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 - this was my MA dissertation (Birkbeck, 2005), a bungy jump into the Serbian (and YU) 1980s cinema scene, specifically, four films, and two filmmakers. One day I might programme this whole bonanza into a fest, the way I writ it - from YU Black Wave to Balkan 'Black Humour Brand', and screen the selection in cinemas (Belgrade to London). For now, please enjoy the words, deliciously.
Short and sweet weekend ride through a cinematic landscape that is very slowly moving from niche to broader in the Balkans, yet with quality that never drops a beat. Merlinka is a bold and bright festival of good humour and defiance, with a sophisticated programme, a growing audience, and enough maverick charm to face both friend and foe in society with the sage knowledge that, in the end, love conquers all.
It lands on a piece of me that is yet to accept loss – the devouring of a chunk of my life, of many lives, by the gods of lesser value. This is why I could not take it in any other way than lightly. Giving it my full attention meant giving in to a lack of meaning. A blank canvass of a memory of a home(land) that invites everyone to draw in their own conclusions. All of them true and entirely wrong. [read more]