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Hello Hello Hello !

I had the feeling that my last post was just a couple of days ago…but actually time goes much faster than I would like to.

Anyway if needing a couple of updates, I would start with the fact that my movie ” ON LOCATION” is doing pretty well, getting feedbacks from Festivals and once again being present in a Market / Library :

If you are aroud Lussas in France, between the 16th-22nd of August 2015, there is the Etats généraux du Film documentaire and if we didn’t make to the official program, at least we are available for screening at the Maison du Doc, where you can watch the movie !

http://www.lussasdoc.org/une_universite_d_ete_du_documentaire,6.html

http://www.lussasdoc.org/film-un_decor_naturel-1,44877.html

Otherwise my other project – about mountains – called “Because they are there” goes on, with some more footage every couple of days and new ideas coming along : again a brand new way of working for me, or should I say a new rhythm for probably a more vivid and dynamic movie as an outcome.

On another level, in a couple of weeks I am going back to the Quest Europe Film Festival in Zielona Gora, Poland, for some juror duties ! A great moment with a great team and other jury members that I look forward to meet !!

http://www.quest-europe.eu/index.php/jurorzy.html

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Last but not least, I can feel there is a call for a photographic work to be done soon. Still a bit unclear on the details but I can feel there’s a need for going back to still images as well.

Next post ? well soon, even very soon with images this time !!!

It was a snowy day. At least it is what I remember. Walking back home after school in the first snow was a magic moment. I was 7 years old and I remember that quiet and peaceful atmosphere that only snow can create. All sounds are deaden and all I wanted – or pretty much wanted – was to get back home to find my cat.

All the way back, which wasn’t a very long way – perhaps a couple of kilometers – I couldn’t help looking at the sky. In those days darkness came quite early and we could see some stars very soon. So with my red hard leather backpack on the back I felt like flying above the ground, like floating in this cold but life-giving air.

I remember the feeling : I thought it was the best moment on earth. The best moment ever. And that this moment might be the last one.

Actually the days before, spying on the TV – or should I rather say listening from the corridor to the switched-on TV – I was busy paying attention to the news. Gorbachev, Reagan, nuclear power, spies, Afghanistan, if no signature or agreement the end of the world as we know it.

I think I tried to explain it to my cat, but she didn’t realize it. Well being honest my way of explaining her my fears were done in a pretty funny way : I used to lay on floor of my room, trying to not breath. I pretended to be dead after a bombing. What mattered to me was the cat’s reaction : will she find me back, ask for cuddle and show me some desperate love and a deep sadness of loosing her master ?

Years went by and that stays as a memory,  that tension I felt for a couple of weeks when going school disappeared. So did those international tensions (somehow). So did the medias in moving onto other news (yes like the Gulf wars, 9/11, etc…)

Funnily enough in Switzerland every house in those days had a nuclear shelter, obviously build underground. In most of the houses it was used – and still is –  as an extra cellar, a disposal room or quite often as the kids playroom. Toys next to food cans next to sugar next to old newspapers.I believe that nowadays the amount of toys and old newspapers totally outmatched the goods.

As I commented many times, I wasn’t born here, in Europe. As a fact my ancestors – and not that long time ago (only 1870’s) are from Europe. An interesting mix of Western and Central European fellows that for many reasons left the continent to have a better life, or simply a life somewhere else. To exist, no matter what they are or came from.
If we are back to this continent, it is because our future was endangered in South America ; if that sub continent could avoid all damages from the World Wars, the legacy of colonialism carried into most of the World the same seeds that provoked those European driven conflicts.

So is it that the Eurasian continent has been seen as lifesaver for my family and for me. Deep inside I have this believe that culture, respect, open minds are the low hanging fruits in this orchard. We were the victims, like many others in what is called the Third World, of fascism, lack of freedom, single-minded doctrines, post colonialism conflicts, debate free societies – some other type of low hanging poisonous delights. I grew up in an ideal perspective where every point of view – even some disturbing – could be discussed and resulted into positioning of individuals and societies. By  agreeing or not, respect of laws and people, in many different ways. A common objective of not repeating the errors of the past. Yes I saw Western people, Euro-Asians , North Americans like the saviors of us, poor victims. Of course It never meant these places were idiots-free. There is stupidity everywhere, but I thought the wealthy and cultivated have a good way to handle them.

These days, no need to detail what’s happening, we all know too little and too much, we know all is right and wrong, every side in every conflict has good and bad reasons and both interests can be accepted or denied. Just like in an argument with your partner, no one is fully innocent, no one is fully guilty. Yes you know it. Yep hard to accept…I know I know…It makes me think that quite often, and it is the same with acting, many strategies are applied during a couple’s quarrel. Actually it is even the same when a kid asks for something and the parents say no. It shifts from seduction to pleading ignorance to cries and the most often from tyrannic anger to absolute victim outfit. Again you know what I am talking about. So do actors.

Unfortunately for me, my childhoods feeling of last day on earth came back. Not that there is a true fear in there. No I realized and understood that what was scary as a child is sad beyond its limits as an adult. And even more when I see all around me, in the civil society, nothing but people considering themselves like victims. Having a collection of all the most precious treasures that mankind ever dreamed of and they feel like the biggest victims. And all their reactions, thoughts and behaviors are excused by being “the ultimate victim”. I am a bigger victim than you so in the name of my decency – as it is all what’s remaining – I have all rights and no responsibilities.

I am free of any moral duty linked to my acts as I fight for my survival. I thought this was only the claim of uneducated hopeless oppressed  about to die poor people from what is being called the Third World – where I am from. In these days I understand when it can come from the people who had to suffer the biggest from the financial crisis. Hard to hear it when it comes from everywhere and on everything – literally from Geo-politics to personal work.

In those moments I feel discouraged and tricked. I feel like this naive dream of my parents to offer us a better world to live in, a place where you can move from being a victim into an active educated responsible person was a shadow. A concept that no one here wants to grasp any more as hope and future seem to vanish. Is it possible that all the conflicts on this part of the world, since thousand of years taught people to only react with what they know…which means lack of hope and chaotic presumed solutions ? Just like a cheap 2 € therapist would say that beaten children become abusive parents ? Did it discourage them from finding new ways and solutions and a low acceptance for what life is made of , which is uncertainties ? Did a certain comfort make a lot of people lazy and brainless on this side of the globe ? Just like a very clever man, a farmer who had a tough life told me recently for my movie : the advantage we have, us, oldies, versus the young ones , is that we had nothing when we started, and all what we have we collected it on the very late….

I know that there is something deep in human beings, in their nature, in ourselves, that pushes us to find guilty ones and dramatic fast solutions. But so many amazing things have been achieved by those same humans ! If instead of collecting whose nation have the biggest amount of poets, writers, Nobel prizes and great generals to know who’s the greatest and rightful,  we would sum up this for the mankind ? A reason to all be proud of it ?Just like the recent discovery about the Big Bang’s earliest moments ?

And not a victim of the non recognition of my personal greatness from the others. A victim of the lack of interest of our nation amazing genius from the other countries ? A victim that what my faith is not the same as yours and my uncertainties and doubts of my beliefs are actually your fault ? And the most stupid : I am a victim of the entire world not being like the way I want it to be but it freaks me out so therefore everything , everyone is guilty and let’s fix it the way it should be…that no one knows about ?

Maybe those are just the results of what our frenetic materialism drove us into : feeling like things, treating others like things…. Maybe this victimization is the voice of our souls crying in distress…

I believe that my cat understood what my little drills were about. I think she understood it far too well as she stayed by my side for almost 22 years ! She died years ago and it was to me to stand by her side on her last moments. That happened many years ago.

Since 5 years I have a new cat and it never came to my mind to play that game again. Instead of waiting for her to come and save me, I look at her and ask myself what does it take to make her a happy world to live in.

And some more cleaning, sorting and editing. So many hard drives = so many pictures = the story of my sight !

It is interesting to realize how my way of taking pictures changed (or not?) since so many years ! My first camera was actually my parent’s one, an Agfamatic pocket – the ones made for the 110 films. When I say my camera let’s better say that I enjoyed stealing it and taking pictures with. But the one I even carried to primary school once was a red Minolta Hi-Matic GF – made for 35mm films. I don’t know why or how but I thought that taking pictures around was the most interesting thing to do. I won’t say the pictures were nice or having any quality, but I still wonder why I already had the need to capture moments.

Many years and many cameras after (I have a strange collection, from old 120 compatible cameras to any type of digital ones) , I can only say that what matters to me in the images is the storytelling. Enough for anyone to create its own story. Even when making movies I tend now to make the simplest frames ever in wich an event can grow.

So here below some more pictures, more stories and somehow my own personal history as well…in the reflection of what I’ve seen.

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After being back from a 3 weeks trip, most of my time has been spent on catching back all the pending matters for my work and on sorting out the pictures that were taken.  I took 1500 pictures ! A ridiculous amount but so much in line with the use of a digital camera…

I was equipped with my – apparently already old – Olympus E-pl1 , a micro 4/3 camera, on which I used only one lens, a 14mm lumix that opens at f 2.5. It was the perfect couple for that trip ; I am pretty much of an old school person and not a fan of multiple coverage lens. No I was taught that a photographer – or cinematographer – has to find the right shooting angle and having a single steady lens is the best way to do it. It forces you to find the right distance towards what you are shooting and therefore really putting a bit of you as well in the image.

So in theory this should bring the amount of picture down, as you have to make the effort to move and every time your use the shutter it should be pretty well thought. My major discovery has been that not only I stopped making portrait oriented pictures but rather landscape’s ones (even of people) since a couple of years – and when I really want to portrait someone I used the 6×6 frame- , but also that this gigantic amount of pictures is due to…my natural (it became natural) inclination to tell stories as if it would be a movie. In other words, I probably shot 10 different topics…..1500 times !

I am stuck in the story telling process. When sorting the pictures, my mind told me : mmhh interesting how you follow your topic, do some cuts, some reverse angle, ellipsis and then back to the subject and you understand the evolution of it.

I measured as well on how, like in sports – and apparently due to age – my interest is into a bit longer moments rather than immediate perfect frozen picture. Is it possible to make what I would call an ” endurance snapshot” rather than an immediate “explosive image” with still images ?

It brought me back to the “winobranie” adventure (movie about polish wine – http://www.vimeo.com under palmtreeprod user), where in order to match the local dynamism – the movie talks about wine making in a highly chaotic way – just like the environment where all the story was happening. If shooting it nowadays, I would spend more time and shoot it differently…..? Well to be honest if shooting it now…well I wouldn’t be able to shoot it.

Before my trip I was cleaning my cupboards and I discovered some old cups and mugs that I don’t use anymore. I found one that I used to drink my cocoa in it when I was 4-5 years old. I kept it just like it was and decided to take a picture of it. Actually when taking the picture I felt more like recording a moment in time. When a piece of industrial porcelain became a story to tell, when being materialistic made a new sense.

It contains the stories of every morning breakfast of the child I was…

Funnily enough I took only one shot of it…as probably I knew that 1500 pictures would never be able to tell all of it.

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A safe landing 2 days ago. The feeling of an uncommon jet lag. We arrived home after our holidays. We came back home after work as well. 3600 km in 10 days. Our plane was a car. Our trip back in two times. Our vacations in four movements and 8 bits.

Now time to start the week. In fact not – we are Thursday. Weekend is close and no time to breathe. The air feels different. Probably the mountains, the altitude. It was flat over there. Never ending horizon. A vaste space where thoughts get wiped away by the wind. Here the mountains are hermetic. Here the heights are a barrier. We should feel safe. We do feel home.

Working time. Restless. Something changed. The landscape changed. Snow in the Alpes and rain here down. I feel like it is time to rest. But the rhythm is an new one. Actually like an old friend we knew that came back to our place. 3 steps for the movement. Then immobile. Time to think. No need to hurry before the next step.

The rain goes on outside and I know the digestion time started. A lot happened between the road trip, the memorial visit and the Festival. So many different things. So much in common. We are moving and entering a new phase of our lives and it is right. It sounds right.

All experiences are worth. Every new person you know completes you. Sometimes it is hard to see it, sometimes it is easy. Just natural. Just the way it should be.

I remember something from a deep past that goes beyond my own existence. It is rare.

I shared time in every possible way. It is rare.

I had the greatest professional time ever with amazing people. Every jury member. Every staff member. Thank you guys

Bounds are created.

Lace is woven.

Life can grow further.

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Great sunny days…

so what can be better than hiding in theaters to watch movies ?

Actually I have been and will still be visiting the Oenovideo Festival held in Aigle, a movie festival dedicated to any type of movies about wine. The first thing I can tell is when you spend the day there, you feel like drinking wine. You want to try what is on screen, but when you go out of the theater and that you see you are surrounded by vineyards, well, it is hard to not get thirsty !

Yesterday I could watch a couple of movies and must say I was pretty surprised. Indeed two different treatments and styles, but at the end the similar purpose : magnifying and celebrating what is wine making. If the idea is good and as wine amateur I definitely like when people are passionate.

However I felt, from a movie making point of view, that something was missing. Maybe is it only my tastes and preferences that always will need a deeper bond with reality or simply the ability to put in images most of the full picture of a situation, even if it goes against the celebration of the topic….but to say it in other words my usual ” we need to go beyond the fascination for the topic to enter the meaty part of life…and of the documentary” feeling was present.

I will only describe you the scene of a movie that kept me thoughtful for the day :

The movie is about harvest time in California. On one side you interview the vineyards owners. On the other you record and interview the workers, most of them Mexicans. You are given to understand that owners value their workers but that the hierarchy is needed. (ok just like in most corporations). Then you are following the 2011 harvest with its great moments. But of course you know most of the workers are / were illegals. How did they enter the US border ? Some of them say how, and specially one who says : I had to dig under the fence and I could make it. Fine. Next scene, a vineyard owner who talks about he fact they got awaken one night, 3 am, because of wild pigs in their vineyards. At least 30 of them. How  come ? He goes out to check it with his rifle and sees they run away. On next morning…a hole below the fence…and for 5 min to explain how they enter, how they destroy and spoil their cultures and that they are loosing at lot because of them and that they are not the only farmers suffering from that. And how to trap them.

There was I lost / not sure to understand the director’s point of view on the topic. But for sure I was feeling uncomfortable with this very goofy editing, and so I understood the following :

– there is a split in the  full picture of life and celebrating wine can overcome and win over any little political/ social involvement , little details that are nothing in comparison to the beauty of wine making…

– above sentence is re-applicable to any other movie, or discussion or action or personal choices, etc etc

= it is hard to find the right balance, when making a movie, on what works for the movie, what respects the reality of what you filmed, and what will be the dominant topic and overall coherence of the movie

All this to say ; I wasn’t comfortable with that editing, but overall images , style were nice and pleasant. Were my social expectations in line with the movie ? Probably not. And so this Festival is a great celebration of wine, as a main character. Like a great song, nothing else (really) matters.

So still one day to come, let’s see what it brings. It s a bit early to open a bottle and drink – well it depends where you are living on this earth – but what you can do if you are on rehab, and if you have an hour and ten minutes is to follow this link :

When coming back from Aigle I told myself : time to put WINOBRANIE movie online so that everyone can watch it, like it or not, comment it or not. And for sure all the comments I made above are kind of valid for my movie as well….but I do believe I didn’t miss the social part..maybe the wine one for sure !

So have fun and don’t hesitate to comment it !

cheers !

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So in order to officially open this blog, dedicated to the update of my work , let’s start with…a little announce :

By the end of August this year, I ll be…

MEMBER OF THE JURY AT THE 2012 QUEST EUROPE MOVIE FESTIVAL in Zielona Gora, Poland.

Last Year my movie WINOBRANIE was screened at that festival and the feedbacks from the audience were really positive and motivating. What a surprise to be elected as member of the jury this year. I always wanted to be part of such…and it is happening Hoorraaay !

So what else can I say but that I am really excited about it !

that ‘s all for now – just a link to the polish newspapers and to the festival site

http://www.mmzielonagora.pl/artykul/figura-biedrzynska-kiljan-fuenzalida-duke-i-casciaro-w-jury-quest-europe-2012

http://www.quest-europe.eu/news.html