A turning (Doc) Point for documentaries lovers

Of this year’s two featured countries, the
Danish series focuses on the rise of Danish cinema with the likes of this
year’s esteemed IDFA winners and films from the two generations of Leths, Jørgen, the celebrated film-making
father and Asger, his son – both of
who are also attending the festival this year – while the Viva México! series showcases the past and present of Mexican documentary
film with astounding new titles and rare treats.

Other series include a selection of
brand-new Finnish documentaries (see below), the Winners & Bestsellers series
for, well, bestsellers and winners, an all-encompassing retrospective to the
wonderfully colorful filmography of Oscar-winning (Fog of War) American documentarist, Errol Morris and a whole lot more – go to www.docpoint.info to get the complete
listings. Fiction is going down – get the facts!

 

The FREE! Three for
DocPoint 2007:

Jukka Kärkkäinen:
Tupakkahuone/Smoking Room (2006), 57
minutes.

Of all the fine Finnish documentaries on
show, FREE! picks out Kärkkäinen’s hauntingly beautiful film
portraying Finns of different ages and in different situations as they reflect
their life in the quiet solitude of a smoking room at work, in a hospital and
on a train. Ascending a simple portrait documentary, Kärkkäinen takes his film
beyond its simple surface, turning the smoking room into a confessional where
the bittersweet collage of life, like the smoke from a cigarette, slowly twists
and turns on itself before dissipating into nothingness. Tupakkahuone is one of the most stunning Finnish documentaries in
years, being simultaneously timeless as well as sharply freeze-framing a moment
in time. All Finnish documentaries are shown with English subtitles.

 

 

 

 

Errol Morris: Vernon, Florida
(1982), 55 minutes.

{mosimage}Even though the entire Errol Morris retrospective
could be categorized as ‘must-see-cinema’, for sheer absurdity, the pick of the
litter has to be his second film, Vernon, Florida. Focusing
on the eccentric denizens of the titular town, Morris lets the citizens do
their own talking – and the things they talk about truly make Twin Peaks seem not that
far-fetched after all. Among other things, God, the meaning of the word
‘therefore’ and the finer points of turkey hunting are all discussed, making Vernon
the oddest slice of the American Pie on show at this year’s DocPoint. And with Jesus Camp on the menu, that’s not bad
at all.

 

 

Juan Carlos Rulfo: In the Pit/En el Hoyo (2006), 85 minutes.

{mosimage}Rulfo’s film follows the lives of a number of construction workers
building a gigantic elevated expressway in Mexíco City, a veritable microcosm revolving
around hard physical labor. The construction site is a place where lives are
lost, deals are made and life discussed in abundance, as Rulfo holds his focus tightly
on the working lives of a few men, almost shutting out the massiveness of the construction
site and the hubbub of the surrounding mega-city. In addition to its wonderful
ambient soundtrack, In the Pit features
breathtaking cinematography, as Rulfo takes his camera on top of the girders
and to the bottom of the pits where his characters work creating an intimate connection
to the nature of work, which is then generously complemented at the end of the
film with a magnificent tracking shot that captures the impossible magnitude of
the project and hammers the film into its context like nothing you’ve ever seen.

DocPoint: 24th-28th
of January in selected theatres around the city, single tickets for €6,
screening cards for 33€/50€.