Welcome to our final liveblog from this year’s DocFest. The festival has surpassed even its own high standards with this years event, lets see if it goes out on a high. This post will be updated throughout the day. You can follow our special “DocFest Press and Assorted Journalist-types” Twitter feed too, at this LINK.
Please note- EDITORIAL will return next week.
* First up today is another team breakfast! A lot of what we see today actually revolves around what wins at this mornings awards ceremony…
* Met up with Mike McKenny of Minicine fame. We’re missing the 11am awards ceremony in order to go and see one of the Dziga Vertov flicks. Lullaby it is…
* Stepping out of the Vertov I jokingly tweeted that “Lullaby puts the “mother” in “Motherland”. A notable piece of Intolerance riffing state sanctioned cinema as with all Vertov it was technique that was the real star here, with rocking camera motion leading us in to the work, and an ambitious closing act showing Vertov put his militarial contacts to good use. Extra credit for the fact that the 1937 film was shown in an original, non-subtitled print that had to be aurally translated in real-time.
* While we were in Lullaby the award winners were announced. They are –Special Jury Award – Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present by Matthew Akers The Sheffield Youth Jury Award 2012 – Photographic Memory by Ross McElwee The Sheffield Innovation Award 2012 – Bear 71 by Leanne Allison & Jeremy Mendes The Sheffield Green Award 2012 – The Law of the Jungle by Michael Christoffersen & Hans La Cour So that means that up next for us is The Law Of The Jungle.
* Really not hugely impressed with The Law Of The Jungle. It felt a little one-note, not to mention one-sided. There’s some amazing footage of a police force breaking a protest, but that aside I just didn’t feel anything for it. Interestingly though there were some rats in it (see our piece on Cosmopolis, Friday).
* Break time. Was planning on seeing Photographic Memory, but feel that I will be better served by food.
* Next up, Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet.
* Wasn’t expecting that. Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet was that archetypical wonderful DocFest film: a complete risk in that I had no idea what the film was going to be about, with no previous knowledge of the subject matter, and had a fantastic time. Becker is a prodigious guitar player, whose career blossomed in the late 1980’s only for his health to fail dramatically soon after. Equal parts devastating and euphoric, the film really captured my imagination.
* And now the end is near, and so I face the final movie – Stacy Peralta’s Bones Brigade: An Autobiography, a follow-up of sorts to the former skateboarder’s Dogtown and Z-Boys, a film which is perhaps the definitive exploration of skateboarding on screen.
* Bones Brigade: An Autobiography was the perfect end to the festival. Light-hearted in general, although it does delve dark upon occasion, the film charts the eponymous brigade, a pioneering skateboarding team formed in the late 1970’s. Such notable figures as Steve Caballero, Tommy Guerrero and Tony Hawk passed through the ranks of the group, redefining the very sport as they did so. The film was a lot of fun, with the likes of Craig Stecyk, the artist behind the image of the Bones Brigade and Animal Chin, a hokey yet beloved film created by the group explored to great effect. The complicated tale of Rodney Mullen proved to be the films highlight though.
* Post-screening I partook in an interview for a podcast discussing my general feelings towards the festival. I chose Vivan Las Antipodas as my film of the festival. Keep an eye on Twitter for details as to when the podcast is live.
And that’s that. A fantastic five days of wonderful movies and great company. Bravo DocFest, Bravo.