Blesok no. 34, September-October, 2003
Gallery Reviews

Here is the Dust, but where is the Horse?

Vladimir Angelov

there is a big difference between the music that musicians would like to play
and the music the audience want to hear… (David Bowie)

Contributions to Milčo Mančevski’s biography:

    My first encounter with the Milčo Mančevski’s work was in the 1981: it was on the pages of the Jukebox magazine, where he published some texts. But, let’s make this clear: Jukebox was a magazine that treated the popular music and the popular mass-culture. And as for illustration for the significance of this magazine, I can contribute the fact that the first 50 issues of Jukebox were the first Goran Stefanovski’s choice as for “readings/books to take to a desert island to read”, at that time. That means that Goran Stefanovski gave to this magazine a treatment of literature. In those, above-mentioned texts, Milčo Mančevski (further in this text – MM) describes America, the other side of the Big Pond, in a manner that I’m still impressed with: those texts, today, are of the most importance for my vision of the grandiose promised land – America. The detailed, funny, rebel style of his – discovered to me that he’s a student of some Film Chatedra at some student campus in Champagne, Illinois. He were at CB-GB club, where the famous Talking Heads, Ramones has began their careers… Boris (Damovski) was with him. Boris takes pictures with a photo-camera. Click, click, click. Milcho has a beard, Boris is younger. They have a friend named Tory. Milcho likes to watch movies, and he also likes to make them. He loves and knows the pop-culture. John Travolta is his favorite actor. He likes to comment pop-bands still totally unknown in Yugoslavia.
    The rest for MM – we all know everything. He came to Macedonia, shot a few music clips, one short feature, he didn’t make it with the script for the film MUSAKA, some claim that he published something in the Ekran magazine (I never bought that magazine, not even with the TV Guide for the Labor Day holidays). But, he wasn’t given a proper chance to work. And, what to say – in every misfortune, some fortune can be found. He ran to New York, where he works, improving himself in the filmmaking, for – more or less – ten years, shooting music video clips and commercials, waiting for a chance to come back to Macedonia, and to prove to everybody what he can do. What size of an Ego
[1] requires this kind of acting…? Rade Sherbedzija called him a lonewolf and a gunman. With his film BEFORE THE RAIN he showed to the Macedonian people – who is who here… He proved that to all who didn’t believe in him. I think that was his greatest reward. Greater that the Venice „Lion“ he got. After that, he was writing stories, books, he cancelled and quitted on some films, he made a war to Hollywood, he made some photo exhibitions… Boris wasn’t taking any more photos of him. I don’t know why. MM would’ve come to Macedonia, and then he would’ve left Macedonia. He shot a commercial. He established the film company “Shadow film”. Shadow. Mystical. I did grew up a little and I still can see a great man in him, an artist. After 20 years from then, Travolta is still my favorite. I often listen to Ghost Town by Specials[2]. The puberty is a dangerous period. MM shot a new feature film – DUST. That film opened the Venice Film Festival. Happy end? I’m sure of it…

Style exercise:

    Let’s presume some two different groups. The collision between two groups is very often drama concept. It’s easiest if we confront these two groups in that way, so we can implement the subject of the conflict. In BRILLIANTINE, the groups are with similar affinities, and the subjects of the conflict are the common teenage hostilities and the “domination” over the (pink) girls. Only we (or only me) don’t like that kind of a romantic film. Not because of the great number of such kind of films, but because every comparison with BRILLIANTINE could be fatal. The optimal solution for those two confronted groups is to be: a group of boys, that listens to folk music (little Macedonian context), and as for contrapunct – a group of alternative and modern boys. Ultra-turbo-super-folk melodies with an Asian sound, in its essence, are the teachers’ favorite. The conflict of these two groups can be initiated in numerous ways. So, we need a genre now. We can leave these two groups to fight on their own, like in LONG RIDERS, and we only have to motivate them. It’s easiest if we introduce the one as “good”, the other as “bad” and vice versa. In that way, we can “salt” the story with a love story, if we want to add some melodrama charm. Like in the EAST SIDE STORY? And if we decide to do a crime thriller, than it’s necessary, besides the few inevitable victims, to have a “really lonely” police inspector/detective, deductive and analytical thinker, who hates the bureaucracy and sometimes “likes to get a fix”, and even maybe he can be one of the main suspects, or to talk with mass-murderers and cannibals… Lately, to make the detective even lonelier and with even more grudge, one should tie them to their beds. We like horror? We can take these two groups in some school institution with showers, obligatory bath and a few professors. Then we can choose among the “body-snatchers”, the killer with the mask, or the poisonous half-man-half-spider. We can even introduce some inferior student, mocked and mistreated by everyone. Do we want a tech-thriller? Nothing easier that that: few guys, a professor and some shadowed organized force (Mafia, Military Intelligence, etc.). If we want a film that can get an Award at some Film Festival, then we don’t need any intervention, we need a completely dull two film hours, where absolutely nothing happens. Everything always depends only on what we, or – to be more accurate – what producers want. Everyone works on that principle: East, West, North and South. Confection. Yes, of course. One should only “catch” the number, time and the price. So now, when we’ve finally found the modus, we can tell our story. That story won’t be exactly the same one we intended to tell at the very beginning, but, isn’t life always full of compromises?

    But then again, what if we really have the opportunity to be original? Then – what? How to open our soul and “lay on the floor” the pathos of what’s burdening us, and along the way – to remain original and, of course, to be intellectual with the necessary level. What would be the modus then? Well, my modus would be something that is very important to us, something we always wanted to tell, and nobody has said it or saw it that way before. Until now, we’ve linked the avant-garde and the retrograde worlds, at the same time. Yes, the answer dwells within the time frames. We can shift the time. Which time is known to me, which time interest me, and at the same time is full with rich iconography, and brings much exotic context, love, passion, struggles, conflicts… I would inevitably and immediately choose the Macedonian pre-Ilinden[3] period. The period of the great Macedonian rebels as Jordan Piperkata and the many like him. How to link them? As Ted and Bill walked through the history with their time machine? Too usual and seen already. There are more ways to link different times. Besides the time, I would mix some of the civilization achievements, which we Macedonians, do open-heartedly share both with Eastern and Western civilization. I that way, to the confronted pro-Euro-Atlantic and the retrograde Asian groups, I would add few exchange students, let’s say, one from the occidental Champagne, Illinois, USA, and the other one from oriental Ankara, Turkey, Middle East. Skopje, Champagne and Ankara – university cities.
    A question: are those two-three stories linkable, interlacive, and “breakable” enough, to be convenient for shaping a little more modern film expression, and can we input within them any (even trivial) motivation, so they could be defined in genre sense (I adore genres – is that so bizarre)? Of course we can. Very easily. Now, when we solved that, there are the great time leaps and the thematic collisions to solve. Surely, our etude – to link the stories – seems even more difficult now, but not impossible. Of course, it also has to be original and with some semantic depth “attached” to it; and – to have an attitude: the intellectual one. And finally, to be made with an original film language… Did I mention that the story should be, also, spontaneous? Well, it’s not quite impossible… Hardly…

Film practicing – Dust:

    The story of DUST is placed within two time periods, in tree different civilizations, with few different languages, with four – visually – completely opposite film means. The Author of the film, with his attitude, author’s expression and means (generally), forms three stories and he links and interlaces them, hiding and then revealing many things, etc. There is much of a dream within the film, also. It corresponds with the spaghetti westerns, even with the music accent, that links to the main characters, like in the westerns of Sergio Leone. The end of the film must be compared with the ending of the WILD BUNCH Sam Peckinpah. Quite complicated. Very complicated – in the film-directing conception and highly ambitious as a high budget production.
    But, let’s start with the synopsis of the film:
    New York. A black man (Edge) is breaking & entering into some flat. A very old woman – Angela, 100 years old, seizes him under the treat of large handgun and she greets him with the sentence: please to meet you, hope you guess my name
[4]. And she starts to tell him a story. And she keeps mentioning the great amount of money here-somewhere around, very close. The story she tells brings us back in time of the Wild West, west of Pecos (and in town of Pecos, if you recall, the judge was the “merciful and sweet-talking” Roy Bin). Two brothers, Luke and Elijah, bot very fast with the gun, fell in love with the same girl: the French prostitute Lillite. The older one, Luke, we don’t know why, runs to Europe. On the luxury ship, we meet Freud (again we don’t know why), and in Paris, we meet the films made by Manaki Brothers. While watching these films, Luke understands that his future is in Macedonia, a place where civilization hasn’t reached yet – the alternative Wild West. A Heaven for gangsters and gunman. In Macedonia he raids together with a bloodthirsty gang, bounty-hunting the Macedonian Rebel-Emperor – the Teacher, the protector of the oppressed Macedonian people, with a great reward for his head, offered by the Ottoman official authorities. Then Angela gets a heart attack. Edge gets her to the “St. Luke”?!) hospital. The story goes on. Elijah, who came to Macedonia and joined the Turk bounty-hunters, finds – and shots Luke. Luke is saved and nursed by some pregnant Macedonian woman Neda. Understandable, she’s none else, but the Teacher’s wife. Through few hallucinations, we can comprehend that Luke had an affaire with Lillite. – That’s why his little brother is mad, the audience can guess. Edge must get money, because of the crooked policemen who are after the money he owes to somebody, we don’t know who. Angela still tells her story. The Ottoman army gets he Teacher and chops his head off. The Teacher’s village is burnt down. Luke gets the offer to revenge the Teacher, and in exchange he gets a bag full with gold coins. He refuses to do that, but he takes the money (?). He meets Elijah again. Luke, then, understands that Lillite made a suicide. Edge finds the money, the Luke’s gold coins from Macedonia. Angela dies, not finishing the story. Edge is rich now, and he does his revenge upon the dirty cops. After that, he takes the Angela’s ashes to Macedonia by plane. In the plane, he re-tells the story to the girl sitting next to him. In the end of his version of the story, Luke gets back to the village, and in ten minutes of shooting he kills all the Turks and the Geek Orthodox priest. He also kills Corto Maltese. Neda is also dead, but he gave birth dying. It’s Angela, whose ashes he carries in a adequate pot in his lap. At the end of the battle Luke has been killed. Elijah takes the baby and he throws he coin what to do with it. The coin says he takes the baby to America.

    So, here we have three stories:
    1. The story Angela and Edge, and Edge with the crooked cops (time present, New York and the flight New York – Europe);
    2. The story of the brothers Luke and Elijah and the French prostitute (time past; location Wild West, and even Wilder Macedonia);
    3. The Teacher, Luke and Neda (time past, location Macedonia).
    The times shift a lot, presented (most often) by flashbacks. Sometimes, the time makes double leap backwards. Macedonia and Wild West at one hand, and the urban New York, on another. The task would be: to link this two stories – in any interesting way, with the necessary suspense; to diverge the times and locations even visually; to require a music applicable in all of the three stories, two epochs and three civilizations; to make a satisfactory respect to the film industry idolatry, to be original, and to create a narration never seen before; to present Macedonia and the Macedonians as good characters; to provoke emotions of fear, sorrow and empathy as audience’s respond; to be intertextual with the literary influences, to act intellectually, to be said that we did loved the rock’n’roll but now it’s dead, to be moderate in the humor, to respect the history and the historical facts; to say that at the Balkans – the conflict between the East and West goes on and on… As I said: ambitious.
    That is already seen in the film history, but… Often, films are consisted of more than three stories. Sometimes, those stories aren’t even linked in any way – those kinds of films are called omnibus films. Mostly, those are films made by the principle: different director for each film story in the omnibus film. Sometimes, there is one film director, who gathers few stories with the different main characters in each story that, hopefully, somewhere at the end of the film – merge with other stories, like in MM’s first film BEFORE THE RAIN. Sometimes, the stories are conditioned by time leaps. Often, the stories are semantically link by some objects/subjects, as taxi vehicle, gun or some character, for instance. There are cases when one can’t determine the way the stories are linked. That method is the most delicate. But – we’ve already knew that.
    Times often mix. In that purpose, the screen-writers even invented the time machines. Time can be altered even with the case when the narration follows some object/subject in a long time period. Or, you can shift times with hibernating and awakening your hero. The Forest Gump character is another kind of film time-shifter. A 100-years old narrator is one the optimal variants. It was seen in the LITTLE BIG MAN. In that film, the narrator revokes his memories for the journalist’s sake. This approach, in its very start is in advantage at the sentimental kind of films. We all feel for the elder people. And if we build the (elder) character in a way that the character of the\old lady in DUST: a character with a rebel attitude, a character that is quoting “Stones”, familiar with famous people, the character who (in its memory coffin) keeps the photos of Jagger and Josip Broz Tito, with skills of handling guns, the character that smokes cigarettes through the oxygen mask of the respiration machine, and finally – with a sophisticated sense of humor – then, the producers gain a 100% success.

    In DUST, the time linkage was made more in a filmic way, which means – more motivated, but not spontaneous in same way. Do you watch cartoons? Of course. What abut those at “Warner Bros”, with Duffy and Bugsy? When „Warner” wants to recycle their already shown cartoons in order to gain extra profit, then Bugsy would be captured by the father of the spoiled brat Abadabba. So, in the castle in the middle of the desert, Bugsy would have to read stories to Abadabba. It’s a very good motivation. Between every two stories (short cartoons) Abadabba and Bugsy chase and outsmart each other. The Bugsy’s stories are, the most often, paraphrased and ironic versions of already well-known stories. This kind of constructing a story corresponds with the story/stories in DUST, where the roles of Bugsy and Abadabba are swapped. So, if we merge Duffy & Bugsy Cartoons and a film as the LITTLE BIG MAN, we get – DUST. But, it also doesn’t matter. Why? Because it is a genre-defined film, and we can always take the Postmodern as an excuse.
    So we come to the question of the suspense (see: Triffault, „Hitchcock“, Film Institute in Belgrade, 1987). MM is the film-man, from head to heals. An erudite. His scenario has to hide something, something that audience wouldn’t know until the film’s finale. That’s also the rule in the spaghetti westerns, and it isn’t invented and implemented in the film by chance. That rule is thought in order to keep the audience interested until the very finish of the film, and to put the accent and semantic point at the end of the film deed. In DUST, (Lucky) Luke runs to Macedonia. It’s very vaguely supposed that the conflict is about love and adultery, and the audience patiently waits in wonder… what ever for is the reason for the brothers’ quarrel? When the film reveals that it was because of an adultery and the girl’s suicide, the film is already in its second half, with one bloody battle (with duration of 30 minutes) already shown, and one a little shorter, then a few dreams/visions/hallucinations and agonies also shown, etc. But it seems that to the audience (already) nothing matters any more. And what to say about Edge? He’s under pressure to find money, because with every day he loses one part of his body, until he finds the money he owe. The money is the narrative reason of the film in this urban part of the film, that one – in New York. Maybe the most successful part of this film. Here, almost everything is I function. A little drama. The granny Angela is interesting character, TV archetype, but still convincing; the crooked cops are a great thought plot, they could be the Mafia, anyway, but MM knows that’s a sterile cliché and he chooses the different and better solution; the young black Edge is in contrapunct with the old white Angela, and that also functions on the level of the inevitable comedy relief character, especially the part when she introduces him as her nephew. Still, the part in the hospital (same as the Angela’s character), to me (subjectively!) it was too TV-like, but it’s the segment of the directing procedure, as well of the camera and editing means. And I can say that the suspense is lost with the oversized (in number) fragments of the story.

    The most problematic part of the story is that one in Macedonia. The place that should keep all of the answers of the film story/stories. The questions are: what is the meaning of the photos in the Angela’s room, why Luke runs away (besides his character and his way of life); does Angela have any money or not; how the story about the brothers will end in Macedonia… Instead of that, the film i.e. the director presents to us three confusedly realized battles (the few original ideas aren’t enough considering the wasted gunpowder (the same can be said about the wasted film minutes). And if we consider the story of the peaceful Macedonian village and the pregnant Macedonian young woman Neda (the Teacher’s wife) who treats and cures (Lucky) Luke – in between, then the confusion is even larger. Is she in love with Luke or not? One can’t tell. Is here a different (hidden fourth) story or not? Luke goes to fight, his brother shots him, Neda cures him, the Teacher is caught and killed. The gold enters the game, Luke tries to save the bride, but he fails. After that, some dreams, agonies; the film director in one (or two?) phantasmagorical sequences announces the Luke’s death. This part (most probably) should function as a film-drama sequence: a chase where everybody chases everyone. The airplanes appear as an omen of the new era. When they appear (the new age), there is no place for the cowboys. In some other films, the new era comes with the automobiles. Cable Hog died in a traffic accident.
    In these three stories, the script enters some new unknown values (in mathematical sense). The Austrian Freud (Sigmund) appears during Luke’s journey (from America to Europe), on the luxury ship. Corto Maltese seats together with the Ottoman officer. Here is, also, the Macedonian Milton Manaki, the first cinematographer at the Balkans. All that without any visible need, to me, at least – of course, as a simple audience.

    MM makes the distinction between his stories – not by their mechanical division as ordinary sequences: he also varies them with his own author’s styles, means and procedures. So, in the part that happens in New York, the megalopolis’ chaos and the human trash are shown, as well as the modern life – with dynamic and rapid style of the film flow, with short sequences and with hand-guided camera. There are, also, some strange “angles” that doesn’t seem to “fit” perfectly in the whole. When the camera pays attention to the old Angela’s photos from the beginning of the 20th Century, the camera is tranquil, steady, stabile and perceptive. The passages on the photos and the souvenirs are to impressionable and emphasized to be a part of the same film procedure. Often, the photos are implemented as photography-frames with a short-time duration. And if I may to repeat myself about the impression about this part of this film: the film procedure where the photos are the significant part of the film narration is too much like “based on a true story” style, very TV-like, in this “odyssey”-year of 2001. The scenes that took place in the hospital are, also, too much TV-like: the nurse forbids smoking, the room-mate is “dead-cold”, the nurses are over-agile, the doctors “rub on” the stimulators, the scenery is also – so typical, with tubes ad bags for transfusion or infusion, many needles and tubes and pipes, the camera is hysteric with its movement, the film plans are mostly close-ups or close to it… So medically sterile. Like in some TV-soap on some City Hospital… The part that presents the Wild West is –in black & white technique, with no special scenery involved, anyway. The scenes are almost empty. The memories are somebody else’s, so we can say that here, the film director’s idea is in function here. But, the memories are very delicate phenomena in the film. At this part, the newspapers, photos and the first-hand telling of Elijah aren’t the only influence on the Wild West recalling. Many other influences can’t be escaped, like the films by Ford, Lang, Houston, etc. Not even Angela. She’s American, too. In this part, she’s the narrator, so there isn’t much of a dialog here. Empty again. A little iconography, few revolvers, cowboy hats, saddled horses, a small whore-house, not really enough for us to go back to the Wild West epoch. There aren’t Dock Holiday and Wyatt Erp, nor Billy the Kid, nor their shadows. The replica “Good day, sheriff!” is far from enough to “catch the context”. The third story, the one in Macedonia, is different from the other two, above all, with its visual and color attributes. The picturesque ethnic clothes and ornaments and other iconography, like the all-Balkan military and “war-path” uniforms are accented (the Komitaji freedom-fighters’ and the Albanian or Greek bandits’ “war-clothing”, as well as the Ottoman military uniforms), in the opposite of the American cowboy-desperado-spaghetti-surrealistic costumes. All that is confronted to the tame and tender physiognomies of the Macedonian girls, women, elders and children; confronted to the most beautiful Macedonian mountain village; to the picturesque and overwhelming Macedonian nature enriched with the crystal-clear mountain and beautiful archaic bridges; but the blood is ever-present: in the colors of the Macedonian ethnic clothing and in the colors of the famous and beautiful Macedonian blankets – the “yambollias”. Only the death is the equal for all of them. The death is everywhere. The confronted groups are: the Ottoman military troops, the Komitaji war units and the Albanian/Greek bandits. If one succeeds to comprehend that. Luke is with everybody and against everybody. They slaughter, hang and kill each other, even among themselves – and they do enjoy in it. That is, also, in opposite of the tame and beautiful nature presented in the film, as another contrapunct. There is almost no talking. What’s more to it, that little dialog that exists – isn’t really necessary at all. Cries, battle calls and pain yells… And the languages – little Turkish, little German, little English and French – and even less Macedonian. The brothers ride horses(Luke’s horse is beautiful), and their appearance – the music ilustrates with the mouth-harmonica using the spaghetti archetype. The story I defined as a chase story moves through few locations and in the village. Too little dynamics, too little scenes, too much dubbing, too much close-ups, too brutal, too much blood and gunpowder.

    Why the author operates with three stories? Why not two? Why the stories about the brothers and the Teacher aren’t one and the same story, or why they aren’t in continuity? Why the action is so fragmented? Most probably the author thought that if he merges this stories, the film would be too narrative, and without concept and motif. A film that would be difficult to push until its end. The first story has a plot, the second has not. So, as a plot – the adultery and Luke’s running away to Europe is used. It isn’t the most happily chosen plot, and the author-screenwriter of the film tries to hide it till the end of the film, and the audience is waiting in confusion for it. Even the beautifully thought trick of Luke’s death when he promotes himself as a “zombie”, is relatively vague and undeveloped, most probably to avoid the comparison with the films of the SIXTH SENSE-type of films. Here is the motif – the gold, which transfers into the second story. The audience should suppose that the Angela’s money that Luke gain with catching the Teacher, but it came out the opposite: Luke takes the money to avenge him and to save his wife and child. Well thought, but in all those battles, killings, dreams and fantasies, the motif got lost. That way, the only piece of surprise is lost, the piece that would stimulate the audience to go on and to watch the film with interest until its end.
    What is to be said about the presence (in the film) of the above-mentioned Freud, Maltese and Manaki? We can link Manaki to the photos at Angela’s apartment, and the photographer and the photos are well used and functional in the film. So, it can be said that it doesn’t matter if there was Manaki or somebody else. Who was the one that filmed the Turkish and the Komitaji troops (that what Luke saw in Paris)? Is there any story behind it? With what we link Freud here? With the dreams Luke dreams? So the Oedipus complex of the brothers, who found – in the French whore – their mother? We can ink those moments, but the film should do it, as well. Or maybe, Angela is Freud’s disciple or follower, so even in her pre-mortal agony can’t escape his theory? Or, finally, everything is only some (thought as required) auto-referential art-mean. The non-Macedonian audience surely is in wonder who slaughters who, and who is who and who is what, etc. What’s Corto Maltese doing here? Everybody recognizes him… Does every film that has ambitions for artistic authenticity, and has violent/bloody story – have to end with the paraphrase from the WILD BUNCH? And if Markes described the human guts wide open, does someone have to show them – indeed? Do film and literature can present the same things with the same valorization? The professor Zhika Pavlovic was against such approach, and he also was – both – writer and filmmaker (and painter, sculptor, etc.). And what about Jagger and Josip Broz Tito…?

    I can agree that the film music is good, but also with that that the acting performances of the foreigners (David Wenham, Joseph Fiennes) were (under)average. Didn’t MM had any alternatives, so “the man who liked to kill so very much“ had to be some Robert-Redford-like-blond-guy, a hansom guy with typical Hollywood charm, and the one who mastered the half-smile till perfection, or even that should be considered as a contrapunct. The others were more like – posing. That, indeed, was their only job, anyway.
    This is a “heavy” material to make a film. Too many traps – it hides within. It contains too many temptations – to enter the numerous stereotypes, or to find the balance between the source material (book, film, legend…) and the new, original film material. It needs too much mimicry to maintain the wanted originality. Too much attention is given to the details, and the important things are carelessly left aside. Too dangerous to play with a little bit of everything. Too complicated to be good.
    And, almost at the end of this review of mine, let me go back to the beginning – to the issue one cannot escape: That’s the first feature film of MM – BEFORE THE RAIN. I just like to mention that this film also had three stories, also a lot fragmented, but still in continuity… They were placed (more or less) in the same time coordinates, and linked with the characters. Much more functional and a lot simpler. One very smart man wrote, somewhere, that BURNT BY THE SUN is the film that marked the end of the 20th Century, and BEFORE THE RAIN marked the beginning of the 21st Century. I agree with every syllable of that. There are bright, smart and clever people at least as much as that anonymous one that I’ve mentioned above, the one who claims that DUST is a film that will mark – if not a chapter, then –at least a page of the world film history. HMMM?
    I agree with the fact that we all have the right on or own opinion. Of course, it’s not an imperative for any film to be acknowledged by everyone. It’s a Cultural Revolution. And we have every right to say what we think. I have even a little more right to say it, because I have few editors above me, and certain medium, which isn’t much influent lately. Well, quite enough, anyway. Finally, every one with his own arguments and with his own certainty in the fact how much one can influence and change oneself, or the others. MM, although, said that he’s content with the film and that is the most important thing in it – for him. I agree. I also think that’s the most important thing – myself. So, I hope that MM in the coming decade will be content more often, both on his and on the audience’s pleasure. Milčo Mančevski is Milčo Mančevski – both when he enchants and when he makes us anxious. One can’t be indifferent both to him and to his films. And – Liang (the film director with whom MM shared the Golden Lion in Venice (one of the three best Taiwan film authors) is being content – five or six times already. And the critics are content too, and his audience is also content, the same audience he does excite with every film he makes. So… Is MM in search for a new audience?
    NOTE: I’m anxious and impatient to see this film’s DVD edition. Having in mind that the producer is a Westerner, DUST would probably be the first Macedonian (even part Macedonian) film to be promoted into this new image carrier, and I hope that it will happen very soon. I’m waiting, not to see the film, of course, I’ve seen it on the big screen, but more because of the extra features common for the DVD editions that the director and the producer of the film will offer. It’s always a pleasure t listen to Milčo Mančevski and to watch how he works on film. I think… actually, I’m certain that he has so much to tell. And this claim of mine has nothing to do with my optimistic character.

Translated by: Petar Volnarovski


1. Ego and Super-Ego, Sigmund Freud
2. “Ghost Town” – song by Specials


3. Ilinden – the Orthodox Saint Elijah Holiday, the day of Macedonian Uprising for freedom against the Ottoman Empire (on 2nd of August 1903)


4. “Please to meet you, hope you guess my name” (verse from the song „Sympathy for the Devil“ – Rolling Stones).

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