Your short film Run was screened at the 57th Pula Film Festival, and Show Must Go On was screened in the Work In Progress Programme. Already the next year, the latter received the Breza Award, the Oktavijan Award, and the Golden Arena for Best Screenplay. There is a lot of expectation from a director who boldly steps out beyond more common themes. Do these two films share the link of all of us simply being expected to have to go on?
I like how you have symbolically connected the two, and honestly, it has never crossed my mind, ha-ha… But yes, I try to do something different with each film, even if the film has some kind of a connection in terms of its theme to the last one, as was the case with Vis-A-Vis and Comic Sans. On the other hand, I never make plans thinking what would be a good thing to film or what’s on trend now - I only do the stories I ‘feel’ myself.
Since that time, you have stayed true to the idea of skilful balancing of art and populism, creating your signature expression, without a set framework. One could say you first make a mess, and then you clean it up.
Well, I think it is an integral part of the creative process. You throw a bunch of things on the table and you pick and choose from that mess, taking only the things you like and that seem logical to you. A part of the process that nobody knows about, other than the people who have worked on screenplays with me, is that I throw almost every finished screenplay into the trash and I ask that it be rewritten from scratch. Sometimes you simply have to sacrifice time and effort to realise that you’ve been taking the wrong path and then go down a new one…
You’re talking to me about colours, and I’m talking about people… About relationships. Do you struggle with yourself when it comes to separating the important from the unimportant?
I did when I was younger, but now I imagine I have enough experience to just know what is important, and what is not. I follow the rule of “less is more”, it makes it easier to work things out.
Are directors playing it safe working with the same actors all the time?
No. We are a small country, and the number of good actors who can play big roles is limited. That’s why we often see the same faces on the screen.
You leave the impression of already thinking about another, or possibly two new projects while working on a current one; and you also seem like a person who doesn’t settle for the expected.
While working on a film, I don’t think of other projects. You have to keep in mind that when I release a film, it has already been finished for several months, and I am probably at that time thinking of the next one. As for expectations, I don’t have any - I’ve always made the wrong prediction, and now I go by “whatever happens, happens”.
Will you start a band?
Ha-ha, I wasn’t planning to, but thanks for the question!
Gorski kotar or Vis?
Currently Gorski Kotar, I am waiting to crave Vis again!
You’ve also received an award from the audience at Pula. From a viewer’s perspective, people want feel-good films that offer (moderate) entertainment and do not offend (us) with bad humour (if it’s a comedy), and/or that are well thought through. The high score of 4.92 proves you’ve been successful in meeting these criteria.
I am very happy about that, because, honestly, I did not expect the Croatian audience to be so thrilled by this film. I thought the problems of a well-off graphic designer are abstract to the ordinary person, but we’ve obviously struck a human note that people related to.
Is life written in Comic Sans font?
Absolutely! It’s often ugly and awkward, but it’s also comical as well!