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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Village Pleasure
The Village Pleasure

The Village Pleasure

director: François Reichenbach
original title: La douceur du village
country: France
year: 1963
running time: 47 min.

synopsis

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. 

biography

François Reichenbach (1921-1993) addressed topics such as the relationship of France and the USA in his work and shot portraits of renowned international artists. He received the Palm d’Or at Cannes for La doucer du village. 

more about film

director: François Reichenbach
producer: Pierre Braunberger
script: François Reichenbach
photography: Jean-Marc Ripert, François Reichenbach
sound: Michel Legrand

other films in the section

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
Strangers of the Earth
Filmed in the village of Livinière in the Lozère district, locals talk about their work and lives in a time when the area is threatened with depopulation and the extinction of traditional farming methods. The goal was to record the opinions of these people living in relative isolation, thus affecting the truth about the situation. 

Strangers of the Earth

Mario Ruspoli
France / 1961 / 40 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
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. 

For the Ones to Come

Pierre Perrault, Michel Brault
Canada / 1962 / 105 min.
section: Direct Vérité
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
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
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
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
Don´t Look Back
The work of D. A. Pennebaker is absolutely vital to any understanding of the development of cinéma vérité outside of France, and his documentary about Bob Dylan is the essence of this style. First shown in 1967, it was an unexpected hit with audiences and subsequently became the model for future music documentaries even though it is nothing more than a record of Dylan’s 1965 tour of England. 

Don´t Look Back

Donn Alan Pennebaker
United States / 1967 / 95 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Manouane River Lumberjacks
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.  

Manouane River Lumberjacks

Arthur Lamothe
Canada / 1962 / 28 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.

Wrestling

Claude Fournier, Claude Jutra, Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière
Canada / 1961 / 28 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
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.  

The Little Café

François Reichenbach
France / 1963 / 12 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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