This film blog is owned and run by Allan Berg Nielsen and Tue Steen Müller. Who also write the texts of the blog with occasional guest writers. The blog is a non-commercial, con amore initiative aiming at readers who are generally or professionally interested and engaged in (documentary) films.
ALLAN BERG NIELSEN
Allan Berg Nielsen started the first documentary cinema in Randers, Denmark way back in the 1970’es. He did so at the museum, where he was employed. He got the (16mm) films from the collection of the National Film Board of Denmark (Statens Filmcentral). He organised a film festival in his home city, became a member of the Board of Directors of the Film Board, started to write about films in diverse magazines, were a juror at several festivals and wrote television critiques in the local newspaper. From 1998-2003 Allan Berg was documentary film consultant (commissioning editor) at The Danish Film Institute, a continuation of the Film Board. Since then free lance consultant in documentary matters.
Allan Berg Nielsen in a Rhodos monastery. Photo: Mette Lunden, 2011.
TUE STEEN MÜLLER
Tue Steen Müller was educated librarian and worked as such for three years, with film and other non-book activities, in the early 1970’es. From 1975-1996 he was employed at the National Film Board of Denmark (Statens Filmcentral) as press secretary, distributor, festival manager, film consultant and spindoctor for various directors of the organisation. He was part of the team behind the Balticum Film/TV Festival on Bornholm Denmark 1990-2000 as well as the set-up of Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary and the EDN (European Documentary Network) of which he was the first director 1996-2005. Got the (Jørgen) Roos Award for his contribution to Danish and European documentary in 2005. Since 2006 free lance consultant and teacher in documentary matters all over the world.
Tue exploring Georgian yards. Photo: Anna Dziapshipa, 2017
Georgian yard. Photo: Tue Steen Müller, 2017
TOP PORTRAITS: DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHS/DIRECTORS
To the left: Herz Frank
In the Middle: Miroslav Janek
To the right: Robert Frank
FORMER TOP PORTRAITS: DOCUMENTARY TALENTS
To the left Sara Ishaq, two films of hers have been on filmkommentaren.dk, both dealing with Yemen: ”Kamara has No Walls”, nominated for an Oscar 2013 and ”The Mulberry House” from 2013, a quote from the review of the latter: A family film? Yes. Private? No. Personal? Yes, as it is a film about a daughter, who returns to her roots... oops, now the words start to be klichés. Roots, yes but conveyed in a way so we non-yemenites easily can identify with the family, the three generations and its situation, in a film that captures the warmth and passes it on to us in a light tone that is broken when reality knocks on the door.
In the middle Salome Jashi, who after the short films ”Their Helicopter” and ”Speechless” made the middle length ”The Leader is always Right” an ” observational documentary from one of the patriotic youth camps in Georgia” before turning to what is her international breakthrough, ”Bahkmaro”, that gave her the main award in Jihlava 2011. The jury motivation was precise: “With an attentive and personal approach the filmmaker transforms an ordinary microcosm into a unique narrative and playful visual experience. Through an effective and assured cinematic language this film reveals the mood and the spirit of a society struggling with its internal hopes and contradictions. For its respect, artistry and quest for surprise the award for the Best film of “The Between the Seas” Competition goes to Bakhmaro by Salome Jashi.”
To the right Davis Simanis, Latvian documentary director and editor, whose film about the new national library in Riga won the Baltic award at the festival in Vilnius in 2013: ”Chronicles of the Last Temple”, a superb interpretation of the new and much discussed National Library of Riga, a film that shows Simanis ability to capture the grandeur of a building and its details in a super aesthetic form. His newest work ”Escaping Riga” presents in an original cinematic form two world-class 20th century geniuses, the British philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin and the Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein.
FILMKOMMENTAREN FIRST FIVE YEARS
Five years ago Allan Berg called me to pitch an idea he had: Should we make a film blog where we could express opinions and spread information on our common passion: Films. Allan (who lives in Randers in Denmark, whereas I live in Copenhagen, the two cities being 4 hours train distance from each other) organised what became filmkommentaren.dk with a local webbureau Infoserv that has the motto ”keep IT simple”. Which we have done, kept it simple: text + photo + links where our readers can find more info and clips and trailers. Ambition: an average of one text per day. All year round.
We decided that Allan should stay with Danish as his language for posted texts – I went for English, the language I use when teaching and tutoring around the world. For four years we got a generous 50-50 start and IT maintenance support from the local FOF (Denmark’s largest provider of adult liberal education) but no financial support from anyone. Well, once we applied to the DFI (Danish Film Institute) for a small help to cover the basic costs but got a no because ”there are so many film websites so that would make a precedent to support you”, words to that effect. So filmkommentaren.dk is totally con amore, and we have been happy to invite other Aficionados to post texts.
Here we are five years later, this text being blogpost/text number 2082. We have never really discussed editorial lines, we have written about what we wanted to write about: reviews, festival reports, notes, quotes from other media, comments, we have created smaller and bigger discussions. The focus has been the documentary film.
The first two texts were reviews of ”Forever” by Heddy Honigmann and ”Ghosts of Cité Soleil” by Asger Leth, that was back in August 2007, where we also wrote about Bergman and Antonioni, who died late July that year, and where we visited and covered the yearly documentary gathering of the DFI at the European Film College.
Statistics – We have had 96.521 visits in 2012 until this day, 39.351 so-called unique visitors. We are very happy for the interest. Thank you, readers! (Skrevet den 07-08-2012 11:34:28 af Tue Steen Müller)