Documentary

Ben Hopkins – 37 Uses For A Dead Sheep (2006)

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4254/37usesforadeadsheeplst0.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

portrait of the Kirghiz tribe, living a quasi-Iron Age existence in one of the remotest places on earth.

37 Uses For A Dead Sheep is a documentary with a sense of humour. However, as he recounts the eventful history of Central Asian tribe the Pamir Kirghiz, director Ben Hopkins stays on the right side of Borat-style ethnic mockery, treating his subjects with affection and esteem. He also turns a few of them into film stars in a range of reconstructions that entertainingly reveal the community’s journey over the last century or so.

Evocative title, that. Could the film itself possibly match it? Director Ben Hopkins finds the Pamir Kirghiz, a small Central-Asian tribe now living in eastern Turkey, and works together with them to craft a fleet-footed, intriguingly pomo documentary about this little-known group of nomads. Hopkins uses the tribes people to reenact moments from their history (shot in grainy 16mm), then shoots himself shooting them, then interviews them about it, while intercutting it all with images of their life today, in a village the Turkish government pretty much settled just for them. Oh yeah, there’s also a framing device in which the director talks to an old Kirghiz man about—you guessed it—all the things they can do with a dead sheep. It’s all very meta, but once Hopkins reveals the odd backstory of this people, pingponging between the Great Powers (Russia, China, the U.K.) who controlled their homeland at various times, it’s hard to think of a more appropriate approach to this material. The result is an inventive look at some truly unwitting victims of history’s relentless, unforgiving march. Read More »

Ingo Niermann & Erick Niedling – The Future of Art (2011)

http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/8826/vlcsnap2012030522h24m01.png

A film that came with a book in the same name, The Future of Art; A manual.
The film contains documentary and interviews on acclaimed artists about the direction of art towards the future.

with:

Marina Abramovic
Thomas Bayrle
Olaf Breuning
Genesis and lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge
Olafur Elaisson
Harald Falckenberg
Boris Groys
Damien Hirst
Gregor Jansen
Terence Koh
Gabriel Von Loebell
Marcos Lutyens
Philomene Magers
Antje Majewski
Hans Ulrich Obrist
Thomas Olbricht
Friedrich Petzel
Tobias Rehberger
Hans Georg Wagner
Read More »

? – Dieudonné, la Bete Noire ? (2006)

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/2491/vlcsnap45938.png

this is a docu about Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, a french comic actor & politician, and the “witch hunt” that has been surrounding him ever since he portrayed an israeli settler as a terrorist on live french TV a few years ago.

in addition to a Dieudonné biography & a study of the line between being anti-sionist & being anti-semitic, this docu mostly raises the question of freedom of speech in the contemporary french democracy. Read More »

Nicolas Philibert – Le Pays des sourds AKA Land of the Deaf (1992)

http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/6332/lespaysdessourds0000.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDB –
“I saw this lovely documentary once, some ten years ago, and found it most rewarding. Its tone was dignified and understated, having a gently moving cumulative effect. The most salient impression I had of the film’s subjects was how expressive they were with their faces and bodies in revealing their emotions and thoughts. As a cinephile, I could not help but think of the vanished acting styles of silent cinema, of how so much had to be conveyed through purely visual means, and of how comparatively impoverished, from a visual viewpoint, so much modern cinema is. Rightly or wrongly, I perceived a more direct correspondence between feeling and expression in the people depicted in this film than is the norm among hearing people, and this suggested hidden treasures within these subjects’ lives that could be of benefit to us all. What has traditionally been seen as a handicap came to be seen as an inextricable, richly beautiful thread in the human tapestry, and this film must be conceded to be a masterpiece for showing us this truth.” Read More »

Jean-Pierre Limosin – Abbas Kiarostami – Verités et songes (1994)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Description: This documentary by French director Jean-Pierre Limosin is the first Spanish edition of the renowned “Cinéma, de notre temps” series. In this episode, Abbas Kiarostami talks about his life and work. Summarising his approach to filmaking, Kiarostami said:

“A filmmaker has to be conscious about his responsibility. I always wish to remind the audience that they are watching a film. You see, it is very dangerous to make the audience more emotionally engaged than they need to be. In the darkness of the cinema, people are so innocent. It makes them feel that everything is closer and stronger. That is why we should not make them even more emotional: People need to think when they watch films, not to be robbed of their reason … I make half movies. The rest is up to the audience to create for themselves.” Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – ABC Africa (2001)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot
Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has often concerned himself with children striving to make the best of difficult circumstances, and this documentary finds him capturing a real-life corollary to the fictional tales of his best-known work. At the request of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development, Kiarostami traveled to Africa to make a film about the work of the Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans, a volunteer group established to provide food, shelter, and care for the more than one-and-a-half-million children left to fend for themselves in a nation torn apart by war, poverty, and the AIDS epidemic. While Kiarostami’s first visit was planned so he could see the country and map out what he would film, he brought along some digital video equipment, and upon arrival, he was so struck by what he saw that he immediately began to record the events around him, in which the tragedies of this struggling nation were contrasted with the warmth and boundless optimism of the children looking for a better life. (Mark Deming, All Movie Guide)
Read More »

Rupert and Ulrike Pöschl – Vimbuza Chilopa (1991)

“Shows different healing ceremonies among the Tumbuka of Malawi, who attribute illness (vimbuza) to spirit possession. Documents nightlong exorcism rituals of singing, clapping, and drumming during a full moon, culminating in an animal sacrifice (chilopa) at dawn. Portrays the interaction of patients, healers, and village community, and includes an interview with a patient” Read More »