Not all films can go to the competitive sections, of course not, so festivals arrange strands like Panorama and Masters, at IDFA both are there, with 32 titles in the first and 29 in the latter, where also older films are brought into the spotlight.
As a visitor for five days I know it is impossible to watch all the films, which are listed in the masters section. Luckily there are several that I have already seen and that we have written about on this site, and luckily there are films that we can take a look at later in the long dark winter nights coming up in our part of the world…
This is really gonna be a slate of name-dropping: Malek Bensmail tells the story behind Pontecorvo’s ”The Battle of Algier”, Andres Veiel has made a film on ”Beuys”, Romanian ”The Dead Nation” by Radu Jude ”is a documentary-essay, which shows a stunning collection of photographs from a Romanian small town in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The soundtrack, composed mostly from excerpts taken from the diary of a Jewish doctor from the same era, shows us what the photographs do not: the rising of the anti-Semitism and eventually a harrowing depiction of the Romanian Holocaust, a topic which is not very talked about in the contemporary Romanian society.”
I am so much looking forward to seeing Agnès Varda’s ”Faces
Places” as well as Brazilian João Moreira Salles ”In the Intense Now” a title that stems from ”the radiant faces of the French students on the streets of Paris in May 1968 that they are living in a magical moment, the “intense now” of an imminent revolution.” And to stay in the French, Raymond Depardon has made a film, ”12 Days”, a quote from the catalogue: ”… One person has committed a serious crime or is suffering from delusions, while another wants to go home to commit suicide. All are involuntarily patients at a psychiatric hospital. According to legislation passed in France in 2013, if doctors want an involuntary hospitalization to be extended, it has to be approved by a judge within 12 days, and if necessary every six months. The celebrated chronicler of French society Raymond Depardon was granted a unique opportunity to film these hearings…”
Younger masters… Danish Phie Ambo with ”When You Look Away” (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4032/), Mikala Krogh’s new film ”A Year of Hope”, homeless children in Manila, I have seen it, it is brilliant, Slovak Vit Klusák’s ”The White World According to Daliborek” (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3959/), Boris Mitic with ”In Praise of Nothing”, which stands high on my viewing list.
Number one, however, on that list is Frederick Wiseman with ”Ex Libris. The New York Public Library”. If anyone is a master…