Theatrical Release in Germany
December 30, 2009
Köln / Filmpalette / Dec 29 / Preview with Rainer Komers
Frankfurt / Mal Seh´n Kino / Dec 30 - Guests: Rainer Komers (director) and Michel Klöfkorn (sound designer)
Berlin / fsk Kino / Dec 30 / Guests: Jan Peters and Marie-Catherine Theiler (directors), Host: Claus Löser
Halberstadt / Zuckerfabrik / Dec 30 / Guest: Anca Lazarescu (director)
Dresden / Kino im Dach / Jan 7 - 13, 2010
Berlin / Kino Krokodil / Jan 14, 2010
Hannover / Kino im Sprengel / Jan 29 - 30, 2010
Leipzig / Cinematheque / Jan 18, 2010
A FILM BY RAINER KOMERS
Meticulously composed images, impressive collages of sound, no dialogue: „Milltown, Montana“ is an elegiac excursion across a magnificent landscape deeply scarred by man. Applying the same majestic imagery as in his prize-winning films, „Kobe“ and „Nome Road System“, Rainer Komers documents what was once the largest mining region in the United States, now contaminated by toxic substances and heavy metals, and seemingly trapped in a post-industrial phase of standstill.
„As a child of the Ruhr area and citizen of MÜLHEIM in Germany, there is this one question on my mind: What will come after the age of industrialization, how will life continue and what will happen to the acceleration once triggered off by technological processes? Will there be a rapprochement with the rhythm of nature? Can technology and science be combined with a life with nature? How do the descendants of the so-called „primitive people“ live, what do they understand under „progress“, what do they think of „acceleration“? My films have dealt with motion and movements in countryside locations for 10 years now. There are no hierarchies between objects, people and places, they are all treated equally and examined for their rhythm and gestures. In this sense, the films have no protagonists; there are merely relations and meetings, arranged ones and spontaneous ones.”
I LOVE MY BORING LIFE
A FILM BY JAN GOGOLA
The diary of grandmother Nemcova, a woman from Prague’s neighbourhood Zbraslav, is transformed from an account of daily family life, weather observations and political events into a surreal approach to eternity.
“The subject of “Breathless” represents a challenge to express the idea that we live a hurried - i.e. not quite our own - life if we succumb to the conventions of the time, give up our individuality and merely survive. Diaries are generally an example of processing the world in one's own way, in its commonplace and timeless aspects. I also think that – based on the creative filmmaking experience with the Němec family whom I have known for ten years – we can succeed in making both, an entertaining and a serious film about the possible worlds within one house. This intention is all the more intriguing for it will take place in an ordinary household environment and in my films I have always been trying to transform, not just to record reality.”
The few "slow" seconds it takes an auto accident to pluck them from their hectic, everyday existence become the starting point for two filmmakers, Jan Peters and Marie-Catherine Theiler, to conduct their own, very personal, time experiment. Within the timeframe of Marie-Catherine’s pregnancy, the directors leave no stone unturned, examining with wit and irony how today’s society – and above all they themselves – deal with the subject of 'time'.
„Together we participate in a nine-month film experiment to see what really happens – whether one’s life appears to accelerate or decelerate when expecting a baby, whether one loses or wins time in the process. Moreover, is it even possible to lose or win time? We’ve chosen a highly personalized form for our film – to better reach others and touch them emotionally. We are hardly alone in the questions we ask. In today’s society, time has become money. People feel increasingly pressured, longing to return to an era when clocks ticked differently. Such an era was not that long ago....“
In a small church in Halberstadt, in the former East Germany, a pipe organ plays avant-garde composer John Cage’s „Organ2/ASLSP“ (Organ squared/As SLow aS Possible) a single note at a time – and will do so without interruption until the year 2640, resulting in a 639-year long concert. A film bursting with moving as well as humorous moments – attuned to the question of humanity’s perception of time.
„I wanted to immerse myself in what I found to be a fascinating, surrealistic world and discover what led the initiators of this lengthy project to commit to such an idea – investing countless hours and money, even though they themselves will never witness its outcome. Their task is both to sow the seeds and challenge future generations to perpetuate this monumental task. My task as a filmmaker was to explore whether such a Grand Idea might hold the key to a self-determined life, decelerating time beyond the pressures of ticking clocks and deadlines.”
About the Project
Breathless - Dominance of the Moment is a two-year Czech-German project created by Zipp German-Czech Cultural Projects, an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes). Its objective is to support the development and production of strong creative documentary films that would otherwise have little chance of being made, to promote Czech-German cultural cooperation and to survey the current state of documentary filmmaking in the two countries. The Czech side of the project is handled by the Institute of Documentary Film in Prague (IDF); the German side is covered by the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (DOK Leipzig). In 2009, the project will provide funding and producers for 5 short creative documentaries. The project is supported by the Czech-German Fund for the Future; Ministry of Culture, Czech Republic; State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography; Czech Television; arte/ WDR; arte/ ZDF; Filmstiftung NRW; Filmwerkstatt Kiel, and Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung. Project partner: Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. Jiří Konečný, endorfilm s. r. o. (www.endorfilm.cz), is the producer of the Czech films; Stefan Kloos, Kloos & Co. Medien GmbH (www.kloosundco.de), is the producer of the German films.
With the initiative Zipp – Czech-German Cultural Projects, the German Federal Cultural Foundation continues its series of bilateral cooperation programmes co-organized with East European countries. Zipp focuses on selected themes and issues that have social resonance in both countries, such as the heritage of democratic movements, treatment of historical traumas, experience with the post-1989 economic transition or the future of our urban landscape. Divided into the thematic sections of “1968/1989“, “Utopia of Modernity: Zlín,“ “Life-worlds“ and “Kafka,“ projects ranging from theatre, film or radio to architecture, art and contemporary history will be carried out in 2009.
The Institute of Documentary Film (IDF) is a non-profit organization that aims to support Czech and East European creative documentary films in all stages of its development. IDF provides assistance to directors and independent producers throughout the development, promotion and distribution of their films. IDF promotes the concept of documentary film as a specific device that allows for social reflection, and aims to make documentary films accessible to the general public. Since 2001, IDF has been working closely with some of the key national as well as international organizations, training institutions, broadcasters, distributors and producers. For more information, please visit www.DOCUinter.net, your gateway to East European documentary film.
The International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - DOK Leipzig – is the largest German and one of the leading international festivals for artistic documentary and animated films. Established in 1955, the Leipzig Festival stands for films advocating peace and human dignity. In view of its varied and exciting history, it celebrates freedom of mind and speech, as well as pointedly illustrated images. High-quality art house cinema, superbly narrated stories, a critical eye, subtle observation, tracing back history and scrutinizing the "memory of images" shape the Leipzig Festival’s character and diversity.
For more details, please visit www.breathless-films.com
Breathless Project Coordinator
Institute of Documentary Film
T: +420 604 547 054