• Datum 16-01-2014
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Interview with an Imaginary Journalist

Mr. imaginary journalist, in the context of IFFR’s topic ‘The State of Europe’, what’s your view of the state of the Macedonian cinema? "Well, lately we have more movies made in Macedonia, we have a film agency, new theaters and from 2014 there are production tax incentives. But I’m more interested in what kinds of movies are made. Europe always needs fresh ideas like the thirsty need water. And educating the future audience; without an audience everything is in vain. Macedonia also needs visionary creations that develop imagery in wonderful new ways and brave movies which break aesthetic barriers, that criticize, warn of human and social hypocrisy. Almost all brave enough movies from Macedonia got international success."

Can you point out some striking Macedonian movies? "In all honestly, I’ve posed the same question to several famous directors. Almost all of them avoid it, diplomatically, for different reasons. I can say that Before the Rain, like all of Milcho Manchevski’s movies, is enjoyment for the eyes, emotions and thoughts. Manchevski is the Macedonian poet and philosopher in cinematography. In his movies time doesn’t die and the circle isn’t round. A very wise director, with an original poetics. I won’t mention the Macedonian movies from before 1990 because we will need 100 pages and we only have space for 500 words. The sisters Mitevski are dealing with social, urban topics, and in The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears they pay attention to the visualization like a mother pays attention to her child. Greatly anticipated are new movies by Vladimir Blazevski, Stole Popov and so on. Blazevski made a movie named Punk’s Not Dead and after its Macedonian premiere the audience was happy for days. It’s an urban movie as well as a study in narration and direction of actors. Biljana Garvanlieva creates poignant documentaries, showing us how Macedonian seamstresses sew pieces for expensive brands which cost as much as their monthly pay. Ivo Trajkov (The Great Water) is a director who brings serenity in multilayered movies which are fun even tough they deal with serious and difficult topics. Also there is Igor Ivanov with his short but big miracle Bubachki. And there are so many more movies. As I said, everybody avoids this question, as those not mentioned might get angry — some of them rightly so."

And can you… "Excuse me for interrupting but I just remembered that in a recent interview, one foreign filmmaker said to me that he was pleasantly surprised that in 2012 Macedonia had three movies on the Berlinale. I was as well and I expect this to be normal thing in the future."

Can you tell us… "Just one more thing. Did you know that the Macedonian town of Bitola is home to the festival ‘Manaki Brothers’, one of the three festivals in the world dedicated to DOP’s? There are a few other great festivals in Macedonia. You should come and see. Now, what was your question?"

Dejan Trajkoski is the founder and director of the Macedonian prose festival PRO-ZA Balkan, as well as a critic for Macedonian daily Vecer and film magazine Kinopis.