program

FILME

Charleen

67 films in 10 categories
Ross McElwee
USA
60'


1977
Photo Film

V.O.

English

subtitles

Romanian

producer

Homemade Movies

Original Title

Tickets

Charleen

CATEGORY

RETROSPECTIVE ROSS MCELWEE

synopsis

Ross McElwee’s first film, which was also his graduation film at MIT, is built around the fiery personality of Charleen Swansea, his friend and former high-school teacher. She lives and works in Charlotte, the filmmaker’s hometown, raising her two kids and putting her artistic talent, which she nourished alongside such personalities as E.E. Cummings and Ezra Pound, to the service of her underprivileged students. Although the influence of Richard Leacock, one of the central figures of direct cinema and her professor at MIT, is felt throughout the film, Ross McElwee takes a polemic stand to the “fly on the wall” concept: whilst some scenes are purely observational, many others owe their emotional impact precisely to the trust and friendship shining through between the person in front of the camera and the person behind it. Far from seeking to make himself invisible, McElwee relies on the impulse to perform manifested by his subjects under the camera’s eye, thus displaying a more granular understanding of the idea of human truth - a truth that can only be intuited based on the masks behind which everyone chooses to hide. The act of filming Charleen - which he would do again countless times in his later films - also seems to have convinced him that focusing on one individual’s subjectivity is a privileged way of discovering the person’s community, and his first person filmography is nothing but a honing of this formula, tested here for the first time. (Liri Alienor Chapelan)

awards and festivals

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Tickets: Eventbook
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Monitoring partner: mediaTRUST
The festival was created in 2008 by the: Czech Center Bucharest

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