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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Room You Take
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The Room You Take

The Room You Take

director: Pedro Filipe Marques
original title: O lugar que ocupas
country: Portugal
year: 2016
running time: 165 min.

synopsis

The world is a theatre. And in every theatre, there are usually backstage spaces that remain hidden from the run-of-the-mill spectator. In this stylized observational documentary, director Marques provides us with a glimpse behind the scenes of smaller Portuguese theatre groups. At a time when metallic monsters in the form of giant demolition bulldozers are razing a traditional theatre building, the marginal position of most theatre outsiders becomes even more depressing. Excerpts of conversations held in front of dressing room mirrors, poetic commentaries, and natural motifs are brought together to create an allegory filled with reflections, both those in the mirror, as well as their equivalents from the theatre that is the world.

“I wonder if the proletarian artist isn't already an endangered species. From observational to essayistic, I build this atlas-like film to capture the mirrors of those who take this adventurous survival.”

biography

Pedro Filipe Marques (1976) is a well-known editor of fiction films and documentaries. His first feature-length documentary film The Way We Are (2011) received awards at several festivals (including DocumentaMadrid and Cinema du Réel to name but two). In his next film, The Room You Take (2016), he returns to his characteristic motifs of reflections, mirror images, and observations about the economic and social crisis that Portuguese society is currently facing.

more about film

director: Pedro Filipe Marques
cast: Lígia Roque, Maria Duarte, Gonçalo Ferreira d'Almeida, Miguel Loureiro, Cristina Carvalhal, Álvaro Correia, Crista Alfaiate, Dina Félix da Costa, Catarina Lacerda, Carlos Paulo, Sara Graça, José Jorge Duarte, Carla Galvão, Sofia Dinger, Daniel Martinho, Matamba Joaquim, Zia Soares, Ana Rosa Mendes, Sara Carinhas
producer: Rita Palma, Marta Pessoa
script: Pedro Filipe Marques, Rita Palma
photography: Marta Pessoa, Pedro Filipe Marques
editing: Rita Palma, Pedro Filipe Marques
sound: Elsa Ferreira

other films in the section

Beyond the One
A cinematic treatise on diverse forms of affection, love and partnership, and the difficult search for an individual way of expressing these feelings in the face of tradition and social conventions. People from around the world talk about love intimacy, but also their dark side and the violence that can erupt when spontaneous emotions are smothered by compromise. The contrasting use of different film and video formats, combined with the asynchronous combination of sound and image, underscores the film’s specific openness resulting from the subjects’ courageous testimony. Does love die when it submits to conformity and becomes ideology?“I filmed only when I felt my images became a caring record of a moment of sharing and when the act of filmmaking offered us the opportunity to live. That is how obstinately solitary and radically plural this act can be.” A. Marziano

Beyond the One

Anna Marziano
France, Italy, Germany / 2017 / 53 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
Missing
Once we begin to consider certain people, items, or memories as our own, we lay ourselves open to the threat that we’ll lose them. Once the loss actually occurs, our mental image of the lost thing doesn’t disappear – on the contrary – it intensifies. This documentary, inspired by the stories of missing people in Iranian newspapers, searches for people who have disappeared for various reasons, but their tracks still resonate. A wide spectrum of archival materials offers a variety of answers to the question of how the absent can remain present, while live images of grieving loved ones then act as an appeal to all those who would brush off this painful ambivalence. „It could be so simple at times. We just leave home and forget to return. Or don’t want to return. Or cannot return...” F. Sharifi

Missing

Farahnaz Sharifi
Iran / 2017 / 60 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Machine Gun or Typewriter
A solitary man broadcasts a programme intended for a single listener on a pirate radio station. He is searching for his lost love, who disappeared without a trace. Images of the city, disappearing buildings and crumbling social structure all reflect his growing sense of loss. His anger intensifies; it threatens to explode. The ambient nature of the duel between recitation and static images crystallises into a radical exercise in meditation, in which intimacy decomposes into fundamental societal elements. A collage presenting the guilty conscience of one American and all of America charts the topography of memory of place and relationship. Wilkerson artfully blends fact with fiction, and intimate autobiographical details with ostentatious exaggeration in a genre he calls “punk-agit-noir”.DETAIL:I’m just sitting in the living room, watching the tv, trying to calm down… You walk out of the bedroom and you’re holding book I gave you… And you start to read: ‘Adapting a position in theory implies putting it into practice.’ ‘Fuck you,’ you say. And you slam the door and leave.

Machine Gun or Typewriter

Travis Wilkerson
United States / 2015 / 71 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
A Long Farewell
After years of negotiations, a complex of apartment buildings on the edge of Seoul is heading inexorably for destruction. With the demolition impending, the residents of the buildings slated for destruction try to express what this place means to them. Raya Kim’s minimalist documentary is not built on an apocalyptic mood or kitschy sentiment, but is rather precisely presented in the contrasts between image and sound. Static shots of homes and the surrounding landscape present a portrait of a quiet, seemingly undisturbed everyday life, while detached voices of observers recount their often-dramatic personal experiences, not hiding the uncertainty of what comes next. „What do the actual residents think about the houses scheduled for reconstruction? As with all homes, there are many different forms of time and love.” R. Kim

A Long Farewell

Raya Kim
South Korea / 2017 / 72 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
(T)ERROR
Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a former Black Panther member, is now working for the FBI. His task is to discover signs of terrorism in American Muslim communities. This reportage captures the dimension of paranoia that exists in the USA’s security police in the best tradition of the American investigative reporting style. The director reveals undemocratic principles underpinning the functioning of American democracy.The attempt to uncover a crime before it occurs becomes an exercise in chasing phantoms, leads to a distortion of facts, and spreads feelings of fear amongst often innocent people.DETAIL:“Do you think your present right now is in any way related to your past?” “Well, I don't have a past, I don't even wanna make bring it back up. I really don't.”

(T)ERROR

David Felix Sutcliffe, Lyric R. Cabral
United States / 2015 / 84 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
29 26
 The film 29 26 is an audiovisual recording of the thoughts and feelings of two sixteen-year-old and two nineteen-year-old girls, who in monologues reveal their concerns and ideas about the life they’ll lead in ten years. The director underscores their speech with stylized and realistic images of themselves, acquired under varying circumstances and on different materials, thus creating an original work of art connecting elements of multiple artistic areas that are close to the author. Long shots of the protagonists’ faces, captured in great detail, are highlighted with expressive illumination and interleaved with poetic, experimentally conceived passages.„‘The world grows with fear next to us‘“ - 29 26, tries to be an intimate and honest tribute/portrait about growing up. Together we create a new space, between performance and film hoping to remember who we were one day.“ P. Velho

29 26

Pedro Velho
Portugal / 2018 / 40 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
You Can Just Learn It
On their path to economic prosperity, Singaporeans have had to give up certain traditions and even their own particular Chinese dialect. Today, the youth of Singapore travel around the word speaking standard Chinese and English and, in general, taking advantage of all the benefits that globalisation has brought. At the same time, within their grandparents’ generation the continuity of previous eras continues to linger on. The film’s director goes against time and current trends when she asks her grandmother to teach her how to prepare a traditional dish – chicken and rice. In this minimalist documentary, which is filmed primarily in the kitchen, we inadvertently also find out many details of Singapore’s cultural history.DETAIL:“Why do you think this way?” “Because I am about to die, and I don’t have interest in anything. It’s true, I don’t have interest in anything. When there is no more strength in my heart, I stop caring about much.”

You Can Just Learn It

Abigail Han
Singapore, United States / 2015 / 29 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Flesh Memory
Finley Blake supports herself by performing live online erotic webcam shows. Because of this, her young son was taken from her and she is desperately trying to get him back. She is 33 years old and alone, with only her cat and the rats that inhabit her house in Austin, Texas. The film captures several ordinary days of her life – days in which she is so terribly alone yet still surrounded by people. She lives her life through computer monitors, isolated from the outside world. Although this is an observational documentary, its composition, often alternating image sizes, helps make the film’s pace even more dynamic. "Title came first. I was showering when I decided I would, one day, make a movie called Flesh Memory, about eroticism and the Internet. Then I met Finley. And everything suddenly made sense. Best ideas always pop up in the shower, don’t they?" J. Goldberg

Flesh Memory

Jacky Goldberg
France / 2018 / 60 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
The Deathless Woman
The far right is on the rise again. Racial intolerance is spreading through real and virtual spaces. Which is why a woman buried alive in the Polish forests during World War II comes back to life to commemorate the history of violence against the Roma. Her “avatar” becomes a young researcher visiting locations in Poland and Hungary where Roma have lost their lives both in the distant and recent past. Thanks to the authentic testimonies and staged passages that blur the line between mystery novel and dreamlike horror, buried secrets come to light serving as both a warning and a reminder. “An uncanny series of events led me to a Polish forest. Later I found out this place was the forgotten grave of the Deathless Woman. Looking back now, I realize she'd been there all along, guiding me.” R. Mortimer
personal program

The Deathless Woman

Roz Mortimer
United Kingdom / 2019 / 88 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Disappear One
The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma embarks on a trans-Atlantic sea voyage. Their main objective is to make a film about a former member of the theatre company who has mysteriously disappeared. Their creative experiment installs a regime of control that permeates every single part of the ship and which is much more ambiguous and even less sensible than traditional hierarchical forms of power. This film essay, building on Kafka’s Amerika and Guattari’s Project for a Film by Kafka, breaks film language down to the point where it decomposes into interwoven gestures, emotions, glances, voices, sounds and fragments of the story, and hints at the possibility of escape from the system of power into a world of uncertainty, openness, and change.DETAIL:“I came upon a room full of screens, monitored by officials from the Theatre…There were recordings of things happening at that moment, or that had already happened, or that hadn’t yet. They say they can’t know which is which.”

Disappear One

Silvia Maglioni, Graeme Thomson
France, United Kingdom, Italy / 2015 / 117 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Carousel
A chrono-photographic visit to the museum in the age of its digital reproducibility. This is the director’s characterization of Carousel, a film that skirts the boundary between documentary and visual art. Using un-commented images, the film correlates the museum space, its visitors, and digital recording technology. Using changing film speeds, visitors become ghosts, their movement becoming the most fundamental element, dictated more by a need to document everything with the camera than a desire to actually view the exhibited objects. The film’s conclusion shows that the most remarkable exhibits at museums today are their visitors."You don't have to see. You don't have to feel. You don't have to share. You just have to follow the guide, turn around and admire." A.Gerber

Carousel

Arnaud Gerber
France, Germany / 2018 / 35 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Backstage Action
This is de facto a film about a film, with the only difference being that the focus is exclusively on the extras. They are filmed while waiting to take their turn, while conversing with others, and thinking about their performances. Although they take their duties very seriously and long to be stars, for the filmmakers, they’re just people that can be coordinated as necessary, nothing more. This film, on the contrary, gives them full consideration, revealing their personalities, what they experience, and what they dream of. The footage comes from many different places where movies are made, involving extras from all different nationalities."The representative becomes a present body, a speaking body, he becomes an acting body, even a political body liberated from the stereotypes that pertain to the community he was supposed to represent." S. Azari 

Backstage Action

Sanaz Azari
Belgium / 2018 / 61 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
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