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Lightning over Water, (say Cut!) film-still, 1980
Lightning over Water, (say Cut!) film-still, 1980

Thursday 22 March | Yuki Yukite Shingun (The emperor’s naked army marches on)
Wednesday 4 April | Lightning over Water
Thursday 19 April | The thin blue line

Documentary films try to show, unearth and investigate certain truths and values of events taking place in front of the camera’s lense. They seem to suggest that what is being shown is a genuine event, with genuine people and that what you see is as unmediated as possible and hence not fiction. In this way documentaries as a genre open up an interesting space for the filmmaker through their potential to play with the expectations of the viewer. For example by staging or re-enacting past events with the use of actors begins to blur the distinction between fiction and reality, problematizing the relation between the camera and what is real.

The screening series Documenting Documentary contains three films that all use documentary style techniques, in order to examine the boundaries and the relationship between fiction and non-fiction. The screenings are intended as a departure point for discussion about the stylistic conventions and possibilities of documentaries in relation to truth and fiction, knowledge and power and the relation between the apparatus, the subject and the viewer. By integrating ‘behind the camera scenes’ and by creating an awareness of the camera, each of the three films reveal their own production system and in this way become self-reflective.

Yuki Yukite Shingun (The emperor’s naked army marches on) by Kazuo Hara, 1986
Thursday 22 March, 21.00 | Runtime: 122 min.

The first film screened is Yuki Yukite Shingun (The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On) by Kazuo Hara, 1986. This documentary revolves around 62-year-old Okuzaki Kenzo, survivor of the battlefields of New Guinea in World War II. Kenzo gained notoriety by shooting steel pinballs with a slingshot at Emperor Showa in protest against what he considered to be the rulers war crimes. Traveling around to do interviews with survivors and relatives, Kenzo finds the truth of the past hard to grasp, achieving only an important breakthrough when he confronts the ex-sergeant Yamada.

Lightning over Water by Wim Wenders and Nicholas Ray, 1980
Wednesday 4 April, 21.00 | Runtime: 91 min.

The second film we will show is Lightning over Water by Wim Wenders and Nicholas Ray. The film documents the last days of Nicholas Ray, who is dying of cancer. Wim Wenders travels to New York to help his friend Ray on his last movie. After discussing the idea they decide it is not realizable due to Ray’s health situation.
This ‘semi-documentary’ is an intense and moving portrait of Nicolas Ray and an interesting co-operation between two important filmmakers.

The thin blue line by Errol Morris, 1988
Thursday 19 April, 21.00 | Runtime: 103 min.

The third film in this series is The Thin Blue Line, directed by Errol Morris. The film shows us the true story of the arrest and conviction of Randall Adams, for the murder of a Dallas policeman in 1976. With its use of expressionistic re-enactments, interview material and music by Philip Glass, this film, structured as a documentary, launched a new kind of non-fiction filmmaking.

Practical Information:
Thursday 19 April 2012 | 21:00
ADA studios, Delftsestraat 9, Rotterdam
email: [javascript protected email address]
tel: 0618819756

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