A Ladder and an Exhaust Pipe

What Czech and Slovak documentaries will compete at Karlovy Vary IFF? What is the news with documentarist Petr Hátle? What does Milan Uhde think about Czech Television?

Illustration by Michaela Kukovičová

The documentary competition section of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival includes two Czech films with seemingly corresponding titles. Lean a Ladder against Heaven by Jana Ševčíková, discussed by the director in the New Release section, is a portrait of a Slovak priest who lives up to the ideal of pure faith under utterly practical circumstances. The sky of the protagonists of Into the Clouds We Gaze, on the contrary, does not have a clearly spiritual character, as it is filled with exhaust fumes. On the night before the premiere of the latter film, three guests have discussed it in our Situational Review: sociologist Barbora Spalová, film critic Tomáš Stejskal and tuning expert Jan Charvát. Both of the films will receive a premiere in Karlovy Vary, as well as the Slovak film Comeback, introduced in the current edition of dok.revue by director Miro Remo.

The limelight of dok.revue, however, is reserved for Petr Hátle, who has just finished his film adaptation of a short story from Szczygieł’s Gottland. In the interview, Hátle discusses primarily The Great Night, which has recently repeated its Jihlava victory at Finále Plzeň. Hátle describes the ways he approached his characters while shooting the film. He also explains the large number of reenacted scenes, which is due to the specific character of the environment in which and about which he has been shooting. The making of Gottland, as well as its final form, too, have been strongly influenced by special circumstances, which, surprisingly, are related to the fear of defamation of the memory of a certain great. The question whether the programme offer of CT2 channel, too, is driven by fear; the fear of losing viewers this time; is reflected in the essay by Milan Uhde. However, he focuses on moments when fear has been put aside, claiming that these moments occurred primarily in documentary films. We, too, would like to drink a toast to the courage of commissioning editors, filmmakers and viewers both in documentary film and in life.

Translated into English by Tereza Chocholová

30. 06. 2014

from current issue:

Situational reviewCaught in the Net should really be on the net if it’s going to change anythingDiscussion about the new film by Vít Klusák a Barbora Chalupová Caught in the NetKamila BoháčkováSituational reviewWill our civilisation negotiate this turn?American documentarian Jeff Gibbs’ activist film Planet of the Humans, which criticises the way we treat renewable energy sources, has evoked numerous controversial reactions. It’s no surprise that the producer is well-known filmmaker Michael Moore, who released the film freely on YouTube on Earth Day, when the worldwide corona virus pandemic was at its peak.Kamila BoháčkováNew releaseFREMWhat is it like to shoot a film in Antarctica? Is it possible to get into the head of artificial intelligence? And what is GAI? All this is described by the documentarist Viera Čákanyová in the text she wrote about her new film FREM in dok.revue.Viera ČákanyováNew releaseSun of the Living DeadAnna Kryvenko on the loss of compassion in the post-factual age, the battle with the chaos and hostility of the universe, and how to create a documentary essay from archive materials.Anna KryvenkoNew releaseThe story of a small provincial townNovice Russian director Dmitrij Bogoljubov tells dok.revue about the circumstances surrounding the origin of his new film Town of Glory, a co-production with Czech production company Hypermarket Film and Czech Television. The film uncovers the mentality of Yelnya, a provincial Russian town that is one of the most depressing in the country and where the legacy of the Great Patriotic War still lingers – something Putin’s establishment has successfully exploited to gain the support of the local citizens. The film was available to stream for a short time in March on the portal DAFilms as a part of the festival One World Online. This fall it will be shown on Czech Television and possibly in cinemas as well.Dmitrij BogoljubovThemeThere’s more than one feminismA reflection on women documentarians inspired by Barbora Baronová’s book Women on WomenMartin ŠrajerTheoryBiopics and the Trembling Ethics of the Real We publish here the essay by one of the most prominent minds in film today, Timothy Corrigan, who presented his essay “Biopics and the Trembling Ethics of the Real” at the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival in fall 2019 as a part of his lecture for students in the festival’s educational module Media and Documentary.Tereza Hadravová, Timothy CorriganInterviewWe have to start with ourselves, or nothing will changeAn interview with Macedonian documentarians Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevská, creators of the film Honeyland.Vojtěch KočárníkInterviewNone of the big streaming platforms are buying documentaries now because people are so scared in their personal lives Challenges for the film industry and festivals in the age of the coronavirusRadim ProcházkaIntroductionWhen local is universaldok.revue 1.20Kamila Boháčková

related links:

MFF Karlovy Vary
Domovská stránka karlovarského festivalu