Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor: Leviathan

Directors of Maginificent 7, Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, write about the film that opens the festival tonight:

The first great cinematic hit of a new visual era which is taking over the world. Something you have not seen before! A visual treatment that fully meets the great expectations of a cinematic vision born in the 20th century – a camera freed from the dictates of narration, a new all-seeing eye capable of creating a whole new world from the fragments of the old! “Leviathan” is the film which harkens the new possibilities of the visual in cinema.

The film takes us to the coast of New Bradford in North America, the former world capital of whaling, which served as the inspiration for Melville’s legendary novel “Moby Dick”. Today it remains one of the largest fishing harbours, from which over 500 ships sail each month. Filmmakers Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor follow one of these fishing vessels, sailing out into the murky, black waters on a trawling expedition.

And so begins a “gothic horror documentary! A world we have never seen before! “The most spectacular film of the year!” Such praise is heaped on by film critics fascinated by the artistic achievement of two noted visual artists.

Without a single spoken world, the film creates a Biblical sea beast, the Leviathan, embodied in a gigantic metal monster that thunders by, devouring fish while beseiged by flocks of seagulls. Time and space become foreign to us. An awesome and frightening document of a parallel dark side and at the same time an inner image of our world that is devouring both itself and the planet.

France, UK, USA, 2012, 87 mins.

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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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