On a short book on a short film in brief
(Marek Hendrykowski, Umetnost kratkog filma, Belgrade: Clio, 2004, ISBN 867102105X)
In an everyday speech the term »film« is used as a synonym for a »feature film« and if you mention a title of a film not many persons will think that the person they are talking to is talking about a short film. At the end of his book the author thus claims: »Short film is a nostalgic form today«. However, the first sentence of his book is the following: »A short form is not on the margins of the film«. This book is actually a compilation of short essays on particular problems in relation to the short film. The approach used in the book is reduced to an unsystematic listing of theoretical observations and historical peculiarities and the use of many examples mostly from the rich Polish cinema (with a list of 250 most important short films at the end of the book). The author does not develop a specific thesis in his book and very often his chapters are not linked. However, the approach is what distinguishes this book in an interesting way from theoretical enumerations and classifications. Therefore, we are talking about a highly nonacademic approach, approach of a person who decided in 1998, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the international competition at Krakow film festival and on the occasion of the around 100th anniversary of cinema, to write down some of his personal observations on why the short film is interesting and important since it is — according to Hendrykowski — the »film laboratory«, the basis of the artistic quality in filmmaking.