compassion, grace and wit. Jonathan Holland, Variety
Emotionally devastating and astonishingly mature, this is a unique feature debut. Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Filmfestival
A young Scandinavian genius tackles Bergmanesque themes of family taboos and relationships with pathos, humor, and a loving eye. Chiseko Tanaka, Tokyo International Film Festival
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
"The Art of Crying":
The World Seen Through the Eyes of its Fearless Future
By Ioanna Papageorgiou
You go to the big, famous festivals around the world, full of expectations and hopes, ready to discover dozens and dozens of films. And after 10 or 11 days of completely disconnecting yourself from your everyday life and submerging it in the universe of the moving pictures, you return to the real world neither disappointed, nor satisfied. Instead you come away with a lukewarm feeling, as you realize that you can carry with you only a handful of really good, fulfilling films – especially if, in the end, you could only find the time or were professionally obligated to watch almost nothing else than the features screened in the official competition program (which, unfortunately, is usually the case).
Then, you go to the "tiny", relatively unknown Festival del Cinema Europeo (now in its eighth year), in the beautiful town of Lecce and its 100,000 people, in southern Italy, having to acquaint yourself with just about 30-50 films. And… you never want to leave. Not only because of the famously unorganized, but at the same time sincerely polite and openhearted friendly Italian hospitality, or the pleasantly nonchalant rhythm of the festival, or even the exciting, sightseeing walks in the historical center of the city. But also because, when it is time to depart and state your impressions of the festival and the 10 films in its competition program, you find it rather difficult to single-out one as your favorite.
Although most of them had already left their mark at earlier, bigger festivals around the world (Cristian Wagner's Warchild at Montreal, Teresa Villaverde's Trance (Transe) at Cannes' Directors Fortnight, Marco Simon Puccioni's Shelter (Riparo) at Berlin's Panorama, Joachim Trier's Reprise at Toronto), it is here, among a few others, carefully selected films, without the pressure of official, glamorous screenings, the international Press, or various public-relations events, that they can really shine. And, perhaps, none more than The Art of Crying (Kunsten at graede I kor) – Danish director's Peter Schonau Fog's debut feature film. Thought-provokingly tragic like an ancient Greek tragedy, intriguingly comic like a post-modern American soap-opera (TV's Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives and Six Feet Under come to mind), it tells not the story of a currently burning social issue, but of an ordinarily dysfunctional family: the birth place of all the world's future, rarely model or socially conscientious citizens. A family living in a small, Danish town in the early 70s, which shows absolutely no traces of its… age: on the contrary, each of its members behaves in such a way, creating love and hate, power and subordination, relations with all the others, that if not notified for the above mentioned place and time you would most definitely think that this was, in many ways, so similar to your own family lives somewhere in the western part of the planet right now!
Fog adopts the innocent and thus painfully reveling gaze of the youngest, 11 year old, son Allan – a wide-eyed boy who for a long time you don't know if you want to reprimand and slap or hold tightly protectively in your arms, cradling it and kissing it, as he attends to every outrageous need of his cunningly abusive father in a desperate attempt to keep the family together.
With a silence heavily pregnant with emotion, an ironic, fearlessly truthful humor, a purely cinematic, eloquent use of the editing, and a series of static, unaffected frames, Fog narrates his story by what is seen or not seen (but nevertheless, unmistakably lurks) in his pictures, the unavoidably sincere expressions and gestures of his brilliant actors (especially the enlightened Jannik Lorenzen in the role of Allan), a brave open end, as well as reserving no judgment whatsoever for his heroes and heroines. Thus he provokes each member of the audience to wonder about and draw its own, personal conclusions regarding the ethical and unwritten family laws we still grow up with and, in particular, human nature in general.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Check out Motovun Film Festival on Youtube!
Motovun Film Festival was founded in 1999 and has since been located in Motovun, a small but beautiful picturesque town in Istria - the Mediterranean region of Croatia.
The setting for the Festival, with all its additional programs and workshops, are the streets and squares of a beautiful fortified medieval town, which dominates the green valley of the river Mirna, famous for its truffels and exquisite Istrian wine. Because of its cheerful and relaxed atmosphere(with no red carpets) the festival have earned the attribute of "Cinema Paradiso".
The festival program has included the most successful independent films, with the intention to exhibit the richness of the global film industry, screening films from all corners of the world. The festival attracts a huge audience - tens of thousands of people travel to Motovun each year to be a part of it.
The festival paper in Portuguese here.
About Cicae here, and about the prize here. (Hit the the language icons on the pages for changing the language to english). Previous winners here.
Description of the prize:
Bringing festival films to arthouse cinema audiences.
In most countries, the film market is dominated by super-productions that tend to format audiences' tastes. The vast majority of innovative films, first works, films from "small countries" or faraway continents, do not easily get distributed. Even within Europe itself, films rarely get out beyond their national borders. Film distributors are vulnerable to the hazards of the market, and the situation worsens every year. Festivals are thus the only venue for a large number of films. The aim of Cinediversity is to act as a bridge between partners, festivals, and movie enthusiasts that regularly visit arthouse theatres belonging to the CICAE network.
Selection: at every year's cinema festivals, 10 to 15 films are selected by a jury made up of arthouse cinema programmers.
Commitment: the CICAE undertakes to support the release of these films in countries where an organized network exists, as an incentive for distribution companies to market them.
Promotion: working on a country-by-country basis, local CICAE networks help distributors successfully market award-winning films, through recommendations for all cinemas, trade-only screenings, networking of film copies, and the delivery of information to audiences. In some cases, the CICAE can provide support for subtitling through its partner TITRA FILM PARIS.
Who are the members of the jury and on what basis are films selected?
The CICAE juries are appointed by the Executive Board based on proposals by CICAE national networks and members. CICAE juries comprise three or four members from different countries, who are selected for their experience in programming for arthouse theatres. In 2004, over 200 films in 10 festivals were seen by 32 jury members representing nine different countries.The CICAE juries have a very precise brief: in order to win, a film must possess great artistic or educational qualities, and speak to audiences broader than those of highly specialized cinemas in capital cities. Juries seek to encourage young directors, as well as productions coming out of less-recognized countries.
Variety: Balkan, Scandi folk party in Portugal
'Border Post' wins film, director
By EMMA GRAY MUNTHE, LEO BARRACLOUGH
Folk from the Balkans and Scandinavia walked away with the bulk of the prizes at the Festroia Intl. Film Fest, held in Setubal, Portugal.
"Border Post," a co-production between Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and the U.K., took the Gold Dolphin and Fipresci prize for film and the directing prize for its Croat helmer Rajko Grlic.
Another Croat, Ognjen Svilicic, took the scripting kudo for "Armin," a Croatia-Bosnia-Germany co-production.
Serbia's "The Optimists," helmed by Goran Paskaljevic, took the audience award.
Susanne Bier's Danish pic "After the Wedding" won the special jury prize and Swedish thesp Rolf Lassgard took best actor for his part in the film.
Swedish thesps Helena Bergstrom and Maria Lundqvist shared the prize for actress for their roles in Colin Nutley's "Heartbreak Hotel."
Denmark's "The Art of Crying," directed by first-timer Peter Schonau Fog, got a special mention as well as the prize from CICAE, the international federation of arthouse cinemas.
The only major awards to go to pics from outside the Balkans or Scandinavia were the Cuban-Spanish movie "Madrigal," which took cinematography kudo for Cuban Raul Perez Ureta, and Germany's "Princess," which won the first film prize for Birgit Grosskopf.
Fest ran June 1-10.