lux film prizeGiornate degli Autori - Venice Days

06 September, 2010

Discussion 5: Which form will tomorrow’s cinema take?

Directing duos Jairo Eduardo Carrillo and Oscar Andrade (Pequeñas voces) and Giovanni Maderna and Sara Pozzoli (Cielo senza terra) shared their views on the forms tomorrow’s cinema might take with the 27 young cinema goers in a debate moderated by Giorgio Gosetti, director of Venice Days, and Variety editor Timothy M. Gray.

guilt trippin' with my two favourite allies

Guilt is one of the dominant emotions of the 27, right after being overwhealmed or dissapointed. It mostly displays itself when you wake up to the sound of an applause and discover that you have slept through the whole masterpiece or in the case of the true die-hards it displays itself when they spend valuable film watching time on trivialities like eating, sleeping and showering.

"So many films, so little time.."

My view on 5 topics and discussions we had

My view on 5 topics and discussions we had – just some thoughts and ideas that crossed me somewhere in between and it’s not even a quarter of them… should have written before the 6th (when you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk).

I. discussion: freedom of expression and censorship

the discussion was more about censorship than freedom of expression but still I’ve found it interesting because I’ve got some information I didn’t know. we’ve talked about different kinds of censorship and you can imagine that the most present two are censorship of the system and censorship of financing system/industry/marketing/management of the film (in short: money). because of the presence of guests from Iran and Turkey (Iranian filmmaker Masdaq Jaebi, Turkish journalist Mehmut Basutçu) we found out some facts about real, serious censorship from the system, people put into prisons, people getting killed but also about things getting better. but it was also mentioned that the censorship gives one even more inspiration and greater view of things because you’ve got to wrap your idea and give it to “them” in a way they won’t get it. so it’s like an “us and them” situation (but still: you don’t know if they will get it or not when you’re finished wrapping). it’s difficult to be creative and to create in, for example, war state or strictly traditional country/society. we can read or hear so many different stories about artists being arrested because they’ve used their right to freedom of expression but artists usually know (at least most of them should) which point they can get to and how “smart” is the system. so if you cannot create in one place there’s always another one where you can (because people are interested in tragic and stories from strangers, people with different culture, history, etc.). that doesn’t mean that I’m fine that censorship and bad thing are happening i’m just saying that they exist and rare individuals can change them by themselves. the point is: the will to create and a wish to tell your interpretation, your truth and view of different ideas, things in one’s life. my thoughts are aiming exactly, particularly on censorship and freedom of expression not anything else (finance, production, equipment, etc.). and after this the discussion became really interesting because someone from 27 asked something like:”do you think that war and repressive system makes you even more creative/don’t you create because of the war also?” and then Masdaq Jaebi said that he was in Iran while it was in war and that it certainly doesn’t make you more creative and that it certainly is not necessary. and THAT made me think. how come it didn’t make you to create? was it really not inspiring for you? if there were no wars than we hadn’t have movies about war. i’m banalizing it but we wouldn’t have films about endless human stupidity/cruelty/etc., of the absurd of war and people’s inhumanity. we wouldn’t get to know the dark side of the moon. war inspired so many people it’s absurd when you look at it from that point of view. and again: I’m not saying that the war is good, I’m just saying it’s going on (not only between different cultures, countries, religions but also on personal level, in everyday life) and it should be screened and it should be talked about if one wishes to do so. some of my best movies were made from this material.

II. discussion: fear knocks at the door: public and private violence

this discussion was roughly interrupted by a storm so the whole spirit was in context we just didn’t include Mother Nature before she showed us the violence/power we can’t fight against. so i (we?) didn’t get a lot from this discussion but I thought about this theme and I saw many different aspects of it. there are many movies shoving us violence in many different forms (of course). i will just write some thoughts I had that day and the main question was - what does the screened violence do to you? i know it’s a stupid question but I always try to see me (my reaction) in both ways, in a role of violent one and in the role of one who receives violence, i mean I try to understand both ways. but you can understand the situation, the reactions, the scene, the movie, but i can’t explain how I feel about absurd of violence in a short way so I will leave an open ending to this part of the article for the next time. and another suggestion, a question – if you didn’t experience it can you really understand it or is it more about knowing that is happening and where does it lead us? because to know is definitely not the same as to understand and people don’t even think about it a lot or at least they don’t mention it but I think it’s a great topic for a discussion.

III. discussion: the soul of cinema: memory and roots

i was thinking about it and i had different thoughts about it but the debate lead us in different direction. we were talking about preserving a memory on one era through films and how the memory will be like in the future. one of the 27 said that we are filled with information nowadays and that we are practically forced to forget because we feel that we have to take and absorb as much as we can. for intermezzo - it reminded me on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and a quote from that movie which is something like ‘you took too much, man, you took too much, too much’ – so I laughed. :D it is happening that younger generations are more keen on quantity of information rather than quality and on memorizing, thinking about information. we can read about so many things on the internet it’s unbelievable. you find almost everything on online. and then somebody said that she doesn’t know if we will preserve a memory on our era but I think that’s not the point whatever you are doing (you automatically preserve). if a movie does leave the memory of an era it’s not always on purpose and I think it’s not a job for a film to leave a memory of an era. they just, like I said it before, automatically do. and then is the reflection of all films in an era which all create the whole feeling of one time, one moment, one smth. and I also think that directors, screenwriters, etc. don’t work in this direction. one usually wishes to express his aspect of idea, life, things, etc. and one wishes to share it with others. and so every individual is making his point of view and that leads to a memory (of an era, of an artists, interpretation, idea, etc.).

IV. discussion: whatever happened to independent American cinema?

we’ve talked about American and European independent movies, financing of independent movies, about beginnings and condition of it today, about independent movies becoming blockbusters and it was interesting but afterwards I was thinking about my share. that means that I was thinking about, for example, my script and where to start and which way to go. if you want to keep your idea like you wanted it to be then you should be your own boss and you shouldn’t have someone telling you what to change, how to change it, telling you to do it more commercial, like Steven Gaydon said, what does it even mean to make it more commercial? so for beginning, for your first movie, debut, the best way is an independent one. it’s hard to get money, it’s hard to get crew and time and distribution and so on, but it remains yours. but of course that’s a theory because I know that if I would send my script to production company, director, etc. and they would finance it I would probably take the money - I’m a student for my sake. :> but I think I am aware to the point that I wouldn’t change anything what I think is essential to realize my idea otherwise I wouldn’t do it because it wouldn’t be honest, it wouldn’t be mine and it misses the point of art, of expressing yourself.

V. discussion: which form will tomorrow’s cinema take?

and last one so far – we’ve talked more about techniques of filming and about ways of expressing your idea, techniques of expression than actually about form of cinema because we had a crew from animation movie Pequeñas voces which we saw yesterday. i know a lot of things about animation because my roommate is a die hard fan of it so every time I come home she shows me short (or long) animation movies, cartoons (old school, new school, European, American, stop motion, flash, anime etc.). so I was thinking about it and brought it up at the conversation - animation is really a cheap way to say something and to start creating something that can be screened and shown to the audience (because that’s my final goal). but while trying to do an animation I stopped because I’m not good at it – I don’t draw good figures (I mean, I could go abstract but it’s not really my thing). so for visual media that’s perfect because you can combine a lot of different techniques and arts. at the end I just thought about animation in general – it’s becoming more and more popular among young artists and it’s techniques are more and more developed. so the conclusion was that animation is going to grow bigger and its part will be even more important than it already is.

Little voices – Huge meaning.

Another meaningful film has been screened yesterday, although it had a different perspective in the aesthetic mode of sending its central thematic idea to the viewer. Pequeñas voces, the animated documentary based on the interviews and drawings of displaced children coming from Colombia, euphemistically depicts (through its aesthetic mode) the atrocities and brutalities that innocent children have undergone in their homeland. The first-person narration that is used along with the incorporated vivid imagery, make the message to be received more lively by the viewer. Indeed, when you hear a little child narrating its tragic experience and simultaneously watch its animated drawing, then you automatically penetrate its own viewpoint which is full of virtuousness, authenticity and truthfulness. It is very ironic though, that war and hostility but also human cruelty are portrayed through this delightful artistic form. Besides, through its numerous visual depictions, the film deals also with the historicity of the events, in that way it intends to maintain our historical memory alert and impels us think critically. As we know, children have faced up to a cold and apathetic approach in Bogota, the Colombian city. Therefore, these “voices” have an ecumenical dimension. They aim for resounding in our ears, to us, the people who live in a “lethargic” society, where excessive consumerism and economical prosperity have alienated us and we sacrifice them in the name of human ideals, morals, dignity and altruism. Since grownups did not manage to send this message throughout the world, the children who apparently know better, found their own way to do it, and they did it outstandingly!

SCHEDULE - Monday, September 6th


27 Times Cinema
Villa degli Autori
Which form will tomorrow’s cinema take?

Sala Darsena
Followed by Q&A

Sala Volpi
Followed by Q&A

Discussion 4: What happened to independent American cinema?

Executive editor of Variety, Steven Gaydos, actor and film-maker Paul Gordon (The Happy Poet) and producer-writer-director Paul Duran were the special guests in our fourth debate within the framework of the 27 Times Cinema initiative, which dealt with independent American cinema.