Milana Vujkov

Writer, artist, psychologist. Film historian.

All I wanted to be at the age of nine was a secret agent. I did extensive research for my chosen vocation – artistic, academic, shamanic & otherwise. Born in Yugoslavia, childhood in Tehran, Iran, attended a sunny American school. Back in socialism, I became an intense teen on a bike, into alchemy, cinema & conspiracies. Then, I started dating, which derailed my spooky career. The war, inevitably, restored it. Chaos and heartbreak made existence wretched for everyone, yet ephemeral and surreal. That worked as relief. Graduated in psychology at University Of Novi Sad, MA in history of film & visual media at Birkbeck in London, my tutor was Prof. Laura Mulvey (feminist icon), in the meantime, moved countries and relationships, waited tables/tended bars, made idiosyncratic shorts, wrote (mostly) unproduced scripts, phantasmagorical short stories & copious amounts of poetry. Had profound fun with friends. Along the bumpy road, contributed to a magazine & newspaper, worked as an arts correspondent for national TV, manufactured film theory, presented at film conferences, attempted an esoteric PhD on the moving image, translated books, curated & organised events, like film seasons, poetry jams, stand-up, and such – somehow joining the film industry proper, promoting indie, art house & quality docs in London, for years.

Always travelling, soothsaying my way through cosmologies & tribes, I was lucky to learn beautiful mysterious things from extraordinary people. Figured out the secret agency, in time.

Presently, running two blogs Poets, Mavericks & Prophets and Lola On Film, independently researching psychology of film and spectatorship, the female gaze, psychology of art and creativity, archetypal enchantment, alchemical storytelling and art., hosting Lola & The Poets Podcast on magical realities, and launching my newly minted PMaPsArt Studio – with its online Story Shop and Workshops (Autumn 2021), as well as a designer PMaPsArt Shop on Redbubble. In the longer process of writing a novel & shooting a doc about female ancestry. Serbia/UK. 

Tomatometer-Approved Critic.


Check out my main site, Poets, Mavericks & Prophets, with creative, philosophical & psychological writings, audios, story shop & upcoming workshops.

Follow me at Lola & The Poets podcast, exploring personal and collective magical journeys, the ways the mystical & the mundane are intertwined. Psychology, culture, art & alchemy. Solo shows, interviews. Out every odd Thursday.

To contact me, please drop me a line at milana@lolaonfilm.com or on one of the platforms below:

Instagram: Poets, Mavericks & Prophets

Facebook: Poets, Mavericks & Prophets


LOLA ON FILM MENU

In Filmology I contemplate on the psychology of film, the metaphysics of cinema, exploring new formats, in Film Theory I collect my academic texts for all my fellow film scholars and students, and in Film Culture you’ll find my impressions of where cinema art is at now, as a profession, a cultural phenomenon, physical space, and a medium. Also, a bit about my past curatorial and promotional work, and podcasts on film. In Film Archives I rewind back to films I believe shaped the zeitgeist, the undeniable imprint of these archival treasures both revolutionising craft and enriching the art of cinema with entirely new layers of creative expression. Film Reviews are the main offering of Lola On Film, the films picked both by intention and happenstance.


POETRY, FICTION, SCREENPLAYS

2020 Milana Vujkov, Keyhole Elijah (novel, in progress). 2003 Milana Vujkov, Lunatics At Large (screenplay, unproduced). 1999 Milana Vujkov, Sugar Serendip (screenplay, unproduced). 1996 Milana Vujkov, The Shelter (screenplay, produced). 1996 Milana Vujkov, The Journey, NS ART, Novi Sad (book of poetry, published, part of a multimedia project with Katarina Kovač, musician and Darko Vuković, designer).

SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY

2021 Rosevine (in production). Serbia. TBC mins. 2010 Katarina Kovač: High & Low. Serbia. 3 mins. 2009 The Treasure Of Nina Madre. UK. 29 mins. 2009 Sanya Budna & Before. Serbia/Montenegro. 113 mins. 2009 Katarina Kovač: Streets Of Mine. Serbia. 4 mins. 2008 The New York Cube And The Hand of God. UK. 9 mins. Streetwise. UK. 5 mins. 2004 The Year Of The Monkey. UK. 10 mins. 1996 The Shelter. Serbia. 26 mins.

TRANSLATIONS 

2020/2021 Albert Einstein (ed. Ze’ev Rosenkranz), The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein (in translation, Akademska knjiga, Novi Sad, 2020). 2019 Spiritual and Cultural Heritage of the Monastery of Studenica: Past, Perseverance, Contemporaneity(exhibition catalogue, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, SANU, 2019). 2017 Marsela Šunjić, Greetings From The Moon, novel (Dobra knjiga, Sarajevo, 2019). 2016 Translation: Marsela Šunjić, Good Night, City, novel (Dobra knjiga, Sarajevo, 2019). 2016 Suzana Vuksanović, Kristian Lukić, Čedomir Janičić, Dragan Rakić, Jedan One, Uno, Ein, MSUV, Novi Sad. 2015 Suzana Vuksanović, Rastislav Škulec | Remix. Refresh. Restart. MSUV, Novi Sad. 2015 Svetlana Mladenov, Conflicts, provocations, relations, challenges, fears, energies, determinations: Art in the expanded field. MSUV, Novi Sad. 2015 Svetlana Mladenov, Subdued Existence, MSUV, Novi Sad. 2014 Sanja Kojić Mladenov, Cargo East, MSUV, Novi Sad. 2013 Nebojša Milenković, Uroš Đurić, Strategies of Excess, MSUV, Novi Sad. 2013 Suzana Vuksanović, New Sculpture In Vojvodina, MSUV, Novi Sad. 2013 Bosniaks of Sandzak, monograph, Beoknjiga, Belgrade. 2012 Suzana Vuksanović, Mira Brtka: Unstable Balances, MSUV, Novi Sad. 2011 Serbian Pavilion Catalogue for the 54th Venice Biennale, MSUV, Novi Sad. 2010 Edward F. Edinger, Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy, Akademska knjiga, Novi Sad.

PLEASE NOTE: Not taking on more projects in translation. Info on translation/interpreting at ProZ.


CURATORIAL WORK

2005 Programme for No Exit: Essential Serbian Cinema, 1995-2000 a film season I curated & organised at the Institute Of Contemporary Arts, London (ICA  Cinemas 1 & 2), 4-16 November 2005.


OLD PODCASTS

You can hear me talking film & film culture at length with the rebel crew of Free Seed Films on Soho Radio – while I was with Picturehouse Cinemas:


FILM THEORY 

If you’d like to check out my old PhD proposal (Goldsmiths, June 2009), it lives here:  Film, the Alchemical Medium: Archetypal Enchantment and the Transformative Potential of the Moving Image (2009). It aimed to study how we are enchanted by film, using early film theory, post-Jungian analysis & anthropology of ritual, and ways the moving image can potentially be utilised in art therapy. You are also welcome to read up its theoretical decendent, Archetypal Enchantment and the Twin of David Lynch. presentation I gave at the Cinematic Desire: A Cinema Studies Group interdisciplinary graduate conference, CUNY Graduate Centre, New York, March 2010. Revised & edited, August 2020. For a bit more back to the future vibe, I’ve edited and revised Fallen Women of Hollywood Melodrama: 1930s-1950s, my 2005 Birkbeck final essay for Prof Laura Mulvey’s course on melodrama, exploring the myth of the fallen woman in classic Hollywood melodrama, via Jungian framework, tracing historical, religious and literary antecedents, delving into the archetypal realms of the dark, wild feminine projected onto the screen, and her impact on the spectator, male and female. Its theoretical follow-up, From Door Frame to Freeze Frame: Femmes Ante Portas was presented at Framed: Delimiting the Film Image: A Cinema Studies Group interdisciplinary graduate conference, New York, April 2008. A post-Jungian reading, it aimed at analysis of the veneration of the Hollywood film icon, tracing the blazing trail of cinema femme fatales, their imagery framed within portals, places where darkness and light meet, transforming, dynamically, into a new animus/anima fluid form of the femme fatale as action figure.

MA DISSERTATION

Black Humour in Serbian Films of the Early Eighties and Its Cultural Consequences: The Cinema of Slobodan Šijan and Dušan Kovačević – examining the dark heart of laughter and the symbiotic relationship film has with its audiences, how it wires us to think and talk in certain ways, its cultural impact, and its myriad semiotic and cinematic legacies – a bungy jump into the Serbian (and YU) 1980s cinema scene, specifically, four films, and two filmmakers.

MA Dissertation. School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, University of London, October 2005. Tutor: Prof. Laura Mulvey.

For some of my other work in film theory – please see on Scribd:

The Magic of Joy: Cinema of Emir Kusturica, From Realism to Magical Reality
Essay, 2004, European Cinema, Birkbeck College, University of London.


Other people on my film work:

Humor and Nonviolent Struggle in Serbia by Janjira Sombatpoonsiri.