April (2018, Sarah Forrest)

Some films use repeating motifs, either to establish patterns, generate mood, or enforce a point. Sarah Forrest’s April literally repeats. Midway through the film, the scene restarts, cycling again through the same set of images, sounds and lines of voiceover with which it had begun. Such an instance might…

Edge of Frame Weekender 2018 - Cosmogonical Cinema

"Traditional filmmaking has a fundamental limitation. It must start with reality. The images that can be created begin with what can be observed and recorded; filmmakers must use the extant in order to create something new. In animation - irregardless of the tools and techniques being used - no…

International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018 - Time Travel, Map Making

"The scale and ambition of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), which packs 593 short and feature films into 12 days of independent cinema, as well as talks, performances, and gallery installations in venues across the city, makes it almost uniquely difficult to approach, even for the experienced visitor. The…

International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018 - Dream Curation

"Sleep has been an integral part of the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul since he began making them, but recently it has felt increasing central to the experience of viewing them as well. He introduced screenings of his last feature Cemetery of Splendour by stating that he didn’t mind…

Seventeen (1983, Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines)

The fact that Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines’ Seventeen—a scrappy, sprawling observational documentary about a group of teenagers in Muncie, Indiana—contains very few moments of quiet means that when one does arrive, it seems all the more resonant. From the start of the film, the onscreen characters—whether…

International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2017 - Taking Stock

"A friend and visiting programmer described International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) as somewhere to “take stock of what is going on in the world of documentary”, and by extension, in the wider world too. A mirror, microscope or window onto every corner of the globe or recess of the…

International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2017 - Turtle Rock, Moonlight City

"Documentary filmmaking has been flourishing in China for a number of years, but in the last year or so it has achieved much more international visibility, with festivals programming Chinese documentaries with more frequency as their critical reception broadens. The most obvious demonstration is the work of one of…