Originally published on May 1st. Article written by Marko Milićević.
Happy International Workers' Day from the Kinoskop team, with a cinematic memory from Yugoslavia, in our 5th spin-off, Inside the Cine-Club, as part of the parallel presentation for the upcoming Oberhausen 2021 Theme programme – Solidarity as Disruption, curated by Aleksandra Sekulić and Branka Benčić.
Click on the titles below stills to watch the films!
Total running time : 79'
Starting the selection is the most haunting title of the lot. Suffused with creepy atmosphere, Sava Trifković’s legendary short Hands of Purple Distances elusively touches on subjects such as metaphysical dread, madness, and the all-engulfing enigma of memory, infused with a lot of dizzying camera work and jump-cuts, similar to the mise-en-scene of Maya Deren’s psychodrama films, or other experimental 'horrors' of the time, Zid by Kokan Rakonjac, or Triptych on Matter and Death by Živojin Pavlović.
The famed documentarian, Krsto Papić's Special Trains, an Oberhausen winner, instead, is a Black Wave-saturated title, which has a more powerfully mundane, but also never-more-actual theme of the Yugo-gastarbeiters searching for a better existence in the West, let down by the socialist system, only to find themselves even more thwarted and dehumanised by the German authorities.
Continuing in this particular frame, Želimir Žilnik's The Unemployed is yet another striking and brutal reflection on the 'surplus labour' and the 'solidarity in pain', focusing on the burden of existence of workers who bathe in public bathrooms and sleep in homeless centers., with a lot of camera attention on their (collective) bodies, and close-up details such as bruised feet, malnourished teeth and obesity.
More bodily fears and anxieties are present in Vlatko Gilić's Love, in a more optimistic rendering of the solidarity theme conveyed through gaze and gestures, in a no dialogue film which portrays a moment of intimacy in a harsh and mechanized world, detailing the encounter of a construction site worker with his wife for a picnic lunch.
Ivan Martinac's Rondo also focuses on faces and close-ups, underlined with themes its author was particularly obsessed with - alienation and existential meditations, done in a fast-pace, jump-cut editing style similar to a rhythmical score, set to Beethoven's music.
Finally, Ante Babaja's Justice delivers an adaptation of a Vladan Desnica novel, and another one of his very modernist, funky, dizzyingly edited pieces with an allegorical structure, presenting us a witty satire on the blindness of justice and Rashomon-like shift of multiple perspectives.