27 Feb 2019

Simulacrum: A Rule Is an Illusion

A toxic bubble graces the skies with its presence.
We stare at it with our eyes touched by the Void.
For a moment, our breathing stops,
And then everything becomes the luminous absence.
A whisper in disguise denounces the alleviating pain...

 
A blend of vintage erotica, esoteric mystery, geometric magick, the elements of steam- and cyberpunk subgenres, as well as pulpy fantasy along the lines of Bakshi's Fire and Ice or Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon, Simulacrum: A Rule Is an Illusion is my latest series of collages set in a fragile, continuously mutating world of frequent temporal disruptions. I present its first five pieces, and more will follow soon...

The Dayspring of Evanescent Eternity


Star Collectors Challenge the Nightfall


Just Before Midnight: A Time-Bending Ritual


Sudden Rupture During the Great Paranoia


A Transcendental Rest at Frozen Noon

(open in a new tab to enlarge)

20 Feb 2019

6+6 preporuka za 47. FEST

Za par dana počinje 47. FEST iz čijeg programa izdvajam šest odgledanih filmova koje bih reprizirao na velikom platnu (ukoliko bi milošću distributerskom stigli do niških bioskopa), i još toliko neodgledanih koji su mi pažnju privukli trejlerom, zvučnim imenom ili recenzijom (za Variety).


Neznatno inferiorniji rimejk ili bolje reći 'reimaginacija' kultnog, hiperstilizovanog ostvarenja Darija Arđenta (koji, nažalost, već dugi niz godina nije isporučio ništa vredno spomena, a kamoli gledanja). Moj mini-prikaz možete pročitati ovde.


Glumac Pol Dejno se odlično snalazi iza kamere, po prvi put u rediteljskoj stolici, što se prevashodno ogleda u uspešnoj saradnji sa kolegama, Keri Maligan, Džejkom Džilenholom i mlađanim Edom Oksenbuldom (koji demonstrira raskošan talenat), ali i u izvrsnoj fotografiji pretežno hladnih boja, gusto protkanoj (Edvard) hoperovskom melanholijom. Njegovu socijalnu melodramu, odnosno (univerzalnu) priču o odrastanju u disfunkcionalnoj porodici, kao da opseda duh starog Holivuda, pri čemu je romantizovanje prošlosti vešto izbegnuto.


Uprkos intenzivnoj promociji i hvalospevima kritike, potencijalne dobitnike Oskara obično zaobilazim u širokom luku, ali mi je drago što sam u slučaju Zelene knjige napravio izuzetak. Iako didaktična, proračunata, politički (pre)korektna i krcata stereotipima, ova biografska dramedija, koja se da opisati i kao "feel-good road & buddy movie", osvaja nadahnutom vizualizacijom, izuzetnom glumom Maheršale Alija i Viga Mortensena, kao i šmekerskom režijom Pitera Farelija koji nas na krilima klasične i džez muzike vraća u živopisne šezdesete.


Svojim najpristupačnijim ostvarenjem, Jorgos Lantimos nastoji da pomiri ukuse glavnotokovske publike i poklonika "grčkog čudnog talasa", isporučujući elegantnu, feministički intoniranu kostimiranu dramu suptilno začinjenu iščašenim humorom i bizarnim detaljima. Snaga Miljenice počiva na ekstravagantnom dizajnu kostima i produkcije, fetišizaciji širokougaonog objektiva, ali iznad svega, na glumačkim bravurama Eme Stoun, Rejčel Vajs i posebno upečatljive Olivije Kolman.


Ukoliko Tajnu srebrnog jezera prihvatite kao film koji sebe ne uzima previše ozbiljno (a pritom gajite iracionalnu naklonost prema Southland Tales), zauzvrat ćete dobiti bestidno "stonerski" omaž Hičkoku i Linču, tj. klasičnom i neo-noaru, i biti postepeno uvučeni u hotimično haotični svet tajnih zavera i uvrnutih urbanih legendi, sa simpatičnim zgubidanom Semom (u tumačenju Endrjua Garfilda) kao jedinim vodičem.


Daleko konvencionalniji od Orteginih ranijih radova poput fantazmagorične misterije Monobloc ili postapokaliptične drame Prljavi sveci (Los santos sucios), ovaj krimi-biopik ne unosi revoluciju u žanr, ali je zato stilski gotovo neodoljiv, dok za debitanta Lorenca Fera u ulozi naslovnog "crnog anđela" označava sjajan početak karijere.

☼☼☼


Deluje kao najeksperimentalniji film u FEST-ovskoj ponudi, a predivan crno-beli zapis sa šesnaestomilimetarske trake sasvim sigurno ne može da škodi uživanju.


Ime Đerđa Palfija i razočaranje teško da mogu da se nađu u istoj rečenici.


Mađarska ima dugu tradiciju jedinstvenih animiranih filmova, a dugometražni debi Milorada Krstića, multidisciplinarnog umetnika rođenog u Sloveniji, izgleda kao prirodan nastavak iste.

"... His encyclopedic knowledge of art history and love for world cinema shines through every frame of the hand-drawn film. Close viewing yields numerous references, from Dalí to de Chirico, Eisenstein to Hitchcock (the suspense master’s iconic profile shows up in some unexpected places), and Elvis (à la Warhol) to Rocky. Most of the characters sport faces that would be right at home in Picasso’s cubist period and even the title character’s name references Rubens and Rembrandt." (Alissa Simon, Variety)


"Part loopily queer sci-fi thriller, part faux-naive political rallying cry, glued together with candyfloss clouds of romantic reverie, it’s a film best seen with as little forewarning as possible: To go in blind is to be carried along by its irrational tumble of events as blissfully and buoyantly as its empty-headed soccer-star protagonist." (Guy Lodge, Variety)


Moram da priznam da sa većim delom Helmerovog opusa nisam upoznat, ali mi je njegova "polunema" romantično-postapokaliptična dramedija Tuvalu jako draga, a glumačka postava koju, između ostalih, čine Miki Manojlović, Deni Lavan i Čulpan Kamatova, prilično obećava.


Sinopsis nagoveštava elemente magičnog realizma, a dodatnu dozu magije pružaju staklasto plave oči Brune Linzmajer u kombinaciji sa kompjuterski animiranim rojem leptirova...

 Kadar iz filma Tri pisma Polu Morisiju

14 Feb 2019

'Ancient Souls (Don't Wear Clothes)' Triptych

In continued defiance of the definitions, once again I step into the Vast Unknown, for another attempt to dream along the hushed voices of semi-divine entities. Surrounded by soft darkness of shapeshifting thoughts, I seek after the last swarm of fireflies... Will I turn into an illuminated abstraction?

Moving the Center / Looking for the Third Circle


Destroying the Monsters / Striving for Beyond the Words


Invoking the Spirit / Waiting for the Final Answer

(click to enlarge)

12 Feb 2019

Mitom do Istine - novi početak

Otvaranju moje prve samostalne izložbe „Mitom do Istine“ prisustvovalo je četrdesetak ljudi kojima ovom prilikom želim najiskrenije da zahvalim, a da sve zainteresovane obavestim da će kolaži moći da se pogledaju do kraja februara, svakog radnog dana u periodu od 7:30 do 19:30. Svečana sala je zaključana, ali će vam ljubazno osoblje Univerzitetske biblioteke izaći u susret. Ulaz je besplatan, tako da je dobra volja sve što vam je potrebno za dolazak.

Posebno hvala dopisnici Radio Beograda i predstavnicima lokalnih medija na interesovanju za ovaj skromni doprinos alternativnoj umetnosti, upravnici Snežani Bojović na ukazanoj ljubaznosti, i rukovodicu informativno-pozajmnog odeljenja Andrijani Stojanović na predusretljivosti i značajnoj pomoći oko organizacije događaja.

Prezadovoljan reakcijama publike, u nastavku prenosim tekst kojim sam se obratio prisutnima, a koji bi trebalo da baci bar tračak svetla na moje stvaralaštvo.

☼☼☼

U svom kratkometražnom dokumentarcu iz 1962. godine, čuveni francuski režiser Žan Kokto izjavio je sledeće:

„Oduvek sam više voleo mitologiju nego istoriju, zato što je istorija sačinjena od istina koje se vremenom pretvaraju u laži, dok je mitologija sačinjena od laži koje naposletku postaju istine.“

Iako sam sa ovim njegovim rečima tek nedavno došao u susret, u njima sam prepoznao sopstvenu paradigmu, budući da većina mojih radova, kako ranijih (kratke priče i stripovi), tako i skorašnjih (gotovo četiri stotine kolaža), pripada jednom stalno rastućem univerzumu koji počiva na dekonstrukciji starih i izmišljanju novih mitova, u nastojanju da se dosegne Neizrecivo, kao ideal istine.

Krivudav put do tog maglom obavijenog odredišta najčešće je oivičen simbolima čija se značenja neretko menjaju, podižući pritom zidove nedoglednog lavirinta iz kojeg ni ja, kao autor, nisam uvek u stanju da pronađem izlaz. Međutim, upravo u toj bezizlaznosti, u naizgled besciljnom lutanju dugim hodnicima i traganju za najčudnijim odgovorima na metafizička pitanja, pronalazim radost stvaranja.

Na izvestan način, moji kolaži predstavljaju sponu sa unutrašnjim detetom, iskonskim (ili bolje reći urođenim) haosom, kao i svetom snova i bajki koje obično ističem kao glavne izvore inspiracije, pa kao takvi pripadaju domenu magije, poezije i misterije, prkoseći racionalizaciji čak i onda kada se u njihovoj kompoziciji mogu uočiti geometrijske pravilnosti. Nastali u intuitivnom procesu, oni su senke i odrazi alternativnih stvarnosti, ali i ove prozaične koju većina ljudi prihvata kao jedinu.

Takođe ih mogu nazvati i vizualnim zagonetkama putem kojih želim da doprem do podsvesti posmatrača i podstaknem njihovu imaginaciju, a sve što je potrebno jeste prići im bez predrasuda, otvorenog srca i uma.

U svom oslanjanju na intuiciju prepoznajem uticaj jednog od mojih omiljenih reditelja, Dejvida Linča, koji smatra da je intuicija, kao spoj emocije i intelekta, ključ svega. Kao zvezde vodilje, moram istaći i reči velikana srpskog filma, Đorđa Kadijevića, koji u knjizi Više od istine nastaloj u saradnji sa dr Dejanom Ognjanovićem, filmskim kritičarem i vrsnim poznavaocem horor žanra, između ostalog, tvrdi i sledeće:

„... Kant je u pravu kada kaže da um nije u stanju da stvara svetove, on može samo da ih promišlja. Nešto drugo stvara svetove, jedna druga moć koju čovek ima. A ta moć je iracionalna, ona ostaje nedefinisana. Mi imamo razne izraze, čitav niz eufemizama za to o čemu se radi: kreativnost, stvaralačka moć, šapat muza, tu se ulazi u jedan gotovo bajkovit, iracionalni prostor.“

Nadam se da ćete u tom „bajkovitom, iracionalnom prostoru“ koji pokušavam da stvorim uspeti da pronađete deo sebe i da će vam slike koje su večeras pred vama reći ono što ja nisam umeo da kažem, pa makar u 100, ako ne u 1000 reči, i na jeziku koji možda nije sasvim razumljiv.

☼☼☼

Za kraj otkrivam i svoj najnoviji kolaž naslovljen Hrast i Spokoj, a završen juče, tokom poslednjih priprema za otvaranje izložbe.

6 Feb 2019

Üres lovak / Empty Horses (Péter Lichter, 2019)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼
 
"Fear makes everyone see the same things. Conscience is quite a boring projectionist.”
 
And for that reason, Péter Lichter (Frozen May, The Rub) ventures boldly into the subconscious territory, guiding us through the labyrinth of cinematic memories emerging from the 'found footage', i.e. the scenes borrowed from numerous classics. Being a collage film, his third feature will almost certainly earn some comparisons with the likes of György Pálfi's brilliantly tailored love story Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen and/or Guy Maddin's The Green Fog - a witty reimagination of Hitchcock's Vertigo. However, its essayistic approach may limit the audience to the most devout arthouse aficionados and well-versed cinephiles.
 
The driving force of Empty Horses is a casual, yet insightful conversation between the ghosts of two great Hungarian filmmakers - Mihály Kertész who's better known under his Hollywood moniker Michael Curtiz and Gábor Bódy who left this world too soon (aged only 39), under mysterious circumstances. Voiced by Pál Mácsai and Roland Rába, respectively, they discuss about their personal and cinema histories, touching upon their own differences, and of the stark contrast between American and European motion pictures. Delivered in a deadpan manner and punctuated by periods of profound silence, their posthumous chatter gets progressively 'juicier', as the inside details from the 'dream factory' are revealed by Curtiz. Whether his anecdotes are grounded in truth or gossip, the descriptions of Orson Welles as 'that giant hysterical baby' and of Jack Warner as 'a cynical fast-talking clown' remain wryly humorous.

In Welles's alleged urinal confession about stealing all of his ideas from Curtiz, during the Oscar afterparty in 1947, one can recognize Lichter's keen sense of brutal self-irony, considering that the great deal of Empty Horses is composed of 'borrowed' art. Later in the film, he slyly utilizes Bódy's opinion as a sort of an excuse for relying on visual quotes, without resorting to the aggressive modifications of the celluloid tape that he is recognized for. Speaking of visuals, the selected sequences, ranging from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Alien, are always in tune with both the protagonists' words, as well as with the author's personal reflections on filmmaking, though at times they do slip into the 'phantasmal domain', to remind us of cinema's ghostly qualities and the fantastical dimension of this respectable meta-creation.


The review is based on the screener provided by Péter Lichter.
The official poster design by Nikola Gocić.

4 Feb 2019

Andriesh (Yakov Bazelyan & Sergei Parajanov, 1954)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼

Reportedly an expansion of Bazelyan & Parajanov's graduate film, Andriesh (Андриеш) is a typical product of its time and an early evidence of the famed director's interest in ethnography. Based on a Moldavian fairy tale (which also happens to be the title of the aforementioned student opus) by Yemelian Bukov, it follows a young, fearless shepherd Andriesh who embarks on a perilous journey to save his flock and faithful dog, Luthar, from an evil wizard, Black Hurricane.

Armed only with a magic flute given to him by people's hero Voinovan whose beloved Liana has been taken away as well, the boy is offered assistance by a weeping willow, a jester called Pakala, a tree-ripping giant, a talking river and a haiduk turned into an oak (and a suffering one at that). Filled with archetypal characters, the simple, linear story takes familiar turns until the very epilogue with a 'petrifying twist', and it feels antiquated, yet charming in its naivety. The same goes for the tight budget special effects and weirdly lit studio sets, still magical in their obvious artificiality - there's something purely cinematic about them that no CGI can match. A few scenes shot on location, including the pastoral prologue, entice the viewer with their highly poetic qualities, so the transition to the 'fake' steppe, forest and cave can be a bit jarring.

However, the overall visual package remains pretty pleasing, especially considering that the cinematographers, Suren Shakhbazyan and Vadim Vereshchak, were as inexperienced as the directorial duo back then. It can't be compared to Parajanov's best looking 'tableaux vivants', but it's certainly not something to be ashamed of. Accompanied by the sweeping, extremely melodramatic score by the first-timers Igor Shamo and G. Tirceu, both the folkloric and fantastical imagery leaves the lasting impression. Even more commendable are the performances by the cast of newcomers, with Robert Vizirenko-Klyavin serving plenty of unforgettable penetrating gazes as Black Hurricane.

3 Feb 2019

5 / 50 Artworks

The last five out of fifty collages I've created in 2019 so far represent the dreamworld inhabited by enigmatic, supernatural entities who make it crumble and rebuild itself simultaneously, as its mythical reality dissolves into the liquid void...

'Tis Just Another Doomsday


A Lucent Instant


Some Thoughts Burn Differently


Chaos Leads the First Attack


Telepathy Under Empty Skies

(click to enlarge)

1 Feb 2019

Cinematic Favorites of January

During the first month of 2019, collages were my primary focus (at least, that's what the latest 45 pieces claim), yet I did my best to keep in touch with the 7th art as much as possible (29 features + 7 shorts). The best viewing experience was provided by Alice Rohrwacher's Happy as Lazzaro (originally, Lazzaro felice) - a wonderful magic realist drama beautifully shot on 16mm and marked by Adriano Tardiolo's brilliant debut, whereas the title of the most dreadful film I watched in January goes to Gaspar Noé's Climax... And yes, I did enjoy Aquaman's cross between the Arthurian legend and Atlantis myth laced with references to Little Mermaid and the He-Man and Masters of the Universe cartoon. Besides, where else can you see Nicole Kidman wielding a trident in a movie co-starred by red-haired Dolph Lundgren?


1. Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
2. Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (Mari Okada, 2018)
3. Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino, 2018)
4. Anna and the Apocalypse (John McPhail, 2017)
5. The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
6. Aquaman (James Wan, 2018)