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The noble art of filming the navel

The filmmaker Ross McElwee, father of the documentary referential, receives a tribute in the festival DocumentaMadrid and today will create a master class his 12th film

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The noble art of filming the navel
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In a world full of selfies, of unbridled egocentricity through social networks, figure of documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee (Charlotte, North Carolina, 1947) becomes a strange contradiction. His 11 films are, except first, documentaries that start from an autobiographical moment to build a universal narrative. "I have never doubted much of my style as well, I assure you, I never planned it as a meditated decision," he says in front of an American café.

McElwee, a legend for several generations of Documentarists, is in Madrid to receive a tribute at DocumentaMadrid Festival and to teach a masterclass today titled Sherman's Redux, in reference to his legendary Sherman's March, film with That in 1986 won Grand Prix of jury at Sundance. "I have brought a selection of images, a work in progress of 40 minutes, and I hope public will help Me value it. I'm very insecure. I teach material as I film because many times I am unable to know if it works or not. We will create a film, "I counted Friday in Madrid. Sherman's March is a good example of McElwee's work. The filmmaker received a scholarship to roll along path made by General Sherman and his soldiers in south secessionist, and ended up illustrating ir amorous vicissitudes.

Exuberant humour

All his work, however, is narrated with an exuberant humour, which moves him away from any egomaniac pride and from wave acting ombliguista. "Actually, I'm a boring guy, but best thing you can do is talk about what you know, and you can guess what I know best." So, for his cinema has passed his family, from his great-grandfar, who was robbed of formula of Bull Durham tobacco that would have made him rich, as is told in Bright leaves (2003), his recently deceased son, who starred in his latest work, Photographic Memory (2011) . "It may be a personal cinema, but I have not found a better way to look at world and find my place in it," he says with a smile. "I strive to balance gaze of myself and outside world so as not to fall into self-indulgence. That said, I like subjectivity, I use it when I need it... " And you're interested in public? "Of course! It's one thing to be a existentialist filmmaker and anor to give me all same. Cinema has to entertain, I worry that people enjoy my films. "

Hollywood Siren Songs

Ross McElwee doesn't care about material with which he composes his work. Actually, yes, because although his feature films are made up of all kinds of formats (super-8, 16 millimeters...), he has not gone mad with digital: "I have shot in digital video some previous work. But now I have returned to material in celluloid and yes, I amount in digital. " He is a filmmaker of twentieth century in form... and in background, because he has unheard songs of Mermaids of Hollywood, which for decades has been behind project to make a film of fiction to adapt his Sherman's March. "A few months ago I signed with fifth producer who wants to do feature film [laughter]. I follow my own, little by little, and I think my pace doesn't fit well in industry, does it? "he releases with Tintin.

McElwee enjoys talking about his references. At beginning of his career, Richard Leacock and Ed Pincus. Today y are Frederick Wiseman, a good friend of his, and Agnès Varda. "I admire Frederick's safety and swiftness. He makes m and opens m, without considering what public will say. " Wiseman has Oscar of Honor, Varda received it this year, may following documentary to receive it is McElwee. The aforementioned bursts into laughter: "I'm too slow to have achieved a corpus that deserves award. My problem is that I start rolling and I don't know where I'm going to go. And of course it's hard to find money for my jobs. As for Varda, most beautiful thing is that in same year y have given that recognition and has also been a candidate in its category. "

In his previous visit to Europe, he presided over his country Barack Obama. "And it was all swelling of joy. Today I spend a lot of shame with Trump. " Does a figure like that propose to change his way of filming, would make a documentary more political? "I'm a sourner, most of my work shows it, with all social compromises that one sees on screen. It's not my thing to film Trump. Anor thing is that facts end up affecting my private life, and refore to what I roll. I am amused by its motto of ' America first ' and its contradictory response to current globalization. I think it's a cyclical disaster. But I insist, I think re are great creators who can raise testimony of facts. "

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