Master shots, long takes, wide lens, black-and-white – absurd poetry of daily life. It seems to be a film formula that Russian directors have a patent on. You could make all sorts of critical remarks about it, but the genre yields many a gorgeous film. In Artel, we follow a group of small black silhouettes on a wide white landscape with a couple of log cabins. Beneath the snow and ice they are walking on, fish are swimming. In any case, the men spend a lot of time dealing with some fishing nets. If they did not use a chainsaw to make a hole in the ice, the film could just as well have been made 80 years ago. The documentary seems to say that life by the sea has always looked like this and it always will. Or is the final shot, when the ice breaks and the water flows, a reference to the old Soviet masters and an optimistic symbol of imminent change in a frozen social situation? –idfa.nl
Sergei Loznitsa was born on September, 5th 1964 in Baranovichi (Belarus, former USSR). He grew up in Kiev, and in 1987 graduated from the Kiev Polytechnic with a degree in Applied Mathematics. In 1987-1991 he worked as a scientist at the Kiev Institute of Cybernetics, specializing in artificial intelligence research. He also worked as a translator from Japanese.
In 1997 he graduated from the Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), where he studied feature film making.
Sergei Loznitsa has been making documentary films since 1996, and he has directed 13 documentaries. He has received numerous international and national awards, including festival prizes in Karlovy Vary, Leipzig, Oberhausen, Paris, Madrid, Toronto, Jerusalem, St-Petersburg, as well as the Russian National Film awards “Nika” and “Laurel”. Sergei Loznitsa’s montage film “Blockade” (2005) is based on the archive footage of besieged Leningrad.
Loznitsa’s feature debut “MY JOY” (2010) premiered… read more