The situation of a young person at the beginning of a journey is characterized by impermanence, search and formation. Little is fixed. The future is still unfolding. Art college students are guided to give concrete shape to the feeling or energy associated with it. The position in which they find themselves when choosing the appropriate means of expression is both liberating and unsettling. They are not yet involved in artistic structures, critics have not been assigned to a certain current or tradition, they do not have to fulfill the audience’s expectations.
It may be a matter of chance and interpretation, but many films from Famufest seem to be fueled by an ominous premonition, whether the place we will occupy in the world or where others place us will be the right one. And if not – can we resist the pressure, both external and internal, and do something about it?
They most expressively capture the distress from the narrowing space for self-fulfillment Lockers. Dance etude by director Marie-Magdalena Kochová and cameraman Ludvík Otvrela is a tribute to dancer and choreographer Jan Minařík.
He played his alter ego in the nine-minute film, which did not live to premiere. He spends the autumn of his life in a nursing home. His dancing career is remembered by the medals on the shelf and the television where the recording is playing Bluebeard by Pina Bauschová, in which he performed. The man slowly gets out of bed and shuffles down the hall to the elevator to go down to the dining room.
In the closed elevator cabin, where most of the film takes place, he becomes even more aware of his body, its reduced mobility. It is also an ideal stage for a dance master. In the elevator, his past selves come to life and with them the desire to defy both containers – physical and metal.
Minařík throws off his bathrobe and performs bodybuilding poses and ballet exercises. It is captured in close-up detail, from overhead and soffit views. The excess of his energy, which is trying to get out, is also matched by the dynamic cut. But the man cannot win the heroic struggle with the dwindling time and shrinking space. Finally, he accepts the limits of his weakened body, leaves the elevator and sits down to eat: he becomes one of the many tired seniors.
He loves his short documentaries Will the world remember your name? a Device geist she thought about how modern technologies are reshaping our everyday life, which is increasingly unfolding only on phone screens. At least in this regard Lockers they don’t sound so skeptical. Although Minařík’s movements are limited by age and the elevator, thanks to the organic combination of the means of expression of dance and cinematography, their multiplication and at least momentary liberation occurs at the same time.
How to decode Jan Kaper. Documentary opera about an almost forgotten music composer
While the protagonist Mailbox struggles with space especially due to the loss of physical strength, in the animated film Misophonia Orchestra Daniela Hýbnerová’s young heroine has misophonia, i.e. reduced tolerance to selected sounds. It brings her to the brink of a nervous breakdown. All coughing, stomping, talking weighs on her. First outside, then at home. Her colorful world fades. Then it completely falls apart. Only colored lines on a black background remain. And persistent sounds that take on human form and invade the apartment. Only after a sleepless night can the sleepless unfortunate girl redirect her attention from the sounds in her head to the sun outside the window, to a new source of energy.
The author, together with Matěj Lindner, an award-winning sound engineer at Famufest, masterfully coped with the challenge of how to visualize sound sensations and thus make an unpleasant psychological state comprehensible even for viewers who perceive reality primarily through sight.
Integration into society, this time due to cultural differences and little social capital, is not easy even for the heroes of feature films Wine country Martina Kuby and Garden of Eden Vojtěch Novotný. In both cases, we follow men from Eastern Europe who are looking for work and acceptance in the Czech Republic.
Kuba won the award for best film and screenplay at Famufest. When writing it, he drew on real stories of exploited post-Soviet workers. The central character of the half-hour drama, which at times tends towards a thriller, is the Georgian teacher Daniil who gets involved with the Russian mafia. Cuba, on the universal plan of the story of a person from elsewhere, affects the desperate situation of many employees from the East, whose liberating working conditions deprive them of reference points and identity.
The Ukrainian Matys ze is equally rooted Gardens of Paradise. When an impenetrable young man is given the task of clearing out a cottage in the middle of the Czech forests, he finds, literally and figuratively, the key to his home. The film begins as a realistic psychological drama, but gradually dives into the inner world of the protagonist, who succumbs to the magical atmosphere of nature. She accepts him more than the distrustful people she meets.
Although both Kuba and Novotný are headed for final redemption along a path that seems lengthy due to the not-so-absorbing atmosphere, both of them have demonstrated the ability to express themselves in cinematic language, not relying only on lines, when revealing the deep conflicts and contradictions of their characters.
Graduate courses are characterized by the same quality Rituals Damián Vondrášek, awarded the Czech Lion. The director was already interested in films Prison a Border and addressed the wider public with a superbly conducted mini-series Five years.
V Rituals again explores the crossing of borders and the different forms of masculinity and its often painful definition. Twelve-year-old Michal’s outsiderness is partly due to a developmental defect. He was born with a cleft face. Still, he would like to gain the respect of the boys whose aggressive videos he watches on the Internet. But first, he will have to undergo a harsh initiation ritual, due to which he has to leave his comfort zone and his own values.
Honestly about growing up. Martin Šrajer about the series TBH
The concentrated psychological study was awarded for directing and cinematography at Famufest. Cinematographer Kryštof Melka shoots the actor exclusively in close-up shots with a shallow depth of field, which brings Michal’s experience to the fore. The film, whose authenticity is contributed by well-chosen and led young actors, thus shows the flip side of the desire to belong at close quarters. However, due to the relatively sparse thread of motives with which the plot works, the straightforward narrative is not very layered, which is most clearly manifested in the lackluster plot.
Deficiencies of a dramaturgical and screenwriting nature were, after all, characteristic of this year’s Famufest competition. But in almost all cases, they were partly compensated by the excellent camera, editing and sound.
Eternity against hopelessness
The hero is also faced with a turning point in his life Attestation by Jan Hecht. Bachelor movie Kilimanjaro Man dedicated Hecht to his parents, doctors. His novel is also based on a thorough knowledge of the hospital environment, loosely inspired by the case from May 2017, when a little boy almost bled to death in a Pardubice hospital after an operation on his tonsils.
The script was written by Hecht with his brother Tomáš, also a doctor. They changed the gender of the characters and moved the story to the Christmas period, whose idyll contrasts with the exciting struggle for children’s lives and professional honor. An inexperienced doctor starts his first night shift at a district hospital before certification. However, due to lack of staff, he remains alone in the children’s ward…
The skilfully graded drama combines a dispassionate observational style with shots accentuating the subjectivity of the stressed, derailed protagonist, who in the end has no support even from a stable family background. His own twin children, on the other hand, remind him of professional failure and cause him to fear that something terrible will happen to them too.
Attestation but it is not an indictment of an individual, but of a poorly funded health care system that transfers an inadequate share of responsibility to people who are not ready for it.
Most of the feature films at this year’s Famufest exude hopelessness. They tell about characters who either surrendered to stay in place or, due to dependence on the surrounding conditions, lose their own independence and fail to clarify where they belong and who they are. In relation to yourself and others.
It’s hard to say how much is due to generational feeling, a greater sensitivity to crises and mental problems – and how much to the assignment of school exercises, which can be more easily met by setting up a serious dilemma than a humorous incident.
Even fresh, brilliantly rhythmic, but not so convincing comedy in the direction of the actors Love, from 9 to 5 Jakub Jiráska, watching the Valentine shift of a bar bouncer, gets bitter in the end. It ends with a sobering up and the realization that although a lot has happened during the past eight hours, nothing has actually happened as a result. Again, due to the hero’s inability to break free from relationships. His actions during the night are still influenced by his ex-partner, who visited the bar with a new boyfriend.
Nevertheless, some of the films presented at the festival suggest that exiting the exhausting cycle of constant relating to something or someone is possible if we can see ourselves and our situation through eternity, beyond space and time.
Beyond animation. Vojtěch Rynda about the short film Daughter, which won the student Oscar for the Czech Republic
Such liberation is portrayed by Philippe Kastner in the best animated film of the festival Deniska died, which had its world premiere at the Berlinale. Kastner stays true to the pure animation style of his parable Tower. Just two colors and meaningful contrasts. Without unnecessary ornaments, with a minimum of environment and characters, he processed the experience of losing a beloved female. But the film does not end with her death and paralyzing grief. Deniska returns as a spirit and a source of inspiration, she comes to life in the paintings of her owner, who, thanks to her immortalization, can get a new dog and move a step further in life.
The fragile portrait of interspecies friendship is another confirmation of the exceptional level of young Czech animation, which has most promisingly entered the world. Even more impressively than his classmates from other departments, Kastner was able to elevate an individual story to a general statement and convey a strong emotion. In addition, it is already evident that in terms of the search mentioned at the beginning, he himself has already found his recognizable style.
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