Category Archives: Rotterdam

Repost-Opening Today: Zidane – A 21st Century Portrait

Perhaps the most original and technically striking films I saw at Rotterdam was Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno’s Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. A truly original style of documentary, the filmmakers trained 17 cameras of various type on one man during a football (soccer) match between Spanish giants Real Madrid and their league opponents Villareal. That man was Zinédine Zidane, the French maestro of the midfield who is one of, if not the greatest, players of his generation.
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Read the rest of my review from the 2007 Rotterdam International Film Festival, here.

Finally! I Am Flickr-Enabled!

flickr_logo_gamma.gif.v1.2.7.gifOk, so I have finally gotten around to switching from Buzznet (they are so ’05) to Flickr and am in the process of posting pix, some with witty bon mots, even! So far, it starts at the indieWIRE anniversary party in late November 2006 up to Berlin, 2007. Keep checking back, as by the end of next week I hope to have a few years worth of pix loaded, most of which have never been in this blog before and many of which include you. Yes, you!
So come on by and check them out and comment, comment, comment!
Even better, join Flickr, put your own pix up and be my friend!
Thanks.

IFFR 07: A Brace Of Misogyny

And now we get to two of the films that I’ll have to put down as not exactly my favorites. As I’ve said before, I don’t normally beat up on small films, but as the title of this piece might indicate, these two films need to be exposed for what they are. Claudio Assis’s Bog of Beasts (Brazil) and Jilani Saadi’s Tender is the Wolf have both, according to their filmmakers, been misunderstood. Well, I’m pretty sure that’s complete bollocks. Not only that, but I can find no excuse for the 2007 IFFR VPRO Tiger Awards jury to have given an award (even one ex aequo) to Assis’s film. From my second day in town, the words being used to describe this film included such “superlatives” as: loathsome, repugnant, vile, irredeemable and misogynist.
I cannot remember if I have ever seen a more contemptible or brutal film. This story of life in a small Brazilian village is so chock-a-block with despicable characters as to defy description. It’s something like I’d imagine a town would be if it were almost completely populated with pederasts, rapists and incestuous (not to mention pedophilic) old men. This village is so far to the fucked zone of the moral compass, the drunks, pimps and whores are the among the more virtuous citizens. It’s a village where the sons of the rich fit in the narrow range between being only morally bankrupt and being psychosexually sociopathic, all without any sort of consequence. This is a group led by a caricature of a man so insane, that gang-raping a prostitute isn’t enough for him, he also need to sodomize her with what appears to be a 2 x 4.

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Continue reading IFFR 07: A Brace Of Misogyny

IFFR 07: Zidane – A 21st Century Portrait

Perhaps the most original and technically striking films I saw at Rotterdam was Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno’s Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. A truly original style of documentary, the filmmakers trained 17 cameras of various type on one man during a football (soccer) match between Spanish giants Real Madrid and their league opponents Villareal. That man was Zinédine Zidane, the French maestro of the midfield who is one of, if not the greatest players of his generation.
An integral part of the French triumph in the 1998 World Cup, ‘Zizou,’ as he is known, retired under somewhat ignominious circumstances following France’s loss in the final match of the 2006 Cup but that hardly dulls what was an extraordinary career on the pitch and by isolating the man Zidane attempts to capture something of what it is to be Zidane. For the 80-odd minutes he is on the pitch (Zidane gets ejected for a red card foul before the end of the match), the film does exactly that.
ZidaneSTILL.jpg

Continue reading IFFR 07: Zidane – A 21st Century Portrait

IFFR 07: The Killing of John Lennon

e04b3be4-c6d1-4ac7-bc31-be053a4a7be7.jpgSo there it was, February 6th and I was taking my customary 3-day Amsterdam break between the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). I’ve been pretty abstemious during this trip, as I might have mentioned. Drinking relatively little, early to bed and rise, no drugs, etc. However, with Amsterdam, well, when in Rome… So I was sitting in Barney’s, somewhat…altered, having just finished an Irish breakfast (minus the black pudding, thanks) and sipping on a “cuppa tay.” I hope I remember to proof this before I post…. (proofing it sober in Berlin….)
The Killing of John Lennon was heads and shoulders above nearly everything else at this year’s IFFR and one can’t help but wonder what the Berlinale was thinking when they used the fact that the film had played the Edinburgh fest as reason for turning it down… or so I’ve heard. Andrew Piddington’s chronicle of the months leading up to and following Mark David Chapman’s murder of John Lennon is an exceptional piece of work and I can’t imagine that US and other distribs won’t be clamoring to pick up this gem at the European Film Market in Berlin (screening times: Sunday, Feb. 11th at 5:30pm, CineStar 1 on HDCam and Tuesday, Feb. 13th at 9am in CinemaxX Studio 17 on Digi Beta. I might even see it again. It would also be nice to see this film get a slot at the New York Film Festival…hint hint! Ok, I am a retard and can’t tell my August from my September. Yes, if it was going to play the NYFF, it would have played last year. Duh. I do believe it’s eligible for ND/NF, if you’re listening, FSLC!
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Continue reading IFFR 07: The Killing of John Lennon