It is one of the smallest countries in central Europe but we have had some quite good films done in the past and some just recently. If i point out few that i saw and that they left deeper remark and would really suggest them to all independent movie lovers…
probably the best Slovenian film by my humble opinion is
SPARE PARTS (Rezervni deli); director: Damjan Kozole; 2003 or also
NO MANS LAND; Denis Tanovic; 2001 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283509) probabily the most known Slovenian film,
Others also worth mentioning follow;
OUTSIDER (Outsider); Andrej Kosak; 1997
BENEATH HER WINDOW (Pod njenim oknom); Metod Pevec; 2003)
FUCK IT (Jebiga); Miha Hocevar; 2000; but the thing with this film is that it’s probably ten times more funny for us that speaks Slovenian language, because there are some phrases that are just untranslatable. But still very funny movie.
CHEESE AND JAM (Kajmak in marmelada); Branko Djuric (2003)
GUARDIAN OF THE FRONTIER (Varuh meje); Maja Weiss (2002)
and two new films from this year that i haven’t seen yet but both have interesting plots;
9:06 (9:06) Igor Sterk; 2009
SLOVENIAN GIRL (slovenka); Damjan Kozole (2009)
For sure i forgot some also very good films that i can’t recall at the moment but if i remember will write them.
Hope some of you will check some of the films and express their opinion about our cinematography…
slovenian cinema has a rich history, mostly wrapped up with the history of yugoslav cinema.
the first feature released from slovenia when it was a socialist republic was “na svoji zemlji/on native soil” (1948) by france stiglic, which was his debut film. this was year two of feature film production in yugoslavia. its a classical example of the partisan war film. the story is about the struggle against the german army during world war ii in the slovenian countryside. its a very well-made and polished film with a seamless construction, showing that filmmakers in yugoslavia were operating at a high level of craftsmanship from the beginning.
we also have to give credit to bostjan hladnik and his debut film “ples v dezju/a dance in the rain” (1961). this marked the arrival of yugoslav new film, or the new wave, along with the film “dvoje/the couple” (1961), the debut film from the great serbian director aleksandar petrovic. new film tendencies in yugoslavia were very similar to other new waves in world cinema, ushering open expression and modernist approaches into national cinema as well as a new generation of young film directors.
one more slovenian name to remember, also associated with yugoslav new film. joze pogacnik, who was making unique short documentaries in the 60s and 70s. one of his most interesting was “primer strogo zaupno/an example of strictness” (1963) (please correct this translation for us). the focus is on a boarding school, and he utilizes expressionistic images and music along with fictional reenactments to narrate a story about tough education. the most interesting moment is the final shot, in which the film we are watching literally runs out of the projector and unspools. its a great early self-reflexive moment that symbolizes the experimental nature of yugoslav new film.
Im very much looking forward to SLOVENIAN GIRL. Thank you for the insight Bobby
no problem. i hope i get to see some of the recent films as well.
Bobby,i think Define is right to approach Slovenian cinema OUTSIDE of the Yugoslav borders and then-unison…
if we assume the first feature film made in Slovenia was in 1948,then we can also assume that Macedonian Blood Wedding should be considered Macedonian and NOT Yugoslavian (thus it will reverse the theory of Before the Rain being the first Macedonian film) and we can also assume once again that Croatia and/or Bosnia have began way before the separation…
one must understand (in my opinion) that only Serbian cinema has THE richest history in the Balkan region (had there been Yugoslavia still,more forces would have appeared) and that’s why i thank Define for promoting a New Country’s Cinema which if i’m correct officially started in 1990….
Well i dont deny that some good stuff was made before 90s (in fact, there was some good shit done like Dont cry, Peter (Ne joci, Peter) from Stiglic in the year 64 which is great film about war and hope and also classic Slovenian comedy Real Pests! (To so gadi) from 77) and surly lots more like already Bobby explained with more details) but i was just presenting from my head more recent films, that stayed in my mind and also wrote that it was random selection and that i didn’t put a lot of research into it. But i will put myself one day to it and present more chronologically the Slovenian cinematography. And also if i apply to Dimitris post, yes we cannot or can, thing of interpretation, rely on collaborations amongst all the nations in cinematography of all countries. I still think the best films were made with use of talents of all Yugoslavia (Outsider, No mans land…). And also agreed, by my opinion, that Serbian cinematography, is the strongest and has put out many great films for Europe as for former Yugoslavia.
i dont disagree that slovenian cinema can be approached in two different ways: sr yugoslav-era slovenian cinema and (post- sr yugoslav) slovenian cinema. its not about right or wrong. both are necessary for study, because the reality is that two different countries existed there in the past half century. i dont know if cinema existed in slovenia in the kingdom of yugoslavia, but im thinking it didnt, at least on the level of feature film production.
theres no need to assume the first feature film made in sr slovenia was “na svoji zemlji” in 1948 – its a historical fact, proudly stated even in the opening titles of the film itself! i dont know what the first slovenian film post-sr yugloslavia was, so thats a different story. regarding your examples of the other socialist republics, we cant revise history. socialist yugoslavia existed, and great feature films were produced there in all of the republics by great directors. that doesnt change the fact that the country of origin of these films was sr yugoslavia, and they must be labeled as such for proper film history. but after the dissolution of the country, its every republic for himself!
i agree that serbian cinema has the richest history of the post-sr yugoslavia republics. in my opinion it even has the richest tradition within the sr republics’ history. but then they were sr yugoslav serbian films. now they are simply serbian films.
yes, slovenia is a new country, and im glad to celebrate its new cinema output. im sorry if i ruffled feathers by bringing up its past, but i had to do so in the service of celebrating great films, and also the great history of slovenian filmmakers (whether pre-sr yugoslav, sr yugoslav, or post-sr yugoslav).
I agree with all being written and also i wasn’t trying to dicard your facts (witch stands) but i just, as i mentioned before, exampled out only couple of them, the list of Yugoslavian films before it’s dissolution and after also is huge, and maybe if my time will let me one day i will publish more fact supported list of those.
Might I suggest trying to get your hands on Odgroba Dogroba/ Gravehopping, its quite a good film (and has quite an english friendly DVD)
Definedevine, I agree with you about JEBIGA (Fuck it). It’s pity it’s so hard to translate. Maybe that’s why it seems to be one of the best films about Slovenia, or at least Ljubljana. It’s my favorite slovene film, and i’m so frustrated not to be able to really share it with my friends from other countries.
Can anyone report back on seeing “Slovenka” or “9:06”, or anything newer than those?
Yes, Josef Odgroba Dogroba is very good film, but just recently i saw Poker from Anzlovar from 2001 and it’s fricking good movie. If the main actor was anybody else than Veseljko, this would have been my alltime slovenian favorite, but he didt play very good and quite ruin some of the good scenes for my taste. But it is a very good film. I will also try to put myself on Slovenka and 9:06 and comment, but i dont have a lot of time now, so we will see. Slovenka will probabily be soon on DVD i think.
I agreee with Bobby Wise, though I have to point out, that France Stiglic’ “Na svoji zamlji” (1948) was not the first feature film produced in Slovenia. As far as I know, it was actually the first feature film made in the new Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. Before that, there had been feature films in some states that belonged to Yugoslavia, but no film industry(!). But it has been argued, that “Na svoji zemlji” has been the first slovenian narrative feature film. Any way, two earlier slovenian feature films are “V kraljestvu Zlatoroga” (1931, Janko Ravnik) and “Triglavske strmine” (1932, Ferdo Delak).
It’s important to make a distinction between films produced in Slovenia between 1946 and 1991 (during Socialist Republic), and after that. I haven’t seen many Slovenian films, but my impression is that creativity among young(er) filmmakers has almost dried out after the “liberation”.
Some of the more recent feature films I’ve seen:
From new films I hated:
GYPSY EYES (Vinci Vogue Anzlovar, 1992)
BENEATH HER WINDOW (Pod njenim oknom, Metod Pevec, 2003)
GRAVEHOPPING (Odgrobadogroba, Jan Cvitkovic, 2005)
these three are for me like trash cinema gone bad. (Imagine bad Jess Franco with “arthouse” or “hollywood” ambitions)
OK, but also a lot of trash moments in it:
RADIO.DOC (Miran Zupanic, 1995)
GUARDIAN OF THE FRONTIER (Varuh meje, Maja Weiss, 2002)
INSTALLATION OF LOVE (Instalacija ljubezni, Maja Weiss / 2007)
RASCALS (Barabe!, Miran Zupanic, 2001)
CHEESE AND JAM (Kajmak in marmelada, Branko Djuric , 2003)
Older Slovenian cinema is, from the little I’ve seen fantastic!
Try out some films by France Stiglic, Zelimir Zilnik, Karpo Godina, Bostjan Hladnik.
But old (pre 1990) Yugoslav narrativecinema in general was great, while new narrative features usually suck.
Just my experience, though.
Well, I think more (brand-new that is) Balkan countries deserve some exposure, so here’s a revival to Slovenian cinema, either as a Yugoslav unison or as an individual country!
When I Close My Eyes (Franci Slak) 1993
Idle Running (Janez Burger) 1999
Sweet Dreams (Saso Podgorsek) 2001
Rooster’s Breakfast (Marko Nabersnik) 2007
Here’s a short piece Tom McSorley wrote for Cinemascope a few years ago that makes a pretty good primer.
Besides No Man’s Land (which I didn’t like), I think the only Slovenian film I’ve seen is PORNO FILM directed by Damjan Kozole. I remember enjoying it. Sounds like Kozole’s other films are worth watching too.
Top 10 Slovenian Films (by ‘Ekran’)
On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of Slovenian film and the celebration of the creation of our first moving pictures, made by the pioneer Karol Grossman in Ljutomer, the film critics of various generations chose Dancing in the Rain (1961) by Boštjan Hladnik as the best Slovenian film.
The Best Slovenian films, as chosen by Slovenian film critics (in 2005):
Ples v dežju (Dancing in the Rain, Boštjan Hladnik, 1961)
Na papirnatih avionih (On Wings of Paper, Matjaž Klopčič, 1967)
Splav meduze (The Medusa Raft, Karpo Godina, 1980)
Tistega lepega dne (One Fine Day, France Štiglic, 1962)
Kruh in mleko (Bread and Milk, Jan Cvitkovič, 2001)
Vesna (Spring, František Čap, 1953)
Nasvidenje v naslednji vojni (‘See You in the Next War’, Živojin Pavlović, 1980)
Rdeče klasje (Red Wheat, Živojin Pavlović, 1970)
Cvetje v jeseni (Blossoms in Autumn, Matjaž Klopčič, 1973)
Rdeči boogie ali Kaj ti je deklica (Red Boogie, Karpo Godina, 1982)
I only know the #1, shame on me!
Yes, Dancing in the Rain is fascinatingly perfect! So is Maskarada, another Hladnik film. Medusa Raft is another astonishing, semi-surreal film with lots of erotic symbolism.
My only problem with these lesser-known countries lists is that most of them only create a top 10 list of “best” films instead of a 100 like U.S.A., Japan, France etc. Part of that reason of course is the neglect these countries show towards their cinema and secondly, the “backlash” of critics and cine-goers to accept these films as Masterpieces with a capital M.
I’m still waiting to see “Ples v dezju” by Hladnik. Hope I can soon. Am also very interested to see the films of Klopcic and Godina.
The Pavlovic films are great selections. “Red Grain” is an undervalued Black Wave film. However, it should be noted that Pavlovic is a Serbian director. He did work extensively in Slovenia though. But of course, all of these pre-90s works could also be labeled as Yugoslav films.
“However, it should be noted that Pavlovic is a Serbian director.”
True but it usually goes with that nation’s filmgraphy, his / her work that is. (or the said region of those times)
Gavras is a Greek director but he’s often confused to be part of the Greek cinematography (not by me, hehe) when all of his films are French and American funded!
Bump. Does anybody know who Karpo Godina is? I recently saw some of his short films of the 60s and 70s and they’re brilliant.
Godina is one of the finest Slovenian directors, as well as one of the best cinematographers in my book. As far as I know, he’s still directing features from time to time, and teaching at the film school in Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia). What would you like to know about him?
Is he still directing features? I thought not. I’d be curious to know about anything he’s done in the past decade.
slovenci prihajaju na kobilima :)))))))
Kajmak I Marmelada is quite good. No Man’s Land is Slovenian film???
Lol. Yes, No Man’s Land is not Slovenian, just because they put a bit of money and help into this co-production. But It depends whether one counts all co-productions as belonging to all countries involved or not.
About Godina: If you look on Imdb, there’s two more titles from 2002. And I’m sure Imdb is incomplete, as always. Haven’t seen anything from “Artificial Paradise” (1990) onwards either, but I’d assume he is as regularly applying for state money (e.g. funding) as everyone else. Don’t know how to get hold of his recent films, though, as the Slovene DVD-market is almost nonexistant…
I’ll be watching “Medusa’s Raft” soon and will return with some thoughts.
Just finishing watching. I enjoyed it. It didn’t have the energy and creativity of his short films but was a well-made debut. I will say this though — he’s a complete artist. One of the few who directs, shoots and edits his own films.
Guys, please tell me what is the name of the movie in which name of main characters are pihoda luba(male) and dana(female). Its a beautiful movie about the life of political prisoners in jail. Pihoda luba, a young guy, in the end of the movie sent to leopavalov. He had been sent to different jails of singapore, illava, etc. Fate makes him leave his love interest dana because he is being tranferred to another jail. Please tell me the name of the movie??
Guys, please tell me what is the name of the movie in which name of main characters are pihoda luba(male) and dana(female). Its a beautiful movie about the life of political prisoners in jail. Pihoda luba, a young guy, in the end of the movie sent to leopavalov. He had been sent to different jails of singapore, illava, etc. Fate makes him leave his love interest dana because he is being tranferred to another jail. Please tell me the name of the movie???