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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

The Snowshoers

director: Michel Brault, Gilles Groulx
original title: Les raquetteurs
country: Canada
year: 1958
running time: 15 min.

synopsis

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.

biography

Michel Brault (1928-2013) began filming for the ONF and later gained renown as a cameraman and pioneer of shooting with a handheld camera while walking. In his work, Gilles Groulx (1931-1994) explores the relationship between American and Québec culture.

more about film

director: Michel Brault, Gilles Groulx
producer: National Film Board of Canada
photography: Gilles Groulx, Michel Brault
editing: Gilles Groulx, Michel Brault
sound: Marcel Carrière

other films in the section

Wrestling
With his creative concept, the creator of this film about wrestling completely exceeds simple match reporting. The viewers have more information than the fans in the hall and can assess not only the match, but also the reaction of the spectators. The music selection (Bach, Vivaldi) also draws attention to the fact that it’s more like a theatrical production.
personal program

Wrestling

Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière, Claude Fournier, Claude Jutra
Canada / 1961 / 28 min.
section: Direct Vérité
European Premiere
The Little Café
Reichenbach was an innovative filmmaker who filmed everything around him using primarily his intuition. Instead of filming portraits of people, he made a portrait of a little café, where people are considered props and a spontaneously filmed telephone conversation between the café owner and a customer becomes the plot.  
personal program

The Little Café

François Reichenbach
France / 1963 / 12 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
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.
personal program

Chronicle of a Summer

Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
France / 1961 / 90 min.
section: Direct Vérité
An Insight into Madness, The Prisoner Party
The film is made up of the eponymous medium-length film and the short film The Prisoner Party. The director’s goal was for the viewers to better comprehend the everyday life of patients and doctors at the psychiatric hospital in Saint-Alban, where the first experiments with psychotherapy took place. The commentary uses Artaud’s texts on madness.
personal program

An Insight into Madness, The Prisoner Party

Mario Ruspoli
France / 1961 / 53 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Artifices
A group of French pupils asks their American peers – what is the Far West? The young Americans answer with their teacher’s help. The director transforms the children’s statements into images, and shows how the state instills an official opinion on the Far West. Are we watching a visual rhapsody or is it a politically engaged cinéma direct documentary? 
personal program

Artifices

François Reichenbach
France / 1963 / 10 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Hitler – Never Heard of Him
Bertrand Blier’s debut is an original anti-bourgeois lampoon based on interviews with several Frenchmen aged 15 to 22 who don’t recognize Hitler. It’s unique for its form, based on its camera work and editing. For its time it was so provocative that it was banned for viewers under 18 and withdrawn from competition at Cannes.  
personal program

Hitler – Never Heard of Him

Bertrand Blier
France / 1961 / 90 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.  
personal program

Gare du Nord

Jean Rouch
France / 1965 / 16 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. 
personal program

Les marines

François Reichenbach
France / 1957 / 22 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. 
personal program

The Village Pleasure

François Reichenbach
France / 1963 / 47 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.
personal program

Happy Mother´s Day

Richard Leacock, Donn Alan Pennebaker, Joyce Chopra
United States / 1963 / 30 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
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.
personal program

Such a Simple Game

Gilles Groulx
Canada / 1964 / 30 min.
section: Direct Vérité
European Premiere
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.
personal program

On the Pole

Robert Drew, Richard Leacock
United States / 1960 / 58 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt
UPP
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