Film Archive

Metaphor or Sadness Inside Out

Documentary Film
Portugal,
UK
2013
32 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Lucie Troger
Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Mike Wyeld
A young man from Lisbon writes to his sister, a filmmaker living in London. He confesses that, nine years after their mother died, he feels an emptiness in his life. Her answer is a film intended to fill that gap. The brother describes his nostalgia for a time when he wasn’t even born yet, a past that seems lost. It is their mother’s past, the time of the Portuguese revolution, which reconciled a country that was internally fractured. Today, that feeling of freedom is hard to grasp for a post-revolutionary generation living through the euro crisis. Can you film yourself backwards in time?
The grainy Super 8 material bridges the gap between the present and the past. The camera visits the places of three generations of a family that have felt halved. The sea, which the grandfather once called a metaphor for the world, is one of them. The lyrical dialogue between brother and sister keeps returning to that feeling of halfness, while the visual level is a search for the missing half, not without a subtle irony that offsets the melancholy undertone. After all, a metaphor will be a metaphor. A self-reflexive, poetic picture puzzle in which the personal always transcends itself.
Lars Meyer

Notes on Blindness: Rainfall

Documentary Film
Australia,
UK
2013
4 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Peter Middleton
Peter Middleton, James Spinney
James Ewers, Michael Murray
Gerry Floyd
Justine Angus
Rain changes our perception of space. It gives us a coordinate system of specific sounds in which we can locate and experience ourselves. Rain helped John Hull rediscover the world with his other senses after he had lost his sight. In 1983, he started to record his self-observations on tape. His original recordings form the centre of this film that opens a new visual space of experience to the audience. Precisely framed images shift the boundary of perception from the exterior to the interior world, from physical space to the space of memory and imagination – a poetic experiment. “Rainfal” is the first part of a series based on John Hull’s acoustic diary.

Lars Meyer

T's World: The Over-identification of Terry Thompson

Animadoc
France,
UK,
USA
2014
29 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ramon Bloomberg
Ramon Bloomberg
Ramon Bloomberg
Stark Haze
József Szimon, Balázs Őrley
On 18th October, 2011, the sheriff of Zanesville, Ohio, got an agitated phone call: the animals that eccentric Terry Thompson was legally keeping on his ranch were roaming the county. Red alert! That night, a heavily armed police force killed more than 56 bears, tigers, wolves, leopards and lions. Thompson had opened the cages, shot himself and offered his body as food to the animals. So far, so good, so American.
British media artist Ramon Bloomberg has turned this bizarre incident into a Brechtian story. Bloomberg combines Brecht’s play “The Yes Sayer” about traditional custom and formalised law with the American settler’s anarchical logic of freedom which fights every kind of state influence as an infringement on individual freedom: I am the lord of my animals, my land, my house, my family. End of story!
Bloomberg translates epic theatre into the language of film in the age of Play Station games. Real live shots are combined with images from the police car’s video camera, Google Earth data mining sequences and computer animated re-enactments. We hear minutes and statements of everyone involved as well as a comment taking the form of an (antique) chorus, the voice of the law, the neighbour and the animal. The only voice we don’t hear is Terry Thompson’s. His motives remain a big secret.

Matthias Heeder



Honorary Mention in the International Competition Animated Film 2014

The Wait

Documentary Film
Finland,
UK
2012
25 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Inka Achté
Inka Achté
Graham Hadfield
Inka Achté
Rodrigo Saquel
Nina Rice
They vanish without warning: fathers, husbands, sons who leave their home to meet someone and never come back. They leave behind families who may never learn whether something happened or whether they were abandoned. Sleeplessly, they keep turning over the clues in their minds, desperately looking for signs they might have overlooked in this puzzle, reconstructing every detail of the last hours. They wait for years, fearing nothing more than getting an answer. Director Inka Achté has found a shimmering visual language for this almost unbearable atmosphere of uncertainty. The views of train stations and crowds always carry the deceptive hope that the missing person might be among them. They are interspersed with images of the protagonists as silhouettes torn from the darkness by the camera. These oscillating images illustrate the fateful ties between those who are present and those who are absent, this life and the other. Only the pudgy boy who resembles his vanished father so much has something to cling to as he gingerly holds his guinea pig in his arms.

– Cornelia Klauß

Vegas

Documentary Film
UK
2013
24 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lukasz Konopa
Lukasz Konopa
Sarah Warne
Paweł Chorzępa
Paulo Pandolpho
Lukasz Konopa
Nikola Medic
Las Vegas stubbornly defends its myth of being the capital of entertainment and superlatives. Where, if not here, can you make a quick dollar or a career straight up to show business heaven? Millions of fortune seekers come here every year. Some of them stare at the movements of their chips; others hope to work in one of the temples of entertainment – or anywhere. Still, nobody will be surprised to hear that there are a lot of losers in this city of illusions. And more so since the recession has reached this oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. Director Lukasz Konopa, who was born in Poland and lives in England, found symbolic images, protagonists and situations that stand for the crumbling American dream above and beyond Las Vegas. A performance at Caesar’s Palace is replaced by an old people’s home with its deaf residents, who do not really appreciate the rising star’s singing. Houses are sealed because their inhabitants are bankrupt. New homes are found in sewer pipes. Konopa juxtaposes his quiet tale of life at the margins of the city with the loud, glittering and feverish metropolis that looks like a distant, artificial backdrop. He lets the losers tell their stories, giving them the space in his film that they never found – maybe never could have found – in Las Vegas. Gradually, the portrait of a city that is absent and disappears in the flickering neon light somewhere on the horizon emerges.

Cornelia Klauß