Perfunctoriness and the lack of editorial discipline
Film Lexicon, published by the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute, is a sort of a sequel to the same publisher’s ’Film Encyclopedia’ from the late eighties. The lexicon contains articles on major film artists (authors of narrative, experimental and animated films, as well as of documentaries), just like the encyclopedia but in addition to that, representative works from all these groups of films are covered through separate interpretative articles. The constraits of space in comparison to the encyclopedia caused some serious problems: while the greatest number of articles is allocated to the directors, the rigorous selection of actors, composers and cinematographers didn’t include some of the most significant names in the history of cinema. The choice of films (over 900) is problematic — because of the questionable decision to include the winners of Oscar, Palme d’ Or, Golden Lion and the European Film Award (formerly known as Felix), entire epochs and tendencies were overlooked. Although the classical and the modernist French cinema is presented quite generously (Godard, Rohmer, Resnais and Rivette were each given 8 or 9 film interpretations), many American authors who influenced the French classics have been allocated only one film interpretation (in addition to the biographical article). Once highly influential Eastern European Cinema is a mere footnote in the new lexicon, socialist realism is ignored in spite of a series of significant films and the choice of most important American, European and Asian films of the 90’s is also questionable. While the coverage of Serbian cinema is actually not so bad, when the Croatian cinema is concerned, the problem is in the tendency to ignore the socialist past and the Yugoslav context; including Croatian contributions to other Yugoslav republics and the contribution of outsiders to Croatian cinema. This lexicon is significant because it presents a new generation of Croatian critics; some of the articles are excellent; but with a more serious editorial work it could have been much, much better.