Sunday, May 07, 2006

20 observations über Oberhausen

FiKuFe 05
Originally uploaded by The Infatuated.
I love film festivals. The buzz and intensity is highly addictive. During the last year or so I have managed to get to festivals with an accreditation either through my work for the Foundation or as a journalist. I just spent two days at the 52nd International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany. I was invited to speak in a panel discussion on film education in schools. Oberhausen is one of the leading short film festivals in the world and only two hours by train from Amsterdam. I think I will head back next year. This is what I found myself thinking.

1. Every time I present our theoneminutesjr project, I get even more convinced that the project kicks ass.

2. Germans have supermodern and fancy cars. And they all seem to have been polished on the same morning.

3. If you know that you’re going to spend the day in a cinema and it’s over 20 degrees, don’t put on the trendy polyester shirt from the 1970s.

4. They really play the LAA-LA-LAA-LAA-OY-OY-OY schlager music in German bars. It is not a myth,

5. A festival should always have tasty food. All the food at Oberhausen was ”politically correct” meaning organic. As one of the organisers phrased it:”Some people really have their digestion system messed up cos they eat healthy food for the first time in years and their system starts running again.”

6. Let’s face it, Germans produce better beer than the Dutch.

7. I am fascinated by film on teenagers when the approach is a non-moralistic one. I saw for instance a fantastic film on kids and teenagers from Italy (Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio: Zakaria) and Lebanon (Mahmoud Hojeij: Once). And just to clarify things: I cannot stand things such as ”Kids say funny things” or talking babies in diaper commercials.

8. Virpi Suutari and Susanna Helke clearly belong to the best documentary makers from Finland. Their short film on teenager boys called Kevät (Spring) manages to show the enormous amount of energy of teenager boys in a rare, authentic and positive light. The film also shows once again how girls and boys develop with a different speed. When girls are already young women, boys still run madly around the forest, beat each other with sticks or jump up and down on a bed in an IKEA store.

9. At the festival there was a special programme curated by Lebanese video artist Akram Zaatari. I am starting to understand the fascination on Middle East.

10. Germans should get rid of dubbing films and television programmes. On television you are able to hear only German and even film festivals are done with simultaneous translation.

11. I am going to start saving the festival passes.

12. I really have to come up with a technique to learn names.

13. Nationality matters still. I felt a sense of pride when Suutari’s and Helke’s work was shown. And Finnish people manage to find each other.

14. My parents have always had a fascination on Germany. For me it started with Berlin and now it is being extended to the rest of the country.

15. I cannot stand cynical journalists. I saw once again colleagues who think that a sign of a professional journalist is stating that everything is shit and that you don’t get excited.

16. One should not sit next to heavily breathing men in cinemas.

17. How many music videos can you do using clips from old movies?

18. The coordinator of the music video category looked like my hipster-gone-goth friend Jonna.

19. I found new bands that I like: Catpower, The Kooks, Die Sterne, The Concretes, Mediengruppe Telekommander, Phantom/Ghost.

20. German is a really good language for rock. All magazines should give out sample CDs like the German magazine Musikexpress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As one of the organisers phrased it:”Some people really have their digestion system messed up cos they eat healthy food for the first time in years and their system starts running again.”

Or it might just be Salmonella.

Nice browsing through your blog again. Have a nice summer.