Miroslav Janek: Universum Brdecka

Got the newsletter from Czech IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) yesterday. One of the news highlighted was that Miroslav Janek has made a new film that will be released December 21. Janek is one of the heroes of filmkommentaren.dk, we have posted a lot of texts about him and his work and his portrait is with Robert Frank and Herz Frank on top of the site.

The new film is made together with Tereza Brdeckova, journalist and author and daughter of Jiri Brdecka – the artist the film is about, as the title says: ”Universum Brdecka”.

Marta Jallageas has made a fine mini-interview with Janek about the film – an interview that makes me curious to see the film and know about another fine Czech ”screenwriter, author and artist”, who made ”Lemonade Joe, The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, Dinner for Adele, The Emperor and the Golem… These are just a few of the successful films written by Jiří Brdečka”, as the interview says.

The film has over five thousand cuts, says Janek, who again worked with his wife Tonicka as editor. ”We spent five months in the editing room… It seems like we were trying to break some editing world record here but that’s obviously nonsense. It’s about the way we tell the story. We picked a style that requires a lot of cuts but many would be hard to notice even for professionals… The key to selecting material was simple. Excerpts from Brdečka’s movies are not used to illustrate or inform about his work. Instead, we used them to create meaning so that they fit in with the subject discussed in individual scenes and enhance them both emotionally and aesthetically…”

Always interesting to read Janek’s thoughts on filmmaking, can’t wait to see the film about an artist I have never heard about. And the article includes the trailer of the film, very inviting, in Czech language, but does not matter, you get an idea of the man and the style of the film.


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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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