Autor Tópico: Sundance 2008  (Lido 2201 vezes)

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Sundance 2008
« em: Terça, 26 de Fevereiro, 2008 - 19h37 »

Grand Jury Prize

Trouble At War

de Tia Lessin, Carl Dealn

How is it that Hurricane Katrina managed to revolutionize American attitudes about the environment, but somehow the very people most devastated by the storm have become refugees in their own country, and their experiences have been all but forgotten? In Trouble the Water, this voiceless population becomes vibrantly human as documentarians Tia Lessin and Carl Deal engage with native New Orleans filmmaker and musician Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband, Scott, to create a powerful, partly autobiographical survival story that reflects many of the lives of the people of New Orleans.

Kimberly's chilling home footage of her hometown before, during, and after the storm provides a petrifying account that essentially rewrites most of the media coverage of the disaster. Broadcast news stories of rampant looting are transformed into ingeniously heroic tales of survival, while recent stories of a thriving recovery in New Orleans are exposed as a false bill of goods sold on the backs of the disenfranchised. Trouble the Water makes unapologetically clear that Hurricane Katrina rages on as an unnatural disaster of governmental and journalistic neglect. What is also truly amazing is that the levee protecting Kimberly's humanity against this devastating storm remains firmly grounded in her deep-rooted love for New Orleans, her family, and her art, and her enduring faith in her fellow human beings.

The World Cinema Jury Prize
The World Cinema Audience Award

Man on Wire

de James Marsh

August 7, 1974--A young Frenchman named Philippe Petit steps out on a wire suspended 1,350 feet above ground between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. He dances on the wire with no safety net for almost an hour, crossing it eight times before he is arrested for what becomes known as “the artistic crime of the century.”

In the months leading up to his clandestine walk, Petit assembles a team of accomplices to plan and execute his “coup” in the most intricate detail. How do they pull it off? Moving between New York and his secret training camp in rural France, Petit and his team plot every detail. Like a band of professional bank robbers, the tasks they face seem virtually insurmountable. But Petit is a man possessed; nothing will thwart his mission to conquer the world’s tallest buildings.

Unfolding like a delicious heist film, Man on Wire brings Petit’s extraordinary adventure back to life with visceral immediacy ripened with post-9/11 nostalgia. In candid interviews, Petit and all the key participants relish this chance to tell their story. Buoyed with eye-catching archival footage, clever dramatizations, and delightful visual effects, filmmaker James Marsh, like his daring subject, pulls off an astonishing coup.

The Audience Award

Fields of Fuel

de Josh Tickell

Most Americans know we’ve got a problem: an addiction to oil that taxes the environment, entangles us in costly foreign policies, and threatens the nation’s long-term stability. But few are informed or empowered enough to do much about it. Enter Josh Tickell, an expert young activist who, driven by his own emotionally charged motives, shuttles us on a revelatory, whirlwind journey to unravel this addiction—from its historical origins to political constructs that support it, to alternatives available now and the steps we can take to change things.

Tickell tracks the rising domination of the petrochemical industry—from Rockefeller’s strategy to halt ethanol use in Ford’s first cars to the mysterious death of Rudolph Diesel at the height of his biodiesel engine’s popularization, to our government’s choice to declare war after 9/11, rather than wean the country from fossil fuel. Never minimizing the complexities of ending oil dependence, Tickell uncovers a hopeful reality pointing toward a decentralized, sustainable energy infrastructure—like big rigs tanking up on biofuel at Carl’s Corner Texas truck stop, a new Brooklyn biodiesel plant serving three states, a miraculous Arizona algae-based fuel farm, and the Swedish public voting to be petroleum free by 2020.

Sweeping and exhilarating, Tickell’s passionate film goes beyond great storytelling; it rings out like a bell that stirs consciousness and makes individual action suddenly seem consequential.

The Directing Award

American Teen

de Nanette Burstein

American Teen intimately follows the lives of four teenagers in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. Using cinema vérité footage, interviews, and animation, it presents a candid portrait of being 17 and all that goes with it. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, the experimentation with sex and alcohol, the parental pressures, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future.

Nanette Burstein returns to Sundance (On the Ropes won a Special Jury Prize at the 1999 Festival) with a film that is an incredible window into a time of development almost everyone can relate to. She filmed daily for 10 months, developing a remarkably close rapport with these students and their families. The kids open up in her presence and lay bare their lives. That exemplifies her incredible talent for storytelling and uncovering the many layers of truth in her subjects, creating a film that is astonishing from shooting to editing.

In American Teen, the stories coalesce into a narrative so engrossing that it resembles fiction more than documentary. The end result is a film that goes beyond the stereotypes of high school--the nerd and the jock, the homecoming queen and the arty misfit--to capture the complexity of young people trying to make their way into adulthood.

The World Cinema Directing Award

Durakovo: Village of Fools

de Nino Kirtadze

Orthodox Russian nationalism percolates in a castle outside Moscow, where a portly businessman-turned-guru named Mikhail Morozov presides over Durakovo, a rural hamlet known as the “village of fools.” Here Morozov is absolute ruler, overseeing a small band of young initiates who flock to the village from all over Russia to free themselves of the shackles of democracy.

Durakovo has a grand mission--to save the nation from poisonous Western influences. Some of Morozov's subjects come to him unwillingly, forced by parents fed up with their stints of rebellion. When they join the village of fools, the new residents abandon all their former rights and agree to obey their leader’s strict rules, hoping to learn subordination and enrich their spiritual lives. Three moral pillars serve as the guiding principles at Durakovo: God, tsar, and fatherland.

Filmmaker Nino Kirtadze attains unfettered access as political and religious leaders gather at the castle to meet with Morozov and dream of a glorious future where Russia is devoid of foreigners. With a keen eye for irony, Kirtadze’s camera juxtaposes Morozov and his peers romping naked in the pool and sauna while the young men who serve him toil in backbreaking labor. Purposefully restrained, yet cunningly subversive, Durakovo provides a chilling glimpse of fascist ideology on the rise.

A Special Jury Prize

Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo

de Lisa F. Jackson

Women’s bodies have always been a wartime battleground. But on the eastern borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where civil war has left four million dead since 1998, rape is happening on a systemic, unimaginable scale. Documentarian Lisa Jackson brings her compassionate camera into the eye of the storm to help break the silence surrounding the sexual torture of hundreds of thousands of women.

Jackson’s frank conversations with activists, doctors, peacekeepers, and the rapists themselves paint a sordid picture where rape is a key destabilizing method in a corrupt cycle involving illegal profiteering from coltan (the ore used in cell phones and laptops), which in turn funds militia groups. Compound this with ingrained beliefs in male superiority, and the fact that the sex-crimes police force is literally one woman, and you have the makings of catastrophe. Jackson’s meetings with rape victims produce wrenching testimonies of unthinkable mutilation and shaming. Yet amidst dehumanization, the women impossibly exhibit courage and grace and create support systems.

As Jackson shares her own gang-rape story, we’re potently reminded that in America we’re in no position to point fingers. The monstrous escalation of rape in the Congo doesn't exist in a vacuum; around the world, human beings perpetrate new heights of barbarity--against the planet and themselves. As a Congolese police woman puts it, “He who rapes a woman rapes an entire nation.”

The Documentary Editing Award

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

de Marina Zenovich

Roman Polanski is certainly admired and respected as one of the world’s great film directors. But his reputation has been forever tarnished by his public conviction for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor some 30 years ago and his subsequent flight from the United States to avoid going to jail. At least that's what everyone thinks. In her riveting reopening of this controversial and, as it turns out, very complex case, filmmaker Marina Zenovich fashions a perceptive and intelligent exploration of what really happened those many years ago and casts a very different light on Polanski’s decision as well as the workings of the legal system.

Revisiting all of the key players--the lawyers, the victim, and the media--and focusing on the conduct of the judge whose handling of the case was definitely unusual, as well as unearthing telling footage from the past and incorporating insightful interviews from the present, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired develops a case for a clear miscarriage of justice. But far from being an apologia for Polanski, the film is simply trying to bring comprehension and clarity to events long clouded by myths and presumptions. Sure to raise questions and perhaps resolve the limbo that still envelops Polanski, this documentary is one that you won’t want to miss.

The World Cinema Documentary Editing Award

Art Star and the Sudanese Twins

de Pietra Brettkelly

When you’re a contemporary-art world star and a self-avowed feminist known for stinging audiences with audacious performances involving red paint and naked African women--like Vanessa Beecroft--life and art inevitably bleed together. So when Beecroft decides to adopt orphaned Sudanese twins while incorporating them into her artwork, she sparks ethical and emotional fires from Sudan to New York.

Pietra Brettkelly’s camera unabashedly tracks the dizzyingly intelligent, gorgeous, and controversial Beecroft on a three-continent voyage of creative expression and self-discovery. It all starts when Beecroft, captivated by the adorable Madit and Mongor Akot, returns to their orphanage intent on motherhood. But love is not enough. Byzantine laws and the appearance of the twins’ father complicate proceedings. The toughest resistance comes from locals offended when Beecroft photographs the naked infants in the church. Beecroft further shocks when she takes the tiny twins to her breasts, composing a tableau that provocatively twists tropes of Catholicism and colonialism. Meanwhile, her husband questions her right to impose white, Western culture on the babies and even threatens to leave.

You can accuse Beecroft of exploitation or laud her courage, but it’s impossible to dispute her gameness to critique herself. Propelled by motherly love and art-making impulses, she reveals how the personal is always political and confronts a question none can answer adequately: what is the appropriate response to African suffering?

The Excellence in Cinematography Award:

Patti Smith: Dream of Life

de Steven Sebring

Life isn’t some vertical or horizontal line. You have your own internal world, and it’s not neat.
—Patti Smith

Not vertical nor horizontal nor neat, Dream of Life is a hypnotic plunge, a breathing collage of this legendary musician/poet/painter/activist’s philosophy and artistry that feels as if it sprang directly from her soul. A punk pioneer and spiritual child of Rimbaud, Blake, and Burroughs, Patti Smith’s fierce poetry and rock music shook up New York’s 1970s underground scene, and her work continues to be stirred organically by her rigorous mind, beloved artistic touchstones, and world events.

Shot over 11 years, Dream of Life travels Smith’s mystical interior terrain—the ideas, losses, and memories she wrestles with—as much as tracing her outward adventures. Layered with mesmerizing recitations, music, and narration, the fluid journey incorporates performances, graveyard pilgrimages and political rallies, archival nuggets, and vérité moments with her working-class parents, children, and friends. From raw, intimate sessions in her apartment to formidable incantations delivered to roaring crowds, Smith’s expression is unmediated by pretense or artifice. Remarkably—and this may be the key to her artistic potency—she doesn’t reject death or construct polarities of good and bad. Instead, she embraces darkness and melancholy in a way that’s liberating and also life affirming. As she manifests the transcendent in life, Dream of Life reaches for the ineffable in Patti Smith.

The World Cinema Cinematography Award


de Mahmoud al Massad

What makes a terrorist? In Zarqa, Jordan’s second-largest city with close to one million people, it is a much-debated question. Zarqa’s political Islamists are a powerful force in this industrial center, and it is the birthplace of Abu Musa al Zarqawi, the brutal leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was killed by American forces in 2005. Many in town knew al Zarqawi, many in his family remain, and Zarqa continues to be a source of new recruits to the jihadist cause.

Inspired by his reporting on al Zarqawi and Al Qaeda for international news agencies, Jordanian/Palestinian filmmaker Mahmoud al Massad returns to Zarqa, where he grew up, to make Recycle. With ravishing cinematography that belies the unforgiving landscape, Massad charts the daily life of a religious Islamic man trying to survive in one of Zarqa’s poorest neighborhoods.

The film slowly unravels some of the hidden agents of terrorism, revealing them as poverty, humiliation, lack of opportunity, and religious doctrine. Against the backdrop of an age of jihad that spans the globe, these same things define the daily rhythms of a man and his family. Unlike the daily bombardment of dramatic “good and evil” headlines about Islam and the war on terror, Recycle suggests that the potential for evil can emerge quietly in the most ordinary of circumstances.
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Re: Sundance 2008
« Resposta #1 em: Terça, 04 de Março, 2008 - 23h22 »
Sundance costuma a ter bom gosto por vou ver se arranjo alguns desses filmes :)