Invisible Currents – Yugoslav (Cineclub) Avant-garde Written by Women

03.11.2016. | 19:00

Guest editor: Petra Belc

Invisible Currents – Yugoslav (Cineclub) Avant-garde Written by Women

The history of experimental film was written under the hegemony of, on the one hand, narrative feature film, and, on the other, the “giant” of the film avant-garde. Such a double relation has made women film authors almost completely invisible in a patriarchal and market-based culture. Within this history, the Yugoslav cineclub scene is dubbed a hotbed of the most important directors of the “Yugoslav cinematic experience”, often neglecting the fact that the amateur film of that time was vacillated between the quest for an expression within the confines of narration and the rules of genre and the movement towards its own gender independence – the one of experimental film. Similar problem preoccupied the women filmmakers that experimented in the cineclubs of the time running against the obstacles that made their works almost unknown even today. If we run these shortcomings against the background of socialist society that nominally acknowledged women as bearers and instigators of social life, the question of concrete reasons for their marginalization and the criteria for evaluating their work comes to the fore. In their account of American film experimentators Jean Petrolle and Virginia Wexman rightfully emphasized that “a lot of critiques often neglect or undervalue those films in part because women experimental films often revise the very paradigms that dictated the way in which this tradition was comprehended.”

The films presented in this program represent a heterogenous tissue of works by different women filmmakers of different poetic and aesthetics of different periods, media and circumstances of production. Some of them have worked on integral opuses that were never finished, some managed to realize only one film, while for some of the women authors it is hard to find any written document. A number of films are lost, some of them have found their way in this program by a fortuitous mistake, while the bulk of the existing films have not been restored and exist only as exemplary copies. Despite all those deficiencies and research obstacles – that will be tackle in the introductory speech – the films gathered here represent an exciting body of female subjectivity and bravely provoke the existing canon of Yugoslav experimental film. The provocation consists in taking up topics that have been rarely dealt with (at least in this way): everyday life, motherhood, sexuality and idiosyncratic visions of rhythm, texture, circularity and silence.

Mom was a woman, but mom was a very energetic woman (…), for her family she was an absolute boss, not only to us but to our dad too. But I know that she had troubles with her position within that amateur filmmaking community since she was, of course, a woman. Her style was different of the one that was trendy at that time, so I think that she was never fully excepted as a fully-fledged member in the Zagreb cineclub, because other members had different aspirations and ideas. I think that because of her a new cinclub was established (…)

Tatjana Ivančić’s son, from the archives
Film program – total duration 1 hour 15 minutes and 52 seconds

Putositnice, Tatjana Ivančić, 1976., 5′

Putovanje, Bojana Vujanović, 1972., 2′

Žemsko, Dunja Ivanišević, 1968., 6′

Igra života, Tatjana Ivančić, 1972., 4′

Četvorodimenzionalna kuća, Mirjana Božin, 1982., 9′

Diabl, Zorica Kijevčanin, 1988., 10′

Od 0 do 2, Tatjana Ivančić, 1972., 7′

Igra, Sunčica Jergović, 1982., 2′

Rondo, Divna Jovanović, 1963., 3’50”

Linija manjeg otpora, Bojana Vujanović, 1969., 5′

0, Dubravka Rakoci, 1978., 3’12”

Ekvinocij, 1973., 4’20

Erna, Erna Banovac, 1963., 2’30

Pieta, Biljana Belić, 1970., 4′

Golo, Zorica Kijevčanin i Miodrag Milošević, 1983., 8′
We thank the Academic Film Center, Zagreb Cineclub, the Croatian Film Union and Dubravka Rakoci for the films.

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