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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Artifices

director: François Reichenbach
original title: Artifices
country: France
year: 1963
running time: 10 min.
Czech Premiere

synopsis

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? 

biography

François Reichenbach (1921-1993) was a filmmaker influenced by the travels of his youth. In his work, he addressed topics such as the relationship of France and the USA and shot portraits of renowned international artists.    

more about film

producer: Les Films de la Pléiade

other films in the section

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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