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Why am I a film critic?

Ah, the old question of motivation behind criticism. I guess George Bernard Shaw has already provided us with an aptly provocative answer: “Those who can, do; Those who can’t, teach.” Or criticize. How else would a talentless hack get a rightful place in the cinema world? Ok, I’m just being facetious here.

This hack sees his position as film critic as a privilege to delve into the world of cinema and call it a job instead of idleness. The hack happens to be a cinephile, so he finds it highly rewarding to put his thoughts on paper after seeing a film and watch them become a coherent expression of what he has taken from a cinematic experience, thus voicing his and interacting with other people’s opinions.

I find passion and honesty basic requirements of film criticism, and if I am to adhere to that, I choose to write about films that I gladly take the time to watch. I have to say that this seldom applies to national cinema in my country. Most filmmakers here in Serbia choose to make genre films in pursuit of a box-office success or money off TV rights. With their bar only half-raised and with marketing rules taking primacy over artistic aspirations, the results are glaringly mediocre.

In such a state of affairs, it may be up to the critics to lead a quixotic battle for the purity of cinema and most of them do. As for me, I am glad to praise any worthy effort, but I do not find it time-efficient to drag the waters in search of a rare jewel when there is such a plethora of international cinema jewels to choose from.

This is where festivals like the Berlinale come in. With their handpicked selection of the best and purest that national cinemas all over the world have to offer, festivals are a place to celebrate cinema and enjoy films at their fullest: on the big screen, while they are current, enhanced by the insight of the visiting filmmakers, and surrounded by new and interesting people to chat and bicker with.

The largeness of the Berlinale Talent Campus presents us all with a rare opportunity to meet a variety of up-and-coming filmmakers and young people involved in film. In the years to come, when this generation‘s auteurs produce films that will leave us moved, surprised, provoked or awed, the shared experiences will prove to be a true treasure.


301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently

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