The L’Oeil d’Or award (The Golden Eye Award) was initiated by the Civil Society of Multimedia Authors (SCAM) and President Julie Bertuccelli as a new prize for documentary film. The first award was presented at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23 at the Palais des Festivals. The films were chosen from those presented in one of the sections of the Cannes Film Festival (Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, International Critics’ Week and Cannes Classics).
The 2015 “L’Oeil d’Or” (The Golden Eye), went to “Allende, mi abuelo Allende” by Marcia Tambutti, a film about Tambutti’s grandfather, Salvador Allende. Allende’s death has been considered self-inflicted when a military coup led by Auguste Pinochet after a series of US sanctions against Chile stormed the palace of the democratically elected president on September 11, 1973. The film is a personal essay on the socialist leader and the family dynamics that still generate around his figure. It was seven years in the making and there are 32 interviews with people who knew him closely, all unpublished testimonies.
Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words (Jag är Ingrid) received a special “Golden Eye” mention out of all the documentary films in the sections of the festival. The film is directed by Stig Björkman and produced by Stina Gardell. The documentary was made with the family of Ingrid Bergman – Pia Lindström and Isabella, Roberto and Ingrid Rossellini. The film will be released in Sweden on August 28, which would have been the 100th year birthday of Ingrid Bergman.
The festival poster for the 68th Cannes Film Festival was a picture of Ingrid Bergman. Her image was used on the front of the daily film schedules and this is truly because Swedish filmmaker Stig Björkman’s documentary – ” Jag är Ingrid” (Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words, Sweden 2015) brings her to life again. The documentary was selected for the category “Cannes Classics” and its world debut at the festival was May 19.
Most of the film is found footage from newsreels but also footage of the home movies that Ingrid and her family made during her years in Hollywood, Italy, Sweden and London. The assemblage by Dominika Daubenbüchel is extraordinary and the editing of this footage is brilliant. Above all it shows that the ultra professional Ingrid Bergman gave the greatest emphasis to her children who were apart from her during her busy acting schedule.(See review).
So much can go wrong with a documentary about a real person without the approval of the family, though this depends on how independent of the family a filmmaker dares to become. Such is the case of “Amy” directed by Asif Kapadia , a film about Amy Winehouse, the six-time Grammy winner who died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27 at the height of her career. The film will be released July 3 in the USA.
The documentary chronicles the singer’s meteoric rise and tragic fall with archival footage and recordings that have never been released. A series of voicemails and homevideos were assembled by editor Chris King.
Winehouse’s family and management initially supported the project, but later accused Kapadia of “unfounded and unbalanced” allegations. Kapadia cites two influences that led to Amy Winehouse’s imminent decline. First, her father Mitch Winehouse and his denial of her addiction and bulimia or her need for treatment
The second is Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil. The relationship had such a negative impact that it fanned the fire of her double-platinum 2006 recording “Back to Black”. Fielder-Civil introduced Winehouse to crack cocaine and heroin and the British tabloids pounded Winehouse in the press. With only financial backers but no real support, Winehouse’s fragility was further exploited in tabloid media.
Anther documentary of significance at Cannes was “Hitchcock/Truffaut ” directed by Kent Jones. The primary source materials used by historians and film critics about Alfred Hitchcock that are worth anything are the interviews Truffaut made with Hitchcock interviews in 1962 where Hitchcock is prodded to explain exactly how he made his films. (“Hitchock” by François Truffaut, Simon & Schuster; Revised edition, October 2, 1985) For example, he was known to not leave any film on the cutting room floor. This infuriated the producer of “Rebecca”(1940), David O. Selznick, who could usually make a film of his own with such discards. Not Hitchcock, complained Selznick, whose films were created after a shooting script and assembled like a jigsaw puzzle where every piece fit exactly.
Another often misunderstood concept about Hitchcock was that he regarded his actors as “cattle”. What he meant by this remark was clarified with Truffaut. Since the movement of figures in a scene is a very important part of what is put in front of the camera, the director needs to coordinate the direction of characters.
Although the person interviewed here is Hitchcock, the younger Truffaut brought him to international attention as an auteur. Hitchcock’s work can be often seen as comic but his subversion of realism in cinema has made him a time honored director. He wrote the rulebook for suspense, which often involves taking an ice blond woman and putting her into meltdown, fingering the innocent for a crime, committing quiet murder and scrutinizing killers with psychoanalysis.