Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Børge Ring Documentary

I had the pleasure of screening a 2006 documentary on Børge Ring made, I believe, for Danish TV. It's a half hour long and includes photos and footage of Børge talking about his films, as well as shots of his home, his wife Joanika and her sculptures, and a guest appearance by animator Kaj Pindal. The film also covers some of Børge's career as a professional jazz musician.

(Right now on Ebay, you can buy an LP of De Millers at the North Sea Jazz Festival, recorded in the early '80's and featuring Børge.)

I don't know where this documentary is scheduled to be screened. Keep an eye out for it at festivals. Somebody should package this film and Børge's animated films together and release them on DVD. The documentary shows that Børge is working on a new animated short and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

If you're not familiar with Borge's films, you can watch Oh My Darling and Run of the Mill on YouTube. Unfortunately, Anna and Bella is no longer posted there.

9 comments:

Hans Perk said...

And here is Anna & Bella...

Academy Award winner 1986, had its first screening at Frank & Ollie's lectures in Haarlem, Holland, September 1984, which I organized.

We worked on this film using bar-sheets that have frame indications (the oft-reproduced type), so instead of just counting measures, I had to do a whole lot of frame counting, as the film's assistant director (etc). It was made inbetween "real" jobs...

Pete Emslie said...

Growing up in Ottawa, I was privileged to see all of the Ottawa Animation Festivals from their start in 1976 through to 1982 (4 in all, being every second year). When I moved to the Toronto area in 1984 I thought that I'd have to pass on the Festival that year. Much to my pleasant surprise, the Festival followed me to Toronto for that one year, playing at Ryerson University.

As it happened, that was the Festival where I first saw "Anna and Bella", which must have been within a couple weeks of the screening Hans refers to. I recall with great fondness the elation of seeing the film there, a breath of fresh air in what had been an otherwise disappointing screening of films in competition. I was there with a buddy of mine and, after the film finished, we both looked at one another gleefully and agreed that we'd just witnessed sheer genius at work. Then the screening's host (Frederic Back, I believe) introduced the filmmaker, Borge Ring in the audience. Turns out he was the bearded gentleman sitting right in front of us! Though I had no idea he was so close, I kind of hoped that he had overheard our exclamations of joy over his film.

During the intermission, I saw that Santa-like visage of Mr. Ring sitting off to one side of the lobby, puffing away on his pipe. (Pre-nonsmoking bylaw, I should mention.) I recall him being very soft-spoken and gracious as I told him what a lovely film he'd created and engaged him in conversation on its process. To this day, after many viewings of "Anna and Bella", it still never fails to make me smile at its warmth and yes, even tear up during the poignant, powerful moments surrounding the car crash. It is my alltime favourite short film from the entirety of the Festival's long history. It is wonderful to be able to see it again on YouTube thanks to the generosity of Hans and Borge Ring himself.

Boris Hiestand said...

ah- I'm overcome by warm feelings seeing this picture... I would cycle for two and half hours many a Sunday between '94 and '98 to visit Borge and Joanika in their amazing farm and learn all about animation listening to his amazing stories. And then two and a half hours back... brrr.

I'll have to ask him where to get a copy of that docu- or maybe you can tell me?

Hans Perk said...

The documentary was made by a Danish documentary director, Jørgen Vestergaard, and I believe it has not aired anywhere yet. The director sent Børge some copies - this is how I got mine - Børge sent me one. See more on the site of the Danish Film Institute. It seems the official DVD also has the three shorts on it.

I, too, cycled to Børge (until I got my driver's licence and could borrow a car), not two and a half hours, but only 25 minutes - but then every single day incl. weekends, Christmas and New Year, from 1980 to 1984. And not to the big farmhouse, but to the loft of his little condo in Blaricum, where I was introduced to drafts, bar-sheets and work discipline. A life-changing experience...

Boris Hiestand said...

of course, Børge told me many stories about you Hans!
The post made me realise how long I haven't spoken to the man- ik bel 'em dit weekend maar weer es op!

groeten Boris

Mark Mayerson said...

If I hear anything about a DVD release of this documentary, I will definitely report it on this blog.

Mark Mayerson said...

If I hear anything about a DVD release of this documentary, I will definitely report it on this blog.

Hans Perk said...

Just had a talk with Mr. Vestergaard. There is bad news and good news... First the bad: there is no distribution at all planned of the documentary. Any distribution would also need to be without the 3 short films, as Mr. Vestergaard does not have the rights to these - on the Danish copy, distributed by the Danish Film Institute, this has been negociated by same Institute. Now - the good news is that Mr. Vestergaard is not against distribution of his film, as long as he gets his proper share, so we agreed that I would try to make an NTSC copy of his PAL DVD with English subtitles, and interested parties can then aquire it - either from him or me, we have not gotten that far. Once anything is set up, I'll let you know on my blog and through Mark...

Tom Sito said...

PLease let me know too! Borge and Joannika are old friends and I would love to see a film about him. He is one of the great artists in animation!