Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blogs Pt. 2: The Report

In the comment made about my decision to use Senses of Cinema’s online journal (, I was encouraged to keep up with the festival reports. To be completely honest, they were the last thing I checked out. Many of the other articles on the web page examine at length about some way to view films or speak to their importance. In comparison to these thought provoking pieces, I figured festival reports would pale, giving me no important information. However, when I started looking at the category, I began to see how Senses of Cinema’s outside-the-box examination of film applied to it too.

In Nagisa Hikino’s report The 62nd Edinburgh International Film Festival from June of this year, I expected to get a list of the films playing and perhaps some recommendations. Though I received both of these things, I also got a lot more. Hikino’s report is not a mindless endorsement of the popular film festival, it examines the atmosphere and quality of the fest. During a review of the Scottish film Summer, Hikino takes time to address the logistics of the showing: the state of the audience, the order of events, the state of those involved with the film and how that made her feel. The section reviewing this film ends by tying the film’s nature to the audience reaction. “After seeing this genuinely human film, it was very easy to feel part of the warm atmosphere in the auditorium”.

From here, Hikino transitions into discussing the festival’s change in dates (it used to be held in August, but was moved to June). This change has had a negative effect on the EIFF, it would seem. She was disappointed with the number of countries represented at the festival, which were down from the previous two years. She hopes that in the future they will have more time to prepare and find films.

What follows this is a discussion of some stand out British films and a mention of the importance of documentary to the EIFF. She ends her article pondering a world where such documentaries are more accessible to the general public, but is glad for the festival format because of the reality of the situation.

1 comment:

Carl Bogner said...

Whew! Am glad my recommendation to read the Festival reports wasn't misguided. Glad you got something out of it - or so it seems you did. This is a well-written, involved summary of the report read. Your engagement is evident.

Based on this repot, what do you make of the festival, or what do you make of festivals in general as a platform, as an event, as a strategy? I always wonder.

Hikino wonders about certain festival fare remaining inaccessible to the general public? What renders them currently inaccessible? Only 2 screenings, only at a festival? Is a festival an exclusive, limited platform - even elitist?

Lots of ?'s here. In part, because I would like to hear more. Unreasonable, I know - the time and care taken here is good, exceptional even.

It is just that in these reports it is good to hear from you in terms of _your_ thinking, your reactions, opinions. Your engagement is most evident here. These posts though should offer a balance of the article read and you, the writer's take on the topic and your reactions, analysis, opinions.

You are a good servant to Hikino and Senses of Cinema here. Next time feel free to expand on your thoughts. I look forward to reading them.

(And it may be the case that Festival reports do not invite much room for your commentary, as you were not an attendee? You'll have to let me know.)