Daily news - 31.7.2010
TV news about the Summer Film School – every evening on channel ČT2. Today’s here
All for one, Max Linder for all
Silent film became silent again. Popular set of concerts accompanied by projections of films that had been made even before Garbo (and everybody else) begun to talk was ended by one of American grotesques by French Max Linder The Three Musketeers or rather The Three Must-Get-There. In the film Ananas, Gyros, Kokos and s’Ařbuján fight for France and their honour in fierce skirmishes. Waggish parody of classic Three Musketeers with debonair and brave Douglas Fairbanks was created in the production of United Artist, studio founded by Fairbanks and Linder’s biggest rival Charlie Chaplin. The live score for the film was made by “compost rock” formation C from Tábor.
Tarr both valued and underestimated
Béla Tarr was present at several this year’s events, but the discussion on the topic of his work in the connection to European cinematography was of course “about him but without him”. The panel discussion was created by several experts who were talking over his work and influence. Hungarian participator in the discussion Gellért Kovács offered informed insight: “When we look at Tarr’s work we can see several periods. His first film Hotel Magnezit was a part of one movement in Hungarian cinematography that proclaimed bigger responsibility of film-makers to look into social issues and show them in films. As an overstatement we can call them documentary films – he worked with not-actors and displays stories from life. Family Nest and The Prefab People are from this period, although we can see his latter style in them too. Then, in 1985, he shot Almanac of Fall, which indorse to the esthetics called “new sensitivity”. So from documentary film-maker Tarr turned into very visual narration that plays with colors and camera’s angles and, in general, we can say that he was more perceptive to the fact that it is film. His early films were influenced by “Budapest school” – which is probably quite infamous here – and than he shot his “dark trilogy” that didn’t follow any movement but it created one.” He also underlined that like a lot of other important film-makers Tarr is much more successful in the whole world than in his native country. Hungarian critics don’t perceive him as an especial figure. And you can buy only Family Nest, Satan’s Tango and Werckmeister Harmonies on DVD… and even they were sooner to get in France, Germany and England.
As well as the official openings the ending of the SFS doesn’t agree with the time of the first (or the last) projection. When the president of AČFK Petr Korč officially ended this year’s festival there were still twenty-six films to present (plus a few events of the accompanying program). Before Korč handed the mice he had said: “Much more of you have come this year than last year, which means that we don’t work for nothing and that the biggest not competitive film festival in the Czech Republic has great future. After that Jan Jílek, the head gramaturg of the festival, was talking. He recapitulated that in section Focus: Iceland thirty-seven films were presented and if “there is one person who represents films from the country it is this guest”. And than he called at Fridrik Thór Fridriksson to come on the stage and become (the sixth and the last for this year) prizewinner of The Annual AČFK Award. Bejewelled with presents he said: “It means a lot to me, because I come from film clubs” and he talked about his “autistic” film A Mother’c courage that was presented after the ceremonial: “The reason why I make films is to get rid of pain… because when I keep thinking about something for a long time it starts hurting me.” He also talked about things almost ten years old: “I had an air-ticket for the first flight that hit the World Trade Center. But the day before it happened I had changed the booking because I had known I would be too drunk. So if I wonder about meaning of life, the film you will watch now should have been shot. Not like the rest of them that are just painkillers for me.”
Preview of Bibliotheque Pascal
Today was in token of European Parliament – its agents presented prizes Lux at the SFS and they organized workshop Say it Aloud. Olga Sehnalová, Czech member of European Parliament, talked at Hvězda cinema before the projection of Bibliotheque Pascal. She informed the audience that this new film (distributed by AČFK) was nominated for this year’s Lux award. The awards are handed to the best film that is concerned with the issues of European issues. The director than expressed enjoyment because of full house and revealed background of the film – the shooting was initiated by another important guest of the SFS – Béla Tarr.
Words, Words, Words
Workshop called Say it Aloud that took one and a half days baited the audience with words “you will learn to capture and you will be heard”. The main person in the organization was Jindřich Pietras from the Informational Office of the European Parliament (“There is an office like this in every twenty-seven states of European Union. They are here to represent the parliament to mass media.” you can find more information on www.evropsky-parlament.cz )
The group of more than ten young people from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia were trying to present their opinions, learning all sorts of figures and tricks and in the second afternoon they met members of parliament Olga Sehnalová and Edvar Kožušník (who told them a bit of how the parliament works). Three of the speakers then presented film Welcome that won in voting for handing Lux prize for the best European film. They had to get over the stage-fright and in few minutes present their thoughts to the audience in Reduta.
Vladimír Dostálek was thinking about cinematographic trends in EU and divided them in topics that overreach themselves (for instance the topic of migration) and local; he said that the first mentioned is supported more and that it would be good if every state has an award similar to Lux.
Jan Duna was even rougher. Firstly he asked the audience to raise their hands if they had ever seen a movie by Vlasta Burian… and then he asked if they had seen a film by the master lately. His point was to establish a Czech day at the SFS, he said that he would hand the idea in form of petition to our parliament and than to the management of the SFS.
Final speech was by Alžběta Klasnová who described with lovely “Ivo Pazderek style” that reason for shooting Welcome is “law which implies that solidarity is a crime, because if you help somebody who doesn’t have identity papers you can get in trouble”. All three of them went through great applaud and then (probably, because it happened in the backstage) the M.P. gave them vouchers for goods from Terry Posters. Congratulation and we wish high-quality (euro)political future.
From the beginnings of cinematography to autism
Fridrik Thór Fridriksson was the last guest who presented a lecture at the SFS, his sparring partner was another Icelandic director Ásgrímur Sverrison. They both chronologically went through Fridriksson’s career from the beginning that – as a matter of fact – is the same as Icelandic cinematography as such. “It was very difficult to shoot a film on Iceland in the eighties, because there was no official funding. Tickets cost the same as to theaters in those days. When our films got to world it became easier to find co-producers” said the director of popular films like Cold Fever. Than they were talking about changes his native country have had to go through since the end of the second world war when Iceland became an independent country. The director revealed that he shot The Devil’s Island in Ireland and with stars. And the discussion ended up on the topic of autism – that’s the subject matter of Fridriksson’s last film A Mother’s Courage.