Jacques Perconte
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  18 février 2016  
Walber, Daniel, Non Flics.
The 6 Must-See Films of MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight 2016
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The Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight is a showcase for artistic intersection. Given today’s nonfiction landscape, that obviously includes films that elide the difference between documentary and narrative cinema. Yet that’s only part of it. The festival also includes films that push the border between cinema and fine art, creative experiments with memoir, and urgent political histories. Just last year’s edition of the festival featured Laurent Becue-Renard’s critically acclaimed Of Men and War and Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which lit up the cultural conversation when it aired on PBS on February 16th.The 2016 lineup has one of the more illustrious lists of names to grace the festival program in recent years. Opening night features the New York premiere of LA Rebellion filmmaker Billy Woodberry‘s first feature since 1983’s Bless Their Little Hearts. Nikolaus Geyrhalter and Sergei Loznitsa both have films making their US premiere in the festival, as well as Oscar-nominee Rithy Panh. Yet, as was the case last year, the real story is the depth of the lineup. Six films in particular, many of them well under the typical length of a feature, overwhelm the eye and challenge the mind. The striking use of setting and landscape, both aesthetically and conceptually, drives an astonishing array of themes throughout the program. Not necessarily obvious at first glance, here are the six must-see films of Documentary Fortnight 2016.


Jacques Perconte‘s Ettrick is the likely most psychedelic trip to Scotland anyone has ever taken. The title village, not far from the English border, is home to both beautiful rolling hills and a strong tradition of textiles. Perconte takes images of both and digitally alters them with the instincts of a painter. Pixellation becomes pointillism, as wide shots of the hills or more focused images of intricate Scottish fabrics morph into vibrant and sometimes near-shapeless tableaux. As figures, notably sheep, move through the frame, they bring along sticky digital distortions of their own. The open fields are given the texture of the textiles made indoors. The fabrics are given the free shifting colors of the grass and sky. Perconte’s images vacillate between frenzied digital chaos and near-classical compositions. Every last image is fascinating.

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