08 février 2012

Rotterdam 2012 by culturally-aware critics

Rotterdam Film Festival Highlights with IndieWire (Press Play)/Slant Magazine (House Next Door)/Cine Qua Non
3 february 2012 video mini-roundtable 15'21'
with Michal Oleszczyk (House Next Door), Aaron Cutler (Slant/Cine qua non), Kevin B. Lee (IndieWIRE/RogerEbert.com)

These films are unfamiliar, without buzz, without pre-approved fame... let's give them a chance for what they are.

Finally an English-language festival report which is not serving ready-made talking points about uselessness of festivals and lack of entertainment !!! Isn't it a lot more productive and satisfying to proceed that way? More educational, more pedagogical, more insightful, more open-minded... in other words more CULTURAL than the self-serving banter of pundits who only care about sharing their personal taste in movie distractions.
Is it a one-off or will it be the dawn of a new geo-politically-conscious era of American criticism? We'll have to wait and see... 

They even took the time to look up Wikipedia and add a bit about Netherlands historical context (frankly, not absolutely necessary, but overdoing culturally is better than overdoing punditry). I'm impressed. I wish we would see more of this humble and respectful approach to "foreign culture" and indie cinema, the real independent cinema that is seeking to develop new film forms, not the fake "American indie cinema" (which is just a conformist mainstream narrative but without the major studio budget, Wannabe-Hollywood)

The point with an alternative festival like Rotterdam, is to take it for what it is : a platform for debuting artists, and for unconventional/experimental narratives. If you go to Rotterdam for entertainment blockbusters, or arthouse celebrities, you'll be disappointed and will call the festival a failure. Only that it does not try to replace the Oscars, Cannes or Sundance, so let's not judge it from these inadequate/fantasized standards.

There are festivals for world-class masterpieces, festivals for blockbusters, festivals for genre cinema, festivals for documentary, festivals for independent cinema, festival for amateur cinema, festival for smartphone videos, festivals for experimental cinema... each have a role to fulfill in film culture, and each have their respective standards to judge their selected films from.

Film reviewers need to remember that being invited at a festival is a privilege they get to REPORT on what is going on at the festival, in the name of their readers. They aren't there to indulge their own little selfish selves. From the word of Serge Daney, the critic is a "passeur" (the go-between who passes around). Critics are supposed to protect and defend cinema, WORLD CINEMA, not to defend their favourite titles against everything else, to champion their own national cinema, to become a cog in the P.R. propaganda...

Much better approach than last year's IFFR 2011 Critics Talk roundtable (see:  Contra-contrarianism (IFFR) 1-2-3-4-5) which was a sophistic disaster.

* * *

IFFR Critics' Talks 2012 (YouTube playlist) :
  • Peter von Bagh talking to Olaf Möller (CinemaScope) about his film Helsinki Forever. 21'28"
  • Wang Xiaoshuai talking to Jeroen Stout (Radio 1, Kunststof) about his film 11 Flowers. 27'28"
  • Ruben Östlund talking to Floortje Smit (Volkskrant) about his film Play. 24'27"
  • Davide Manuli talking to Bor Beekman (Volkskrant) about his film La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser. 20'09"
  • Valérie Massadian talking to Gerlinda Heywegen (Eye Film Institute) about her film Nana. 27'31"
  • Mohammad Rasoulof talks to Howard Feinstein (IndieWire) about his film Goodbye. 9'

Big Talks 2012 (YouTube playlist) :

Ai Wei Wei installation


1 commentaire:

HarryTuttle a dit…

"Film staat middenin de wereld. De Filmkrant is nieuwsgierig naar die wereld. Niet voor niets heet onze jaarlijkse ter gelegenheid van het Filmfestival Rotterdam samengestelde Slow Criticism-bijlage The Other Side(s) of the World. Ruim twintig critici uit alle windstreken keken naar nieuwe films uit het Bright Future-programma en schreven daar heel persoonlijke beschouwingen over. Waarin zij vaak ook hun eigen culturele achtergronden ondervragen.
Voor ons is dat de politiek van de kritiek. Open zijn. Empathisch. Weerbarstig. De wereld is net zo groot of klein als je hem maakt. Maar de wereld van de film is altijd groter dan die ene film, dat ene land, die ene benepen eurocrisis, die particuliere angst voor het andere. Die wereld is groter dan onze wereldbol. Die ademt, pulseert en deint, voert aan de oevers van de verbeelding nieuwe inzichten aan."
Dana Linssen (Filmkrant; February 2012)