Sunday, August 5, 2007

doco shorts

Well, as most of my avid fans would know, I caught the doco shorts programme 2 at Greater Union on Friday night. And, besides the one or two productions that made me nod off, I have to say it was definitely money well spent at the cinema - not something one can profess too often nowadays.

The first doc, entitled I want to be a pilot, was a moving, poetic account of a young HIV orphan, who was later revealed to be HIV positive himself. Turned out that it wasn't about one child specifically, but illustrated the fate of tens of thousands of children living out in the slums of East Africa. The boy had such haunting eyes... and both the pace and texture of the film were just painstakingly beautiful.

Out of all the documentaries, though, I would have to say the biggest highlight for me was The Butcher's Wife. It was just such an awe-inspiring piece, both from a filmmaking and human psychology point of view. To think that one woman put herself through so much and could then come out from that to become the subject of such a wonderful aesthetic is mind-blowing. I especially loved the way her daughter infused the story with bits of dramatised footage as well as more formal interviewing... not to mention the sheer perfection of the sound at all times I guess it was just good to see good quality documentary filmmaking happening so close to home - apparently the girl (Kylie) was/is a student of the VCA. The beginning of a long and vibrant career, I hope.

Lipari wasn't bad, stylistically. It was the only doc that didn't contain explicit dialog, and that seemed to work. The Fighting Cholitas was as informative as it was amusing... really loved the whole corny pro-wrestling touch of the dialogue boxes.. haha. And the way the women were filmed.. both in their domestic and 'professional' settings. Again, multi-layering. And the way it was structured was just really engaging and built up to a pretty exciting climax. This is all stuff I've taken on board for crafting our own up-and-coming short documentary.

Speaking of which, it's high time I did some more work on this proposal. Did I mention this? We've all decided on what we're doing - and my doc it is. :)

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