Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Tampere Film Festival

I was for two days at the Tampere Film Festival [hey, I made a hyperlink!]. It's an international film festival that shows mainly short subjects, ranging from old experimental classics to new student works. I made it to four screenings - rest of the time I browsed through some used book stores in Tampere and went to the bars with friends (and made some new ones). Two most important screenings were a Carte Blanche by Mika Taanila, the prominent Finnish experimental-documentary maker, and a screening dedicated to Auschwitz.

Taanila had made up a very entertaining collection of experimental films from many different eras, starting from Luis Buñuel's "Un Chien Andalou" (which is still a truly great film, with only one or two minor points of having too much in-jokes) and ending to rather recent flicker and found footage films. I even liked Kenneth Anger's "Invocation of My Demon Brother", even though I haven't really cared for his films in the past. There was a great film with a scene taken out from To Kill a Mockinbird in which the director had made loops of the short cuts from the film, so that the action started to get repetitive all of the sudden. Everyone was laughing.

Not many were laughing in the Auschwitz screening. It started with Alain Resnais's "Night and the Fog". I said to someone that - to paraphrase Adorno - you cannot make films about Auschwitz after Resnais. There's no need to. "Night and the Fog" says it all. Its unsentimentality and matter-of-factness make it a very powerful film indeed and I had very hard time to prevent myself from crying out loud in the end - the scenes of the human capability to make unjustice to others were overwhelming. The film should be shown in schools to all the students.

The rest of the films in the screening looked pretty pale in comparison.

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