ROTTERDAM: PAUL SHARITS BY FRANCOIS MIRON

By Tara Judah

I feel as though I’ve been waiting to see this documentary most of my life. So many documentaries rely on talking heads interviews for content and so much of what those talking heads say is speculative; often anecdotal, rarely insightful. Especially when it comes to talking about someone significant. The focus is too often set on tired stereotypes: the tortured genius or the misunderstood giant. Here, however, what we finally see is the intelligent and artful presentation of an intelligent artist and his body of work.

ROTTERDAM: A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE BY ROY ANDERSSON (ENG)

By Tara Judah

The studious attention to detail in Andersson’s mise-en-scène is breathtaking: various shades of white and cream used as painterly makeup on characters’ faces match or highlight specific items or elements within the frame.

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ROTTERDAM: VIDEOFILIA DE JUAN DANIEL MOLERO (SPA)

Por Tara Judah

Pero Videofilia es algo más que un puré de montaje lisérgico o de fantasías softcore del exploitation. Nos habla del malestar contemporáneo que existe en vez de una vida fuera del internet que resulte “significativa”.

ROTTERDAM: VIDEOFILIA (AND OTHER VIRAL SYNDROMES) BY JUAN DANIEL MOLERO (ENG)

By Tara Judah

Watching Juan Daniel Molero’s Videofilia (Y Otros Sindromes Virales) (2015), I experienced the kind of excitement that only the rare blend of aesthetically, intellectually and viscerally piercing cinema can elicit. The experience was so intense that, for me, it was as hot as sexual anticipation and as terrifying as the thought of not resolving that excitement with orgasm.

ROTTERDAM: CRITICS’CHOICE. DOCTEUR JEKILL ET LES FEMMES (ENG)

By Tara Judah

Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López cast their critical eyes across Borowczyk’s (wilfully) forgotten surrealist stunner and created their own audio-visual work, one that I like to think of as the illegitimate lovechild of Edward Hyde and Miss Osbourne, post-bathtub transformation.

ROTTERDAM: CRITICS’ CHOISE. LIFE ITSELF (ENG)

By Tara Judah

IFFR’s new (or newly re-instated) Critics’ Choice program is an initiative born of Dutch critics Dana Linssen and Jan Pieter Ekker, designed to “make cinema present and eloquent again”. Having invited some of the most prolific and acclaimed video essayists in the world to select a film, make a video essay, and present both to an audience, the Critics’ Choice program has returned from its hiatus with an expanded vision.