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Curio #1

A list of curiosities.
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“Jamie Roberts delves into the archive of dance documentarian Dick Jewell, featuring Vivienne Westwood, Neneh Cherry, Boy George and more.”

Interesting documentary about moving images on Dazed Digital’s video site.
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“James Chororos enchants with his photographs of Peru.”
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YouTube Preview Image Here is Martin Scorsese talking about Roberto Rossellini, Ingrid Bergman, and the birth of the modern movie presented by the Criterion Collection.
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Amazing photos by Gianni Berengo Gardin
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From February 2012 – February 2014 Mubi shows films by the Belgian-born auteur Agnès Varda who has always bounded forward with a restless, inspiring joy for filmmaking.
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“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty.”

A lovely film By Yann Pineill & Nicolas Lefaucheux.
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YouTube Preview ImageDid you know that you can take a free film course on ‘The Language of Hollywood’ plus several other subjects on Coursera?
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And here’s a podcast from BBC’s Desert Island Disks with Lauren Bacall.

Tears

Do you know that our tears of hope are different from our tears of cutting onions? Rose-Lynn Fisher has explored 100 different tears in “The Topography of Tears“.

Tears of hope.

Onion tears.

Tears of release.

À la Bacall

Elegance wrapped in a name,
“Lauren Bacall”
A husky Newyork drawl,
Let the sound roll of your tongue
A wishful you, full of grace and in control.

“I am sure of who I am,
What I want,
What use I’ll make of you.
A man can’t hold me in his palm
Unless I want him to.”

Yet who would guess behind “The Look”
A stare so hard to please,
A girl called Betty, in her twenties
Is hiding ill-at-ease.

“Elegance is frigid”
Wrote a sage old Japanese
And every time I watch Bacall
I see what he might mean…

Yet there it is again!
In a wave of warm surprise
A moment on screen,
À la Bacall,
Where she is free and loose and true – no ties.

That glimpse of tender in the tough,
Of sassy in the brash
Balances out the attitude,
And with a shimmy and a smile
Can melt a heart or two.

CPH:DOX 2013 Lessons

CPH:DOX 2013 ended a week ago, and I’m still gathering my impressions from the record breaking festival. Here are some of my learnings, inspirations and curiosities from this year’s festival.
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YouTube Preview ImageIt’s possible to see a film about the greatest film that was never made
Jodorowsky’s Dune by Frank Pavich presents to us the story of the greatest film which was never made. It’s the story of how the epic Science Fiction director Alejandro Jodorowsky with a unique ambition who attempted to adapt and film Frank Herbert’s fiction novel Dune in the mid-1970s. For this project he recruited, amongst others, Pink Floyd, H. R. Giger, Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles and Mick Jagger. He accepted to pay Dali 100,000 dollars per hour, well knowing that he would only be acting in one hour, the remainder, he would film with his double robot. Unfortunately, but not surprising the investors balked when the budget was used and they realised the script would account for a meandering 14-hour film, and it was ultimately shelved.
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YouTube Preview ImageMatt Berninger from The National has a brother
and he thinks Indie Rock is pretentious bullshit.
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Action speaks louder than words
Marie Rømer Westh’s short film ‘In a Brief Moment of Optimism’ is dialogue-free but definitely not silent. It’s an improv performance with a man, a skateboard and an empty room. By trimming it down to these things, the film becomes a powerful portrait of frustration, sadness and loneliness.
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The new ‘groundbreaking online video series’ has lauched
Dazed & Confused Magazine has just launched ‘Visionaries‘, which they modestly describe as ‘a landmark new online series that leads the way in groundbreaking, original video content.’
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Natpwe, The Feast of the Spirits
Natpwe is the name of a euphoric annual trance ritual that has been held in Myanmar since the 11th century. This has been filmed in grainy and black/white images on 8mm and 16mm by Jean Dubrel and Tiane Doan na Champassak. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
When the Western world sends their old technology to Ghana
a mysterious practice called ‘Sakawa‘ is performed. This is uncovered in Lettres du Voyant by Louis Henderson which also features this amazing soundtrack by Tic-Tac: YouTube Preview Image
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A new distribution platform for films in-between art and cinema
Vdrome is an online platform that offers regular, high quality screenings of films and videos directed by visual artists and filmmakers, whose production lies in-between contemporary art and cinema. Each screening is presented during a limited period, as in a movie theatre.
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If you give yourself the time
to take this trip, you will be rewarded with a rare experience, which will come back to you again and again.
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YouTube Preview ImageSome Italian people dress up as trees
In the south Italian village Satrino an ancient ritual is performed which encourage the men of the village to go into the forest and dress up as trees. They then all return to the village this way and perform some kind of fertility ritual. This was filmed and installed at Den Frie by the Italian artist Michelangelo Frammartino.

Birds of September – Review


The title of lebanese-born Sarah Francis’s film-debut suggests that the main theme of the film is movement, evoking thoughts about migratory birds searching for warmer territories in the cold Autumn months. Quite possibly a familiar wish of the CPH:DOX spectators, who’ll instead begin to search in the farthest parts of their dressers for their warm winter coats.

Birds of September is also the title of an Arabic novel from 1962 by Touyour Ayloul describing the saga of village people in Beirut who witness their loved ones depart for far away more promising lands and countries.

The film is, like the novel, set in the streets of Beirut. We are introduced to the city through a slow moving camera, passing buildings and shopfronts that look neglected, while equally sprawling with life. We see the city through what initially appears to be a car window, which for someone unfamiliar with small advertising vans often used in the streets of Beirut, seems like an unusual mobile, glass bubble, protecting us from the outside world.

The ‘bubble’ turns into a confession room for random locals who bluntly speak about their life experiences, while ‘floating’ through the city in the vehicle. It seems like Francis’ camera is constantly searching for something, lurking behind the window, zooming in on different people outside. It’s like the camera wants to get to know these people, while at the same time keeps a distance to them. Maybe this is Francis’ experience of living in a big city, where you can live next to people for several years, without really knowing who they are?

Inside the ‘confession bubble’ outside noise fades, creating a very intimate, isolated environment. The confessions create a closeness between you and the locals as you get to know them and their lives. The confessions are desynchronised with the images of the people inside the confession bubble, challenging us to synchronise them in our imagination. The film’s poetic logic portrays the architecture of Beirut and random people’s movement as a story of a city, the story of a people and the personal story of Sarah Francis. Francis’ story seems to be one of longing for change, being afraid of standing still, and a comment on the swifts of time while people move in different paces.

You are left with a feeling of familiarity to the city of Beirut, but distance to it as well. Maybe this is symbolising Francis’ own feelings toward her home, and how she’s travelled to the point of no return – being close, yet far from it. You also sense a fear of getting stuck in a city, but also in life. As we float through the city, we feel like floating through life. The film is beautiful and poetic, while at the same time very real. It deals with modern issues such as stress, death and self-discovering. It’s a personal journey that translates to everyone who have a longing for exploring new places — spiritual as well as physical ones.
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