia) (PHOTO from his Rouge Parole), journalist.
Read more / Læs mere
Written 14-11-2011 08:05:43 by Tue Steen Müller
Two films at cph:dox dealt with the revolution in Egypt and Tunisia: Omar Shargawi and Karim El Hakim's “1/2 Revolution” and Elyes Baccar's “Rouge Parole”. The latter about Tunisia, the first shot in Egypt.
“1/2 Revolution” (PHOTO) was made by coincidence. You dare say! The filmmaker Omar Shargawi went to Egypt to make a feature about street children in Cairo, when he and his friends found themselves in the middle of, and taking part in what became world history: the downfall of a dictator and his suppressing regime in a huge Arab country. The quality of this film lies with the fact that the Palestinian/Danish director succeeds to personalize the story. He and his friends lived in the centre of Cairo, close to the Tahir Square. From their windows they could follow the violent clashes between police and demonstrators, from hour to hour, in a flat where there was also a baby stumbling around among grown-ups like the director himself, who have family outside he country and who of course worry about what could happen to their dear ones.
It does indeed gives the situation another perspective, and the film a tension different from the youtube uploaded clip documentations from the fights in the streets. At the same as Shargawi and his friends film in the streets. The dramatic situation is conveyed with passion and a sense of presence, and goes from documenting to documentary interpretation and personal drama. You fully understand why the group had to leave Cairo after 11 days, 7 days before Mubarak steps down.
The Tunisian film “Rouge Parole” also intends to be more than a news report on what happened in the country. And it reaches that goal in a way where you
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Written 13-11-2011 11:15:30 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Jeg har det med filmen, som jeg har det med ordet drejebog, som jo betyder to ting på dansk. Naturligvis er en drejebog en plan for en film, men det er i nutidssprog også en plan for en hvilken som helst anden kompliceret handling eller aktion. Targeting: Bin Laden vil som film overbevise mig om, at dens manuskript simpelthen er CIA’s og admiralens manuskript for ”Red Teams” opsporing og likvidering af Osama Bin Laden. Og det lykkedes i første omgang. Jeg iagttog det tvivlende til vantro: er dette direct cinema, er dette optagelser fra kameraer i The Navy’s SEAL Teams hjelme, er det Bin Laden, der står der øverst på trappen i nattøj? Og som filmen skred frem accepterede jeg det hele. Den er faktisk ret spændende. Som underholdning er den temmelig spændende. Og jeg var jo underholdt. Og forført.
Men så kommer eftertanken. Ét er at jeg faktisk godt kan lide historiske rekonstruktioner, som BBC underholdning for eksempel, noget andet er, at jeg da plejer at efterlyse eftertanke og tvivl og tøven i ægte dokumentariske historiske rekonstruktioner. Nå, der er da alle tre elementer i Targeting: Bin Laden. Men de er vel at mærke omhyggeligt anbragt inden i filmens selvforståelse af at være selve denne komplicerede og farefulde operation ind i et Pakistan med forstår man ikke-informerede myndigheder. De er præsidentens og hans mænds eftertanke, tvivl og tøven med hensyn til de rent militære og tekniske risici, naturligt placeret som plotpunkter. Og der er kun dette ene lag i filmen.
Eftertanken, tvivlen og tankens langsomhed hører hjemme i en anden slags dokumentarfilm, disse film med fortællevinklen anbragt et sikkert sted i nærheden af autor og lagt ned i værket som en voksende uro af noget, som blander sig udefra, måske fra tilskuerens sind, her kunne det være moralske og juridiske overvejelser, der, som det er tilfældet sker i Morris’ The Fog of War, lyttes frem af McNamara i den berømte spejlkonstruktion. I The History Channels værk er det naturligvis slet ikke sådan. Det er selvfølgelig en omhyggeligt efterrationaliseret og dramatiseret påstand om, at de to drejebøger, admiralens og historiekanalens er konkruente. Det her er selvfølgelig en propagandafilm. En rigtig veldrejet en af slagsen.
The History Channel: Targeting: Bin Laden. USA 2011, 88 min. Sendt i DR2 Dokumania (Operation bin Laden – minut for minut) på hvis hjemmeside den kan ses nogen tid endnu. Filmen kan købes på Amazon og streames elller downloades mange steder på nettet. Den historiske operation, hvis internationale lovlighed er anfægtet fra mange sider, får et udfoldet og interessant forsvar i en kort juridisk opsats af to lærere ved amerikanske militærakademier, Shane Reeves og Jerymy Marsch: ”Bin Laden and Awlaki: Lawful Targets”, i Harvard International Review 26. oktober 2011.
Written 12-11-2011 22:57:41 by Tue Steen Müller
Awards were given at the cph:dox festival in Copenhagen and juries motivated their choices, this is the press release from the festival:
In the main competition, DOX:AWARD, Ben Rivers' 'Two Years at Sea' was awarded for its convincing depiction of the euphoric feeling of being immersed in an elemental environment. "An enigmatic work that emanates from another place and time and justifies its own existence," the jury said.
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Written 11-11-2011 15:28:06 by Tue Steen Müller
A good offer to Danish citizens with a computer and a wish to watch films from cph:dox. I switch to Danish language:
Dagbladet Politiken skriver, i forkortet citat: Den niende udgave af den danske dokumentarfilmfestival er i gang, og politiken.dk har allieret sig med festivalen og streamingtjenesten Doc Alliance for at kunne tilbyde politiken.dk's læsere fem stærke dokumentarfilm ganske gratis.
Filmene vil kunne streames fra ibyen.dk/cphdox fra 12. november klokken 00.00 til 13. november klokken 23.59.” Link til streamingen
Filmene er “Marrijas Own” (Zeljka Sukova), “Grande Hotel” (Lotte Stoops, jeg har set den, kan stærkt anbefales), “Accidentes Gloriosos” (Manuel Andrizzi & Marcus Lindeen), “Bombay Beach” (Boaz Yakin & Alma Har’el, FOTO, positivt anmeldt af Kim Skotte I Politiken) og “Nowhere Near Tomorrow” (Johanna Teichmann).
Cph:dox foregår kun I København – dansk centralistisk kulturpolitik! – derfor er et sådant initiativ naturligvis velkomment.
Written 09-11-2011 23:15:30 by Mikkel Stolt
I like it when a film slowly seems to get a hold of itself before your very eyes. Like it’s getting smarter as it goes along. That’s how I felt watching this depiction of a huge hospital complex in Rio de Janeiro which has half of the building functioning and the other half lying almost in ruins.
The film is sort of clumsy to begin with. We follow a patient being pushed in a bed in the working part of the hospital and we see graphic pictures of the ruin. Then we follow a gastroscopy of the woman which - as something of a banality - is intercut with handheld shots from the cellar of the hospital with pibes, rubble and rats. Ok, one thinks, we get it: The hospital itself is also a patient.
But slowly the film opens up. Pictures of the building play a huge part throughout but we also see and hear people from various institutions talking either directly to us from behind a desk or walking around in the quite amazing construction. It can be the hospital director, an engineer, an architect – even a patient - all people who have genuine interest or feelings for the whole monstrosity. HU refers to its status as a University Hospital and it was part of the modernist, architect movement in 1950’s. But it was built way too big, and the unused part of the building is referred to as the “lame leg” and is just that: A dead counterpart to the “good leg”.
Split screen and camera movements are used with various effect and luck, but I get the feeling that it all seems to work better and better as the films progresses. Also, wonderful little stories appear like the one with a woman carrying an empty plant pot and who needs help to get out of a door. She wants to get one of the ferns growing wildly in the ruin right outside. It’s told from a distance and is just a beautiful documentary scene with reminiscence of Jacques Tati.
The graphic pictures are accompanied by industrial sounding “music” which also seem a bit trite to begin with but it all prove to be worthwhile in the end. For us and for the filmmakers in a way I won’t reveal here. I’m built up to amazement and content in a strangely satisfying way.
Written 08-11-2011 09:53:00 by Mikkel Stolt
CPH:DOX on a November afternoon. I am watching a filmmaker’s film about her filmmaking and herself. Afterwards, I watch the filmmaker telling us about her film about herself and her filmmaking. I’m always interested in the creative process so I’m all eyes and ears.
The filmmaker, Fia-Stina Sandlund, surely wants to confuse us, though. In this film, she is taking her lead character to the famous art Biennale in Venice to make a performance which will serve not only as a performance but also as an audition and a step towards making a rendition of Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s “Miss Julie”. We quickly meet Alexandra Dahlström as the protagonist and from then on she rarely leaves the frame until the last 15 minutes or so. The filmmaker (Sandlund) is ever present on the soundtrack since large portions of the film consists of the two blonde girls talking about their project which only is revealed sporadically. Sandlund is sometimes seen on the edge of the frame, and we get the feeling that they both are serious artists; Dahlström is dedicated, a bit sulky at times, maybe even troubled. We also get the feeling that she could easily play Julie. Or Sandlund. Maybe she does the latter already? I know, it sounds confusing, but it’s really not. Not yet, at least.
As a viewer one looks for things to get involved with and in this case they throw us some small intellectual goodies about Strindberg and his play “Miss Julie” and it’s clear that Strindberg fascinates the protagonist(s) with his ambiguous view on women. I, more predictably, notice how much Dahlström looks like Scarlett Johansen from certain angles. Dahlström IS a sight for sore eyes – and you may know her from “Fuckin’ Åmål” - but I sometimes just want to poke her (and Sandlund) in the eye. The film is namely shot less delightfully and my fascination and my irritation struggle to get the upper hand. The film is both bold and boring, arguably too long but surely original and not without humour.
The moment in the film which the women have prepared for comes: the performance with Dahlström playing Sandlund. But the weather pulls their legs; the electricity goes away and the performance is aborted. At least in the film. And then a true avant-garde moment appears: A woman - whom we have never seen before - coughs. Violently. Now I’m confused. The woman turns out to be some kind of clairvoyant and she’s having a séance to get some other hitherto unseen women closer to Strindberg. I forget that I want to cast Dahlström for almost anything but I don’t forget Sandlund’s project. Kudos to that.
The film is the first in a trilogy where the third supposedly will be a version of “Miss Julie” with Dahlström as Julie, since she passed the “audition”. This Sandlund tells us afterwards on this November afternoon. Film number two, “She’s Staging It”, will be a depiction of a theatre workshop in New York were they will be working on saving Julie from the suicide she presumably commits after curtains in “Miss Julie”. I’m somewhat disturbed by the fact that I want to see both.
Fia-Stina Sandlund: She's Blonde Like Me, Sverige, 2011. 89 min.
Written 07-11-2011 20:29:51 by Tue Steen Müller
Text taken from Facebook, announced publicly in Copenhagen yesterday at the cph:dox festival by film producer and festival director Orwa Nyrabia from Damascus:
Syrian filmmaker Nidal Hassan disappeared in Damascus on Thursday 3-11-2011, no information about him has come to light since that day. Nidal was born in 1-9-1973, he studied Film Direction in Armenia and made several films one of which, SALTY SKIN, won a notable Russian prize. He has other films like FLINT MOUNTAIN and an unfinished film on his coastal city Tartous, THE POOR CHALLENGE GUINNESS. Note that he was previously detained at what is known as the "Intellectuals' demonstration" in Damascus.
Nidal Hassan was on his way to the festival in Copenhagen.
At the same meeting Orwa Nyrabia announced that Syrian filmmaker Ali Sheikh Khoder, who was arrested by an unknown security division in Douma, Damascus, September 30 2011, had been released. One out, one in!
Link to the Facebook page
Written 07-11-2011 10:34:26 by Tue Steen Müller
The 52nd edition of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has started and runs until the 13th of November. In a newsletter issued by the festival, under the headline “a modest ceremony raised the curtain of the festival”, the festival director had some opinions, which are important to share:
In his opening speech, TIFF director Dimitris Eipides did not fail to refer to the crucial times Greece is going through: “I am certain that there are some people in the audience wondering what is the use of having festivals and festivities when the country is sinking”, he said, adding that the answer to this question is that if Greece is to have a chance of revival, the country needs citizens who are mature, outward-looking, innovative, bold, with a vision and a plan.
“We need to be entertained, to receive stimuli, to understand the world around us. This is the only way we can change this world”, underlined Mr. Eipides, adding that, under this light, the films of the 52nd TIFF “provide audiences with the opportunity to exercise penetrating and substantial interventions, to reach novel explanations of the social, political and cultural developments unfolding in the world around us”. “Only by active intervention any work is meaningful”, he added. Mr. Eipides announced that the TIFF is moving forward with the establishment of the Thessaloniki Film Archive. “The Thessaloniki Film Archive is a life’s work. It will develop and broaden the city’s cinema culture, capitalizing on the energetic core of film enthusiasts who have been cultivated by the Festival throughout the years. This is a gift worthy of Thessaloniki, which is celebrating its centenary from liberation”, commented Mr. Eipides. Welcoming audiences to the 52nd TIFF, “one of the oldest film festivals in the world, esteemed by an international community of exacting viewers and professionals”, TIFF director said he was proud for an additional reason: for the fact that more than 50% of TIFF’s budget this year is funded by European funds (specifically, by the European Regional Development Fund), without burdening the country’s national budget.
Written 06-11-2011 12:59:06 by Mikkel Stolt
The opening is splendid: Old b/w footage from the 50’s of an aircraft flying into Rio de Janeiro and an orchestral rendition of “Garota de Ipanema” on the soundtrack. I want to go to Rio and I want to see and enjoy this film. The camera is now on the ground and takes us downtown in a car and nothing can go wrong. Or so I thought.
The film has no talk at all but continues like an uncommented anthology with a line of numerous interpretations of the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. The clips seem to be original and they last for between one and four minutes or so. That means that we rarely get more than a couple of verses and the Portuguese lyrics are sometimes subtitled and sometimes not. More irritatingly, it seems that the film now and again use “new” archive material which was not in the original TV or live performance footage. It’s mostly album covers or posters which the camera pans or tilts over or old stills where they couldn’t resist splitting the layers in that “modern 3D” fashion which is more annoying than meaningful. So as a film I must say it comes across very uneven at times, almost amateurish, and somewhat haphazardly put together. For instance, at one point there is a still of an album with Jobim’s name (again) and you can see that this particular album was arranged by band leader Nelson Riddle. It’s immediately followed by Nara Leão singing “Dindi” with just a guitar player!?
Turning to the music, there seem to be one principle: Two to four different interpretations of each number. That is highly interesting but also quite frustrating at times when a favourite of yours is limited to a mere minute. There might be a slight chronological order (but it doesn’t feel or look that way) and only sporadically is there displayed any development of Jobim’s work or how Brazilian and American jazz music started to affect each other. Sometimes Jobim is seen playing and sometimes he’s not and the film ends with some performances of his with choir and big bands from the late 80’s and early 90’s. On the director’s webpage I realize now that there is a TV program from 1984 listed with the same title, so I expect this to be a newly made version which supposedly had its world premiere at New York Film Festival in October this year.
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Written 05-11-2011 14:59:48 by Allan Berg Nielsen
For nylig forlangte Tue Steen Müller her på siden at nye film skal indeholde noget nyt: ”Please surprise me, give me time for reflections, to smile, laugh, cry, tell me something I did not know in beforehand – or show me something that I have not seen before, or make some unpredictable montage of location connections with places, with sound and image. Surprises, please.”
Nå, det er selvfølgelig skrevet noget senere, end Lie var færdig med sin journalistiske dokumentar om Jørgen Leths liv og værk, så han kunne ikke ad den vej vide, at han let med sit emne og sit arbejde kunne ramle ind i netop sådan en træthed. Müllers advarsel var kommet for sent. Lie styrer fra først til sidst lige en gang til gennem alt det stof, vi kender så godt fra andre biografiske film og især fra Jørgen Leths egen produktion af film og bøger og fra utallige interviews, han har givet.
Filmens undertitel lover et essay, bilder jeg mig ind. Og det glæder jeg mig til og skuffes. Jeg får en feature, som formidlende holder stoffet ude fra fra kroppen, autors krop og lader den medvirkende gøre arbejdet. Men jeg er i og for sig ikke interesseret i en repetition af Jørgen Leths liv og værk, jeg vil se Truls Lies grundige læsning af biografien og filmene. Lie er filosof og journalist, og Kierkegaard bringes i spil, men ikke for alvor, den undersøgende journalistik sendes på vej ned i uopdagede lag: nysgerrigheden (et kort afsnit er viet den, se still!) og angsten for at svømme i dybt vand. Men Lie forfølger ikke sporene, taber ligesom interessen, lige netop når min er vakt, for det her er da vist nyt? I hvert fald for mig.
Lie har lavet en sympatisk film, og en pædagogisk film, måske også en lidt kedelig film. Leth medvirker som altid loyalt, yder sit bedste, holder sig ikke for fin til nogen eller noget. Et menneske uden arrogance. Desværre er Lie trods sin karrieres pondus for ydmyg og høflig og vist også for lidt energisk. Det er ærgerligt, synes jeg. Men uøvede kan nok her finde en tilgængelig første introduktion til en stor kunstner og et stort værk.
Truls Lie: The Seduced Human, a moral enquiry, Norge 2010, 51 min. Medvirkende: Jørgen Leth, manuskript: Truls Lie, fotografi: Truls Lie og seks fotografer yderligere, klip: Marius Smit, producer: Dag Hoel, produceret af Faction Film. Filmen er på CPH:DOX lige nu og en DVD skulle meget snart være til salg på filmens hjemmeside.
Tue Steen Müller har også her på siden skrevet om Truls Lies journalistiske arbejde med DOX magazine.
Written 03-11-2011 14:07:07 by Tue Steen Müller
IDFA (the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) put a text on its website the other day with an appeal to ilmmakers with a film selected for the Cinema Verité Festival to seriously consider withdrawing their film and decline any invitation from the festival as Cinema Verité Festival is a government-organised festival, run by the same government that intimidates and arrests filmmakers.”
I know that many do follow this appeal, the Zelig film school in Bolzano being one of them. On Facebook I found the following exemplary letter from Polish filmmakers with a reaction from an Iranian filmmaker:
Dear Documentary and Experimental Film Centre. After hearing the stunning news that filmmakers Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Mehran Zinatbakhsh and film distributor Katayoon Shahabi were not released from the unjust detention we decided to take a stand on this overwhelming circumstance. This information shocked us just as it did many of our friends working for festivals all over the world. After receiving so many e-mails asking for support we cannot stay aside. Yet there is only one way in which we can raise our strong objection!
As a solidarity to the filmmakers that are being kept imprisoned and a strong disagreement with the human rights policy undertaken by the Iranian government we request to withdraw our films from the participation in Cinema Verité Iran International Documentary Film Festival.
The titles are as follows: Takie życie/ That’s life by Daniel Zielińskii. La Machina (PHOTO) by Thierry Paladino. Smolarze/ Charcoal burners by Piotr Złotorowicz. 38,5 by Grzegorz Dębowski . Komeda, muzyczne ścieżki życia/ Komeda a soundtrack for a life by Claudia Buthenhoff-Duffy . Planeta Kirsan by Magdalena Pięta . This decision was made unanimously with all the producers and filmmakers and expresses our clear standpoint to this unjust violation of human rights. On behalf of Krakow Film Foundation, Katarzyna Wilk and Zofia Ścisłowska.
Thank you so much for your support! I would like to thank Polish filmmakers' expression of solidarity on behalf of dozens of intimidated Iranian filmmakers. Warm regards Maziar
Written 03-11-2011 10:43:06 by Tue Steen Müller
Help, there is only 7 days to go to reach our goal. These are the words from filmmaker Paolo Campana in Turin, Italy. It is all or nothing, he says, as it is with the crowdfunding done through Kickstarter. I have known Paolo and his project for years, I have always followed what Stefilm (Stefano Tealdi, Edoardo Fracchia and Elena Filippini) have done – in this case a fine film about a phenomenon that goes worldwide...
Below you will find more info about the film, trailer, clips and what your donation will be used for, and a link to kickstarter:
A trip into the grooves, Vinylmania is a 75 minute feature length documentary about an object that has never lost its soul: the vinyl record. An epic love story, the film is filled with fascinating characters and internationally recognized artists including PHILIPPE COHEN SOLAL (Gotan Project), WINSTON SMITH (Dead Kennedys, Green Day record sleeve artist), PETER SAVILLE (Joy Division, New Order record sleeve artist) and DJ KENTARO (2002 DMC World DJ Champion). Devotion, ecstasy, infatuation, agony – all feelings that the director of the film, Paolo Campana, has experienced from childhood and shares with like-minded record collectors, Djs, musicians and artists (the said vinylmaniacs) in the documentary. Set in 11 different cities and 7 countries worldwide, the director sets out on a global road trip to find out what role vinyl records play in the 21st century.
How will your donations be used? The money you give us will fund: Clearance rights of the music for dvd worldwide release - A voice over artist and studio to mix an English language narration track (currently in Italian by the director himself) - Creation and editing of the bonus materials- Creation of a dvd graphic, case and booklet - A 5.1 surround sound version - Licensing costs
link to kickstarter.com
Written 02-11-2011 15:36:00 by Tue Steen Müller
In Danish as this is about getting Danes to come and watch the forbidden masterpiece of Omar Amarilay, Syria’s most important documentary filmmaker, who died this year in February, a month before the Syrian revolution started:
Tabet af den syriske mesterinstruktør Omar Amiralay (1944 - 2011) (foto) tidligere i år var ikke blot et tab for en global klub af cinefiler, men for enhver der tror på at filmmediet har en universel, human rækkevidde. Den umiddelbarhed med hvilken vi forstår landarbejdernes kamp i den syriske landsby, hvor vi er vidner til hverdagens gang, bekræfter i lige så høj grad Amiralays humane empati, som hans talent som en instruktør af subtile allegorier. En flok små børn der graver skelettet af en kamel frem af ørkensandet er et af den slags billeder der endnu i dag kan få jorden til at ryste under en hvilken som helst autoritet. Hans kritik og sans for de vidde landskaber omkring landsbyen placerer Amiralay blandt de fineste af filmskabere, og også derfor er det passende at inkludere den film, hvor han med egne ord fandt sin politiske stemme, i et filmprogram der har ambitioner om at give en historisk dybde til de 'pludselige' folkelige opstande i den arabiske verden i 2011. Filmen er forbudt i Syrien den dag i dag - men vi får se hvor længe det varer.
Filmen vil blive indledt af Orwa Nyrabia, som er filmproducent og –instruktør, og sammen med Diana el Jeiroudi initiativtagere til Dox Box festivalen, som I år afviklede sin fjerde udgave I begyndelsen af marts lige før revolutionen startede. Orwa Nyrabia skriver dagligt på Facebook med henvisninger til klip fra det Syrien, som I dag ikke tillader udenlandske pressefolk at rapportere frit fra landet.
OBS! OBS! Dette er et unikt arrangement I cph:dox, som desværre ikke er omtalt i programavisen.
Husets Biograf, 5. November 20.30
Written 02-11-2011 11:35:18 by Tue Steen Müller
Cph:dox opened with an entertaining documentary with Russian Slavik Kryklyvyy, Latin American dancer, as the main character, who tries to make his way back to the top, where he was the best in the world – 10 years ago.
The film shows him training and competing with the partner Anna Melnikova, also his girl friend, who suffers from the constant change of temperament of Slavik, who corrects her at the same time as he declares his love to her. One-dimensional, the film is, and mid way through the story, the film goes dead, for a long period, coming up again with a beautiful sequence where the two, after having been apart, and after she has met another man, good for her, perform in a rehearsal room to the tunes of ”You were on My Mind”. That dance is great to watch but after the dance, she leaves the room and he sits alone back. A real Film scene, but in this context far too pathetic as the story is not really developed to justify that point of drama.
There are for sure many fine documentary observations in the film, but why is it that you leave the cinema without being touched, is it because your reaction to the main character is ”who cares”, is it because you get no information about his previous life - it seems strange that there are no scenes with Slavik and his former partner Joanna, who wins all the competitions we see in the film – is it because the music score is far too loaded in its attack on making the viewer feel, is it because the filmmakers actually did not have enough material to make this feature duration drama that it is stretched out to be?
Christian Bonke & Andreas Koefoed, Denmark, 2011, 85 mins.
Written 01-11-2011 21:58:16 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Mira Jargil har i aften modtaget prisen Reelt Talent. Det skete under åbningsgalla arrangementet på CPH:DOX. I sin begrundelse lagde juryen vægt på ”instruktørens indlevelsesevne og fintfølende tone og så evnen til at skildre intense emotionelle situationer uden at virke anmassende og påtrængende.” Bag talentprisen, der i aften er uddelt for anden gang, står CPH:DOX og Danske Filminstruktører.
Det sidste døgn, 2005. ”Så meget eksistentielt på færde, så lidt udstyr scenografisk, fotografisk, tekstligt, musikalsk. Mira Jargils film er et studie i, hvor lidt man kan nøjes med. Filmen er en afslutningens koreografi, en skildring af dette uafvendelige, som både dramaet og livet dynamisk, men i faldende takt – tøvende så at sige – peger hen mod…” skrev jeg i DFI’s tidskrift FILM/47.
Mod målet, 2007. ”Undersøgelser viser, at 73 procent af deltagerne får et bedre liv efter at have deltaget i turneringen. Og det er netop, hvad Mira Jargils film med humor og poesi dokumenterer: Fodbold har en fantastisk socialiserende effekt…” skrev Claus Christensen på tidsskriftet Ekkos hjemmeside 23. juli 2007.
Den tid vi har, 2011. Filmen er ”med sin tyste tilstedeværelse i det intime det mest rørende og sikre værk blandt afgangsfilmene…” skrev Katrine Hornstrup Yde i Information 13. juni 2011.
Latest posts / Seneste indlæg
Latest comments / Seneste kommentarer
Bartosz Paduch: Full support from Poland!!! Filmmakers all over the world - fight for your right to show your work!!! ...
Paul Pauwels: I hope I'm too pessimistic - and I will find out soon - but I've learned that it's not all gold that glitters... we'll see and in the mean time I'll k...
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......