Blesok no. 24, January-February, 2002
Sharp Film Eye
It’s understandable that no one in the world of culture and especially in the world of the filmmaking could easily reject the potential knowledge about the average profiles of the film audience. Especially about the young audience – it is always an important subject for these types of observation.
Now, what do we know about the young Macedonian film audience – its principles, values, criteria and how that reflects on the national film art and culture?
If we establish the relations in mechanical principles, among the wider cultural context – about the positions and places of the youth in Macedonian society in the last two decades: their beliefs, desires, inclinations, interests and needs – it can be concluded that the feelings of loneliness, disability, mistrust and non-perspective largely prevails over the others.
Of course that there are arguments which can confirm this view. But, there are always other, also relevant results of the statistic analyzes that will offer some other views, as well. The elements of this full, completed view, by my opinion, would be: the youth in Republic of Macedonia, besides the difficulties they encounter, they still are in the world trends in their education, culture and art, sport, technologies (especially in digital technologies) and in a numerous number of prospective professions, as well. I draw this conclusion from the long years of my work on this field, from the long and fertile work and communication with the young generations in the scanned period (those people who in 1990 were 19, now they are at age of 30).
When the world was at the doorsteps of the 21st century, the young Macedonian population was involved in the wider process of the society’s transition (mostly visible through overcoming the communal properties and consensual economy, and transforming those into the private properties and the market economy, as well as through the change of the political mono-party system into a plural political system and through the implementing of the new citizen’s society with its values, etc.). The role of the Macedonian youth can be defined as almost totally observing, without any real influence and involvement from their behalf. Of course, there are always exceptions, but they aren’t of any noticeable quantity.
In that period, there emerged a dilemma: a private store – or a University index? How pragmatic it may look in historical perspective, the most of the young people did decide for a private store. That means, they choose to accept the private enterprise above their high education. But that approach didn’t last much time. The young people did realize that in the global world’s needs and criteria there is a great appreciation for modern ideas of the high general values, as well for the researcher’s spirit and effort. I’m going to illustrate this with a few factographic conditions…
As first, at the young population we have the great interest and desire for increasing of their knowledge and leveling the global trends in culture, science, law and economy in general. It can be seen in their interest for high education.
As second, this young generation follows, with great interest and energy – the NBA spectacle, as a symbol of superhuman abilities, preciseness, persistence and high professionalism. This I mention as an example of how they accept some values of the West.
As third, they also (with curiosity that contains the system of knowledge) follow the few of the greatest National Football Leagues from Europe, and out of that, they draw the value messages of quality, rules and professional relations.
As fourth, there is quite a number of the young people who are the great users of the Internet services (knowledge, sources, methods, communications, etc.). As an extra advantage, I must mention the mobile telephony, largely required and used by the young people in Macedonia, in their system of values – not only as an advantage, but also as necessity in the modern world.
There is a quite inspiring situation in the Macedonian music scene that helps me to show the intellectual physiognomy of the young people here – a large number of the popular singers are with high education already, or they’re actual students at the Macedonian Universities. As for an example: Karolina Gocheva – English language and literature; Toshe Proeski – Music Academy; Nikola Ugrinovski – Ugro – Mass communications; Andrijana Janevska – Music Academy; etc.
In short, we can define the young person in Macedonia as: well educated, intelligent, curious, in the close communications with the world trends in sport, culture, art, music, fashion…
By all this said before, we can claim with no dilemma that the same young population is richly informed about the film culture and production, about the latest film achievements, about the great talents in the areas of the directing, acting, film photography, etc. The film culture of this young people is, with no doubt, much higher than before, and, in fact, little above the world’s average (especially in the film-taste). They’re in communication with the film culture over the big screens, TV, video-technology, and they are refreshing their knowledge though the world’s greatest film festivals: Cannes, Venice, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, etc.
What proves that this is true, is the survey (with opinion polls) I realized in the frames of the project called “100 Themes for the Young”, in the framework of the wider project with the goals of establishing and anticipating the Macedonian National Television’s developing lines for the period 2001-2005. The study subject’s groups were the Journalism students at the University “St. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje, and the students of the experimental colleague PEXNAS and the students of the colleague for tourism “Lazar Tanev”, both from Skopje.
With applying the statistic methods, with emphasizing the fact that those are the average young persons with not much of a thorough film theory and art knowledge (non-film professionals), these are the results for the top-five best features that the interviewed groups gave us:
La Vita e Bella
Dumb & Dumber
Before the Rain
Of course, it would be inappropriate not to look into the main arguments the interviewed young people gave as the reasons for their choices. Logically, here we don’t have much of a surprise: even the less informed on film know that in all of the five cases here – there are the films of high art and/or technical quality.
These are the main reasons they give in favor of their choice:
About “La Vita e Bella”
The father Guido and the little Joshua are in danger – they should, as Jews, to finish in a gas chamber. How you protect your beloved child from that? “The Game” is so great idea…! And the prize is – the tank, the most interesting thing for the little Joshua.
Joshua doesn’t cry when he’s in danger, doesn’t cry for food when he’s hungry, he doesn’t moan for his mother although he needs her so much… Who can avoid or stop the tears in the audience, with this story?
The value of the idea in the statement: The Visigots are over my head already. Tomorrow, we’ll put a sign at our bookstore that it’s forbidden for spiders and Vizigots – it has a relavance and dept of the Panta rei – saying.
About “Dumb & Dumber”
It’s all so twisted around… As for example, the heroes are so intellectually handicapped – and in spite of that, they’re presented as some kind of an experts.
The anthology opposites. After they discover the money, they claim to be fair and take a little bit, and they go and spend a fortune on silly things and unnecessary luxuries.
It’s so funny all the time. No matter how times you watch this film, one always finds new moments to laugh, the moments that didn’t seem funny before, as well as the laughs of the previous watching of the film.
It’s easy to make such a hilarious comedy with an actor as Jim Carrey.
A lot of gift and intelligence is needed to create such a film.
Even the enterprise of making such a spectacle sounds great, especially with this authenticity of the photography and details.
The feeling in the audience is like they are really on the decks of “Titanic”.
The world glory came for Kate Winslett and Leonardo di Caprio with this film.
I recall the argument at the beginning of the film: When you have nothing, all you can lose is – nothing!
I learned how to use the larger dinner-kits. You know, the hero gets the advice: From outside toward inside.
It’s natural that “Titanic” brought back the invested money in it at the box-office.
I think that this film got most “Oscars” in the whole history of film.
Mozart (“Wolfy”), from a “viz-kid” in classical music, became the same in the film, also.
Those who consume only folk or popular music had a chance to learn the beauty and the grandness of the classical music.
The composers can get a “recipe” how to compose.
It is a sad message of the film that the world belongs to the average.
There are so many Salieri-s in the world…
I’ve seen “Amadeus” on TV too, but at the big screen – it is the right thing.
About “Before the Rain”
An intellectual film prophecy.
The music by itself, as well as a film music, can be put shoulder to shoulder with the greatest world achievements.
Milčo Mančevski made a great national enterprise – he made a film through which Macedonia was presented widely at the world’s most prestigious Festivals.
Labina Mitevska and Rade Sherbedzija – both – are the most genuine and prestigious actors in this film.
The analytic research did give these results, and here is to be seen that the young Macedonian audience has quite satisfactory knowledge and sense for the film culture. It can be seen through their answers that they can percept and value almost all of the film segments: themes, scenarios, messages of the film, film music, actor’s performances, even the actor’s lines in certain scenes, etc.
So, the Macedonian young population shows itself as an intelligent and educated audience that communicates through Internet and most directly percepts the world moments – what’s to be seen, and knows “what is what” in the wide areas of the filmmaking and film culture. I do hope, on general satisfaction and pleasure for all.
Translated by: Petar Volnarovski