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‘Mr. Landsbergis’ Review: Sergei Loznitsa’s Immersive Dive Into Lithuania’s Battle for Independence

‘Mr. Landsbergis’ Review: Sergei Loznitsa’s Immersive Dive Into Lithuania’s Battle for Independence
However much you think you know about modern Lithuanian history, you’re almost certain to leave wiser after digesting all 248 minutes of . That the film is both intricately researched and archivally rich comes as no surprise considering it’s by Sergei Loznitsa, the sharp, scholarly and impossibly prolific Ukrainian filmmaker whose gift for spinning art from raw archival material has been repeatedly proven — most recently in this year’s Cannes selection “Babi Yar. Context.” Less expected, perhaps, is that a four-hour record of dense political negotiations and standoffs, braided with one extended talking-head interview, should go by as quickly as it does.

By no means easily achieved, the film’s balance of monumental historical heft and strong narrative drive secured it the top prize at this year’s edition of IDFA — the first stop in what is sure to be a long festival tour. Beyond that circuit, the project’s prospects are less sure,
See full article at Variety »

Sergei Loznitsa Discusses IDFA Winner ‘Mr. Landsbergis’ and the Liberation of Lithuania

Sergei Loznitsa Discusses IDFA Winner ‘Mr. Landsbergis’ and the Liberation of Lithuania
Detailing Lithuania’s attempts to break away from the Soviet Union, from protests in 1989 to Vilnius’ Bloody Sunday in 1991, when Soviet troops attempted to stage a coup, Sergei Loznitsa became interested in the man in the midst of it all: Vytautas Landsbergis, the first Head of Parliament of Lithuania after its independence declaration.

“I started this project with a simple question: ‘Why nobody in Lithuania filmed him before?’ He is such a great man, great storyteller,” says the helmer. “Mr. Landsbergis” was crowned as best film at IDFA, with Danielius Kokanauskis awarded for editing.

Recalling his 2015 film “The Event” on the 1991 August Coup in Moscow, Loznitsa argues that he doesn’t feel like “a foreigner” in Lithuania, the first country that took serious steps to destroy the Soviet Union. But a foreigner can sometimes say things the locals cannot, he observes, also because they haven’t noticed them.

“I was born in the Soviet Union.
See full article at Variety »

Sergei Loznitsa’s ‘Mr Landsbergis’ wins best film at IDFA 2021

Sergei Loznitsa’s ‘Mr Landsbergis’ wins best film at IDFA 2021
Karim Kassem’s ‘Octopus’ won best film in the Envision Competition.

Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa’s Mr Landsbergis has won the €15,000 best film award of the International Competition at International Documentary Film Fesival Amsterdam (IDFA) tonight (Thursday November 25).

The four-hour documentary is about inspirational Lithuanian political leader Vytautas Landsbergis, who led the country to freedom at the end of the Soviet era.The prize comes just six months after Loznitza’s other film of 2021, Babi Yar. Context, won the the Golden Eye Award.

“It is not easy to bring history to life. It is even more difficult to make it thrilling,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sergei Loznitza’s ‘Mr Landsbergis’ wins best film at IDFA 2021

Sergei Loznitza’s ‘Mr Landsbergis’ wins best film at IDFA 2021
Karim Kassem’s ‘Octopus’ won best film in the Envision Competition.

Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitza’s Mr Landsbergis has won the €15,000 best film award of the International Competition at International Documentary Film Fesival Amsterdam (IDFA) tonight (Thursday November 25).

The four-hour documentary is about inspirational Lithuanian political leader Vytautas Landsbergis, who led the country to freedom at the end of the Soviet era.The prize comes just six months after Loznitza’s other film of 2021, Babi Yar. Context, won the the Golden Eye Award.

“It is not easy to bring history to life. It is even more difficult to make it thrilling,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sergei Loznitsa’s ‘Mr. Landsbergis’ Wins Best Film at IDFA Documentary Festival

Sergei Loznitsa’s ‘Mr. Landsbergis’ Wins Best Film at IDFA Documentary Festival
Sergei Loznitsa’s extensive documentary “Mr. Landsbergis,” clocking in at 246 minutes and depicting Lithuania’s “singing revolution” when the country finally broke away from the Soviet Union, has won the Best Film award in the International Competition section, as well as €15,000, at documentary film festival IDFA in Amsterdam.

It marks the second 2021 release for the prolific filmmaker, who has already shown “Babi Yar. Context” at Cannes Film Festival in July. The latter film was also noticed at IDFA and granted the Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award for Best Creative Use of Archive’s special mention.

“On every level of craft, the winning film represents a monumental achievement that fully explores the role one man, one nation, and one historical moment can play in the still-unfolding story of the global struggle for freedom and self-determination,” argued jurors Arne Birkenstock, Claire Diao, Elena Fortes, Jessica Kiang and Ryan Krivoshey, admitting that
See full article at Variety »

‘Hit the Road, ‘Playground,’ ‘Becoming Cousteau’ Win BFI London Film Festival Awards

  • Variety
‘Hit the Road, ‘Playground,’ ‘Becoming Cousteau’ Win BFI London Film Festival Awards
Panah Panahi’s “Hit the Road,” Laura Wandel’s “Playground” and Liz Garbus’ “Becoming Cousteau” have won the feature competition awards at the 65th BFI London Film Festival.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and BFI chief executive Ben Roberts led a judging panel to award “True Things” filmmaker Harry Wootliff the £50,000 Iwc Schaffhausen bursary, which recognizes emerging talent.

Family road trip movie “Hit the Road” won best film at the festival’s official competition.

Malgorzata Szumowska, official competition president, said: “The best film award recognises inspiring and distinctive filmmaking that captures the essence of cinema. The essence of life. At all times in cinema history, but perhaps during a pandemic especially, we are looking for ways to connect to life. Our choice is for a film that made us laugh and cry and feel alive.”

“Playground,” the harsh world of playground politics as seen through the eyes of a seven-year-old girl, won the
See full article at Variety »

‘Compartment No. 6’ wins top international prize at Jerusalem Film Festival

‘Compartment No. 6’ wins top international prize at Jerusalem Film Festival
All Eyes Off Me and Shake Your Cares Away shared the prize for best Israeli film.

Finnish director Juho Kousmanen’s Compartment No. 6 has won the best international prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival (Jff), with Hadas Ben-Aroya’s All Eyes Off Me and Tom Shoval’s Shake Your Cares Away sharing the award for best Israeli film.

The awards will be presented in-person before selected screenings tonight and tomorrow (September 2-3), with the total sum of the awards at this year’s festival approximately 1,000,000 Ils.

Compartment No. 6 premiered in competition at Cannes and is about a Finnish woman and
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Directors Radu Jude and Sergei Loznitsa Talk Their Prolific Careers, ‘Starship Troopers’

Directors Radu Jude and Sergei Loznitsa Talk Their Prolific Careers, ‘Starship Troopers’
Romanian director Radu Jude, fresh off his Golden Bear win at Berlin with “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn,” wouldn’t mind trying his hand at “Starship Troopers” next, he revealed during a Karlovy Vary Film Festival talk shared with Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa. Basing it “more on the book than the film,” he said, mentioning Paul Verhoeven’s take, as well as opening up about mixed reactions to his Berlinale triumph in his home country.

“I don’t mind people rejecting the film, but it’s more insidious when they offer ‘explanations.’ ‘Look at his name: Jude. Doesn’t it mean ‘Jew’ in German? Of course, it’s a prize given by Jews,’ ” he shared, referring to hateful comments about his story of a teacher facing a scandal after her sex tape goes viral.

“I’ve made films dealing with Romania’s participation in the Holocaust and the enslavement of the Roma people.
See full article at Variety »

European Film Awards reveals first 2021 selection

European Film Awards reveals first 2021 selection
Films include Emerald Fennell’s ‘Promising Young Woman’ and Blerta Basholli’s ‘Hive’.

More films than ever before are eligible for this year’s European Film Awards’ feature film and documentary film selection, with 40 feature films and 15 documentary films, and further feature film titles to be revealed in September.

Titles in the feature film selection include Blerta Basholli’s Sundance hit Hive and Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman. The latter is eligible despite being listed as a film of US origin. The European Film Academy (Efa) told Screen this was because the film reaches the number of points in
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Babi Yar. Context - Anne-Katrin Titze - 16899

Babi Yar. Context - Anne-Katrin Titze - 16899
Sergei Loznitsa’s remarkable Babi Yar. Context, which screened this week at the 74th Cannes Film Festival, is a work of resurrection which seems to collapse time. The film was produced for the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and consists entirely of archival footage surrounding the tragedy. Official documentation, mixed in with private footage, shot by soldiers and civilians, chronicle the events following the German occupation of Ukraine.

Babi Yar is the name of a ravine in Kiev, where on September 29 and 30, 1941, 33771 Jews were shot dead by Sonderkommando 4a of the Einsatzgruppe C, assisted by two battalions of the Police Regiment South and Ukrainian Auxiliary Police. The march of the entire Jewish population - everyone from old people to babies - heading to the ravine, took place in broad daylight and was witnessed by thousands. No footage remains and it was in the perpetrators’ interest to let...
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Cannes Film Festival 2021 Lineup: Sean Baker, Wes Anderson, and More Compete for Palme d’Or

Cannes Film Festival 2021 Lineup: Sean Baker, Wes Anderson, and More Compete for Palme d’Or
Cannes is back in full force with the announcement of the Official Selection for the film festival’s 74th edition. Taking place in July after having been originally scheduled for May, Cannes is returning with an in-person event after the pandemic forced the festival to cancel in 2020. Spike Lee, who was supposed to head the jury and premiere his “Da 5 Bloods” out of competition last year, is returning to Cannes 2021 as jury president. Films such as Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” Leos Carax’s “Annette,” and Paul Verhoeven’s “Benedetta” were all supposed to premiere at Cannes 2020 but are now confirmed for Cannes 2021 after waiting a year to be unveiled to the world.

Given this is the first Cannes in the Covid pandemic era, there are as many questions about the event’s safety protocols as there are about the lineup. Cannes general delegate Thierry Frémaux told IndieWire
See full article at Indiewire »

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