After presenting the work of the Kino Klub Split as one of the spawning grounds of avant-garde film in former Yugoslavia, this season we focus on a cult figure of this artistic milieu. Slovenian experimental director Karpo Godina emerged from the same tradition of Yugoslav film clubs that formed part of the socialist project to bring technological culture and its achievements to all citizens. He began his career as an amateur at the Kino Klub Odsev in Ljubljana and a few years later was to become one of the leading figures of the Black Wave, the Yugoslav socio-critical movement of the sixties and seventies, as director of his own films and as a masterful cameraman for internationally recognized works. In his radical short films, Godina experimented with static and distant camera, an important composition principle that conveys the observer’s distance from the filmed object, at the same time generating subversive irony.
Godina’s films seem oblivious to the established conventions of documentary and fiction cinema, and particularly to the aesthetics of socialist realism in films approved by the Yugoslav state, which had to “avoid abstract experimentation and offer clear and effective communication”. His short films are conceptual works of art, though magically full of life. Further, thanks to his talent as a passionate cameraman and photographer, his films can be seen as a series of strangely graceful, randomly captured images. "In a seemingly carefree, light-hearted manner, always being mildly ironic but never cynical, Godina tackled such delicate issues as the holy dogma of Yugoslav brotherhood or the absurdity of conscripted soldiers’ everyday life" (Jurij Meden).
Game/Divjad (with Jure Pervanje), 1965, 6 min; Dog/Pes (with Mario Uršić), 1965, 8 min; Anno Passato, 1966, 6 min; The Gratinated Brain of Pupilija Ferkeverk, 1970, 12 min; Litany of Happy People, 1971, 14 min; On the Art of Loving or Film with 14441 Frames, 1972, 10 min; I Miss Sonia Henie, 1972, 16 min.
DCP screening. English subtitles. Copies courtesy of Slovenian Cinemathèque and Karpo Godina.
A programme by Mariana Hristova.