Austrian composer Eric Spitzer-Marlyn lauds Iran’s Cinéma Vérité
Art and Experience: Eric Spitzer-Marlyn, an Austrian composer who has worked with world-renowned filmmakers such as Werner Herzog, has praised Iran for organizing Cinéma Vérité, the major documentary festival of the country.
He was in Tehran last week to hold workshops on sound in documentary movies during the event.
“I was really impressed,” Spitzer-Marlyn told the Tehran Times and added, “The quality of the movies and the organization of the festival were very impressive. It can be compared with the top level festivals around the world and you can be proud of it.”
He said that he was satisfied with his workshops and the enthusiasm of the young Iranian documentarians.
“When I arrived in Iran, I was really surprised, considering the recent unrest in the country, that the organizers could hold such a big event in a short time and that is an amazing job,” said Spitzer-Marlyn who also attended the festival in 2018 for the first time.
He said that he prefers to watch the documentaries that festivals select to screen in their national competition because the films in the section in each country give him real insight into the documentary cinema of that country.
“I can see the movies in the international section all over the world, but the national section can give me a view of the documentary situation in the country,” he added.
However, the lack of subtitles for the entries to the national sections of the festival poses some problems for him.
“Iranian documentaries are good in their stories, however, they have more or less technical issues,” he said and noted, “I always believe that a powerful story can make a good documentary rather than professional equipment.”
Spitzer-Marlyn praised Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Sahrai for his film “Arghavan” that is about a blind Iranian musician who tries to immigrate to Austria, but she fails to get a visa for the country.
“As I come from Vienna and I know the people and atmosphere there, I think the girl was lucky she was refused the entry visa. She is a successful musician in her home, and it is better for her to stay here and continue her profession,” he said.
During his brief stay in Tehran, Spitzer-Marlyn donated his old Nagra III tape recorder to the Film Museum of Iran.
“It was a great pleasure. There was an empty place at the museum that could be filled perfectly with my device. It will remain there where it belongs,” he said.
The Documentary and Experimental Film Center is the organizer of the Cinéma Vérité festival, which is held annually in Tehran during December.