In 24. IFF Etiuda&Anima we are exploring anew the legacy of Herz Frank’s , one of the most interesting and original documentary filmmakers.
Herz Frank (b. in 1926 in Luga), is an outstanding Latvian documentary filmmaker regarded as one of the representatives of the Latvian “new wave” and the so-called Riga poetic documentary school. The artist, who died in 2013 in Israel, made more than 80 documentary films and for the most part of his life spent in harsh Soviet reality, he was consistently devoted to the idea of the auteur cinema. In his personal films he was always treading a fine path between agitating subjects which he usually dealt with, the poetic atmosphere and fundamental ethical questions. He was a director and scriptwriter of his films, but he allowed their protagonists to participate in the filmmaking process, too. Like many other world documentary authors of the classical era, once he started working on an interesting theme, he remained open for its potential growth and further development throughout the whole filmmaking process since, as he claimed, it is not worth making a documentary if we know how it is going to end.
Picture from the film “Ten Minutes Older”
The three films presented as part of Herz Frank’s retrospective (“Ten Minutes Older”, “The Song of Songs”, “The Supreme Court”) are regarded as his greatest cinematic achievements. The most widely acclaimed “Ten Minutes Older” (1978) is a fantastic hymn of praise to child’s experience, emotional growth through contact with art. This unusual piece of work, which had its premiere many years ago at the Cannes festival, has influenced a number of generations of filmmakers seven of whom including Jim Jarmush, Wim Wenders, Aki Kaurismaki, Werner Herzog, Chen Kaige, Victor Erice and Spike Lee interpreted the concept of time in their own way remaining at the same time focused on the main issues dealt by Herz Frank, namely life, love and death.