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KOSMOPOLIS 04 - International Festival of Literature     [ SPAIN ]
DERRIDA will be screened in Barcelona Sept 14 - 19 2004.

REVIEW BY FESTIVAL
An odd portrait of Jacques Derrida, one of the most polemical and influential theorists of the end of the 20th century. The filmmakers 'deconstruct' the French thinker's private and professional life, in an attempt to capture the processes of an inquisitive and iconoclastic mind which has greatly influenced our way of understanding the limits of language.
 


COPENHAGEN INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL     [ DENMARK ]
DERRIDA was screened in Copenhagen Nov 7 - 16 2003.
BRASILIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ BRAZIL ]
DERRIDA was screened in Brazil Sept 10 - 21 2003.
LA MILANESIANA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ ITALY ]
DERRIDA was screened in Milan June 23 - July 14 2003.
REVELATION PERTH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ AUSTRALIA ]
DERRIDA was screened in Perth June 11 - 29 2003.
BARCELONA WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ SPAIN ]
DERRIDA was screened in Barcelona June 9 - 15 2003.
IAPL CONFERENCE     [ UNITED KINGDOM ]
DERRIDA was screened in Leeds May 26 - 31 2003.
FLYING BROOM WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL     [ TURKEY ]
DERRIDA was screened in Ankara May 8 - 15 2003.
MUNICH INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL     [ GERMANY ]
DERRIDA was screened in Munich May 3 - 10 2003.
SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ SINGAPORE ]
DERRIDA was screened in Singapore Apr 18 - May 3 2003.
ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ TURKEY ]
DERRIDA was screened in Istanbul Apr 12 - 27 2003.
BUENOS AIRES INTERNATIONAL INDIE FILM FESTIVAL     [ BRAZIL ]
DERRIDA was screened in Buneos Aires Apr 16 - 26 2003.
IT'S ALL TRUE INTL DOC FILM FESTIVAL     [ BRAZIL ]
DERRIDA was screened in São Paulo, Brazil in Apr 3 - 13 2003.
INFINITY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ ITALY ]
DERRIDA was be screened in Alba, Italy in Apr 6 - 13 2003.
STRANGER THAN FICTION DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL     [ GERMANY ]
DERRIDA was screened in KÝln Mar 6 - 11 2003.
ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ AUSTRALIA ]
DERRIDA was screened in Adelaide Feb 27 - Mar 7 2003.
SLOVENIAN NATIONAL CINEMATHEQUE     [ SLOVENIA ]
DERRIDA was screened in Ljubljana Feb 27 2003.
ROTTERDAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ HOLLAND ]
DERRIDA was screened in Rotterdam Jan 22 - Feb 2 2003.

#18 MAHAGONNY HOW WE TALK ABOUT THINGS:
REPORT ON THE 32ND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM BY GENEVIEVE YUE

...The dialogue I heard at Rotterdam concerned itself with the language of cinema, or how we talk about things. With the insistent weight of current events, the Dutch general elections, the Columbia tragedy, and President Bush's State of the Union Address all taking place during the course of the Festival, it seemed fitting that so much emphasis be placed on documenting the real. This year's experimental and crossover art Exploding Cinema program, '[based upon] TRUE STORIES,' featured not the documentary film but the problem of documentary film, that is the problem of representation. The tension in its title (always present in parenthetical or bracketed statements) erupts from the gap between what happened and what happens again, re-presented in a different state. 'The history of testimony,' Jacques Derrida says in the biographical Derrida (Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering Kofman, 2002), 'excludes the intervention of the recording device.' Derrida himself struggles with the presence of the recording device, hiding as much as he tells, visibly withdrawing into the private life that he so openly (but distantly) describes. In one scene, seated with his wife Marguerite, he denies the possibility of a full answer as to the question of how they met. 'You're not going to get very much out of us,' he laughs. In this moment, it is not only the facts of the event that obscure its meaning, but his refusal to give entry to the camera. Even later, upon viewing footage of the same scene, he marvels at the 'incredible confidences' shared between him and his wife...


OSLO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL     [ NORWAY ]
DERRIDA was screened in Oslo Nov 14 - November 24.
GET REAL: CITY PAGES DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL     [ MINNESOTA ]
DERRIDA was screened in Minneapolis Nov 7 - November 10.
2002 VALLADOLID     [ SPAIN ]
DERRIDA was screened in Valladolid October 25 - November 2.
2002 VIENNA     [ AUSTRIA ]
DERRIDA was screened in Vienna October 18 - 30.

REVIEW BY FESTIVAL
Jacques Derrida is one of those rare individuals whose approach to the world is so profound and timely that his world-view alters the landscape of thought itself. The simultaneous publication of three of his major works in 1967 helped provide inspiration for the May 1968 student/worker revolts in Paris, and ushered in the era we have come to know as postmodern. In this spirit, the filmmakers embrace a deconstructionist ethos. They mix verite-like moments, formal interviews and excerpts from Derrida's texts with a persistent inquiry into the nature of biography. Still, given the lofty intellectual setting, what is so surprising about Derrida, the film, is the ease with which viewers become familiar with Derrida, the person.


2002 JIHLAVA INTL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL     [ CZECH REPUBLIC ]
DERRIDA was screened in the Czech Republic October 25 - 28.

REVIEW BY FESTIVAL
French philosopher Jacques Derrida is the founder of deconstruction which brings a critical view of classical texts and examines new possiblities of thinking. Derrida published his first important works already at the end of 60s, however, he has tried to define the meaning and the task of deconstruction again and again. He does not interpret the world on the basis of its static structures, but from its dynamic aspect. What is dynamic is notably the structure of language, the communication code. Everyone conforms to the system of the language if they want to be understood by others. In this way, the language imposes upon us a certain way of speaking, it is the instrument of organization of our experience, the language is the power which controls us even is we are not aware of it. And one of the features of Derridas post-modern philosophy is revelation of this powr and all the concepts related to it somehow. He radical re-appraisal of the wester metaphysics has profoundly influenced the thinking about literature, ergics, law amd architecture. The monopole of the system affects the deep-rooted automatism of our perception of and talking about the reality. It does not record things of the world, but it permits to rediscover them, to really see them. If we want to understand art, we have to get used to the image of an open structure, i.e.; a structure which is constantly moving and changing. Derrida calls his method a play because he understands the criticism of philosophy and language as a criticism of sense and at the same time he realizes that a philosophical criticism of sense cannot be made outside its sphere. The documentary film about Derrida is an outstanding portrait of this philosopher. Shot thanks to Derridas maximal support, the film is also an ambitious attempt to unite the print of life of a unique philosopher, the indescribable impress of his face together with his thinking which constantly cast doubts on impress of a thing into a sign and a subsequent manipulation. The film is neither a conventional film biography nor a spelling book of his philosophy as if the document wanted to equal Derrida's examination, it searches possibilities of the portrait and at the same time speaks about its limits which are the most important possiblity. The life presence of the man melts into his reflection on violence, love, history of philosophy and the daeth of his mother. Shots divided between his personal life and the public activities give birth to a rich and affecting meditation on themes which inspire his systematic work. Besides statements illustrating years of work and moments of short standstills, he keeps thinking about the mode of creation of documentary films, he shows the impossibility to present true images. He reminds that when he is to be home the whole day, he never takes off his pajamas. But having the film staff behind his back, he prefers changing. So the film about him cannot be true image of his life. What is also important is the moment when Derrida watches the interview with himself. Derrida watches recorded Derrida. The authors claim they are trying to amuse themselves by the film. Not because the protagonist is a philosopher but because he is not.


2002 SENEF     [ KOREA ]
DERRIDA was screened at the SeNef Film Festival. This annual event was held from August 23rd - 29th. SeNef Film Festival is an internationally renowned showcase where varying degrees of digital moving images are highly celebrated and critically viewed. Since its inception in 2000, SeNef Film Festival has continually strived for the diversity of digital moving images created under the new paradigm in which art, technology, society and culture are all closely interconnected.
2002 CINEMANILA     [ PHILIPPINES ]
DERRIDA was screened at the 4th Cinemanila International Film Festival. This annual event was held from August 1 to 15, 2002 at the Glorietta Cinema and Greenbelt Cinemas in Makati City, and is sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the University of the Philippines Film Center. Screening times and dates to be announced shortly.
55th ANNUAL LOCARNO INTL FILM FESTIVAL     [ SWITZERLAND ]
The film premiered at the Piazza Grande in Lugano on one of the world's largest open air screens on August 7th at 11.00 am and August 8th at 9.00 am, "At a time when it's become commonplace to predict the death of the seventh art, the Piazza screenings remind us every night that cinema, whether dream machine or exploration of the world around us, still has a bright future before it." - The Locarno Film Festival

REVIEW BY FESTIVAL
What connections can be made between a thought and the personal life of a thinker? And how are both to be shown cinematically? These two issues permeate this documentary portrait of French philosopher Jacques Derrida. They are lines of questioning which, when applied to this writer, known the world over as the father of "deconstruction" (a label he is somewhat reluctant to accept), are not resolved but instead become more complex. At first the documentary deconstructs Derrida. It outlines in broad strokes his ideas, which constantly question the categorisations and logical structures of classical philosophy, but looking beyond his words and placing them in the context of his life and times, challenging the idea of any creation "ex nihilo". It even shows the simplicity of the great man, as he talks about love, violence and the death of his mother, combs his hair, eats and above all makes some deliciously impish jokes. And Derrida deconstructs the documentary as well, saying it cannot get at the truth, if only because it will be biased by the very presence of the camera. Indeed, the philosopher explains, he normally stays in his pajamas all day, but for the shoot he has taken some care with - constructed - his appearance. So, in his own way adopts the famous expression of Agnés Varda, who considers any documentary to be a "documenteur", a "lying document". This need for reflexivity also pervades the mode of representation have taken great care to juxtapose, against clips of lectures, readings and interviews, a sequence showing the writer's first reaction to the video of an interview and then one showing his reaction to the reaction. So DERRIDA is not just an outline biography, nor a seductive introduction to his ideas, but a dense and friendly dialogue, both the content and the mise en scène of which reflect the philosopher's theories.


2002 MELBOURNE INTL FILM FESTIVAL     [ AUSTRALIA ]
DERRIDA was screened at the 2002 Melbourne Intl Film Festival this past August. "The slogan for this year's Festival, 'Crossing Borders', is intended to underline the role of film, and ultimately our Festival, not just as an escape from the rigours of our daily lives, but in tracing the political, cultural and social seismic shifts around us." - The Melbourne Film Festival

COMMENTS BY MICHELLE CAREY
Derrida (Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering Kofman, 2002) Jacques Derrida must be one of the world's living intellectual treasures and we are fortunate in this Festival (indeed in these times) to bear witness to his deconstructivist thought practice through the medium of film. A truly philosophical film, rather than a documentary about a philosophical subject, Derrida is an engaging, mysterious, stimulating and at times humorous textual foray into love, life, truth and intent. The film overtly explores what it means for a text (of any medium) to portray a subject through facts only and why we are concerned with such facts in the first place. What I liked most about Derrida is that it took a multi-pronged, holistic approach to the way this man thinks. A project spanning three years and 200 hours worth of interview footage, the filmmakers use key paragraphs of Derrida texts to flesh out what the man says in his conversation. I found this fascinating as it subverts the usual 'talking head' mode where the subject, through the interview process, merely reaffirms and complements his/her theses.

Not merely a film for intellectuals or students of philosophy, Derrida is a warm portrait of how a great thinker thinks in the everyday. The camera does not move as he is put on the spot when faced with such questions as 'What would you like to see in a documentary about philosophers?' or when asked about his thoughts on love. The audience is transfixed as his eyes dart about, we are literally viewing thought germinate. As a lovely surprise, the man is humorous and very likeable and responds with clarity at all times. As one viewer responded afterwards, this film helps illuminate many of the ideas and dialogue in Godard's Eloge de l'amour and would have made a great double feature. I for one would have liked to see more of this type of filmmaking, both in subject and form, in this year's Festival. It certainly created the desire to know more about Derrida's thought. I'm not sure whether I loved the various elements of this film (the approach, the players, the music, what was said) or the film in itself, but I know that I approached life differently the rest of the day.


2002 NEW ZEALAND FILM FESTIVALS     [ NEW ZEALAND ]
DERRIDA was screened this past July at the 2002 New Zealand Film Festivals in both Auckland and Wellington. In Wellington, "The main venue is the magnificent Embassy Theatre" and in Auckland films screen at "the fabulously refurbished Civic Theatre, the South Pacific's most insanely beautiful picture palace." - The New Zealand Film Festivals
2002 SAN FRANCISCO INTL FILM FESTIVAL     [ CALIFORNIA ]
The festival awarded DERRIDA the GOLDEN GATE AWARD for BEST DOCUMENTARY in the Biography Category. It was bestowed upon the filmmakers at the festival's closing awards ceremony on April 29th, 2002.

Here's what the jury of the SF International Film Festival had to say about DERRIDA:

"DERRIDA spins a delicate and engaging web around one of the most fascinatingly complex thinkers of our age. With camerawork as fluid as free-jazz, the film slides seamlessly over its subject, constructing him as he deconstructs himself by all means necessary. What a pleasure to get caught in such a net!"

REVIEW BY FESTIVAL
Jacques Derrida is one of those rare individuals whose approach to the world is so profound and timely that his world-view alters the landscape of thought itself. Indeed, Derrida (much to his chagrin) is known as the "father of deconstruction." The simultaneous publication of three of his major works in 1967 (Speech and Phenomena, Of Grammatology and Writing and Difference) helped provide inspiration for the May '68 student/worker revolts in Paris, and ushered in the era we have come to know as Postmodern. In this spirit, filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman embrace a deconstructionist ethos. They mix verit┐-like moments, formal interviews and excerpts from Derrida's texts with a persistent inquiry into the nature of biography. Still, given this lofty intellectual setting, what is so surprising about Derrida, the film, is the ease with which viewers become familiar with Derrida, the person. Much more good-humored than you may have imagined, when asked, "If you were to see a documentary on Hegel, Kant or Heiddeger, what would you like to know?" Derrida replies, with the slightest grin, "Their sex lives." In his answer, Derrida self-reflexively describes the film unspooling before us, as he playfully both offers and denies the most intimate aspects of his own life.

Additional Notes
Golden Gate Award, Biography Documentary


2002 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL     [ TEXAS ]
DERRIDA had a special screening at Austin Texas famous South By Southwest Festival in March at the Alamo Theater. Again it played to a sold out crowd, enthusiastic audience, and positive critical response.

REVIEW BY ANGELA LEE
In Derrida, award-winning documentarian Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman (a former student of Derrida) skillfully master a tremendous feat - documenting the most important, and perhaps the most impossible, philosopher of our time.

The writings of French philosopher Jacques Derrida, father of the Deconstructionist movement, forever changed the face of modern thought. In Derrida, Dick and Kofman follow the philosopher in his daily routine and converse with him about love, violence, the death of his mother, and the history of philosophy.

Though the film is an intimate portrait, Derrida's awareness of the camera is always an issue ("I am not at all like this," he says, "Normally I spend the day in my pajamas and bathrobe"). This awareness makes the film, at times, almost painfully reflexive - a brilliant strategy on the part of the filmmakers to present Derrida in the style of his writings.

Derrida is neither a biographical representation of the life of the great philosopher, nor is it an introduction to Deconstruction. Remarkably, it is an ingenious verit┐ portrait of the philosopher and his work which stylistically and thematically mirrors the theories of the man himself. Derrida is every bit as innovative, challenging, and intelligent as its subject.


2002 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL     [ UTAH ]
DERRIDA's U.S. Premiere took place this January at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The film played to sold out crowds, sparked many lively post screening discussions among audience members and filmmakers, and received a great deal of critical praise from local, national and international press correspondents. A highlight: Robert Redford himself attended one of the screenings having heard such positive buzz.

REVIEW BY GEOFFREY GILMORE
There is a persistent American fascination with French philosopher Jacques Derrida and his theory of deconstruction that this work by Kirby Dick (Sick, Chain Camera) and Derrida's former student Amy Ziering Kofman questions and exemplifies. The founder of a school of critical thinking that radically questions the nature of texts, the reader, and the multiple layers of meaning at work in language, Derrida's work has been a profound influence on analysis of literature, linguistics, philosophy, law, and architecture. And although best known for his early work, this last decade has witnessed an outpouring of Derridean thought on a broad range of subjects from justice to national identity. But as the creators of this filmic portrait emphasize, this is neither an explanation nor a biography in any traditional form.

A complex and reflexive work that attempts both to capture its protagonist and be a cooperative venture with him, the film juxtaposes moments from Derrida's personal life with excerpts from his writing, carries on an ongoing interview, and explores questions and issues generated by his work. The often-renowned impenetrability of modern intellectual thought for the layman, while being a key aspect of the filmmakers' process, is surprisingly a nonissue in the understanding and experience of its subject.

Certainly as ambitious and innovative as any film of recent memory in its attempt to address the nuances and sometimes opaqueness of philosophical thought, Derrida is an exceptionally well conceived and produced inquiry that brings the personal and the theoretical, the public and the private to bear in a meditation on a great thinker's spirit and themes.


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