Posts

Current trends across three European human rights film festivals

Three major human rights film festivals (HRFFs) take place on the European continent annually in March. In 2017 the line-up was as follows: One World was held in Prague, Czech Republic from 6-15 March; the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva, Switzerland unfolded between 10-19 March; and Movies that Matter […]

The filmic representation of home in transnational families: The case of ‘I for India’

by Efrén Cuevas In an increasingly globalised world, the phenomenon of transnational families has spanned many countries, raising questions as to the traditional understanding of home, a concept normally associated with the notions of homeland and the family house. This article intends to study these issues through an analysis of I for India (2005), a […]

Being Bowie

by Will Brooker and Rebecca Hughes Brooker This film documents a project that began when a musical hero and cultural icon of mine died. Lou Reed passed away in October 2013, which made me realise I should celebrate one of my other heroes, David Bowie, while he was still alive. My way of paying tribute […]

House Arrest

by Domietta Torlasco I have always been interested in doing what Godard once described as ‘research in the form of a spectacle’. Even in my writing, I begin by collecting images and quotes, treating the latter as passages (walkways), visible points of entry into a world (of ideas) that for me always maintains a sensorial, […]

How do film festivals work?: A conversation with Joshua Oppenheimer

Few documentary filmmakers have been as widely discussed in recent years as Joshua Oppenheimer. He burst onto the scene in 2012 with The Act of Killing, one of the more powerful feature-length debuts of any genre in recent memory. The documentary is about politically-motivated, state-sponsored killings in the 1960s in Indonesia and the residue of […]

Alternative Film/Video Research Forum 2016, Documentary Intersections

Alternative Film/Video Research Forum 2016, Documentary Intersections Alternative Film/Video, 7-11 December 2016, Belgrade Regarding the active fault line between modes of expression in cinema, Bill Nichols wrote about ‘blurred boundaries’ in 1995. Twenty years later Erika Balsom and Hila Peleg wrote about ‘documentary across disciplines’ with a specific focus on alternative forms. Notwithstanding these important recent critical […]

Of calendars and industries: IDFA and CPH:DOX

This article focuses on the strategies developed by two Northern European documentary film festivals – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) – to position themselves in the international festival ecosystem and develop a differentiated identity.[1] Over the past ten years I have been conducting research at documentary film […]

Photobiographies: The ‘Derrida’ documentaries as film-philosophy

by Robert Sinnerbrink Although the question of ‘film as philosophy’ has attracted much attention, most discussion has focused on narrative film with only occasional references to documentary.[1] Even less attention has been given to the small number of non-fictional films that focus specifically on philosophers and their work.[2] One such documentary is Kirby Dick’s and […]

Seamless Reality at IDFA

For the third time at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), IDFA DocLab and de Brakke Grond present a joint themed program on the documentary and the digital revolution. This year’s theme is titled: Seamless Reality. A total of thirty installations and interactive projects can be seen and experienced at the free DocLab: Seamless Reality Exhibition, including […]

Tasmanian tigers and polar bears: The documentary moving image and (species) loss

by Belinda Smaill Paleoanthropologists Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin project that one-half of the animal and plant species existing today will have vanished in the next one hundred years.[1] While a background level of extinction is part of the balance of natural evolutionary processes, species loss has intensified in the current epoch. In 2009 biologists […]

The documentary film book

Despite its confident title The Documentary Film Book (London: BFI & Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), edited by Brian Winston, opens with a modest disclaimer: ‘[t]his volume is not an encyclopedia, dictionary or guidebook, much less a handbook, thesis or (hopefully) tract.’ Rather, it presents an overview of ‘the present agenda of concerns in the emergent field […]

‘Leviathan’: From sensory ethnography to gallery film

Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook? (Job 41) I entered the doors of the Whitney Biennial (7 March – 25 May 2014) with the specific aim of attending the 2pm screening […]

The documentary temptation: Fiction filmmakers and non-fiction forms

by Adrian Martin 1. Some directors flirt with it at the beginning of their careers and then quickly move on, never to return, like Jacques Rozier after Blue Jeans (1958) and Paparazzi (1964). Some dwell there secretly, making a spin-off of their better-known productions, like François Truffaut putting together a little poem about planes launching […]

Animated maps and the power of the trace

by Giuseppe Fidotta For about a decade animated maps were extremely popular in many documentaries as devices for illustrating places, actions, and processes set on the surface of the globe. Although some examples could be found in French newsreels during the First World War it is only after the mid-1930s that animation techniques and technologies […]

Microphysics of a rationalist utopia: Ruins, town plans, and the avant-garde documentary

by Andrea Mariani Erase the traces! – Bertolt Brecht (Ten Poems from a Reader for Those Who Live in Cities) The historical and theoretical inquiries sustained in this essay derive from the recovery of an object found in the attic of an old photographer in Como, Northern Italy:[1] the 16 mm dupe negative print, originating […]