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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

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

other films in the section

For the Ones to Come
Until 1924, one of the ways residents of Île-aux-Coudres supported themselves was by hunting porpoises. In 1962, filmmakers decided to revive this traditional activity that brought a sense of order to lives there. What at first seemed like a crazy idea became a major direct cinema project that perfectly captures the essence of this shooting method. 
personal program

For the Ones to Come

Pierre Perrault, Michel Brault
Canada / 1962 / 105 min.
section: Direct Vérité
The Human Pyramid
Rouch doesn’t pursue reality - he provokes it. The camera isn’t hidden but stands in the forefront. This sociological documentary about the clash of white and black cultures is based on improvisation. This simulation of the coexistence of dozens of boys and girls is an attempt to capture the essence of real existing facts and Rouch’s concept of cinéma vérité. 
personal program

The Human Pyramid

Jean Rouch
France / 1961 / 88 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
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
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
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. 
personal program

The Shimmering Beast

Pierre Perrault
Canada / 1982 / 127 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
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
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
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. 
personal program

Seeing Miami...

Gilles Groulx
Canada / 1962 / 31 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
CANDID EYE (1958-1960): The Back-breaking Leaf
A short film from the TV documentary series The Candid Eye, which was quite innovative content-wise and intended to show a new way of filming. The goal in this particular case was to visually and aurally capture the numbing drudgery of seasonal tobacco pickers. Despite this, at some moments the direction took on a certain aesthetic aspect. 
personal program

CANDID EYE (1958-1960): The Back-breaking Leaf

Terence Macartney-Filgate, Wolf Koenig, Roman Kroitor
Canada / 1959 / 29 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
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. 
personal program

Lomelin

François Reichenbach
France / 1965 / 22 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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Respekt
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