Author Topic: Emir Kusturica  (Read 8359 times)

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rustinglass

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« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2004, 12:09:53 PM »
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just found this. very funny. some wild times he had while shooting the film Underground.

Some extracts of the production diary of Pierre Spengler and Charlotte Fraisse




november 5, 1993. Filming begins in Prague. The gypsy musicians still did not pass the border between Yugoslavia and Hungary. The passports are OK, but as they are gypsy, the customs officers ask 1000 deutsch marks for everyone. Whatever the Eastern European country, problems are always the same. Their absence would seriously compromise filming.

november 14, 1993. We insist, thanks to the experience of Time of the gypsies, that the gypsy actors are paid only at the end of film, otherwise they would take the money and disappear.

november 17, 1993. Filming is very slow, the working scheme is never respected, and Emir, who rises later and later, changes continuously the script and manages to work only late in the evening while improvising. We still think he should create at his own rhythm and according to his inspiration.

november 19, 1993. The tenses between Miki and Lazar (Marko and Blacky) are the highest. Emir, to simulate them did everything so that these tenses get increasingly strong. As a result : they practically hate each other. But insofar as we film scenes where they are supposed to be the best friends of the world, Emir is very dissatisfied with the results and tired of the unpleasant jokes they mutually play.

november 20, 1993. Almost the whole set and accessories was found in local markets. The filming conditions in the basement were rather unpleasant. Now there are even vermin, filth and bacterium. Lazar hurted himself with an accessory suffers from an infection.

november 23, 1993. A crew member died. All the team is very sad, in particular Emir who declares that makes the second dead on the set. The rumour of curse grows bigger.

november 24, 1993. Emir had promised to make cuts in the scenario. We realize on the contrary that he unceasingly adds new pages.

november 30, 1993. Some gypsies leave for disease. Always the curse !

december 12, 1993. The script girl informs us that in the two last days was shot "only one line of the original script".

december 14, 1993. Emir is very depressed. The situation in Bosnia obsesses him.

december 16, 1993. At the end of very long discussions, the gypsy orchestra grows from 5 to 9 members. They accept the same total pay.

december 20, 1993. The director assistant, in the best Stalinian tradition, proposes that all the participants come to make their self-criticism at the end of the day. We refuse, horrified.

january 12, 1994. The situation is very serious. Emir announced that he gave up the film. He said to his friends he knows the cinema is finished for him. He can't bear any more the pressure but doesn't manage to work differently. He never knows how the scenario will evolve because he doesn't stop transforming it day after day. He says to a friend : "Anyway, I know how to reconvert myself. I will buy a small sardine factory I've been told in Montenegro.". Later, at 3 o'clock in the morning, Emir drinks 2 very powerful beers and 3 sleeping pills. Daniela Romano (of the production line team) is in his apartment, charged to empeach him to escape when he wakes up, in the case he would still be in the same state of mind.

january 17, 1994. The wedding scene. Very big problem : the night before, Lazar was being so much insulted by his director that he got memorably drunk. The following day, he is unable to play.

january 25, 1994. Eleventh week of filming. Emir evokes the possibility of changing the main actors. We are getting mad.

january 26, 1994. Each time Emir goes drinking a coffee (or goes to the toilets), we are afraid he goes away definitively.

february 10, 1994. More and more problems, especially as the actors were engaged for 4 weeks and that they work for more than thirteen.

february 18, 1994. Miki and Lazar refuse to take the same car, do not speak any more, and will discuss separately with Emir. The rush projection of the wedding lasts seven hours.

february 25, 1994. The working plan indicated 6 days for filming the wedding scene. It is now the twenty-fifth and the scene is still not finished. Lazar has a conjunctivitis. The doctor asked for fifteen days rest (what is strictly impossible).

march 31, 1994. Shooting of the Slavonian village in the Czech countryside. Miki must leave to play in another film, and Emir proposes him to come back again in two or three months.

april 6, 1994. The laboratory announces that the most complicated scene of the Slavonian village is striped.

september 1, 1994. Filming starts in Belgrade. All the team is reassured : the two main actors are always the same.

september 6, 1994. Production meeting with Emir concerning the Festival of Cannes. We ask him whether the film will be ready if filming stops in december. He answers yes. Everyone chooses to believe him, but do we have the choice?

september 12, 1994. Night scene on the Danube. One discovers, right in the middle of the scene a red pack of cigarettes floatting on the river. Emir pulls his gun and shoots six bullets on the pack which sinks.

september 21, 1994. Filming the zoo scene. The lions, pumas and other tigers being released in nature for the needs of the scene, there are five snipers armed with paralysing cartridges rifles.

october 4, 1994. Filming the brawl in the bar. 2 minute 40 seconds sequence shot. Marko knocks the actor who plays a dealer with a snooker stick. The sequence shot is very complex and apparently they don't know the existence of the stuntmen in Belgrade. After 19 takes, the back of the unhappy actor is of an indescribable pain.

october 9 1994. Emir, Lazar and Miki had an honest explanation. It seems they solved their problems. During filming, Lazar, in rage, knocked an actor with a snooker ball, the poor actor has an enormous bump.

november 20, 1994. To make the cows climb up on the island, Emir shoots in the air. The cows look at it without moving.

november 21, 1994. The island must detach. There are three cameras and two men inside the island which was conceived by Kreka, the decorator head, with a very complex system to maintain a water level constant. The orchestra starts to play, but a cable refuses to be detached and water gets inside the structure. The island is likely to sink, it will take 24 hours to repeair it.

december 16, 1994. At 8 o'clock pm, the arrivals door of the airport of Sofia (Bulgaria) opens for Charlie the chimpanzee, accompanied by its two trainers, soldiers and customs officers. Charlie has a personal caravan. He will however spend the night in the hotel.

december 19, 1994. Charlie refuses to play after 7 o'clock pm.

december 20, 1994. The hotel director had not been aware of the presence of Charlie. He meets in the hall a Bulgarian service provider accompanied by a dog. The director, furious, shouts that animals are prohibited in the hotel. At this moment, the door of the elevator opens and Charlie, the key of his room in his hand, leaves the elevator, gives his key to the reception, and leaves the hotel. The director has almost an heart-attack.

january 31, 1995. Filming is finished.
"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
-Emir Kusturica

ElPandaRoyal

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« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2004, 01:03:26 PM »
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Quote from: rustinglass
november 5, 1993. Filming begins in Prague.

november 14, 1993. We insist, thanks to the experience of Time of the gypsies, that the gypsy actors are paid only at the end of film, otherwise they would take the money and disappear.

january 31, 1995. Filming is finished.


 :lol: Amazing
Si

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« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2004, 05:23:25 PM »
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Mideast Director Accuses Writer of Slander

Sarajevo-born film director Emir Kusturica has accused a Montenegrin writer of slander in a private lawsuit filed with a court in the Balkan republic's capital, Podgorica.

Kusturica's lawyer, Marika Novakovic, said the filmmaker contends Andrej Nikolaidis slandered him in a May commentary for the Montenegrin weekly Monitor. In the article, Nikolaidis claimed that Kusturica supported former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's policies in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s.

The article called Kusturica a "media star of Milosevic's war machinery." Nikolaidis also allegedly accused Kusturica of "siding with the war's executioners, instead of the victims," the lawyer said.
 
Kusturica left Bosnia before the outbreak of the 1992-95 ethnic war and took up self-imposed exile in neighboring Serbia, the dominant republic in then-Yugoslavia.

"These untruths damage the reputation and honor of my client," Novakovic told the court Monday.

Novakovic wouldn't say what damages Kusturica was seeking.

He later told The Associated Press that Nikolaidis "insinuates Kusturica supported the villains who perpetrated crimes against the Muslims in Bosnia."

Nikolaidis dismissed the accusation, saying it was "no libel matter but a difference of intellectual opinion," and that he had reacted to an article published in France citing Kusturica's pro-Milosevic stand.

"Kusturica has openly publicly engaged on the side of the villains in Bosnia's war," Nikolaidis told the AP, citing as proof photographs of Kusturica with Milosevic's associates and Belgrade's funding for his Cannes award-winning film, "Underground."

"He is now washing his hands of his past work," he said.

The court will hear the case next month, when a verdict is expected. Kusturica has filed a separate lawsuit against Monitor magazine for "psychological pain."

"Underground," Kusturica's movie on the war in the former Yugoslavia, won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Palm, in 1995.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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ElPandaRoyal

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« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2004, 06:00:23 PM »
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Life Is A Miracle is great. One of Kusturica's best. Some trully hilarious moments and one of the best lines ever involving a penguin.
Si

rustinglass

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« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2004, 11:58:46 AM »
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Yes, I saw it last week, it's a wonderful wonderful film. The script, the acting, the music, the photography, they're fantastic. and it has one of the best sequences ever envolving a phone sex line, a rocket launcher and "the end", by the doors.
"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
-Emir Kusturica

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« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2004, 05:08:20 PM »
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Sarajevo-Born Director Wins Lawsuit

Sarajevo-born film director Emir Kusturica has won a slander lawsuit against a Montenegrin writer who accused him of supporting former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Andrej Nikolaidis, columnist for Montenegrin weekly Monitor, will pay $6,490 to Kusturica for calling the famed director a "media star of Milosevic's war machinery" in a May commentary.

A court in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica, ruled that Nikolaidis had slandered Kusturica and damaged his reputation, the writer confirmed Saturday.
 
Nikolaidis said he would appeal the ruling.

Nikolaidis told The Associated Press that "it wasn't my writing that damaged Emir Kusturica's reputation the director did it himself by the way he behaved during the Bosnian war."

Kusturica left his native Bosnia before the outbreak of the 1992-95 ethnic war and took up self-imposed exile in neighboring Serbia, the dominant republic in then-Yugoslavia.

Kusturica enjoyed support from Milosevic's government, which agreed to finance his work.

"Underground," Kusturica's movie on the war in the former Yugoslavia, won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d'Or in 1995.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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rustinglass

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« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2005, 03:15:05 AM »
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from kustu.com

Emir Kusturica will be the president of the 58th festival de Cannes, which will take place from may 11 to may 22 ! After having received 2 Palmes d'or for When father was away on business and Underground, as well as the prix de la mise en scène for Time of the gypsies and last year the prix de l'éducation nationale for Life is a miracle, Emir Kusturica is used to the Croisette : two years ago, he was president of the jury of the shorts films. He just declares : "I want to thank the Festival de Cannes which, twice, has given to my films the golden palm (...). Now, it's my turn to defend the valeurs of the Festival : my mission as the president of the jury is to place the aesthetic and the artistic at the heart of the event.". Emir Kusturica will succeed to Quentin Tarantino at the prestigious title of Président du jury, once the world tour with the No Smoking Orchestra is finished. Emir also loves to say "I was born several times, and one! of my births took place in Cannes"...
"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
-Emir Kusturica

A Matter Of Chance

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« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2005, 03:21:32 PM »
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More on this from the BBC:

Bosnian director gets Cannes role

Emir Kusturica, the Bosnian director who won Cannes film festival's prestigious top prize twice, will chair the event's jury this year.


Kusturica, 50, won the Palme d'Or with 1985's When Father Was Away on Business and Underground in 1995.

He will now head the panel that will pick this year's Palme d'Or winner.

Last year, the jury was headed by US director Quentin Tarantino and Michael Moore's controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 won the top award.

'Aesthetics and art'

It beat Kusturica's Life Is a Miracle, which was also in the running. At last year's festival, Kusturica said he was waging a battle to save cinema from the money-obsessed influence of Hollywood.

On being named chairman, he said: "Now it is my turn to defend the festival's values.

"I have given myself the mission, as president of the jury, to put aesthetics and art at the heart of the show."

The Cannes film festival, one of the movie world's most glamorous and influential events, takes place from 11-22 May.

rustinglass

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« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2005, 06:00:56 PM »
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Kusturica will make a film about Maradona!
a happy day for football fans around the world!
"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
-Emir Kusturica

Kal

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« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2005, 06:34:19 PM »
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Yes sir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rustinglass

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« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2005, 05:15:51 AM »
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more info (from kustu.com):

Stored a long time in the drawer, Maradona documentary project is now more than ever in Emir's mind. Indeed, after the tour in South America, whenb the rest of the band gets back to Europe, Emir shall stay in Argentina in order to shoot the first pictures at Diego Maradona's daughter's birthday. We know Emir Kusturica's passion for football (since when father was away on business until the memorable scene of Life is a miracle), it's in fact Diego Maradona himself who has chosen Emir Kusturica to take care of his image, and to restore the harmony within his family. Some sequences should then be shot in Napoli (Italy), Barcelona (Spain) and in Cuba, for a shooting length of 5 months (nevertheless the No Smoking Orchestra tour, and the Cannes festival jury presidence). This film isn't included in the StudioCanal contract, we can guess it will be produced by Rasta internationnal, Maja and Emir Kusturica's production company.
"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
-Emir Kusturica

rustinglass

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« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2005, 03:45:43 PM »
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"Life is a Miracle" won the César award for the best film of the european union, tied with ken loach's "just a kiss".
"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
-Emir Kusturica

cron

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« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2005, 08:08:26 PM »
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'I will not cut my film'

He has won two Palmes d'Or and is threatening to pull his latest film from British cinemas. Emir Kusturica invites Fiachra Gibbons to the village he has built near Belgrade to explain all



Emir Kusturica has just finished writing his letter to the censor. "I will not cut my film because, because, because ... because of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz." "What do you think?" he asks me. I tell him that as an argument it has a certain economy and elegance, but it might not be the most practical of approaches. "I don't care," he says. "That shithead is driving me nuts. He is messing with my sleep."
The British censor has asked him to remove a scene from his new film, Life Is a Miracle - a typically full-blooded romance set against the backdrop of the Bosnian war - in which a cat pounces on a dead pigeon. Kusturica had thought it a reasonable metaphor for how idealists and innocents are easy prey for calculating big beasts in times of conflict.

The offending shot lasts of all of two seconds and is about as disturbing as an episode of the Teletubbies. But the British censor said no and Kusturica, one of the greatest film directors in the world, is so flummoxed and upset that he is considering pulling the film from the UK altogether.

I beg him not to. "You don't realise what an emotive issue pigeons are in England," I say, with all the plausibility I can muster. "I am not cutting my film for this jerk," he insists. "Was he brought up by pigeons or something? I love Ken Loach and your football and your working class, but I do not believe the great English culture is going to be undermined by one eastern European cat.

"I just don't get it. The pigeon was already dead, we found it in the road. And no other censor has objected. What is the problem with you English? You killed millions of Indians and Africans, and yet you go nuts about the circumstances of the death of a single Serbian pigeon. I am touched you hold the lives of Serbian birds so dear, but you are crazy. I will never understand how your minds work."

The workings of the undeniably brilliant mind of Emir Kusturica, the only director other than Francis Ford Coppola to have won the Cannes Palme d'Or twice, can be equally unfathomable. Stories of Kusturica are legend. Of his gonzo love for guns, how he likes to fire off a few hundred rounds before breakfast to get the juices going, of the controlled anarchy of his sets, awash with goats, geese, Gypsy bands and explosives, and how he works his crews to the point of lunacy. On Life Is a Miracle, a sprawling Zhivago of a love story, he shot for 12 full nights in the small city of Cacek and didn't use a second of the footage.

Kusturica is a walking morass of contradictions: a Sarajevan "Muslim" whom many Bosnians accuse of abandoning his city at its hour of greatest need to side with the Serbs. And yet Kusturica was a fearless critic of Milosevic. He challenged one of his most blood-drenched henchmen to a public duel in Belgrade and squared up to a still more grisly Serb supremacist in the street.

Like his great films - Underground, Time of the Gypsies, When Father Was Away on Business and Black Cat, White Cat - he is passionate, unpredictable and hilarious: you can see why he drives himself and the people around him to madness, and why they always forgive him for it. He has an irresistible mix of bravery, warmth and vulnerability. Kusturica does not have fans as much as followers, who turn out in their thousands all over the world to his concerts when this bear of a man takes his Balkan "punk" band, the No Smoking Orchestra, on the road. But nothing could have prepared even them for what Kusturica has done now.

I turn up in Belgrade as the thermometer sinks south of -20 degrees. "Come to my village," he demands. "I have something to show you." Three thousand feet up on Tara mountain the next morning, the full effect of his latest piece of "inspired lunacy" sits under 2ft of snow. Kusturica has sunk himself deep into debt, spending more than £1m to build a pastoral paradise, his own version of Plato's republic, in one of Europe's last great peasant redoubts.

"This is my Utopia," he declares. "I lost my city [Sarajevo] during the war, now this is my home. I am finished with cities. I spent four years in New York, 10 in Paris, and I was in Belgrade for a while. To me now they are just airports. Cities are humiliating places to live, particularly in this part of the world. Everything I earn now goes into this."

What started as a couple of salvaged traditional wooden houses 18 months ago, on a bluff above the spectacularly beautiful Mokra Gora valley in western Serbia, has mushroomed into a modern take on the great monastery-universities of the middle ages. The village is equipped with a library, Serbia's most advanced cinema and, most incongruously of all, an underground basketball arena - a tribute to the three world championships won by the former Yugoslavia. For Kustendorf, as he calls the place, is also a hymn to Serbian cultural achievement and traditional living - a kind of cultural Alamo, as a country that has been cut off from the world by war and sanctions opens itself up to the gentle mercies of globalisation.

"I am making a stand here. I want to do something constructive. In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie." Given that the prophets of the free market in Serbia often tend to be the same gangsters, war profiteers, smugglers and chancers that Kusturica lampoons in his films, you can see his logic.

Kusturica is even planning a film as a part of his crusade against consumerism, where the daughter of a prostitute flees the city with a country boy. "They say that I am a conservative, but I am not. I want there to be an alternative, to have other options rather than just this one authoritarian, corporate model. To me there has been a tectonic change in the world and corporate control has become the new bolshevism. I know it is crazy, but I want to create a place where people can come in an organised way to think differently, to think their own thoughts."

His model for this Balkan Fitzcarraldo is Chilander, the great Serbian monastery on the Greek holy mountain of Athos, which kept Slavonic scholarship alive in the dark ages, though it is not clear that even he knows what he will end up with. Just like his films, there's a great deal of extemporising. He has laid out and built 25 houses already, using his own idiosyncratic rules of classical proportion involving a set of ropes and a great deal of guesswork, "like the ancient Greeks did".

Yet this seat of learning will soon also have its own ski slope, and he is contemplating building another more secluded house for himself now that hundreds of his fans have begun to descend on the place at weekends. "The original monastery house in which I planned to spend the rest of my life is not working out. People come and you have to offer hospitality. Sometimes it's a bit like being in a glass cage." Even on the day I was there, he was stopped four times in the snow by visitors wanting to talk and have their photos taken with him.

Yet there is no doubting the sincerity of Kusturica's vision. He describes the Damascene moment when he decided to build the village like a celestial visitation. "One day when I was shooting I noticed a shaft of light hit the hillside. 'There I will build a village,' I thought." But the most jaw-dropping thing of all, given that Kusturica is descended from several generations of Bosnian Muslims, is that the centerpiece of the place is an orthodox church dedicated to the 13th-century scholar Sava, the patron saint of Serbia. What would his late father, Murat, have thought of that? "My father was an atheist and he always described himself as a Serb. OK, maybe we were Muslim for 250 years, but we were orthodox before that and deep down we were always Serbs, religion cannot change that. We only became Muslims to survive the Turks."

The war, and his despairing attempt to cling to the debris of the old Yugoslavia, still casts a long shadow on his work. He insists he didn't choose sides, and it was his refusal to do so that made him a pariah in Sarajevo, a city that he clearly loves but which he probably cannot return to. Mokra Gora is about as close as you can be in Serbia to Sarajevo without crossing the border. Even his house looks out over the mountains to Bosnia. It is hard not to see him as a man inching his way home. The war mostly passed this place by. Shepherds in sheep-pelt coats still make their own cheese, flowery rakia and smoked sausage.

The Muslim villages over the hills in the Drina valley were not so lucky. Many who refused to abandon their homes in 1992 were massacred. Plenty of Serbs died too, of course. Life Is a Miracle begins in the weeks before this idyll disintegrated and ends during the war when a Serb falls in love with a female Muslim hostage who is about to be exchanged for his own captured soldier son. It is based on a true story of torn loyalties, and Kusturica says it really hit home. The main character could almost be a cipher for him. Like thousands of others in the former Yugoslavia, Kusturica refused to believe that war was coming. "I couldn't accept what was happening. I have dealt with it now. It no longer haunts me," he insists, but you wonder. Much still rankles more than a decade on. He recounts the story of how an American journalist grilled him at Cannes when he made Underground, about why he hadn't made a film attacking Milosevic. " 'Have you ever heard of metaphor?' I asked him."

He is now making a documentary about Diego Maradona, someone with whom he feels more than a little cosmic affinity. "I am very impulsive too - I know how it can drive you into the zone of madness." We talk about that goal, the "hand of God", and the church that sprang up in Buenos Aires to honour the footballer, the cult of Santa Maradona. "Most people only remember Maradona for the bad parts now," he says. "But he was a genius, someone who lifted us and himself up to the level of the gods. When he said after he scored that goal that it was the hand of God, to me it really was. There are always motherfuckers queuing up to pull you down to earth. But we must fly occasionally, we all have to feel that joy or we are nothing."
context, context, context.

Pubrick

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« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2005, 09:45:06 PM »
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jesus christ are all his interviews that good?!
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

rustinglass

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« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2005, 04:06:22 AM »
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Quote from: Pubrick
jesus christ are all his interviews that good?!


pretty much.

"they think western shit is pie." - that cracks me up

Pictures of Mokra Gora




"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
-Emir Kusturica

 

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