In Praise of Nothing: An unlikely documentary you'll ever see
Updated: Dec 6, 2021
In Praise of Nothing is a documentary about - nothing. Not about nothing at all or nothing in particular, but about the world according to Nothing. Where Nothing would go and what Nothing would say to humans if it could speak. Turns out, Nothing is an exceptional tour guide, and takes us to discover banal moments that become unique.
This is one quite exceptional movie brainstormed and filmed by 62 cinematographers (yours truly included) across the world.
Filmed in 70 countries, over 8 years
Narrated by Iggy Pop
Most Watched Doc on Mubi in 2019
First feature documentary ever with an original narration in verse
Supported by record domestic funding, French national film funds, IDFA Bertha, 6 European broadcasters and prestigious art museums
Screened at 50+ film festivals throughout the world
Music by cabaret grandmasters Pascal Comelade and The Tiger Lillies
Poster art: Lovro Artuković
ABOUT THE MOVIE
From Serbian director and a friend Boris Mitić, this movie is the result of a collaboration between 62 cinematographers across 70 countries. Some seasoned filmmakers, some Cannes/Sundance/Venice/Berlinale winners and some absolute beginners - all were summoned to combine their talents over eight years.
Nothing’s narration, written in simple rhyming childlike verse, was read by none other than rock icon Iggy Pop. In the voice of Nothing, he comments on the pros and cons of existence while defending the importance of nothingness in the Universe.
"This is like something from the Renaissance.
lIKE Dante or something. pretty cool!"
- Iggy Pop
One day, Boris and I met and he asked me to send him some of my shots for his movie about Nothing. At the same time, he challenged cinematographers in other countries to do the same and submit whatever Nothing was for us - personally, culturally, aesthetically. Since we all came from different geographical, cultural, social or aesthetic backgrounds, the result was this culturally and intellectually diverse visual essay.
Screenshot from the movie
Nothing DoPs worked in 5 distinct stages, from carte blanche to full instructions. We did so through a customized online brainstorming platform, on which we could view and comment the footage of each other, but without knowing who said or who filmed what as to avoid inhibitions and status issues. We only met once the film was done.
Boris then masterminded everything behind the scene. The story is told on many levels—through images and text and music and narration, where these elements often conflict with each other.
Director and cinematographers at Zagreb Dox
THE RESULTS? - MOST WATCHED DOC ON MUBI
The film comprises a compilation of shots which alternate between breathtaking landscapes, abstract imagery and more mundane scenes – all of which are artistically pleasing and engaging. Their common trait is a quiet celebration of everything the world has to offer, obtained without really filming anything in particular. Humans, animals, nature and objects are in turn given the spotlight, each depicted from poetic angles.
Most watched documentary on the most popular independent movie platform Mubi
The final result was as much a parody of the documentary form as it is a conceptual monologue. It has been called: an all-encompassing vision and essay about the universe, a satirical storytime parable for adults, a whistleblowing documentary parody, a feelgood documentary parable...
"MASSIVE COSMIC COMEDY ABOUT EVERYTHING"
“Turns out Zeitgeist has a voiceover
of an aging ageless punk icon.
How appropriate!” – Forbes
WHERE TO WATCH
Watch the trailer here.
Release date: September 7, 2018 (United Kingdom)
Country of origin: Serbia
Writer and Director: Boris Mitić
Music: Pascal Comelade, The Tiger Lillies
Production: Dribbling Pictures (Belgrade), Anti-Absurd (Zagreb) & La Bête (Paris), in association with Arte FRANCE La Lucarne, RTS-SSR, SVT, YLE and KRO-NCRV
Official site: http://www.nothing.exposed/
Also known as: In Praise of Nothing, Slatko od Ništa
A team of 62 cinematographers collaborated on the project: Sebastian Alfie, David Batty, Nedžad Begović, Attila Boa, Roman Bondarchuk, Dušan Brković, Alicia Cano, Rodolfo Castillo-Morales, Sorin Dragoi, Amlan Dutta, Aleksandr Elkan, Eleftherios Fylaktos, Eduard Georgadze, Michael Glawogger, Siniša Glogoški, Ed Godsell, Marino Grgurev, Mohammed Hashem, Miloš Jaćimović, Olivier Jourdain, Goran Jović, Talal Khoury, Jessica Kingdon, Justin Kramer, Niklas Kullstrom, Edmond Laccon, Branko Lazić, Vitaly Mansky, Zoran Marinović, Jovana Milanko, Boris Mitić, Chris Moon, Lucian Muntean, Chingiz Narynov, Boris Poljak, Maja Rašić, Ranajit Ray, Francesco Scarel, Eugen Schlegel, Rui Silveira, Aleksey Solodunov, Andrijana Stojković, Dmitriy Stoykov, Katerina Suvorova, Oleksandr Techinski, Riho Vastrik, Ana Maria Vijdea, Anna Zaboeva, Teco Wong.
Shanghai Film Festival
2017. - 70th Locarno festival (Locarno, Switzerland)
2019. - ZagrebDox (Zagreb, Croatia)
2018. - Sofia Film Festival (Sofia, Bulgaria)
2018. - 48th International Film Festival Visions du Reel (Nyon, Switzerland)
2019. - goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film (Wisbaden, Germany)
2018. - Munich International Documentary Film Festival (Munich, Germany)
2018. - International Documentary Film Festival BELDOCS (Belgrade, Serbia)
2019. - Tempo Documentary Festival (Stockholm, Sweden)
2018. - Ljubljana Documentary Film Festival (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
2018. - One World Romania International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Bukurest, Romania)
2019. - CPH:DOX - Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark)
2018. - Millenium Documentary Film Festival (Bruxelles, Belgium)
2018. - Lichter Film Festival (Frankfurt, Germany)
2018. - Moscow International Film Festival (Moscow, Russia)
2018. - Riga Pasaules Film Festival (Riga, Latvia)
2018. - Mediawave International Film and Music Gathering (Komarom, Hungary)
2018. - Docs Against Gravity Film Festival (Poland)
2018. - Institute of Contemporary Arts: ICA (London, Great Britain)
2018. - Shanghai International Film Festival (Shanghai, China)
2018. - Seattle International Film Festival (Seattle, USA)
2018. - International Film Festival Transcinema (Lima, Peru)
2017. - El Gouna Film Festival (Cairo, Egypt)
2018. - CinemAmbiente (Torino, Italy)
2018. - 9th Underhill fest (Podgorica, Montenegro)
2018. - Yerevan International Film Festival Golden Apricot (Yerevan, Armenia)
2017. - 16. Doku Fest (Prizren, Kosovo)
2017. - Makedox (Skopje, Macedonia)
2017. - Bergen International Film Festival (Bergen, Norway)
2018. - Biennale de L'Image en Mouvement (Geneva, Switzerland)
2018. - Faena Art (Buenos Aires, Argentina )
2018. - Art and counters biennale (Temisoara, Romania)
2018. - Momenta Biennale de L'Image (Montreal, Canada)
2017. - 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
2017. - Manaki Brothers Film Festival (Bitoli, Macedonia)
2017. - Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (Jihlava, Czech Republic)
International Bosphorus Film Festival (Istanbul, Turkey)
2018. - DocPoint (Tallinn, Estonia)
See more company credits at IMDb https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6138322/
Inspired by Erasmus's 1511 satirical essay "In Praise of Folly," where Folly travels the world trying to convince people how folly and foolishness is more important than piety and wisdom.