Position of a foreigner gives a chance to look at the truth
After working in the U.S. I am even more against commercialism, plastic botoxed people and the worship of technology as a key value
One of the greatest actresses of the Yugoslav film says that two men are responsible for her coming to Palić: Stefan Arsenijević and Svetozar Cvetković with whom in 2011 she shot a film in Turkey DON’T FORGET ME ISTANBUL.
"I have complete confidence in their opinion, and they talked to me about Palić as a wonderful gathering place of creative people. These are the people whom I trust and whose sensibilities I share, so I accepted the invitation with greatest pleasure."
I am very reluctant to accept that duty because I do not believe in competition when it comes to art, nor do I think that I have the ability to objectively evaluate and rank artworks. A long time ago I was president of the jury of the festival in Valencia, and that was when I realized how ungrateful the job is. I remember with discomfort how some (unrewarded) filmmakers were unhappy and even angry after the jury read the decision. In the end, I felt bad, as if I had hurt someone intentionally. But a person in this position can and must be guided only by their impression of the film. Everything else, including all possible pressures should be forgotten and ignored.
What kind of films do you like, and go back to?
When I was young, I loved Bergman’s films and I imagined myself, as a future actress, in that kind of deep, serious, clever psychological dramas. I even learned Swedish, and later on, because of this first film love, lived one year in Sweden. Then I discovered Trifo, Rene Romero, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Pavlović, Fassbinder, Buñuel, and early Scorsese, the American films from the seventies ... I would say that I love stories about real people, stories I understand, stories that affect me, that are directly addressing me. I have no relation towards the great Hollywood films that we are being swamped with. I’m not interested in superheroes, or technologically complex machines that impress with their size and power. It seems to me that in the worship of superheroes, so perfect and so distant from our ordinary life, lies an element of fascism. Little lost man who seeks the meaning is close to me and I want to see him on screen, struggling with himself. His problems concern me. THE TRANSFORMERS absolutely do not concern me!
How did your personal views about the film change after you started working in the U.S.?
Now I am even more against commercialism, plastic botoxed people and the worship of technology as a key value. That is probably a reaction to everything that surrounds me in America.
And, before going overseas, were you ever wishing to work in Hollywood?
Maybe, but that was the Hollywood of Wilder, Hawks, Welles. At that time, Ingrid Bergman, a foreigner, was a main star. Today, that is impossible even for internationally successful actresses like Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard.
How do Americans perceive the European film industry?
I carry an ancient sentence of an American acquaintance in my head: "I love foreign films." The sentence shocked me then. What does an American mean by "foreign films"? What does that include? That sentence is a bit racist, it accepts the "ours - American" and everything else, non-American, all loaded into the same bag, incomprehensible and somewhat suspicious. This bag includes both giants like Fellini, and newcomers from Pakistan and Estonia. Only with incredible advertising, "foreign" films succeed to draw the attention of the average American viewer. Otherwise, they are sentenced to as many as seven days of screening in an obscure little cinema where there are only a few bored viewers in the audience.
At Palić, we will have a chance to see the premier of the international omnibus DON’T FORGET ME ISTANBUL where you play, but we do not have your second film from this year, VENUTO AL MONDO. What kind of roles are they?
In the meantime, I made another film in Turkey, by a very good scenario - SEABURNERS that was directed by young Melisa Onel. There I played the main role. The film had a female perspective, which is very unusual in a man's world in which we live. VENUTO AL MONDO was made based an interesting book, with the same name, by Margaret Macantini, and it was a great pleasure to play with Penelope Cruz. In ISTANBUL I participated in a story by Stefan Arsenijević. What is interesting is that all the stories, located in Istanbul, were directed by foreigners, none of the directors was from Turkey. It is as if the producer of the film Husein Karabei wanted to emphasize something that I could agree with: that precisely the position a foreigner gives a chance to a person to better look at the truth.