Of the four programmes in the Homage Marina Razbezhkina, one is tailor-made for her students. For Razbezhkina is not just a scriptwriter and director; since 2008 she has been head of the Moscow School of Documentary Film and Documentary Theatre in Moscow, which she founded together with Mikhail Ugarov. There she has established a school that is unpretentious and non-hierarchical, also in the aesthetic sense. She fosters the talents of young people who are often new to the profession and come from the provinces. The filmmaking she teaches is direct and personal, shot with a handheld camera and daring to enter the “zone of the snake”. This is what she calls that dangerous sphere of influence in which the protagonists move, and into which one has to penetrate. In addition, in her school she transposes documentary theatre methods onto cinema, in which sound has a special role to play. Some of the most interesting, controversial and courageous documentaries that have come out of Russia in recent years emerged from under her aegis, among them such internationally known works as Milana, Winter, Go Away! and Children 404.
In her Master Class she will explain the “Razbezhkina Method” using selected film examples.
For Bill Morrison the filmstrip is an actor. It represents the physical embodiment of cinema. Like an actor, it conveys dreams and memories. It also has a natural lifespan that shows signs of decay towards its end. Chemical processes give rise to bubbles and crystals in the film emulsion and allow new, ghostly visual worlds to emerge haphazardly. Damage done to the fragile material tells stories that hadn’t been contemplated in the original film.
For over 20 years the New York-based filmmaker has been dedicating himself to this orphaned, unnoticed “body of film” with all its personal traces of aging. He has found a new way of presenting silent film dramas and documentary footage from the early days of cinema in collaboration with important figures of contemporary music – Michael Gordon, Gavin Bryars, Steve Reich, Kronos Quartett, et al. His artistic work was honoured with a comprehensive exhibition at the MoMA in New York in 2014/15.
In his master class Bill Morrison will provide an insight into found footage research, present the living being that is the physical exposure holder, and explain, using examples from his own films, that special moment when the material itself becomes the narrator. DOK Leipzig will be showing Bill Morrison’s masterpiece Decasia as part of Disobedient Images.
The Master Classes with Marina Razbezhkina and Bill Morrison are part of the DOK Nachwuchs programme
and realised in cooperation with the SLM.