VISION It’s more than seeing.
WDF Weekend 2017 is our second themed weekend outing. Five films over one weekend in September, with our usual offerings of director visits and opportunities for discussion. And great food! Perhaps you were fortunate enough to catch our first outing last September, with Music: What It Is!
This time, we’re presenting VISION as our theme, but we’re not restricting ourselves to seeing per se. Instead, vision is seen as a manifestation of rebellion in Rebels on Pointe; as a lens-mediated contemplation of a life and career in Cameraperson; and in Theater of Life, you’ll see a vision – glimpse really – of a more equitable and less wasteful world. Then, in Manakamana, it’s your vision, the audience member’s vision, that ultimately defines the characters and their actions; and finally Don’t Blink – Robert Frank wraps the weekend, a bio-pic of a man whose restless vision and art affected our view of ourselves.
Rebels on Pointe
Friday 22 September, 7:30pm – dir. Bobbi Jo Hart (Canada, 2016, English) 90 min
Men in tutus! Meet the extraordinary members of the all male, classical – and comic – ballet company, the world-famous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, who combine the beauty, discipline and passion of classical ballet, while sending it up with a decidedly hilarious turn. With rich behind-the-scenes access, character-driven stories, and universal themes of identity, dreams, family, loss and love, REBELS ON POINTE is a film which ultimately proves that ballerinas are not only women dancing – they can be an act of rebellion in a tutu! A deliciously subversive vision. Awards at Santa Barbara Int’l FF, San Luis Obispo FF, InsideOut FF
Saturday 23 September, 4pm – dir. Kirsten Johnson (USA, 2016, English and Bosnian, Arabic, Dari, Hausa, Fur w English subtitles) 102 min
An impressionistic, lens-eye and personal view from cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. Using footage from her 25-year career, Johnson combines documentary, autobiography and ethical inquiry – CAMERAPERSON thus provides a particular portrait of Johnson’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.
“A transcendent documentary experience. There has never been a memoir quite like this one.” Eric Hohn, Indiewire
Awards at Full Frame Documentary Festival; Sheffield Doc/Fest; San Francisco International FF
Theater of Life
Saturday 23 September, 7:30pm – dir. Peter Svatek (Canada, 2016, Italian w English subtitles) 94 min
For the Milan’s World’s Fair 2015, renowned chef Massimo Bottura invited 60 of his international confrères to join him in transforming food waste from the Expo into flavourful, nutritious meals for refugees, the homeless, and the impoverished, in a respectful environment – the Refettorio Ambrosiano. THEATER OF LIFE tells this important food story – and also tells the stories of the diners at the Refettorio Ambrosiano, showing us glimpses into their hearts and souls. A visual feast in itself, this film offers, in its powerful vision of social justice and awareness of food waste, a glimpse of a more equitable world.
Awards at San Sebastian FF, Planet in Focus FF.
Sunday 24 September, 1pm – dir. Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez (Nepal/USA, 2014, Nepali w English subtitles) 118 min
A remarkable experimental documentary, MANAKAMANA is shot entirely inside the narrow bubble of a cable car, high above a mountainside in Nepal, as it transports people to and from an ancient mountaintop temple. Comprised of 11 rides, each a single, static take, it is both an ephemeral character study of the passengers and a window on a culture in transition from ancient tradition to modernity. But ultimately, your vision, what you bring into the theatre with you,
defines this film. Come for the ride. See what you think. Produced by the Sensory Ethnography Laboratory at Harvard, who are also responsible for the remarkable immersive films LEVIATHAN (2013) and SWEETGRASS (2008). “Austerely magical.” Aaron Hillis, Village Voice. Grand Jury Prize, Locarno FF
Don’t Blink – Robert Frank
Sunday 24 September, 4pm – dir. Laura Israel (Canada/France/USA, 2015, English) 82 min
Robert Frank is gloriously notorious – groundbreaking photographer of The Americans; iconoclastic director of Pull My Daisy; difficult interview subject; rejecter of wealth and celebrity; a man whose ‘sympathies were with people who struggled,’ who has a ‘mistrust of people who made the rules.’ A man whose vision affected our view of ourselves, he’s also a father whose children both died young. His work is emotional and impulsive. Filmmaker Richard Linklater describes Frank as “a restless, searching artist pushing the boundaries” of traditional form. Fans will be giddy with the unprecedented access to Frank—and his irrepressible irascibility, energy, and humour. Those uninitiated into his cult should be prepared for a wild and wonderful, beat-driven ride.
Great soundtrack with Velvet Underground, Mingus, Tom Waits, White Stripes, Patti Smith, Rolling Stones, and others.