Super 8 Stories by Emir Kusturica

Super 8 Stories by Emir Kusturica

Super 8 Stories podle Emira Kusturici

Photography: Michel Amathieu, Gianenrico Gogo Binachi, Gerd Breiter, Frederuc Burgue, Pascal Caubere, Raimond Goebel, Thosten Königs, Ratko Kusic, Emir Kusturica, Dragan Radovojevic Lav, Chico De Luigi, Petar Popovic, Stephan Schmidt, Darko Vucic
Editing: Svetolik Mica Zajc
Sound: Didier Burel, Marton Jankov, Maricetta Lombardo, Nenad Vukadinovic, Frank Zintner
Music: No Smoking Orchestra

A full-length documentary by Emir Kusturica is not just a story about the band No Smoking, of which the director-guitarist has been a member since 1986. It mainly tells the story of music and musicians, whose frantic rhythms are full of the Balkan spirit.

The band started to play in the early 80s in former Yugoslavia. The director still considers himself a Yugoslavian, a member of some imaginary nation that does not exist in reality. The band drew inspiration from jazz, rock'n'roll as well as from various kinds of Balkan and gipsy music. His songs, with original lyrics of his, are also a reflection of twenty years of the country's complicated history, which has affected lives of individual members of the band.

It seems as though the documentary was meant to contain everything - oriental mixture of personal feelings that smell of Sarajevo's outskirts, the weight that history puts on a man, the everlasting remorse mixed with feelings of never-ending injustice, the hopelessness as well as ecstatic joy, the romanticism of eternal mourning for the South. The film opens with images from a very successful tour in 2000. One by one, we meet individual musicians, which include Stribor, the drummer and son of Kusturica.

The documentary follows a traditional model - it combines color footage from several shows with images from backstage and black and white monologues of individual band members, which were taped on Super 8. Kusturica does not present a film, it is rather a pure energy. Passion broken down into elementary emotions. Most importantly, he reflects our own fascination with Balkan.

In her monograph (Lines, Circles and Worlds of Emir Kusturica), Jana Dudkova writes that the documentary is project that tries to remind us of the truth about its own name (the film is sometimes presented with the essential note Emir Kusturica) and about who stands behind it. The film thus becomes a platform for a popular mystification - when the director confirms his shift from fiction to music by a blend of hilarity and some sort of apathetic inconsistency towards himself, when his own performances become a passionate suppression of the meaning and narration in the name of affectation and energy that the passion releases. Kusturica gives up meaning and focuses on emotions.

The documentary is fascinating because of the effort to re-mystify Kusturica's own name, his effort to speak of himself even through a mere presence of his face or through the face of his son, by integrating monologues about close family relations of all members of the band.

Photo Gallery

Festival edition: 2002
Sections: Jukebox


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