CRACKING THE FRAME – DON’T BLINK ROBERT FRANK

“Rather than being a film about an artist, it’s an attempt to show us what it’s like to actually be an artist.” – LA Times

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DON’T BLINK – ROBERT FRANK
Laura Israel | Canada | 2015 | 82 min

The groundbreaking photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank documented the Beats, Welsh coal miners, Peruvian Indians, The Rolling Stones and London bankers, and while doing so revolutionized photography and independent film.
For over six decades, the iconoclastic director of Pull My Daisy and Cocksucker Blues and the author of The Americans has held his singular vision and earned widespread acclaim without forsaking his outsider status. At age 91, he continues producing photography books and videos, all imbued with a profoundly poetic, deeply introspective sensibility.
Frank is also notoriously media shy and unapproachable. His multi-layered life and work are largely inseparable and he has never felt ready to let someone tell his story until his close friend, and longtime film and video editor, Laura Israel decided to produce a documentary about his life and legacy.
The film follows Frank from his early years in Switzerland to his reluctance to embrace celebrity status in New York, and to his eventual quest for solitude in a remote corner of Nova Scotia after a series of personal tragedies.
DON’T BLINK offers audiences unprecedented access to Frank’s inner world and poetics and a revelatory insight into the intricacies of his work, while artfully revealing Robert Frank’s complex life story.

“Fans will be giddy with the unprecedented access to Frank—and his irrepressible irascibility, energy, and humor—this film offers. Those uninitiated into the cult of Robert Frank should be prepared for a wild and wonderful ride. “ – Full Frame
“Enthusiastic, excited, and earthy celebration of artistic creation and the life that makes it inevitable.” – Film Stage

Premiere screening on Wednesday 22 February 19:30h at Rialto Amsterdam with an introduction by award-winning film director Chris Teerink. Teerink (Sol Lewitt, Songs Along A Stony Road, In the Shadow of the Light and Mojave). More screenings will follow in various Dutch cities in March. 

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.

CRACKING THE FRAME – BOLSHOI BABYLON

“Stunning. The Real Life Black Swan” Huffington Post UK

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BOLSHOI BABYLON
Nick Read & Mark Franchetti | UK | 2015 | 86 min

In 2013, the artistic director of the legendary Bolshoi Theatre, Sergei Filin, was the victim of a shocking acid attack, suffering third degree burns and losing sight in one eye as a result. The bizarre news went around the world. Who could have organised such a vicious attack?
BOLSHOI BABYLON is an equally revealing and shocking look behind the scenes of the world famous Moscow dance theater, where intrigue, envy and sabotage seem widespread. Nick Read’s critically acclaimed documentary uncovers the sinister environment behind the limelight. While the truth about the attack gets revealed, the dancers continue their quest for the ultimate, almost unattainable ideals of beauty, elegance and perfection in a tradition-rich house, which in many ways has become a mirror of the Russian reality outside its walls.
In BOLSHOI BABYLON several players from this closed world, from soloists to members of the corps de ballet, board members and teachers speak frankly about what it means to aspire to a life as a top dancer in the leading dance theater of Russia. And what you must be ready to sacrifice for it.

“A shocking tale of dysfunction, showing that the discipline needed for classical music creates violence and pain as a hidden byproduct, like nuclear waste.” – Guardian
“It looks splendid, and the contributors, including Russian Premier Dimitry Medvedev, are often as interesting for what they don’t say as what they do.” – Irish Times
“Bold, ambitious and gripping” I-D
“These twin tracts of darkness and light, the sordid and the sublime, quite effectively submerge the viewer into a closed world.” – LA Times

Premiere screening on Wednesday 11 January, 19:30h at Rialto Amsterdam, with an introduction by the Senior Ballet Teacher of the Dutch National Ballet, Rinat Gizatulin.

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.

 

 

 

 

CRACKING THE FRAME – THE CHINESE LIVES OF ULI SIGG

“Creativity is the only inexhaustible resource.” – Uli Sigg

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THE CHINESE LIVES OF ULI SIGG
Michael Schindhelm | Zwitzerland | 2016 | 93′

An intimate sketch of the life of the sometimes inscrutable entrepreneur / diplomat / art collector Uli Sigg (Lucerne, 1946), a man who, thanks to his charisma and tact has played an eminent role in the post-Mao China: both economically and culturally.
Sigg’s first encounter with Chinese culture took place in the eighties, when as vice president of the first joint venture between a Western and a Chinese company, he played a challenging and decisive role in introducing market economy in China. During this period Sigg encountered a number of Chinese underground artist and became interested in their work. Appointed as Swiss ambassador in China in the mid-nineties, Sigg discovered that no one had really taken a serious interest in contemporary Chinese artists. Thus he became their most influential collector.
Sigg turned to art because he wanted to understand China and acted as a mentor and mediator for nowadays internationally renowned artists such as Ai Weiwei, Zeng Fanzhi, Cao Fei and for tens of others. Promising to preserve their works until they could be returned to China, his collection quickly became the largest and most diverse of its kind worldwide, containing over 2,200 pieces. The fulfilment of Sigg’s final self-appointed mission is now finally getting close, with 1,500 works that will travel to Hong Kong in 2019 to be permanently exposed at M+, the new Museum for Visual Culture.
This film is a journey through the exceptional life of Uli Sigg and the modern history of China since Mao’s death, where Chinese contemporary art, as we encounter it through Sigg’s collection, becomes a unique witness of China’s transformation.

It’s the story of large-scale success and virtue joined as they rarely are in the world of big business and power politics; it’s a portrait of an exceptional figure; and it’s an eye-opening peek into the art world, with all its intrigue and splendour. It’s men like this one who are behind so much of the modern art we enjoy in museums, and here is a fitting tribute. – Vancouver International Film Festival

Premiere screening Wednesday 14 December 19:30h at Rialto Amsterdam in company of the film director, Michael Schindhelm. In other Dutch cinemas from January 2017.

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.

 

 

 

Two sold-out CineSonic shows at IDFA

Both CineSonic film concert presented last Sunday as part of IDFA’s closing day were sold-out and nothing short than memorable. I am still thoroughly thrilled and amazed by the results of our first collaboration with the most important festival in The Netherlands. My utmost gratitude goes to IDFA for their invitation and to the artists, IDFA and Brakke Grond staff for making this happen. Let this the first of many more to come!
Here’s some images of both film concerts, presented as part of this year’s IDFA special focus program (9 years in the making!), The Quiet Eye.

 

CRACKING THE FRAME – THE MAN WHO SAW TOO MUCH

“An elegantly built documentary who’s main character, graphic photographer Enrique Metinides, is unforgettable.” – Cine Vertigo

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THE MAN WHO SAW TOO MUCH
Trisha Ziff | Mexico | 2015 | 89 minutes

Famed Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides took the art world by storm when his photographs were exposed by a number of important American and European art galleries in 2002. Since then, numerous exhibitions have been dedicated to his work, culminating in a two-year world tour of a collection of 101 of his photographs, from 2011 to 2013. Such an impressive series of achievements appears even more remarkable considering that he worked for the whole of his professional life as a humble photojournalist for various Mexican tabloids and newspapers.
Metinides started his career roaming the streets of Mexico City in search of accidents and crime scenes when he was just 9 years old. His passion for cinema shaped his way of seeing and his extraordinary eye turned the tragedies he captured into unsettlingly beautiful images of life and death.
Now in his eighties, Metinides talks candidly about his life and career, exploitation and censorship, reflecting on what it means to spend one’s life documenting death. Through his words and through intimate interviews with family members, curators, collectors and colleagues, THE MAN WHO SAW TOO MUCH reveals the internal struggle of a man obsessively searching for glimpses of humanity and beauty in tragedy.

Awarded at the 2016 Ariel Awards (Mexican Oscars) for ‘Best Feature Length Documentary’ and ‘ Best Score’.

“The film shows us the fragility of human life and the cruelty of chance.” – La Jornada
“Through interviews and reproductions of his striking photos, the film conveys the inner life of a singular artist.” – Spectacular Optical

Premiere screening Wednesday 16 November 19:30h at Rialto Amsterdam, with an introduction by FOAM curator Mirjam Kooiman. The film will screen in selected Dutch cinemas in December.

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.

Yamato (California) World Premiere at Festival du Nouveau Cinéma

Last week Daisuke Miyazaki’s new film YAMATO (CALIFORNIA) had its World Premiere at the 45th edition of the the prestigious Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal.  The premiere was welcomed by very positive reviews. I was one of the producers of this Japanese drama about teenage angst (positively) channeled by hip-hop music in the city of Yamato and I am delighted to have helped Daisuke to complete his second feature film. Our festival run has just started so keep an eye on the film’s Facebook page for forthcoming screenings near you.

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