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Life as Fiction Cinema as Life

T贸xico byworkshop Christoffer Boe February 2008 Mexico City

For Christoffer Boe´s workshop, instead of looking for neutral spaces, we looked to create a framework for creative encounters to take place; we wanted to look for small details and settings that would permit us to spatially follow the trail of his ideas, to step into his mind as much as possible. Thus, the first day of the workshop took us high above the megalopolis which is Mexico City, to the 51st floor, the last floor, of the tallest building in Latin America, giving us a bird´s eye-view: just as Christoffer usually does in his movies, situating his characters down in the city below. During this first day Christoffer dissected his movies and his mind. He gave a six hour master-class, talking about his thoughts on cinema in general, his influences, and also going into practical details about filmmaking plus showing fragments of movies to exemplify. In the late afternoon the group got divided in four work teams, and spent the rest of the evening discussing how they would film and why. On the second day, we took hold of a 15-story abandoned hotel in the city center, a once-upona-time icon of the 60s era. (This location was chosen so as to mirror his obsesion with uncanny places in which strange encounters take place.) Here, the filmmakers had only four hours to explore, scavenge for the proper settings and props and film one same short script, written by Boe himself. It was an excersize in improvisation and guerrilla film making, learning to make the odds and unexpected circumstances work with you instead of against you. They had the rest of the night to start organizing their material. On the third day we moved into the editing laboratory, and the groups worked under Boe´s supervision until 8pm, and then stayed working on their own. That same night, Reconstruction was screened at the rooftop of a art space in the city center. Boe gave an introductory lecture for the general public, to a full house. On the fourth and last day, while the film makers finished their short films, Boe conducted more than 12 interviews for press and television, talking both about his experience with the workshop and about his new film Offscreen, to be shown during FICCO film festival in a couple of days time. Then, after lunch, the short films were presented, with an in-depth critique by Boe. The workshop ended with rounding conclusions. Boe´s girlfriend brought cake to celebrate. And then, on the fifth day, everybody slept.

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“The meeting

between two people is the quessentiel of moviemaking. Who are they, how do they talk, what drives the scene – how do we look at them? We will examine this important element of movie-making – the traditionel cross/cut scene – and look at ways to transform it into something personal and maybe even artisticly unique. We will examine how to use style and time to make a single scene reflect an entire movie – a life. The objective will be to make the film-makers understand how a simple scene in its aesthics – the shooting and cutting - can reflect the themes and the world of an entire movie and make it into something unique. The goal will be to hink about the possibilties of conveying emotional and thematics truths in the shooting/cutting of a scene and apply these ideas to a specific scene that all participants will work on. The workshopers will all be given the same 3 pp. scene to shoot with 2 male actors and 1 female actor. The female actor has no lines – no place in the script – its up to them to decide if and how they want to use her.” -Christoffer Boe-

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Tóxico: Contemporary Culture Tóxico is an independent project, based in Mexico City, that is becoming one of the central axes of creativity and culture in Mexico, organizing workshops lead by renowned international cultural figureheads, conferences, independent art projects, film cycles and other events. Past guests include The Brothers Quay, Stefan Sagmeister, Martí Guixé, Martin Parr and Chris Boot, amongst others. Tóxico is not just about realizing a handful of activities, but about becoming a think tank, providing, a mind-frame, and dare we say it: creating a future. It is an ambitious project of international quality that is bringing to Mexico the best in the visual arts and surrounding areas, becoming a thought provoker and a prime generator of ideas, plus giving birth to projects that stem from those ideas. A platform linking Mexico to the rest of the world through unexpected encounters. It has been demonstrated that one of Tóxico´s greatest advantages-- unlike symposiums and other major events – lies in organizing only one workshop and conference at a time: one can pay attention to every detail, personalizing the stay in Mexico for the visitors, and creating a custom-made workshop for the people who take it.

Christoffer Boe

is one of Denmark´s leading contemporary filmmakers, being hailed by the critics as one of the most original new voices. He studied at the National Film School of Denmark, 2001. His graduation film Anxiety received the Prix Decouverte de la Critique Francais as well as the Nordisk Film Award 2001. Inspired by a Jacques-Henri Lartigue photograph of a woman standing in a room with empty bookcases, Danish director Christoffer Boe’s first feature “Reconstruction” fittingly won the prestigious Camera D’or at Cannes in 2003 and a Golden Plaque for Manuel Alberto Claro’s luminous wide-screen cinematography. Boe was chosen for the Tóxico program because of his innovative use of film language, his authorial skills, and the high-impact he has had on current generations of filmmakers.

Tóxico collaborates with renowned art spaces and organizations in Mexico City, providing interesting spaces, first-class settings and efficent organization. Tóxico is sponsored by La Fundación Jumex, Mexico´s most prestigious patron of the arts, and in many ocasions by the corresponding embassy in turn. In the case of Boe´s workshop, we recieved valuable support of the Art Agency Copenhagen and The Danish Embassy in Mexico. We also thank Casa Vecina, La Fundación del Centro Histórico, Cinemex FICCO and Piso 51 for their help.

Tóxico Workshop

By Christoffer Boe

4, 5, 6 February 2008 Mexico City

This T贸xico workshop would have been imposible without the help of our generous sponsors. Thank you.

For art to exist, for any aesthetic activity to exist, a certain physiological precondition is necessary: Intoxication. -Friedrich Nietzsche-

Tóxico Workshop: Christoffer Boe  

Boe was in Mexico City giving a five day workshop at Tóxico: Cultura Contemporánea