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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Such a Simple Game

director: Gilles Groulx
original title: Un jeu si simple
country: Canada
year: 1964
running time: 30 min.

synopsis

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.

biography

Gilles Groulx (1931-1994) is still known today for his work with Michel Brault on the film Les raquetteurs (1958), which he also edited. In his subsequent works, he addressed the relationship between American and Québec culture.

more about film

director: Gilles Groulx
producer: Jacques Bobet
script: Marcel Dubé
editing: Gilles Groulx

other films in the section

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
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
Three Cheers for the Whale
This documentary “anti-Moby Dick” is a cooperative work with Chris Marker - creator of the commentary, editing, and sound.  A lively poetic essay on the plight of whales responds to the condemnation of their fishing at a conference in Stockholm. The commentary combines a male voice as the traditional explicative and a female voice, which is intimate and evokes the whales’ thoughts. 
personal program

Three Cheers for the Whale

Chris Marker, Mario Ruspoli
France / 1972 / 17 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
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.  
personal program

Manouane River Lumberjacks

Arthur Lamothe
Canada / 1962 / 28 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
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
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
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. 
personal program

Don´t Look Back

Donn Alan Pennebaker
United States / 1967 / 95 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. 
personal program

Strangers of the Earth

Mario Ruspoli
France / 1961 / 40 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
Lonely Boy
At first glance, the film appears to be a survey about the gifted singer, the idol of a generation. The result is a unique way of observing stars through their own fans. The sound is significant here, achieving an unprecedented sense of reality. The innovative approach complements the film with staged scenes. 
personal program

Lonely Boy

Wolf Koenig, Roman Kroitor
Canada / 1962 / 27 min.
section: Direct Vérité
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
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