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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Manouane River Lumberjacks
Manouane River Lumberjacks

Manouane River Lumberjacks

director: Arthur Lamothe
original title: Bûcherons de la Manouane
country: Canada
year: 1962
running time: 28 min.

synopsis

This film, by one of the most important and most productive Canadian documentary filmmakers, examines the seasonal work of a diverse group of lumberjacks, among whom are members of Canadian Indian tribes. The style combines direct cinema with a lyrical approach to the landscape, which enthralls everyone.  

biography

Arthur Lamothe (1928-2013) was born in France and in the 1950s moved to Canada, where he got into film work through Radio-Canada and ONF.  His entire oeuvre is dominated by the themes of identity and relationships to the land. 

more about film

director: Arthur Lamothe
producer: Fernand Dansereau, Victor Jobin
script: Arthur Lamothe
photography: Guy Borremans, Bernard Gosselin
editing: Jean Dansereau, Arthur Lamothe
sound: Claude Pelletier

other films in the section

On the Pole
This pillar of direct cinema captures the fame and death of race-car driver Eddie Sachs. It combines original with archival footage, black-and-white with colour film, and among other things makes use of sped-up images in order to achieve the same effect as in Primary. Again, the film tries to find the logic of the depicted events and to offer an objective take on them.

On the Pole

Richard Leacock, Robert Drew
United States / 1960 / 58 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
The Village Pleasure
Or, how to become a Frenchman in a few lessons. It’s the essence of cinéma vérité, combining an essayistic approach with an effort to capture raw reality in all its truth, but at the same time, we’re watching a documentary version of The Firemen’s Ball in the French countryside. 

The Village Pleasure

François Reichenbach
France / 1963 / 47 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Les marines
A harsh depiction of US Navy volunteer training is the sixth work in Reichenbach’s series America Through the Eyes of the French. A magnificent poetic reflection on the mental and physical exhaustion that these adepts are forced to endure. The film’s impact was so significant the Stanley Kubrick lifted nearly the entire opening scene in Full Metal Jacket. 

Les marines

François Reichenbach
France / 1957 / 22 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
The Shimmering Beast
An example of the late decline of direct cinema. What seems to be a record of a traditional Canadian elk hunt is in reality a journey into the Canadian soul. A masterfully filmed portrait of friends is a waiting for Godot as well as a psychoanalytic dive. The mythical creature becomes a catalyst for interpersonal relationships. 

The Shimmering Beast

Pierre Perrault
Canada / 1982 / 127 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Happy Mother´s Day
This controversial film has provoked a discussion about manipulating the audience's opinion. It pretends to lay out the objective events surrounding a birth of quintuplets, while in reality putting forward a meticulously thought-out piece, prompting the viewer to wake up to the absurdity of the campaign. The film strives for committed objectivity rather than comprehensiveness.

Happy Mother´s Day

Joyce Chopra, Richard Leacock
United States / 1963 / 30 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Gare du Nord
The collective narrative film Paris Through the Eyes Of... was intended as a New Wave manifesto with the goal of reviving interest in it. It didn’t quite happen, though, but an interesting work was created, part of which is the story of Odile, who has a fight with her husband and meets a mysterious man. It was shot as two long single takes on 16mm film and later transferred to 35mm.  

Gare du Nord

Jean Rouch
France / 1965 / 16 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Lomelin
Toreadors call their first entrance into the arena the “moment of truth”. We follow one such moment in the life of a Mexican toreador who is later considered one of the best bullfighters of all time. The camera becomes part of reality, without any additional commentary, only the soundtrack and editing give meaning to Lomelin’s gestures and emotions and those of his family. 

Lomelin

François Reichenbach
France / 1965 / 22 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Salesman
American filmmakers are the furthest from Vertov’s notion of film-truth. The Maysles directing duo is known for reducing the influence of editing. Salesman is based on the concept of living camera: to be as close as possible to the essence of the events and preserve their ambiguity. The film’s subject are the lives of door-to-door Bible salesmen.

Salesman

Charlotte Zwerin, David Maysles, Albert Maysles
United States / 1968 / 90 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Chronicle of a Summer
This sociological survey began in 1960 as a project by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin. The film became a manifesto of cinéma vérité and was the first feature-length film in France shot with synchronous sound. Here, cinéma direct approaches combine with the new view of reality as it became established in France.

Chronicle of a Summer

Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
France / 1961 / 90 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Such a Simple Game
Although the director has created an ode to the national symbol of Canada – hockey –capturing a fascinating ballet creation, he also expresses the sport’s brutality and subjugation to media manipulation. The masterful editing and meaningful transitions between colour and monochrome earned the film an award in Locarno, but the content caused the National Film Office to distance itself from the film.

Such a Simple Game

Gilles Groulx
Canada / 1964 / 30 min.
section: Direct Vérité
European Premiere
The Snowshoers
This key direct cinema film originated without a script and without the usual permits. Originally it was intended to be a short four-minute report about a traditional sport, but it was rejected. The goal was to lead viewers away from traditional reportage documentaries. The film showed how to exempt documentary from the rules.

The Snowshoers

Michel Brault, Gilles Groulx
Canada / 1958 / 15 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Seeing Miami...
It’s no wonder the director claims to be inspired by the work of Jean Vigo. In this film, he artfully develops his own style – dialogic commentary, corpses, slowed-down scenes, and parallel montages. The result is an image of white and black society. The film was censored in Canada due to its scenes from Cuba and Fidel Castro giving a speech. 

Seeing Miami...

Gilles Groulx
Canada / 1962 / 31 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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