Gimme Some Truth – Local Press

Gimme Some Truth
Oct. 13 – 16th, 2011

The local media previewed today some this year’s local documentary forum, Gimme Some Truth.

Below are some articles by Kenton Smith of Uptown Magazine and an anonymous “staff writer” from the Winnipeg Free Press.

From Uptown Magazine, Oct. 13th, 2011:

The Great Northern roots of documentary filmmaking
Winnipeg-based forum Gimme Some Truth returns, highlighting documentary filmmaking’s definitive Quebec connection

The documentary, Canadian filmmaker and Manufacturing Consent co-director Peter Wintonick told Uptown last year, is our country’s “most important cultural export.” That’s appropriate: after all, according to local documentarian Kristin Tresoor, Canada invented it.

While the doc’s roots are traceable to cinema’s infancy, Canada’s National Film Board “was essential to its coming into being,” says Tresoor, who’s produced docs for CTV and the CBC and is a programming committee member for Gimme Some Truth, the now-annual Winnipeg documentary forum that enjoys its fourth manifestation this week.

As the modern doc evolved, she continues, it was several Quebec masters who “revolutionized filmmaking.

“Things like the hand-held camera and sync sound in documentaries — these are taken for granted now,” Tresoor says of the NFB’s French Unit, home to the so-called Cinema Direct movement in Canada, which focused on everyday subjects and people.

These filmmakers will be recognized Friday as part of the program Quebec Masters: Cinema Direct, curated by Tresoor and highlighting the likes of Claude Jutra (best known for drama Mon Oncle Antoine), and Arthur Lamothe, who will take part in a panel discussion.

Dovetailing with that is Sunday evening’s St. Boniface Shorts program, featuring Winnipeg auteur Stephane Oystryk’s 177, boulevard Dollard (which is also part of tonight’s opening-night screening alongside seminal 1975 doc Grey Gardens).

For a 90-second film, Oystryk’s has grabbed a fair share of recent attention: CBC Radio-Canada has interviewed the filmmaker repeatedly about his film’s implications for St. Boniface. A “kind of poetic visual ode” to Oystryk’s grandparents’ old house, the film questions whether the community’s “official” sloganeering (“C’est si bon!”) reflects anything of existing Franco-Manitoban culture.

Like the work of the Quebec masters, it’s about real life in a real community, now.

And, Oystryk adds, it will hopefully “get people thinking about what’s going on around them.

“What was really exciting was to find out that my opinion was shared by so many others and that people felt passionately about the subject,” he says of the media flutter.

The film is not “a traditional documentary by any means,” he continues — more of “an opinion piece or a video diary.” Nonetheless, certain constants of documentary filmmaking apply, in contrast to Oystryk’s dramatic shorts.

“So much of the creativity comes into play in the post-production phase — the editing is the writing, in a sense.”

The attention won by 177, boulevard Dollard also reflects the more saleable nature of the short doc. “In my experience, our member filmmakers have made more revenue on docs than dramas,” says Monica Lowe, distribution services manager for the artist-run Winnipeg Film Group. (This year’s forum features a master class on the same subject.)

There’s more: in what amounts to a coup, says Tresoor, 85-year-old Grey Gardens director Albert Maysles will speak as part of a master class on Saturday. Here in its geographical centre, the foundations of one of Canada’s definitive cultural traditions are being reinforced.

Gimme Some Truth takes place Oct. 13 to 16; for complete information and schedules of screenings, workshops, panels and talks, visit gimmesometruth.ca.

-Kenton Smith

From the Winnipeg Free Press, Oct. 13, 2011:

Legendary filmmaker Maysles to show work, teach at fest

A legendary 84-year-old documentarian who captured the Rolling Stones in Gimme Shelter and a pair of eccentric socialites in Grey Gardens is appearing tonight through Saturday at the Winnipeg Film Group’s fourth annual Gimme Some Truth documentary festival and forum.
Albert Maysles (pronounced Mazels) will introduce a screening of Grey Gardens tonight at 7 at Cinematheque, followed by a 9 p.m. reception at the Winnipeg Free Press News Café.

The famous and influential 1976 documentary follows “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, mother-and-daughter relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy who lived in reclusive squalor in a decaying mansion. It was remade in 2009 as an HBO movie starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.

Maysles will also introduce his classic 1968 black-and-white doc Salesman at 9 p.m. on Friday, and lead a master class on non-fiction directing on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are still available for all three events. It’s believed to be Maysles first time in Winnipeg.

“We’ve been trying to get him for a while,” said the WFG’s Cecilia Araneda, producer of the festival.

Maysles, now based in New York, was born in Boston. With his brother David, who died in 1987, he was a pioneer of the Direct Cinema movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Their films include a documentary on the Beatles’ first visit to the U.S. in 1964.

Their revolutionary fly-on-the-wall style, using newly developed portable equipment, was to simply record events as they happened, rather than trying to control or intrude upon their subjects.

“The Maysles brothers just allowed these engaging human beings to speak for themselves,” said Araneda.

Among the other screenings at the four-day festival is The Upsetter, a portrait of the life and music of Lee Scratch Perry, one of the fathers of reggae music. Director Adam Bhala Lough will introduce that film on Saturday at 7 p.m. and give a master class on making independent music docs.

Saturday at 9 p.m., the festival screens Nostalgia for the Light, an award-winning recent documentary by the Chilean Patricio Guzman. It has been hailed as a masterpiece for the parallels it draws between astronomers’ celestial quest and the search for the remains of the “disappeared” following the 1973 coup in Chile.

Schedule and ticket information at http://www.gimmesometruth.ca

– Staff Writer, WFP

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~ by cineflyer on October 13, 2011.

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