DAYS OF CROATIAN CINEMA 2002
Short Feature Film: Consolidation Cocktail
The consolidation of Croatian
cinema has finally begun. A 2000. decision of the Ministry
of Culture to start financing professional production of
short films besides feature films has its most prominent
results in the field of short and mid-length feature film
productions. The first and most obvious result of this
policy is a higher quality of short films, while in the
long run, we should also expect better quality long feature
films, when the authors experienced in short films decide
to have a go at long features. So far, the best feature
films were coming out of the workshop of the Zagreb Academy
of Dramatic Arts, however, this year, some new production
companies have emerged on the scene.
Goran Kulenović’s Straight
to the Bottom was undoubtedly the funniest and the
most charming film screened at the festival. It was the
story of four friends who were trying to get rid of a dead
policeman whom one of them had killed in a fit of passion.
Film combined Tarantino’s violent poetics and Golik’s good-natured,
reginal nostalgia. It was situated in Zagreb in the early
nineties, when situations similar to that featured in the
film were not so unusual. Contrary to Kulenović, Kristijan
Milić’s Safe House was definitely a nineties film.
Young director Milić was acutely aware that in the nineties
Tarantino was much more relevant than Golik, so his film
was an energetic, raw, and violent thriller-drama, quite
uncommon for Croatian cinema.
Arsen Ostojić’s Painting
of the Nude introduced a completely different subject,
one concerning the problems of the old: their loneliness
and lack of understanding by their surrounding. Dalibor
Matanić reminded us of the tradition of the Croatian short
film with his Drought, featuring the last inhabitants
of an island in a calm, documentary style. Apart from several
disappointing works from the authors that had shown potential
at previous festivals, all in all, this has been a good
year for Croatian short film so that the concept of state
funding of short films should definitely not be abandoned.