FROM THE HISTORY OF CROATIAN CINEMA
Croatian film of the classical period: ideologized film discourse and modes of variation
During the first epoch of its continual development, from 1945 till the beginning of modernism around 1962, Croatian film levitated between ideology and freedom. State ideology discourse ruled the film discourse; attempting to turn filmmaking into one of state’s ideology spreading tools, that is to say, transform film industry in the industry of educational values and affirmation of the new reality. Film style that arose from such strivings was closely linked to theories of socialist realism, which naturally, in different political circumstances and a shift in attitude of the state towards film production, started to turn to influences of neorealism, another international style that had found its expression in Croatian film, perceived as ideal esthetic framework for ’humanist’ presentation of social movements, and a model of shift, which nonviolently abandoned ideological strain of collective presentation. Third stylistic component was classical narrative style — although socialist realism was of classical narrative structure — under the influence of Hollywood. This style formed within shifts towards generic models as a step away from ideology and marked populist turning to the public. Populism sprang out of different production models and announced a simple attempt at survival in times of free film workers, and was the main commercial principle of production. Genres started freeing themselves of themes directly linked with war and its consequences. New prospering genres were action and adventure films, and partisan-war films, children films, melodramas, comedies or thrillers. Ideology was observable in all the above mentioned styles and genres, namely in presentation of characters, in films such as In the Storm, Seagull, Don’t Turn Around, Son, It Was Not in Vain and Only People, however, such characterization could be interpreted as a convention in classical narrative structures of films, or simply like socialist contextual genre presentation, like in Only People.
Within the group of films that subverted ideological foundation of the world, there was a shift towards modernism. Three Anas were neorealism of the soul, while Concert was first modernist film of Croatian cinema. What linked those films was not just a straightforward expression of pessimism which was through ideology imposed on individual destinies, but an indirect request for freeing the man from Ideology and History, which inevitably defeated him.