What do you do when you sit in an airplane, don’t want to read any more newspapers or have done enough mails for today? Well, I was lucky to have received the new DOX magazine, summer 2011, the 90th edition of the ”European Documentary Film Magazine”. It kept my attention for the a bit more than two hours it takes to go from Frankfurt to Sofia. I was informed and entertained – and simply happy to read about all the good documentaries which are being made.

I have previously saluted the editor, Truls Lie, for his own texts, and will do so again. I liked his worried editorial about ”aestheticizing” a theme like refugees, making them objects ”at the risk of somehow reducing their significant humanity” and he delivers a fine report from the Cinema for Peace ”circus” in Berlin with Sean Penn in the leading role. ”Sustaining Credibility” is the title of an informative and thoughtful article from German Bettina Rehmann, who refers to the many examples of branding within the modern documentary. Some, like the people around the Britdoc Foundation in the UK, live well with and support this development, others are worried that the independence of the documentary will go away.

DOX puts its emphasis on documentaries that are creative and relate to the world we live in. A good choice it is to have an article about ”Into Eternity” after Fukushima, and of course a report from a seminar in Berlin about docs on war has its tragic relevance. But for an old cat like me it is also nice to read an article on art films, where the name Luciano Emmer pops up, the master in this genre. There is also a historical element in the exemplary festival article on the festival Punto de Vista, where the memory of the masterpiece ”Les Statues meurent aussi” (1953) by Alain Resnais is brought back. Exemplary, I write, contrary to many articles in the magazine, because again the editor faces the problem on how to write festivals articles in a different way than by name-dropping of titles. Like Sverre V. Sand does so well. I know it is not easy… but also the critiques could be more precise in analysis, and less content descriptive. Yask Desai reviews Mark Isaacs ”Men of the City” first of all from a formal perspective. Well written and bringing new views.

I have still more to read in this important, high quality film magazine.

DOX, 58 pages, 10€, subscription: 28€, or membership of EDN. Photo from All that Glitters, reviewed in this issue, directed by Tomas Kudrna.

www.dox.dk

www.edn.dk

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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