Meadows of VDFF 0

Agnė Mackevičiūtė, 2013-10-08

In brief: Programme and films shown in the tenth Vilnius Documentary Film Festival (VDFF) that was organised recently is reviewed in the article.

VDFF presented the retrospective of the cameraman and director Leonard Retel Helmrich, and the author helped to understand it by organising a master class in which he taught how to “fly”. The biggest charm of his works is in the “flying” camera.  Still, the newest film of the director “Fresh Herring” reminded of a fish advertisement more than of an amusing film.

The author of the article mentions the very visual but dark and sad documentary “Leviathan” (dir. Lucien Castaing – Taylor, Verena Paravel, 2012), which was also filmed using the same technique – with a camera tied up on a stick, which was more successful.

Documentary in which the director observes the character silently and creates space for him/her to open up was seen in two films directed by female directors: “Mozart and Other Manias” (dir. Marie Lundber) and “A Bastard Has the Sweetest Voice” (dir. Christy Garland) about two creators – a pianist and poetess. Both directors let the heroines tell their life stories with respect. Digitalised classical Lithuanian documentaries that were presented in VDFF could be described in the same manner: “A Trip along Meadows of Mist” of  A. Šablevičius and “Stories of Hundred-Year-olds” of A. Verba.

The author considers the film “Madness of Two” of the British director Kim Hopkins one of the most exceptional and memorable films of VDFF of this year. It tells the story of a British family that bought a huge house and that tries to make their dream – to have a hotel – come true.

The festival VDFF of this year offered a diverse programme of documentaries and granted an occasion to think about possibilities of documentary films in general. The author closes the festival with the film “Winter of Nomads” (dir. Hiver Nomade, Manuel von Stürler) in her thoughts. A silent and meditative trip of two Swiss men and 800 sheep reminded of walks from one screening of VDFF to another. Sheep are finally sold, films end, until the next year, most probably.

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