MÁS y MÁS Tuesday 22 May 2007
More young talent, more stories in Cannes
Munyurangabo El Baño del Papa Marjane Satrapi English version www.nisimasa.com
NISI MASA Special Screening in Cannes 23th May 2007 at 15h Espace Miramar – 35, rue Pasteur Programme: 20 visions of Paris Paris Vitrine / 6ème, Pablo Sánchez & Román Perona (Spain, 2006, 4’38’’) Un gros quartier pourri / 13ème, Alkistis Tsitouri & Photis Millionis (Greece, 2006, 2’26’’) La Commune / 20ème, Alexander Richter (Germany, 2006, 1’54’’) Survive Style Some senses, some cities, Ljiljana Cavic (Serbia, 2006, 8’) Travelling, Antonio Gabelic (Croatia, 2007, 4’) DOKO YOMI – Documenting Kosovo’s Youth of Mitrovica In Cage, Zivko Grozdanoski (Macedonia, 2006, 3’10’’) Road to Home, Sami Mustafa (Kosovo, 2006, 8’09’’) European Script Contest Lodka / A Boat, Michal Szczesniak (Polland, 2006, 16’32’’) Soir bleu, Arnaud Bénoliel (France, 2006, 16’) If I fall, Hannaleena Hauru (Finland, 2007, 11’33’’, première)
more than the other Cannes selections, the nature of the links between History and individual stories. Being extremely diverse in style and approach, these films are vehicles for very different readings and visions of History, sometimes chaotic, sometimes determinist, sometimes cyclic. Allowing a more or less narrow margin of freedom for their main protagonists. As much as they may be jerked around by history, personal stories will always have their place in cinema. For directors, confronting history inevitably means a series of questions: How to approach a historical event using the
tool of fiction? How to portray the fate of so many through individual stories? What are the risks involved in revisiting a more or less recent past? All of these questions are clearly interesting. These films, each in their own way, are necessary. At a time when French cinema is not only depoliticising, but tending to empty its stories of any historical substance, these new films coming from the four corners of the globe show the way forward - in order to prevent Indigènes from becoming the tree which hides the desert.
Photo Mercedes Alvarez
uschwitz seen from the viewpoint of a young, confused German (Am Ende Kommen die Touristen). The Pope’s visit to a Uruguayan village as the driving force of a neorealist tale on a bike (El Baño del Papa). The Rwandan genocide evoked through a maleficent and revengeful friendship (Munyurangabo). The intervention of NATO in Kosovo, backdrop for a Romanian village farce (California Dreamin’). A bomb attack as the turning point in the life of a mother in Madrid (La Soledad). Pure coincidence or the result of an editorial line? In any case, the selection of Un Certain Regard strongly questions, much
This is where John Wayne’s horses passed by...
Photo of the day
César Charlone et Enrique Fernandez, Uruguay, UCR
El Baño del Papa T
he debut feature film, directed by César Charlone and Enrique Fernandez, presented in Un Certain Regard, tells the story of the inhabitants of Melo. In this small Uruguayan village, close to the Brazilian boarder, the inhabitants are convinced that the foretold visit of Jean Paul II will bring millions of starving and thirsty pilgrims to their village. They ruin themselves stockpiling provisions, with the belief that trade and riches will come tomorrow. The beginning of the film is in the documentary genre. The sublime cinematography of César Charlone (to whom we owe the imagery in City of God) immediately transports us into a uni-
verse of film. Of the play of shadows created by people cycling their bicycles, of the sound of breathing and of the off the screen voice, this is how we are introduced to the world of these people, to their journeys and hopes. Remarkable one shot images, reveal smugglers on bicycles who cross the border between Brazil and Uruguay to import the food into their villages. It is also beneficial for the smugglers that the pilgrims begin a journey towards hope. In the village of Melo, that God has forgotten, the villagers prepare food for that which they invest all their lives, the escape of misery. The plot of the film centres on the arrival of Pape;
the man, ‘long awaited’ and ‘invisible’, who will offer them a prosperous life. The character of Beto, a raving lunatic who is frantic for success, carries us into his delirium of ingenious ideas, gawping and open mouthed in his natural state of being. The film is constructed in a tragic-comic mode, on the hope of a people, and on an arrival that could change their lives. Alongside this there is a message in the film - that ‘working is not enough to earn money’. It is a very touching story of dignity and solidarity, and of the huge hope of a people who want to change their destiny, in this there is a glimmer of hope.
Azra Deniz Okyay
Am Ende Kommen Touristen Robert Thalheim, Germany, Un Certain Regard
hat could a young German be looking for in Auschwitz? Evocation of a wandering youth, Am Ende Kommen Touristen pushes right where it hurts. Where the traces of history, little by little, are vanishing. Such will be the fate of the suitcase belonging to Krzenlinski, an Auschwitz survivor. A suitcase refused by museum curators, as time has erased all of its historical imprints. Damaged, denied, rejected, this suitcase symbolises a tragic past which is difficult to fight against. Robert Thalheim, a young auteur noted for his first feature film Tout ira
bien (released in France the 16th of May), the story of a young, solitary dreamer who is somewhat a loser, here follows the traditional line of contemporary German cinema, re-examining German history with a lighter touch, free from guilt. The director was inspired by his own years of civil service spent in Poland to write the story of Sven, a young German who has chosen to do volunteer work in Auschwitz. More or less a drifter in this town where everything is history, he is confronted by the past of his country. He is taken aback by the violence of comments directed at him by
a young Pole in a bar: “Hey lads, the German army’s come back to Auschwitz!” The incident is however selfcontained. Sven remains impassive, distracted by the young Polish tour guide Ania. He distances himself from Krzeminski, finding him hostile and difficult, and seems dumfounded when he hears him pronounce a phrase in German. It is not until an encounter between the survivor and some young German students that the historical reality resurfaces in the mind of the young volunteer. One of them questions the old man: “Did he really get a number?” Only
then does Sven open his eyes. He questions Ania on the difficulty of living daily in a place where the worst of human atrocities have occurred. She replies immediately: “And you, what do you feel as a German?” Underneath its apparently light approach, Am Ende Kommen Touristen provokes and questions the younger generation. To avoid simply becoming a tourist, but to act as a citizen, conscious of the historical reality of one’s country, at the same time looking towards the future… No small task for young Europeans.
Munyurangabo (Liberation Day) Lee Isaac Chung, USA, Un Certain Regard
iberation. This could be the principal theme of several films selected for the section Un Certain Regard. Lee Isaac Chung, a young American director of Korean origin has chosen to portray the genocide in Rwanda from the point of view of its impact on the destiny of two young men. The film recounts a tragic story in which the machete makes an appearance; at the same time the central point of the story is the elusiveness of these massacres. At the beginning of the film, Sangwa and Ngabo, two close friends leave Kigali to look for work. They go to join Sangwa’s family, but the village where they live has changed, as has Sangwa’s father. Illness and de-
spair have gained ground. A childhood friend of Sangwa reveals to him news of the killings that have taken place there. Sangwa does not dare to believe it, but despair can be read on his face. The real purpose behind the journey of the two young men is quickly revealed; Ngabo has travelled for the sole objective of killing the man who will cause the death of his father. The danger is clear. In a moment Ngabo articulates the word genocide. Here we enter the heart of the subject. History has intervened in the lives of these two young men. An event arises that tarnishes the amenity between the two friends. With subtlety and boldness, the plot thickens and the machete makes reappearance. The fa-
ther, desperate steps in on the behalf of his son and with him shares his experience. ‘Don’t you know that this boy is a Tutsi? Do you ignore that the Tutsis are evil? They have massacred our people. I suffer because of them. They tried to imprison me in spite of my age. The Hutus and the Tutsis are enemies. Do you ignore that?’ From this point on Sangwa must choose a side. Betray his family or preserve his friendship. The film does not show genocide but its consequences. This is profoundly thought provoking. Although Liberation Day would have benefited from being less didactic it is still highly emotive and one can only commend this debut attempt to portray world events.
Flashback All that Jazz Bob Fosse, Etats-Unis, Beach Cinema
ife is one big show! This is what the viewer learns whilst watching All that Jazz. Theatre producer Joe Gideon must create a musical comedy in order to put it on Broadway. Caught between a lack of inspiration and fear of failure, he launches himself body and soul into his work, neglecting everything else. His family life is a failure; he cheats on his wife, doesn’t spend enough time with his daughter and takes on too
many mistresses to handle. But this man who seems so far from happiness finally finds comfort when he learns that his lifestyle is going to end up killing him. The excesses of drugs and alcohol lead him to converse with death. This is when he starts to re-examine his life. A life which has been nothing but one big scene. This film, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1980, today still appears
to be a work which reaches into the heart of man’s timeless preoccupations. If the fear of death is omnipresent in the work of Bob Fosse, it is to be taken with a certain Epicurianism. What counts is in fact the present, and the happy moments in life. If the film reminds us with a certain humour that man is not God and that we all die in the end, Bob Fosse adds that the wake can be a big party, thus allowing us to celebrate the
fall of the final curtain! The director should have been aware, upon presenting his film in 1980, of the autobiographical character which he would later give to this work. Deceased in 1987 from work exhaustion, this illustrious director left behind a rich filmography as an everlasting and celebratory inheritance, taken up very recently by Rob Marshall with the excellent Chicago. “And the show must go on!”
Court: Rondo Y
oung Finnish artist and director Marja Mikkonen (born 1979) will be at the Cinéfondation series with her new film Rondo (2006). She has been at Cannes earlier in the year 2004 with her much acclaimed experimental film 99 Years of My Life (2003). Having education as both live performance artist and Master of Fine Arts, she uses various forms of media in her work, such as video, installation, sound and photography and live performance. Rondo is a non-narrative film where the characters, visual motifs, music and soundscape compose a dreamy sensation, perhaps that of recollection. The film excels in creating a meaningful yet slightly blurry emotion, just like when one is trying to recollect some-
thing from the past. Having watched it the viewer may find himself trying to trace it to some concrete situation, but it is just as unachievable as it is to try to remember the past exactly as it was. Mikkonen says the film has originated in visual ideas and a certain feeling. “Memories and remembering have had an important role in my work. My approach to making art is quite personal, I do it from my personal experiences in life. Maybe the theme of memory and change comes with that to this work.” The synopsis says the film attempts to describe a state of mind of a person in between events, experiencing a moment of uncertainty. The attempt is quite convincing.
Photo Hannele Majaniemi
M arja Mikkonen, Finland, Cinéfondation
Professional encounter with
aure Gardette has come to present the work of post-production, during the second professional encounter with the 60 à Cannes. After having worked with directors such as Maïwen Le Besco and Daniel Karlin, she is presenting the film Caramel, a Franco-Lebanese production, in the selection Un Certain Regard. Gardette first recounts her career path in editing, for which she was passionate from a very young age wi-
thout really realising it. She didn’t go to film school, but learnt the techniques by visiting laboratories, attending workshops and cutting up short films with her friends. Not wanting to be an assistant editor, she decided instead to train herself. The captivating work of editing demands lots of intellectual investment and concentration. It involves a three-way dialogue between the images themselves, the director and the editor, and
thus she must be very attentive to each side in order to construct the film. Laure Gardette insists on the fundamental relationship of mutual trust between the director and the chief editor, the first being a guide and the second providing moral and physical support. What she finds so exceptional in editing work is the process of re-writing. The structure of the script can change entirely during the editing process. It becomes similar
in this way to scriptwriting. It is exciting to see the passion and engagement of this woman when she talks about her profession. Her two pieces of advice : to have a good assistant and not to neglect the importance of screenings. She confides that even with her rich experience, she still dreads presenting the films which she edits.
Three questions to Photo Lasse Lecklin
Set and accessory designer of short films, this 24 year-old is one of the members of the Jury Jeunes (Youth Jury) of Cannes Film Festival.
The title of a film that evokes your experience of the Jury Jeunes? Life is beautiful. We have an extraordinary chance to see sneak previews of films, in exceptional conditions. I appreciate this as a gift, even if I am trying to concentrate in order to do justice to the films that I am judging. It is true that some days are quite exhausting, when we see five films back to back. But at the same time, we are always happy to go back into the theatre. Especially as there are no two films which are the same.
A title of a film that evokes the festival of Cannes ? Deceitful Sun. For most people Cannes is stars walking on the red carpet in Gucci, in Prada… There are parties everywhere, one is given the illusion of a perfect, magical world, but it is fake. The festival that we experience has nothing to do with that. The stars, the sequins, we see them only from far away, whilst we have beautiful moments in the discovery of more modest films. The sun is not where one would think: it is in the darkened theatres.
A film that summarises your passion for cinema ? The Bicycle Thieves. This film is based on the theft of a bicycle, and yet during two hours, the tension is enormous. This conforms to the idea that I have of the power of cinema. That is to say creating a sense of wonder and profound emotion around simple things.
ehran, 1978. A capital fallen prey to political change and social agitation. Marjane, 8 year-old daughter of a well-off family, witnesses this period through youthful eyes. She is a young dreamer, but far from naive. Over time, the peregrinations of Marjane lead us through the human relationships, political debates and social questions troubling the Iranian diaspora. The little girl, it is Marjane Satrapi, but it is also Persépolis, a successful comic from the year 2000. Today, after several years of reflection, writing and production, the storyboard is coming to life for a first screening this afternoon at the Lumière Theatre. Go-getting, independent, critical and energetic, the charmingly beautiful Iranian Marjane Satrapi is presenting the cinematic adaptation of her four autobiographical comic albums. A woman of 38 years of age, she is unusual in terms of her background, her interests, her values and her particular gifts. Yes, an engaged cartoonist, a humanist his-
torian, a convinced pacifist! Born in Racht, a small town along the coast of the Caspian Sea, Marjane grew up in Tehran. Following the Islamic Revolution, she was sent to Vienna by her parents at the age of 14 to finish her studies. Having a penchant for drawing, she moved to Strasbourg to study at the Arts Déco. She liked to doodle, experiment, create. Following her instinct, she left to work at the ‘Atelier des Vosges’ (Paris), where she met contemporary cartoonists such as Christophe Blain (Isaac le Pirate) and David B. (L’Ascension du Haut mal). These authors would eventually become close friends, sources of inspiration and above all would help her to launch her own career as a storyteller. Strengthened by the support of her publisher, l’Association, and thanks to her talent, Persépolis saw the light of day in the year 2000. Over the years, three tomes would follow. Four stages in her personal story, recounted with a refined, stylised and concise black and white pen-
cil. Iranian history unravels in front of our eyes, through those of a little girl growing up under different regimes. Upon f leeing the prejudices of the Mollahs, she then finds herself confronted with the prejudices of the Europeans on Iran and Islam. The message, living up to her own character traits, is simple, political, educational and touching. What is unique about Marjane is her memories. An inheritance from her past, this work of remembrance, impressively concise, gives her the base material for her stories. Frank, demanding, proud, pedagogue, generous, reckless and discreet, Marjane Satrapi is a woman with heart. Here we go Marjane, “the month which will never arrive” is here! Tomorrow is sure to be easier, worries lifted away or at least replaced with others… And the spectator in me is eagerly awaiting to enter the cinema, the arrival of the darkness in order to hear whispered in my ear: “Come, come, I’m going to tell you a story…”
MÁS y MÁS is a magazine published by the association NISI MASA with the support of the French Ministry of Health,
Sports and Youth. EDITORIAL STAFF Editor-in-chief Matthieu Darras Secretary of the editorial Joanna Gallardo Artistic director Lasse Lecklin, firstname.lastname@example.org English translations Camilla Buchanan, Judy Lister Contibutors of this issue: Mercedes Alvarez, Fanny Boulloud, Alexis Cathala, Laure Croiset, Una Gunjak, Judy Lister, Azra Deniz Okyay, Mikko Remes, Thibault Solano Print – Imprimerie Cyclone, 12 rue des Mimosas, 06400 Cannes. NISI MASA 10 rue de l’Echiquier, 75010, Paris, France – + 33 (0)1 53 34 62 78, + 33 (0)6 32 61 70 26 email@example.com - www.nisimasa.com