MARCH/APRIL 2010

CINEMA, HAPPINESS

Six Short Films by Karpo Godina

Edited and arranged by Jacob Perlin.
Introduction by Jurij Meden.

While young filmmakers in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the late 1960s and very early ’70s handled their recording equipment (which was very difficult to come by) with delicate kid gloves, Karpo Godina—whose early short films are collected for the first time on the DVD included with this issue—took a more aggressive approach. Godina threw himself into impossible situations and positions and emerged with wonderfully framed and brilliant pictures. In 1968, Godina worked as director of photography on Želimir Žilnik’s celebrated first feature, Early Works, literally dragging his camera through the mud for most of the film, creating one of the most unusually beautiful (and politically subversive) films in Yugoslav cinema. The film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1969.

This period in Yugoslavia witnessed an explosion of creativity in all walks of life and thinking—it was the golden years of the so-called New Yugoslav Cinema, also derogatorily labeled “Black Cinema.” Godina became one of the most sought-after directors of photography of this “Black Wave,” and he helped decisively shape the movement. Godina’s short films reflect a happiness that’s impervious to the gravity of the films’ often serious subjects. His films scream with happiness and joie de vivre.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

Jurij Meden is a freelance film writer and curator from Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Jacob Perlin is a film programmer at BAMCinematek in Brooklyn, New York and founder of the Film Desk.

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