Freedom in the shackles of Hollywood
Unlike commercial American films, European Film Fest Palić promotes an author’s approach which speaks of our reality
Jury member Bojan Ž. Bosiljčić says about himself that he is a
“Canadian from Subotica” because he had spent his last 15 years in Serbia in Subotica, working for the “YU eco“ radio. As he says, just before leaving for Canada in 1995, he presented his book “Oscar is to blame for everything”, with a subtitle “A small factory of dreams” published by “Stubovi kulture”. It is a collection of reviews of North American, especially Hollywood films, between 2001 and 2011.
In the preface you say that you are revealing “the state of the collective awareness and the spirit of the contemporary mankind” in this book, especially “the nightmarish side of the American dream”. What does that really mean?
The texts I published in the “Umbrella” are more than just mere film reviews. They are essays of a kind that deal with what is happening to us, because I tried to paint our everyday life with appropriate images, and it is the unbearable difficulty of being. Look at what is happening: unfinished yet imposed wars, economic recession, global erosion of traditional values and moral, ecological disasters… Everything that had been going on in the first decade of the 21st century found its reflection in films as a reflection of life.
You previous book “Those Beautiful Dreams“ was presented at the Belgrade Book Fair, but it was very successful in Canada too. It was published in Serbian, and not in English or French. How do you see that? The book really surpassed all my expectations because it was presented in all the leading Canadian daily newspapers from the Atlantic to the Pacific shore. The main reason for that is that it is the first book that marks the 30 years of the Canadian Oscars (Genie Awards). That book does not only contain the chronological list of winners, but also the description of every award ceremony, and in the last 16 years I attended each one of them which is rare for Canadian film journalists. These ceremonies do not get much attention because all eyes are turned to the Hollywood Oscars. Now I’m working on preparing the book in English because I have the support of relevant people, and the interest of the public.
In the preface of your last book you wrote that the films are least watched in the cinemas and that the film review is not a matter of a small circle of experts. Does that mean than anyone can be a critic?
Of course. Film is the most democratic art form today, not only because it combines many other art forms, but also because watching films doesn’t require going to the cinema. A click of a mouse is enough, and films are available to you. That gives young people to educate themselves and get to know the world by watching motion pictures. In that sense, there will be a lot more film critics, and their manner will be different than it is today. “Modern times” may be one of the last books which will be published in this form.
How do European art films seem to you in comparison to the films you dealt with in the “Modern Times”?
It is a shock of a sort, because there is very little space for art and author films in North America for a simple reason – they don’t make money. In Palić I return to the world of author film which is bold and doesn’t recoil from dealing with taboos. Those are socially engaged films which deal with us and our reality. There is some of it in the Canadian cinematography which is small and tough and in complete opposition to Hollywood commercialism. It is low budget, but it is independent. I am sure that there is some of it in other non-European cinematographies, and that is why I would like to suggest to the organizers to think about introducing a Programme called “Europe outside Europe”.