The 9th ZagrebDox will present eight films by the famous Russian documentarian, the master of observation who finds deep poetic clarity and philosophic vision in the most banal everyday situations.
The renowned Russian master of documentary film will give a master class at this year’s ZagrebDox, and the programme Victor Kossakovsky Retrospective will screen eight of his films to the audience: ¡Vivan las Antipodas! (2011), Svyato (2005), Tishe! (2003), I Loved You... (Three Romances) (2000), Wednesday, 19.07.1961. (1997), The Belovs (1994), The Other Day (1991), Losev (1989).
Victor Kossakovsky is a Russian documentary filmmaker, born 1961 in Leningrad. In 1978 he began working at the Leningrad Studio for Documentary Film as an assistant DoP, assistant director and editor. In 1988 he finished the College for Film Writer and Directors in Moscow. In many of his films, Kossakovsky plays the role of editor, cinematographer, writer and director. He started his own film production company in St. Petersburg, Kossakovsky Film Production, with the objective of creating a cinema of poetry and reality.
In a very innovative and original way, the renowned filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky, a winner of numerous national and international film awards, achieves in his film a profound poetic clarity and a philosophical vision in most banal and everyday situations. A master of observation, Kossakovsky does not cease to surprise the spectator with his subtle humour and sense of drama. His various documentary films are all anchored in brilliant ideas which Kossakovsky develops into intimate, completely uncompromising cinema.
During IDFA 2006, Kossakovsky gave a Master class in which he explained his unique vision on documentary through his 10 rules:
1. Don’t film if you can live without filming.
2. Don’t film if you want to say something – just say it or write it. Film only if you want to show something, or you want people to see something. This concerns both the film as a whole and every single shot within the film.
3. Don’t film if you already knew your message before filming – just become a teacher. Don’t try to save the world. Don’t try to change the world. Better if your film will change you. Discover both the world and yourself whilst filming.
4. Don’t film something you just hate. Don’t film something you just love. Film when you aren’t sure if you hate it or love it. Doubts are crucial for making art. Film when you hate and love at the same time.
5. You need your brain both before and after filming, but don’t use your brain during filming. Just film using your instinct and intuition.
6. Try to not force people to repeat an action or words. Life is unrepeatable and unpredictable. Wait, look, feel and be ready to film using your own way of filming. Remember that the very best films are unrepeatable. Remember that the very best films were based on unrepeatable shots. Remember that the very best shots capture unrepeatable moments of life with an unrepeatable way of filming.
7. Shots are the basis of cinema. Remember that cinema was invented as one single shot – documentary, by the way – without any story. Or story was just inside that shot. Shots must first and foremost provide the viewers with new impressions that they never had before.
8. Story is important for documentary, but perception is even more important. Think, first, what the viewers will feel while seeing your shots. Then, form a dramatic structure of your film using the changes to their feelings.
9. Documentary is the only art where every aesthetical element almost always has ethical aspects and every ethical aspect can be used aesthetically. Try to remain human, especially whilst editing your films. Maybe nice people should not make documentaries.
10. Don’t follow my rules. Find your own rules. There is always something that only you can film and nobody else.
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