In 1986, the French Minestry of Foreign Affairs commisioned Jean Rouch, Titte Törnroth and Raoul Ruiz to sail aboard a Swedish icebreaker. With a limited crew and from their own point of view, both aesthetically and in terms of content, each of the three filmmakers filmed one episode of Brise-Glace. The three parts complement each other to form one remarkable travel description.
Jean Rouch, in his cinema-verité style with many close-ups and no commentary, shows the mythical beauty of the icebreaker and the everyday life of its crew. Titte Törnroth reveals more about the people on board when she lets the captain and the navigator speak in voice-overs. In the last part, Raul Ruiz tells fantastic stories, in which the ice plays the leading role, and the icebreaker assumes different guises. A triptych that challenges our perceptions. – idfa.nl
Jean Rouch (Paris – 31 May 1917, Niger – 18 February 2004) was a French filmmaker and anthropologist.
At their best his films are about peak experiences and are densely packed with detail. They show individuals who display a creative spirit, a wholeness and excitement which are rare in any cinema and virtually unique in ethnographic films. Moreover they are not just about “primitive peoples” but also depict his own culture and always they are concerned with dynamic situations of culture change.
He is considered to be one of the founders of the cinéma vérité in France, sharing the aesthetics of the direct cinema in the US pionered by Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert and David Maysles. Rouch’s practice as a filmmaker for over sixty years in Africa, was characterized by the idea of shared anthropology. Influenced by his discovery of surrealism in his early twenties, many of his films blur the line between fiction and documentary, creating a new style of ethnofiction… read more
Chilean filmmaker Raúl, or Raoul, Ruiz (1941-2011) was one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers to emerge from 1960s World Cinema, providing more intellectual fun and artistic experimentation, shot for shot, than any filmmaker since Jean-Luc Godard. A guerrilla who uncompromisingly assaulted the preconceptions of film art, this frightfully prolific figure – he made over 100 films in 40 years – did not adhere to any one style of filmmaking. He worked in 35mm, 16mm and video, for theatrical release and for European TV, and on documentary and fiction features and shorts. His career began in avant-garde theatre where, between 1956 and 1962, he wrote over 100 plays. Although he never directed any of these productions, he did dabble in TV and filmmaking in the early 1960s. In 1968, with the release of his first completed feature, the Cassavetes-like Tres tristes tigres (1968… read more