After last years agreement between the Vietnamese Film Instituut and the European Foundation Joris Ivens to establish an active partnership director André Stufkens visited Vietnam on the invitation of director Vũ Nguyên Hùng. The purpose of the successful visit was to make concrete appointments further developing this collaboration of exchange of knowledge and expertise.
On March 28th, during the 2017 annual meeting of The Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), the Katherine Singer Kovács Book Award for outstanding scholarship in cinema and media studies will be presented to prof. Thomas Waugh for his magisterial The Conscience of Cinema. The Works of Joris Ivens, 1912-1989. It is thé ultimate peer review recognition of the intellectual quality and vibrance of this first book about the complete film oeuvre of Joris Ivens.
Mark Hamlyn made a new composition for The Billi Brass Quintet for Ivens' 'the Bridge'. It is part of the Billi Brass' Silent Films Project.
In the series 'Stationen der Filmgeschichte' (Stations of Film History) the Filmmuseum Düsseldorf presents films of 100 Master film directors who influenced film history. Stations are sites of arrivals, departures, crossings and switches, similar to icons of film history: the selected film directors paved the way of new directions, cross overs and switches in filmmaking. On 3 January the Filmmuseum presents three films of Joris Ivens: Lied der Ströme (1954, Song of the Rivers), ...à Valparaiso (1963) and Regen (19 ...
‘A new Ivens’, this is how German film historian Günter Jordan describes the documentary The Compass Rose (Die Wndrose, 1957). With an outstanding cast, like Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Helene Weigel, with outstanding directors like Alberto Cavalcanti, Yannick Bellon and Gilio Pontecorvo, this five-episode omnibus film presented a new style and format in documentary film. It was shown during the International Documentary Festival DOKS Leipzig celebrating its 70th anniversary on 3 November.
During the UBUD Writers festival on Bali the 'Black Armada/Hitam Armada' exhibition was presented at the Agung Rai Museum of Art. Dr. Helena Studdert, consul-general of Australia on Bali, attended the opening event. This travelling exhibition, with the permanent screening of Ivens' Indonesia Calling, made by the National Maritime Museum of Australia on the initiative of Mr. Anthony Liem was already shown in Sydney and Yogyakarta. It will be shown at the end of November at the Margarana National Park to commemorate the ...
On Friday prof. Thomas Waugh (Concordia University, Montreal) presented his monumental 'The Conscience of Cinema. The Works of Joris Ivens 1912-1989' in EYE Amsterdam. Together with Amsterdam University Press and the European Foundation Joris Ivens, EYE organized an expertmeeting, two filmscreenings of six Ivensfilms and a live music performance accompanying Rain (Regen, 1929, Ivens/Franken). This marked the launch of a book that for the first time surveys all the films of Ivens, with a description, analysis and ...
At the occasion of the launch of Thomas Waugh's masterly book The Conscience of Cinema. The Works of Joris Ivens 1926-1989, a special Joris Ivens Seminar will organized in EYE Study on 21 October 2016. Paul Kusters, president of the Ivens Foundation, will be the moderator of the day with lectures and debates focussing on 'Ivens & The Netherlands'. The programme also includes the screening of Indonesia Calling!, New Earth, The Bridge, Rotterdam-Europoort and a Q&A.
The 13th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is Southeast Asia’s leading festival of words and ideas. The Festival celebrates extraordinary stories, amplifies brave voices, and tackles global issues through the lens of literature and the arts. On 30 October Ivens’ Indonesia Calling! will be shown with a Q&A of Agung Rai, Anthony and Helen Liem and other guests from the Australian National Maritime Museum.
With the bulky book 'Saviour of the Tenth Muse. Jan de Vaal and the Netherlands Filmmuseum, 1946-1987' the European Foundation Joris Ivens is presenting the treasures of the national film archive of the Netherlands, as collected, presented and preserved by Jan de Vaal (1922-2001). Until now only sporadically has been published about the pioneering activities by its first director. He started in 1946 without anything, no film, no money, no housing, nog experience and no personnel. After 40 years he left the film museum with 1 ...
The director of the Vietnames Film Institute gave a precious present to the Ivens Foundation, when both FIAF-institutions met in Nijmegen on Thursday 30th of June. Mr. Dao Quoc Hung (on the photo: second from the left side) handed over the found footage of Ivens' visits to Vietnam when Ivens started filmmaking durign the war against the US in 1965. Most of the footage concerns outtakes of Le ciel, la terre (1966) and various meetings in North-Vietnam. Next year the Vitenames Film Institute will commemorate the 50th anni ...
The Sächsische Staatskapelle in Dresden will performing a live concert with film screening of Rain (Regen, Ivens-Franken 1929) during the 7th Shostakovich-Days. The Final concert programs Ludwig von Beethoven, Dmitri Shostakovich, Paul Dessau and Hanns Eislers Fourteen Ways to Describe Rain (1941) with the film.
NAMU in Prague, the publishing house of the Academy of Arts, presented the Czech translation of André Stufkens book Joris Ivens. Filmmaker of the World (518 pages). This Czech book explores the content, production, meaning and reception of 21 Ivens films and was first published in Dutch and German in 2008 and 2009 as part of the DVD box. Especially a chapter about the relationship between Joris Ivens and the Czech Republic has been added, focussing on the documentary The First Years.
What are the greatest documentaries ever made? The international film magazine Sight&Sound publishes in the September issue 2014 a poll of 340 critics and filmmakers in the search for authoritative answers. In this list a remarkable number of 11 Ivens’films were voted.
The legacy of Joris Ivens
it's obvious that by working with a director like Ivens you learn lots of things that become part of you. You don't even remember any more what you take from it. One key thing, as we've often said, is that when we worked with him, we realised we weren't documentary directors. So much so that when we were filming in Sicily – because he couldn't come to Sicily to do the shooting, he had to quickly edit the other two episodes: only Vittorio and I went and shot the Sicilian episode – he said, after seeing the material: ‘This is more for a fiction film than a documentary!’ In fact, going down there, we had invented lots of stories, passing them off as true. I remember at a certain point during the trip from Nuovo Pignone as far as Gela, I saw a band playing in a village. We stopped ahead and I said to the assistant: ‘Go to that village there, listen to this band, then put them on a truck and tomorrow we'll head down, that way you'll get them to cross our path: we'll do the filming while they're passing by, with the band playing’. When Ivens saw it, he asked: ‘Is it real?’ And I replied: ‘Of course! We came across them on the street and then told them to do it all over again as a favour!’ ‘Ah, good, very good’. Now, Ivens said so, but also in its cinematic ‘truth’, it was all true and all false – true and false, but in the right way! And maybe this is what we have taken from it. Even he saw the poverty when he came to the South – where there are also true documents of the rooms where people live, of the pictures on the walls, the flies, etc. – he did the same thing. You'll have heard the story of the olive tree that fed the two families who lived there. None of it is true! In fact, when we were talking, we saw a beautiful olive tree and he came up with the idea of creating this story that isn't true… or rather: it's ‘true’, essentially quite true, and yet it's not. If you go and check, you'll discover I went to choose the characters there myself. Together with Tinto Brass, we went to choose those who could play this part. So it isn't actually ‘true’, but this is also the truth, that is, the truth is very often invented. And he, a great documentary maker, was one who documented and invented even reality itself in order to make what he told even truer.
How important is the European Foundation Joris Ivens today?
It's very important! I'd say especially at the moment with a revival of interest in documentary filmmaking, which had quite been forgotten. This comes from someone who doesn't make documentaries, who has always made fiction films: when we were young we did indeed love the film history of the great artists I mentioned before, but we also loved documentaries. We didn't consider documentaries a ‘lesser part’ of cinema; it was the kind of filmmaking Eisenstein or John Ford did. Then instead, little by little, this focus was lost and the fault, particularly in Italy, lies with the governments we've had: because we didn't like making documentaries? Because we were forced to keep within the 10 minutes, since they were combined with films; and in 10 minutes any idea is contracted! This is why we made documents that were ‘film tasters’, neither documentaries nor films, so hybrids that occasionally turned out to be pretty good, but essentially weren't satisfactory. It was a way to discourage the production of documentaries. Vittorio De Seta, one of the greatest Italian documentary filmmakers, was an exception! Then, recently, as you've seen, a documentary won an award in Venice. This is a major event. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard it's a good film. But what's particularly good is the choice made by Biennale director, Alberto Barbera, to include this film in the Festival and that the jury then selected it for an award. So right now, it is very important to rediscover the maestro who has created the greatest documentary works, Joris Ivens, and then to make him known, in various circles, not only at the Cinémathèque Française, but everywhere. This is the aim of the Ivens Foundation. It would be nice to go back to China, where Ivens was; it would be interesting to see the relationship between his China and the China of today. Or to South Vietnam – not North, because that would be complicated. It would help understand. Let's take Terra di Spagna (The Spanish Earth, 1937): it would be important to go to Spain and reproduce this documentary, among other things written by Hemingway, with a commentary by Orson Welles – in short: it also has a fine cast, and presents itself well! So the force of Joris Ivens' films is once again current, precisely today, in the battle that's being fought for documentaries in the film world.