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Additional info for A Portrait of the Artist as a Political Dissident: The Life and Work of Aleksandar Petrovic
161. Burch rightly criticises films such as The Assassination of the Duke of Guise (L’Assassinat du Duc de Guise, 1908) as early films that have helped reduce cinema culture to what it is today. Understanding that a “film” is something that will last for approximately two hours, telling us a fiction story interpreted by actors as in the theatre, was only a very narrow way that films could be made, distributed and received in the early days of cinema. However, it is the way that has prevailed, eliminating all others, and thereby reducing film culture to this sole “mode of representation”, for which Burch criticises efforts such as Botorić’s.
However, this first project did not happen at Zvezda Film. More political changes were about to disturb the temporary refuge the three new colleagues had found at the studio. 1. 3. 159 It is for this reason that the young film trainees such as Aleksandar Petrović were so easily recruited, as the studio expected to instigate production on a large scale immediately. 160 As a 28 Beginnings result, in 1950, changes in the organisation of production ensued, and Petrović and the other young filmmakers, who had been so easily employed the previous year, lost their jobs.
175 Clearly, in these paragraphs printed in 1953, Petrović was asking for contemporary life to be critically scrutinised as opposed to representing the past in the style of “banal nationalism”. Another important trait of his comments is also a commitment to the author’s film, if not yet the auteur theory. There is no doubt that film directors, those who have the intention of creating serious artworks, need to find their own themes, if not to write their own scripts. Ultimately, they have to be passionate about their themes; these themes have to be part of them, a part of their world that they want to express with film.