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Sheffield Steel

Tuesday 11 June 2013, 17:03

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

Tomorrow is the opening night of the excellent Sheffield Doc/Fest featuring a fascinating collection of films from all over the world. I'll be there - will you?

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    Comment number 1.

    I've never seen Aguirre: Wrath of God, but the fantastic Burden of Dreams is another documentary that could go with (and indeed has: on 2 disc DVD) Herzog's other masterpiece Fitzcarraldo.

    My Best Fiend is available on dvd in a Herzog boxset, which will probably be my next port of call, considering Sheffield is a bit far for me to go!

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    Comment number 2.

    Any chance of a digital download or DVD release of the full version of your documentary Mark? Seems a shame that the only way to see it as it was intended is to attend a film festival every 15 years...

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    Comment number 3.

    Along with some great docs mentioned in the clip, these three sublime efforts about film-making would surely lighten up any documentary festival...

    AMERICAN MOVIE .... A near-penniless redneck tries desperately to make something of his life by making his own horror film with friends and money from his uncle. A great doc about how the success of actually getting off your backside and doing the thing you've always dreamed of doing is far more important than the low-rent finished product you may eventually end up making. One of my favourite docs of all time.

    OVERNIGHT .... One very unlikeable Hollywood newcomer who, after being feted by the one and only Harvey Weinstein, proceeds to alienate himself during production of The Boondock Saints by completely shutting out his friends and family. The dangers of giving one already-arrogant individual too much power.

    NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD .... I'll love this doc forever for enlightening me further about something I already loved but thought I knew enough about - Australian cinema! Okay, Tarantino's in it, but don't let that put you off - the film-makers know how to use an Avid machine and any excess waffling by everyone's favourite overrated auteur is confined to the DVD extras!

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    Comment number 4.

    I shall be there as well! Just the Friday though.

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    Comment number 5.

    Think it'll be the Whitley Bay film festival for me, it doesn't even have a cinema but the folks who put it on put a lot of love into it. Although last years surprise screening of Alien was a bit of a groaner but i'm more than happy to support.
    Definitely want to see this super long version of this Exorcist doc(can we call it the Lamb of God version??) Surely Warners have sucked enough blood from it following the myriad dvd and blu releases over the years !! How much longer is it?? The Vercoutere stuff would be interesting especially as he passed away recently and the makeup effects always seem to overshadow the practical effects. There was a good article in Fangoria about 30 years ago if I remember rightly.

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    Comment number 6.

    I think this decade is shaping up to be The Decade of the Documentary, so it's hardly surprising to have an entire festival dedicated to them. In recent years the most innovative and exciting films have been documentaries, think The Imposter, Searching for Sugarman, Dreams of a Life and Senna. The Oscar for 'Best Documentary Feature' has gone from being a category barely anyone cared about to one that attracts a lot of attention to the extent that every year The Kermodes have an award. For years directors used to point their camera at a subject and document what happened, and this made for quite dull predictable films. Then filmmakers like Errol Morris realised that if they just used the format to tell researched stories, the results were far more interesting.

    I can't make it to Sheffield (i live in London) but i've recently become a fan of the Curzon 'doc days' events where i'll probably get to see some of the films shown at 'doc fest'.

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    Comment number 7.

    Shame it's on a Friday at 18:00, no chance to get there after work.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    If it helps, Mark... I think you look more photogenic now than you did when you were younger. Age suits you.

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    Comment number 10.

    This article, in context of your most recent, has suddenly made me pine for "Man o' Steel": a Superman epic filmed in Sheffield, directed by Ken Loach, and starring Sean Bean as a working class Northern version of the last son of Krypton.

    "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? By 'eck, it's that Superman fella..."

    I'd watch it.

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    Comment number 11.

    Unfortunately i wont be able to make it to the festival, although might i just add after seeing that younger version of yourself you much resembled Chris Morris.

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    Comment number 12.

    @ #6. Harry Limes Shadow -

    >"I think this decade is shaping up to be The Decade of the Documentary, so it's hardly surprising to have an entire festival dedicated to them."

    I think you could very well be onto something. I was looking at "Sons of Cuba" for a very reasonable price in FOP the other day (2009). The "hot-housing" system of education is very interesting to see if it achieves results in a very narrow field but atst what effect it has on the individual growing up. Jared Diamond says in his latest book: "The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?" says he took inspiration from the child-rearing of tribes of Papua New Guinea, and let his kids make their own decisions by contrast even to the point of his sons 100-strong snake collection, until the phase wore itself out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Looking forward to seeing your documentary and the Q&A tomorrow, sadly The Exorcist screening has sold out!


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