One of the star attractions was senior BBC producer, Alan Yentob. In addiition to master-minding master classes at FIFA, Yentob, who has produced 500 arts programme for the aaant-garde Arena series on BBV, won the top prize as producer and narrator of the film (directed by Jill Nicholls , BBC Scotland)
Vivian Maier: Who Took Nanny’s Pictures?
A street photographer before the term existed, Maie photographed for herself, and did not show her photos. She worked as a nanny in New York and Chicago–14 years with the Ginsberg family–quietly taking photos at street corners. As she was ailing, her negatives (she used a box camera, then a Rolleiflex) amounting to 150 000, were found, packed away in trunks.The film shows the frenzied attempts by auctioneers to get hold of these photographs.
The festival is FIFA International Festival of Flms on Art–(nothing to do with the world soccer competition coming up in Brazil–it stands for Festival International des Films sur l’Art). 300 films are shown in this the 32nd version of this fest. Three hundred films are shown, embracing the the following main categories: art, architecture, sculpture, music, painting, contemporary art, digital art, literature, design, fashion, theater, dance, music and photography.
All this is spread over11 locations throughout central Montreal
There’s a small, intense, brisk and busy market too. The indefatigable Anthony Roland–WWW.rolandcollectionn.com–is a regular attender. His collection offers “26 million cinematic images for sale on video or by website subscription for unlimited access.”
Art is defined widely of course. Art’s here of course. Main line–e.g. Picasso, l’Inventaire d’une vie. The New Riksmeum is largely on the architecture of the rebuilding of the great Amsterdam museum (there’s lots of films on museums.)Then there’s a a solid French film on 19th and 20th century German art.
The Next Big Thing is an entertaining, worrying film on the way in which the art market is relentlessly bumped up by syndicates. This non-nonsense Dutch film will give you a lot to think about, if you’re not a mega-rich collector
Variety is the name of this Festival. One entertaining true-to-life to life story is Mona Lisa is Missing. Director Joe Medeiros investigated for more than 30 years what happened when Vincenzo Perrugia committed the greatest little-known art theft in history. This film was deservedly popular. It is an entertaining documentary which examines the theft of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa from the Louvre in August 1911. In 1913 Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian worker, claimed he wanted to return the painting to Italy. It was displayed in Italy and then returned to the Louvre. Joe Medeiros, who wrote the script and directed, has investigated the theft and the motivations of Peruggia, with interviews of Peruggia’s daughter and grandchildren, historical photographs, documents and animation. Fast-moving, well-paced, with a witty narration, the film is a crowd-pleaser
Another entertaining true- to -life film concerns a couple in Herb and Dorothy, 50-50. Under the rubric Collectors, FIFA looks at the achievement of a postal clerk and his wife. Herb and Dorothy hows how their collection of contemporary art was too big for their one bedroom Manhattan flat, so they donated one to to galleries in each of the 50 states.
Music is as usual well represented: Music lovers had many films to choose from, several connected with anniversaries. Admirers of Verdi or Benjamin Britten, Colin Davis, Karajan or Claudio Abbado were provided for. Two films celebrated Abbado at 80, one capturing the opening concert of the 2013 Lucerne Festival with Abbado conducting the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the other, Happy Birthday Claudio Abbado, tracing his relationship with the same orchestra. Another compelling film, Maurizio Pollini, de main de maitre, presented the master and his music. Cosi fan Tutte has a film just on it.
Environment too: the jury prize went to Breathing Earth: Susum Shingu’s Dream, by noted German film-maker Thomas Riedelheimer is a sensitive treatment of a dedicated Japanese environmentalist, going all over the world–from Japan to renewable Scotland and everywhere in between.
Literature provided another prize winner Beat Generation–on Ginsberg, Burroughs and Kerouac (the last-mentioned originally from a French Canadian family, so there’s a proprietorial sense here). This is a rousing, provocative film, taking you back to the 50’s and hippy 60’s
Une Chaise pour un Ange , on the Shakers, won 2 prizes. This opened the festival in Montreal’s Fine Arts Museum.
This is a very tasteful film, with beautiful dancing and music, and this religious sect, begun in Manchester, England around 1850, believes in celibacy, and so is dying out.(though apparently they adopt to some extent–much of this film is shot in their HQ in Sabbathday, Maine). They believe in heaven on earth, and so work on, for example, beautiful simple furniture, which seems to have influenced Scandinavian design.
photography? Other than Vivian Meyer, those worth seeing included–aka Norman Parkinson (his real name is Ronald Smith, but he was known as Parks)
This detailed, touching documentary of a British high society photographer, who after a busy career settled in Tobagoo, returning frequently to the UK, where he photographed, among others, the Royal Family.
There are many more–experimental cinema from Vancouver, satirical from Spain
Cinema–a good historic treatment of Bunuel, and 2 films, no less, on Pasolini, showing his love of his native Rome.
Bunuel–a good historical treatment.
The Awards ceremony–see sidebar– was graced by the Cuban-British film,to Dance like aMan . Three charming 11 year old Cuban triplets show their dedication and enthusiasm for dance. They’re now studying at the National Ballet of Cuba.