No, not again! Well, yes. It’s important. What can I say…
But this one will be from a slightly different angle.
I don’t enjoy watching local movies. It’s a bit painful for me. When I graduated scriptwriting I immediately quit the idea of writing for film and TV. Market was in quite a bad shape and I was not brave enough. I had some other priorities in life. To get financial independence and to start my own life.
But some of my colleagues stayed in the business. In most cases they made a living in commercial projects, and in the backyards preparing their movies. Trying to find the money, sometimes even for several years. Even the most talented who proved their skills by getting the most prestigious world-wide awards for their short movies, were sentenced to endless waiting to get the money for their features.
At the end, even when they managed to shoot the real movie, only few of them would have some artistic/festival or commercial success. The most successful movies of the past decades were the ones like Zona Zamfirova or Montevideo. I have nothing against those movies (I applaud them for a huge audience and a big commercial success), but that’s simply pop music of the film industry. Nothing more.
For a while I used to watch new movies of my university friends. And most of them were just OK. Not because their authors were not talented enough, but mostly because of one simple fact – the timing was wrong. If a director has an idea and starts working on it with a scriptwriter, and the whole process of production lasts for 3 or even 5 years, by the time when the movie goes to cinemas, usually the topic and the aesthetics are already passe. It’s simply too late. The world cinema went to some other direction.
In small countries, cinematography can have international success only if it comes as a movement. Black Wave in Yugoslavia, Nordic Noir, Iranian movies of the 90’s frequently compared with Italian neorealism… How can you create a movement when everyone is making a movie so long that even the crew forgets about it? So, each author has their own direction, acting like a lonely shooter, that usually misses the target.
It’s similar with business careers.
You probably know some people (or you are the one) who were waiting for so long to get a promotion or to be moved to another department? To get the job of their dreams. Some people work very hard, they are very loyal and they are considered very good employees, but somehow in most cases the promotion, or a dream job in a cool new department slips through their fingers. But they continue to work even harder. And then, at some point they get it! And then, they quit the job after a while.
The timing was simply wrong. It was too late. While they were waiting for the position, their personal circumstances changed. Their ambition disappeared. They were just so focused to achieve this goal that they didn’t see that their goals are totally different now. Also, in this cool new job they are surrounded by some new kids. They don’t fit. They don’t get all the jokes. They can’t go to drinks with them and party every Friday. Office community is, in my opinion, equally important as salary or development opportunities. If you don’t enjoy it you will feel the frustration after some time.
The dream came through. You are living in a nice movie. But it’s not your movie anymore. What a shame.
Let’s look at this issue from a different angle. Sometimes things happen too fast and too soon. If you progress in your career very fast, you will face advantages and disadvantages. On a positive side: you get a better job with more independence and more perks. You get more learning opportunities, you start meeting interesting and important people, you start leading teams… On a negative side: you are exposed to some hard decision making at a young age, you face some unpleasant situations far before it’s necessary, you must dedicate a lot of energy to your work and you might miss some opportunities that come with a certain age…
But one of the most important disadvantages is the fact that you don’t have your peer group to support you. You cannot create a movement, like one in the film history, but you must be a lonely shooter that is usually fights against old heritage and clans of older colleagues who give support to each other. Not only inside your organization, but in the business scene in general.
The good news is that you can survive it. And you can become a good lonely shooter. Such as examples of amazing directors from some countries who were the only good directors in 20 or 30 years. But sometimes it’s simply nicer to belong somewhere. At least for me. Although I was always very independent and a stand alone guy, I always preferred to be a part of a cool and successful team or movement.
Over time, I almost stopped watching local movies. I do it from time to time when someone I trust tells me that I should see something new. It’s not a matter of me being snobbish or arrogant. It’s just a time management issue. I hope this will change and I will see some new movements in Serbian cinema.
But some lonely shooters do exist!
That’s why my movie recommendation for this weekend is the movie Klip by talented director Maja Milos. Unfortunately, her movie didn’t start a new movement but maybe a new one will. I will not recommend a drink that goes with this movie. Take anything strong enough that hits fast! You are going to need it. Especially if you have teenage kids. Cheers!