perjantai 15. tammikuuta 2010

Reality check, check!

So I missed all the film festivals in November, being abroad. All the more reason to get hyped up about DocPoint, the documentary film festival in the end of the month (Jan 26-31). It is, I believe, Finland's biggest documentary festival, and confusingly extensive this year.

I plan to enthuse over it a little now. Let's start with the trailer. The funniest one is in Finnish, watch it here. The lines go something like: "You, cashier in Kamppi. Why did you wish me 'good day' when it was already evening? How about a little attentiveness!?"

DocPoint 2010 screens films in 16 different seria, which seems a little exaggerated. They have however found relevant commentators for each series, which probably explains the decision. You can browse the seria, movies and expert articles on the programme page.

The Two Horses of Genghis Khan (Mongolia/Germany) is screened in
the Winners and Bestsellers series

We'll review the films later; what's urgent now is to practice some skillful schedule planning in order to avoid overlaps. Six days is not that long a time, especially when in addition to the films the festival features numerous other related events and happenings. (And some of us go to work, too.)

Many of the related events are held in English, including most of the Meet the Directors hours at Painobaari, 6-7 pm from Wednesday to Saturday. You can also step inside the Story Tent in front of Kiasma Museum of Friday, and dancing some tango, humppa and jenkka to the live music of the super sympathetic Vallilan Tango at the festival's opening club on Tuesday comes oh-so-highly recommended!

Among the likely more original screenings of the festival is Robert J. Flaherty's 1925 documentary Moana, to which his daughter Monica has created the sound environment as late as in 1981, based on her childhood memories from the Samoa island on which the documentary was shot.

Other must-sees, for me, include Finnish Virpi Suutari's Auf Wiedersehen Finnland, and the opening film Steam of Life ('Miesten vuoro'), which shows us Finnish men in sauna - can you get any closer to the core? Luckily it's subtitled so that non-Finnish speakers can also get the presumably insightful lesson. Male friends are very enthusiastic about the Swiss-Belgian football documentary Kill the Referee. I could list a hundred more interesting films, but you might as well browse through them by yourself, since we all have our individual interests.

(All the films I've mentioned, as well as most of the others, are subtitled in English.)

It's not like I haven't wondered myself: How does it really feel to have that
much "power"? Are they scared, do they live behind gates and control
cameras? Kill the Referee is screened on Thursday and Saturday.

And finally, a crucial piece of information: the web sale of tickets opens on Monday the 18th. Don't be late, as most films only have one screening and the expected hits two at most.

See you in the intimate dark of the theater; hopefully some reviews after the festival will appear in the shape of blog comments, and I'll try and share my experiences in early February as well.

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