Kumu Documentary City Symphonies II
This process is occurring at an unstoppable pace, which is why it is a good idea to take a look at the state of the world today, so as to better grasp what the world of the future may be like. In March and April we will see cities like Helsinki, Mumbai, Liverpool, Shanghai, Bogota, Cairo, New York, Copenhagen and Winnipeg through lens of talented documentary film makers.
The city provides storytellers with a broad range of thematic opportunities – it can be viewed as a social phenomenon, an architectural wonder, the information society, a topographical object, a tourist magnet, a crime scene, poetry and more. The city has a thousand faces and a thousand ways of being seen – it is one of documentary makers’ most inspirational sources. Screenings will be preceded by talks and discussions.
06. April at 18:00
Cities on Speed - Cairo Garbage
Rež / Director Mikala Krogh, Taani/Denmark 2009, 55’
Once upon a time there was a city that was neat and tidy, and which was home to only 12 million people. Today, however, Cairo has a population estimated at 20 million. Garbage is piling up in the streets and the piles are growing. Everyone in Cairo has his or her views on garbage but nobody knows what to do about it. Italian garbage disposal operators are brought in to tackle the city's waste problems and to teach the city dwellers rational garbage habits. „Cairo Garbage“ is a portrait of the city community seen through its garbage.
12. April at 18:00
Our City Dreams
Rež/Director Chiara Clemente, USA 2008, 85’
The artists profiled are Nancy Spero, who was at the forefront of the feminist movement of the late 50s and 60s and whose work continues to question the polemics of sexual identity and warfare; Marina Abramovic, a pioneer of performance art who uses her own body as a canvas to respond deeply to contemporary cultural issues; Kiki Smith, who addresses philosophical, social and spiritual aspects of the human body through work that incorporates glass, plaster, ceramic, bronze and paper; Ghada Amer, who paints erotic canvases in traditional needle and thread and who refuses to bow to the puritanical elements of Western and Islamic culture and "institutionalized feminism"; and Swoon, one of New York's most promising emerging artists, whose arresting and fugitive street art transmits the pulse of urban life. Director Chiara Clemente combines an intimate style of documentary filmmaking with the ephemera of city life surrounding each woman and the work she creates.
The documented year held many triumphs and challenges for each of the participating artists, and the audience will catch a glimpse into the processes of creation and inspiration. Chiara Clemente has captured many moments in these artists' lives, including Swoon's first solo exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York, Ghada Amer's return to her Egyptian homeland, Kiki Smith's traveling retrospective, Marina Abramovic's week long series of performances atthe Guggenheim Museum in New York and Nancy Spero's preparations of a new piece for the 2007 Venice Biennale. Stylistically, the film will have the feeling of a textured collage that will be the culmination of the director's collaboration with the artist. Ultimately, 'Our City Dreams' intends to bring a unique cultural and artistic experience to viewers and provide a testimony to the need to preserve great art and artists.
20. April at 18.00
Dreams in Copenhagen
Rež/Director Max Kestner, Taani/Denmark 2009, 72’
"Dreams in Copenhagen" is Max Kestners's documentary film portrait of Denmark's capital. A film about the physical surroundings that are part of shaping our lives. About the buildings we wake up in, the front doors we walk out of, the streets we traverse. It is also a film about how the way we live our lives affect our physical surroundings. About places we dream of and the walls onto which we scratch the names our loved ones, before it is too late.
While lovingly profiling the architecture of the Danish capital, Kestner also brings a fascination with how public space is affected by those who live in it; finding his way into back-streets, he lingers over walls onto which people have scratched the names of their loved ones.'
27. April at 18.00
Rež/Director Guy Maddin, Kanada/Canada 2007, 80’
The film is a uniquely personal homage by Guy Maddin to his home town of Winnipeg, Canada. Winner of the Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, Maddin's latest cinematic experiment is a multilayered journey through the hometown in his head, a fusion of fact and fiction that employs the director's fondness for silent film technique and outrageous melodrama. Maddin speaks his own intentionally blank narration, describing Manitoba's cold, industrial capital city as "snowy, sleepwalking Winnipeg… I must leave it. I must leave it. I must leave it now. But how to escape one's city?" The film is a poetic mix of history and memory, described by the director as a "docu-fantasia" that intertwines the filmmaker's childhood with cultural touchstones from his home city's past. The film features a host of surreal touches, including an insistence that Winnipeg has 10 times the sleepwalking rate of any city in the world. Is it true? Yes or no, it's a terrific metaphor for a place that seems both dead and alive at the same time. Among the film's funniest yet most emotionally charged threads is 1940s B-movie icon Ann Savage, star of Edgar G. Ulmer's cult film "Detour", as Maddin's domineering mother. The mix of black and white with splashes of color makes this a feast for the eyes. The cumulative effect of this imaginative brew of melodrama, anger and hilarity is a love mixed with regret and a meditation on faith and the embrace of the mystic.
Festivals and awards: Toronto (Best Canadian Feature Film), Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Sarajevo, Melbourne, Vienna Guy Maddin (b. 1956, Winnipeg, Canada), director and screenwriter, shot his first feature, "Tales from the Gimli Hospital", in 1988. His creative scope, however, is very wide indeed, and in addition to featuredramas he has shot TV films, shorts, horror-laced dance productions, rock and opera videos, and a number of cinematographic experiments.
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