Curator Eduardo Thomas was presenting contemporary experimental documentaries in his series “authorship”, “authority” and “authenticity” at the Berlin Documentary Forum. He selected films, that erode the seemingly immutable conventions of the consistent abuse of hierarchical structures within the field of documentary filmmaking. In this in-depth interview by Alan Toner, Eduardo Thomas introduces the films he selected, reflects on his series and discusses the questions he encounters when thinking about documentary practices today.
Filmmaker Lee Anne Schmitt presented her film "California Company Town" at the Berlin Documentary Forum on June 4th 2010. In this interview, she discusses artistic and film making practice with Alan Toner. Having chosen chosen to work with 16mm film, she describes her rationale, working conditions and artistic practice. These are significantly determined by the difficult economic situation faced by independent filmmakers today.
Filmmaker Florian Schneider has organised a retrospective about Michal Mraktisch for the Berlin Documentary Forum on June 2-6 2010 under the title "Missing Image". Alan Toner asks Florian Schneider about the background of this remarkable film-maker and his role and influence for the development of the Documentary Film as we know it today.
Alan Toner asks Angela Melitopoulos and Bettina Knaup about their performance "Möglichkeitsraum - Feminism and Performance Art" presented at the Berlin Documentary Forum on June 3rd 2010. Most of the program cannot be screened online due to copyright problems that burden much video performance art. Bettina Knaup and Angela Melitopoulos explain the particular situation of that genre, and how it is effecting their work with an archive of feminist performance art.
In this in-depth interview film historian Stella Bruzzi and Alan Toner discuss the development of documentary film in relation to advances in film technology, and consider possible perspectives for the future. This conversation took place during the Berlin Documentary Forum, where Stella Bruzzi investigated in conversation with Frederick Wiseman questions about “direct” cinema and the potential of the documentary image to produce truth.
Rabih Mroué opened the Berlin Documentary Forum with his performance "The Inhabitants of Images" on June 2nd 2010. In this interview, Alan Toner and Rabih Mroué discuss implications that images might have and the possibility that they bear an reality of their own. Rabih Mroué also gives some insights about his performance, for those who didn't get a chance to see it.
Conceived by filmmaker Eyal Sivan, the long-term project “Documentary Moments” that was for the first time presented at the Berlin Documentary Forum, elaborates documentary film practice through screenings and encounters with filmmakers who shaped particular moments of the practice’s history. In this interview, Alan Toner discusses with Eyal Sivan the background of the "Documentary Moments" and questions that evolve from revisiting films and filmmakers who have shaped the concept of the Documentary so strongly.
Artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White re-animate the film "Struggle in Jerash" by appropriating the tactic of the commercial DVD director’s commentary, subverting its standard authorial voice and placing the audience at the centre of a copyright-expired film. The film offers access to the process of self-understanding through the careful compilation of new commentary voiceover by contemporary Jordanian thinkers on the first feature film shot in Jordan (D: Wassif Sheik Yassin, 1957).
Conceived by film-maker Eyal Sivan, the long-term project “Documentary Moments” elaborates documentary film practice through screenings and encounters with film-makers who shaped particular moments of the practice’s history. Its initial chapter is an homage to artists who contributed to the renaissance of documentary film in the post-war period: Alain Resnais (b. 1921), Edgar Morin (b. 1921), Marcel Ophuls (b. 1928), and Frederick Wiseman (b. 1930).