This is the Billcast - sounds from Bill Thompson
Jun 25, 2006
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A \"Friend of the festival\"? Only in that I\'ve attended the festival every year since it re-started, and watched a lot of films every year.
> There are whole festivals dedicated to Erotica
> and to have only ONE film on the environment
> IS irresponsible
There are also whole festivals dedicated to films of the environment - so your argument is absolute
And irresponsible? No - this is a film festival. It would only be irresponsible if it didn\'t show any bloody films.
> This looks like they took whatever films were
Hardly. This (like any other festival) will have had dozens upon dozens (if not hundreds) of films submitted to it.
I don\'t normally add my voice to such blogs, but Pedro Citrino\'s remark that \'I think it\'s great to have erotica \"side by side\" with Iraqi documentaries\' has incensed me.
That we have murdered thousands of innocents in Iraq and that out of those ashes a handful of Iraqis have been magnanimous in bringing to us a few films reflecting their culture, in what I consider an act of reconciliation, should be reason enough to honour their talent. You don\'t have to be Islamic or even religious to appreciate that juxtaposing these films with pornography is insanely rude, if not belligerent. Maybe Pedro in his flippancy thinks he\'s being \'cool\', but since when was crassness cool?
As far as I\'m concerned, with that one insensitive line he destroyed any legitimacy to his argument.
And in answer to Dan Owen: Pornography is not important but the environment IS, and growing more so by the day, so you may think it Ok to avoid the issue, but many of us consider it THE issue (those that give a damn about the future anyway). You, like Vanessa Clarke, may want to wallow in \"cinematic beauty, pleasure, stories, experiments and cultural exploration\" but most of us would prefer if the most powerful medium of communication was shown to be exercised in a more responsible fashion.
Small and provincial? You were being generous, Hannah.
Hey - we\'ve just got started. Wait til you hear what Terry Gilliam and John Shuttleworth have to say in our next podcast [separately, I\'m afraid - but there\'s a conversation I\'d like to hear :-) ]
Can I just say in response to some of these posts; it\'s good to have a debate but I am also incensed that it is implied that just because I too want to wallow \"in cinematic beauty...\" this automatically excludes me from caring about the environment. Sara Etherington I do give a damn about the future but I also like films and will enjoy the film festival. Oh and I think you\'ll find it\'s erotica NOT pornography (probably won\'t watch as not that interested, just pedantic about such things.) I also thought we\'d already established that the Iraqi films are not \'side by side\' with erotica (see 2nd comment) just both part of a very large programme of films. We\'re lucky to have the film festival and they will be showing some thought provoking films I\'m sure. Please don\'t attack the one decent cinema we have in Cambridge, the alternatives don\'t bear thinking about (and would be even further away from addressing the state of the planet).
I\'m off to do a bit of multi-tasking now: caring about the environment, worrying about the future oh and watching a few films that may or may not address these issues...
I don\'t understand why you\'re all getting in such a flap. This is a small provincial festival running on a next to zero budget. There are 300 or so events like this in the UK every year. You can\'t expect too much. Erotica gets the punters in - Arts Picturehouse is a business, not a charity. They\'re not obliged to have a social conscience.
If you think you can do a better job Jason Howel, there\'s nothing to stop you hiring the Picturehouse for a couple of weeks and putting on your own festival. You can also call it The Cambridge Film Festival if you like.
(Warning: sententiousness ahead) You know, film-making is a big wide world and the duty of a film festival is to represent as many constituencies of it as possible. I think it\'s great to have erotica \"side by side\" with Iraqi documentaries. And, anyhow, isn\'t the \"dismal state of our planet\" as much down to a deficit of tolerance and an inability to co-exist as much as anything? I do agree that, at least in the documentary strand, there are less overtly political documentaries than last year, but let\'s face it, over the past couple of months the Picturehouse has shown the WalMart doc, the Enron doc, a beautiful little film called Czech Dream and a couple of other excellent, political, documentaries. Apart from the Al Gore vehicle (did anyone hear him on Radio 4? Once a politician always a arse...), did anyone have a environmental/political documentary they wanted to see? I can\'t think of one myself. I\'m looking forward to Bata-Ville though. Oh, and Alex, Allan Sekula might not be very mediatic, but he\'s a very well respected photographer and writer. His work and books are probably a little more revealing than his google rating. Sorry, that did sound pompous, but hey!. Anyway, enough arguing about the programme. I have my disappointments, but also loads of things I\'m looking forward to. Let\'s start arguing about the films instead... Oh and one more thing, at the risk of sounding like a proper F.O.F (friend of festival). Hannah: Small? provincial? Next to zero budget? you\'ve got to be joking. Just which festivals are you comparing Cambridge to? Cannes? Blimey, you\'re tough.
Thanks for the patronising tone Pedro. Anyway, I thought we were discussing the film festival - a showcase for \'film-makers\'. Sekula is a \"very well respected photographer and writer\" you say. What I\'d hope to see is the work of a well respected film-maker. And if \"the duty of a film festival is to represent as many constituencies of (film-making) as possible\" (excluding Al Gore of course, regardless of the fact that he\'s trying to alert us to the nightmare on our doorstep) then it seems that Cambridge has the excuse it requires to care less about the programme.
As I said before, very disappointing.
Jane - thanks for your informed comment. I\'m the podcast producer, and it may interest you to know that Kujtim has just sent us a 30 minute video essay and we\'re going to publish some of it in our next podcast :-)
And we don\'t mind pompous posters because the festival goers are such a great bunch that they easily deal with them...
I do declare this to be the best programme for the Cambridge Film Festival since last year!
A little more seriously and in response to Jason Howel - What about the Bruce Weber retrospective? Or the Projecting Britain strand? Or the Suwa Nobuhiro films? Or the Gondry films? For a general purpose film festival that actually lets the public watch the films being shown it doesn’t get much better than this, providing both depth and range of programming.
I’m sure if we begged loudly they could whip up a screening of Silent Running or Phase IV…
Have the last 4 posts come from \"friends of the festival\'? I think Jason Howell\'s comments are valid. I\'ve looked through the program and I too am disappointed with the \'mixed bag\'. There are whole festivals dedicated to Erotica and to have only ONE film on the environment IS irresponsible, and by Allan Sekula? I googled his name and to call him \'internationally acclaimed\' is a just far fetched!
I think that BECAUSE it is Cambridge, the public expects a program with a little thought behind it. This looks like they took whatever films were offered, or came their way. Very disappointing.
ps. I hope I\'m not seen as \'pompous\' simply because I\'m critical
Programme is a mixed bag of tricks – can’t argue with that. Maybe they should show some Iraqi pornos to give Cambridge the kind of highbrow socially aware hardcore it deserves.
But I also find it odd that complaints about a lack of environmentally aware films at the festival occur whilst that Al Gore documentary on global warming (An Inconvenient Truth) just happens to be doing the marketing rounds. Definitely could do with more films about ants instead.
This looks like the most amateur set-up for a Film Festival. Possibly apart from the Iraqi element, there\'s absolutely no vision in the programming, and nothing that addresses the most pressing issue of the day; the dismal state of our planet. An entirely irresponsible event which shouldn\'t be allowed to carry the good name of Cambridge; it\'s the Picturehouse Fest at best. Erotica? Side by side with films from Baghdad? Who thought that was a good idea? Has there been a brain drain in festival programming recently?
Good points, Jane. The previous poster really should look at other film festivals out there, where films of all types sit side-by-side in all the various strands.
And just why should a film festival represent the \"Dismal state of our planet\"? Since when has that been the purview of this (or indeed any) festival?
As far as I\'m concerned (as a festival-goer) it\'s goal is to show us films from around the world, some of which are from the festival circuit, some of which are not, some of which are in special sections, some of which are shorts. i.e. Loads of different stuff - and this festival more than covers it.
And to the original (and pompous) poster, how can you say that the programming has \"no vision\"? They\'re showing noted titles such as The Death Of Mr Lazarescu, a rare UK showing of a Hou Hsiao-Hsien film, and a winner of a Jury prize from last year\'s Cannes, and some very interesting retrospectives.
Podcasts from Bill Thompson, including archive podcasts from the Cambridge Film Festival from 2006 onwards.
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