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Portrait of an author: Vatroslav Mimica

The Most Beautiful and Exciting Job

Biofilmographical Interview with Vatroslav Mimica

Film director Vatroslav Mimica was born on June 25, 1923 in Omiš. He studied medicine in Zagreb, but he quit his studies in 1943 when, after a period of underground work in the resistance antifascist movement, he joined the partisans in northern Croatia. After the war, by the end of which he obtained the rank of a commissary of the X Zagreb corps, he started writing.

He started the paper ’Studentski list’, he was one of the editors of the magazine ’Origins’, and in 1950, ’following orders’, he became the director of Jadran film, where he was introduced to all the phases of film work. Traumas of war were still very vivid at that time, the clash with the Inform bureau caused an increased sense of insecurity and strengthening of the party bureaucratic which, along with his newborn love for film, resulted in Mimica definitely turning to film direction and leaving director’s post to become a free artist. His first directorial work on the motion picture In the Storm shot in the Mediterranean ambiance of his birth place in 1952 signalled the beginning of the period of Mimica’s intensive directorial and screenplay writing work that lasted until 1981, during which he has confirmed himself as a distinctive author of animated films and motion pictures.

In that period he directed 12 motion pictures: In the Storm (1952), Mr Ikle’s Jubilee (1955), Yolimano il Conquistadore/The Castle Samograd (shot for an Italian producer, 1961), Prometheus from the Island of Viševica (1964), Monday or Tuesday (1966), Kaja, I’ll Kill You (1967), An Event (1969), Protégé (1970), Makedonski del od pekloto (for a Macedonian producer, 1971), Peasants’ Revolt 1573 (1975), Saboteur Oblak’s Last Diversion (1978), Banović Strahinja (1981). Apart from motion pictures, Mimica is the author of several short meters (among which The Wedding of Mr. Marzipan, 1963, holds a special place), nevertheless, he was most prominent in the field of animated films that he worked on (as screenplay writer and director) from 1957-1971. From that period date his auteur animated films: Scarecrow (1957), Happy End (1958), The Inspector Came Home (1959), The Egg (1959), At the Photographer (1959), Perpetuum Mobile (1962), Telephone (1962), Typhus Patients (1963), Fire fighters (1971), that have enlisted him among the most important authors of the Zagreb School of Animated Film.

Damir Radić

Films by Vatroslav Mimica

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