Arsenals 2008 programme

    Programme of Arsenals 2008


    The Focus

    Arsenals will take a glance back in the history before 80 years when the world of cinema experienced one of its most significant metamorphosis and convulsions at the same time - the birth of sound cinema in period between 1927 and 1928.

    International Film Competition

    A special Commission of Selection will choose around 15 films characterized by an outstanding content and uncommon means of expression for the Competition of Arsenals. Full - length feature films, short feature films, documentary films and animated films of 35 mm will be included in the selection.

    Baltic Film Competition

    The section will include 20 films: features, documentaries and animated films which will be evaluated by two juries: the international jury represented by members of significant film festivals (Rotterdam, Karlovy Vari, Locarno and more) and FIPRESCI jury.
    The main aim of this section is promoting the Baltic cinema in the world and raising interest of the local spectators about the actualities of the Baltic cinematography. There are four nominations for prizes in this section: the Best Feature film, the Best Documentary film, the Best Animated film and the Best Baltic film.

    World's Cinema Panorama

    As usual Forum also offers world's cinema Panorama which is a unique opportunity to get to know different cultures of the world through the curious eye of film projector.
    It is the most versatile and multifarious of all sections of the Forum as it guides the spectator all around the world's continents to the furthest corners of the earth representing 30 cinema cultures of different countries. This section is designed constantly and actively following the news of cinema to shape an idea about the actual themes of world's cinema.

    World's Cinema Panorama. Evening Films

    During 8 nights in the Big Hall of Cinema Riga films created in last two years will be screened- films of famous directors, bright, classic, stunning, and provocative, already gained the world's recognition, triumphed in different notable film festivals, and loved by spectators. They are offered for a wide scale of spectators - aesthetes of cinema, a group of friends for a pleasant evening. These are films that usually gain the most attention of the society of Riga.

    French Film Programme

    In collaboration with French Culture Centre in Riga a special programme of French films will be designed.
    During the last 2 years various legendary French film directors have created new works. Along such representatives of the new wave as Claude Chabrol, Eric Romer also Alain Resnais, Jean Becker and legendary Georgian director Temur Babluani residing in France have made new films.
    Instead of screening a film retrospective we offer a unique opportunity to follow the paths of cinema's history creators after a half of century,

    New Silent Films

    A new tendency emerges in the world cinema - black and white style silent films. Living in the period of sound these new silent films have kept the right to record a soundtrack which, as pages of caption previously, nowadays guides the spectator with a help of music and story - teller. These films are based on appearance of the actor - its gestures, mimic, gaze and are characterized by predominance of the visual not the content. They lead the spectator to a slightly mythical world to meet our unconscious fantasies of childhood.


    Hong Kong Films

    Hong Kong's films ultimately have attracted the world's attention with an expressive cinematic language. The Programme will include the brightest recently created films of this region directors. Despite the oppressive predominance of action films in Hong Kong, the alternative or art cinema has gained a stable niche. Its directors avoid presence of conventional themes or traditional visual methods in their works. The most notable representatives of this movement- Wong Kar-Wai, Stanley Kwan, Eddie Fong have triumphed not only in Hong Kong but also in significant international film festivals and reviews of critics.
    Arsenals will explore the destiny of these masters after their triumph, in search for succession or possible notions of original cinematic movements in new directors' works, such as Patrick Tam's new films.

    Retrospective of Slovakian Cinema in 80ties

    In collaboration with Slovakia Embassy in Latvia we plan to offer a Retrospective of Slovakian cinema in 20th century 80ties, which has been an extremely rich period in Slovakian Cinema's history.

    After the Spring Of Prague in 1986 and a decade of intense relationship with the government, the environment in Slovakia became more favorable to express creative ideas.
    Slovakians as well as Czechs intended to liberate themselves of the loop of social-realism, preferring films about the everyday life of an ordinary person, its passions and choices. Two great Slovakian film directors will celebrate their 70th anniversaries in 2008 - Dusan Hanák and Juraj Jakubisko whose films will be screened in the Programme of Arsenals to celebrate this event.

    Retrospective of Yevgeny Yufit

    In the beginning of 80ties Yevgeny Yufit creates performances and takes part in St.Petersburg's unofficial art exhibitions. In 1984 he founds an underground studio Mzhalalafilm and the society of Necrorealism which tendencies are present in his initial films: Werewolf Orderlies (1984), Spring (1987) and other.
    He actively works in CINEFANTOM in its beginnings and becomes famous as one of the fathers of parallel cinema. Concept CINEFANTOM exists already for more than 20 years, since the first cinema analyzing journal CINE FANTOM was published in 1985.
    The journal has always been related to the underground of soviet cinema - the legendary movement of parallel cinema. In 90ties CINEFANTOM becomes more than just a club as it unifies the independent filmmakers and contemporary artists.
    Nevertheless, in 90ties there is no sign of Necrorealism in Yufit's works; three full - length feature films are made in collaboration with Wladimir Maslov - Papa, Father Frost is Dead (1991), The Wooden Room (1995) and Silver Heads (1998). This is the moment when international film festivals such as IFF of Rotterdam, IFF of Locarno, IFF of Toronto and IFF of Montreal notice films of Yufit.
    Retrospective of Yevgeny Yufit will be offered in collaboration with Museum of Cinema of the Netherlands.

    Special Events:

    Salome (opening film)

    In the end of 80ties Arsenals entered the cultural life of Latvia as a new form of communication - a multimedia event which trespasses the narrow cinematographic field of interest and unifies the cinematograph events to other arts and spheres of life - literature, visual arts, music and history of culture in general - in local and global scale.
    During already two decades ICC has expressed its piety for the art of music with a special event - live performance accompaniment of outstanding silent films.
    In XIX IFF Arsenals we plan to continue the tradition and create live performance accompaniment to one of the first USA arthouse films - Salome (1923) of Charles Bryant with magnificent and extravagant Russian - origin film star Alla Nazimova in the main role.
    Salome with its avant-garde visual solutions and bright actor - play can be ranked as one of the most interesting works of the period.
    We plan to use French composer and Île -de -France orchestra director Marc - Olivier Dupin's music composed especially for this film ordered by Museum of Louvre and TV Company ARTE to create the live music performance accompaniment for the film.
    The opening film and its live music accompaniment will be performed in a special event on 13th of September in the New Hall of Latvian National Opera.

    Sound cinema pioneers in Russia

    Film Odna (1931) of directors' Leonid Trauberg and Grigori Kozintsev are proudly believed to be the first sound film in Russia by St. Peterburgans (nevertheless inhabitants of Moscow have a slightly different opinion). The initial idea was to create a silent film but eventually film had a soundtrack with sound effects, some dialogues and also musical performance of orchestra composed by Dmitry Shostakovich. Unfortunately a part of it has been damaged during the blockade of Leningrad.
    Mostly the dialogues appear on the screen as a caption. The film is believed to be a link between the silent and sound cinema as it smartly unifies expressions of the both.
    We plan to screen the film in the Big Hall of Cinema Riga.

    Visit of Litvinova in Arsenals

    The contemporary Russian cinema's diva Renata Litvinova plans to visit Riga for several days. She is tied to Arsenals in a very special way - this is where she met Kira Muratova. Several Litvinova's will be screened in Arsenals representing her as a director, actress and a script-writer.

    Out- of cinemas:


    Unless something unexpected occurs we shall see one of the internationally most admirable professionals of cinema - montage specialist Valdis Oskarsdottir in Riga. She has collaborated with directors of Hollywood such as Michel Gondry as well as recognizable Nordic film directors - Baltasar Kormakur and Thomas Vinterberg is being expected in Riga. Her most recent projects are Vantage Point (2008), Mongol (2007), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Finding Forrester (2000) as well as famous Danish films Mifune (1999) and The Festen (1998). Valdis has admitted that it would be her great pleasure to lead a masterclass of Arsenals. This kind of masterclasses and seminars are highly essential for Riga's cinematographic environment, filmmakers and students of cinema.
    Traditionally we will also organize the Club of Arsenals inviting unions of musicians related to the focus of the festival.

    Last modified on 16-07-2008