List of interviews:

Interview - Podgorica, July 2012 (video)
TV commercial for retrospective in Prague 4th – 12th July 2012 (video)
Interview - 11.12.2011 RTRS (video)
On war propaganda (video)
Press conference - two day programme "POGLED" (video)
Interview in Sarajevo (video)
Interview in Crna Gora (video)
Interview for Bosnian web portal in 2011 (text)


by Ranko Munitić

Throughout his entire life, Zafranović says, an artist carries in him, like an ultimate seal, the so-called primordial pictures, images that were first engraved in his consciousness and sub-consciousness; to these images he returns over and over again"...

He continues: "The interaction power of a completed film with the spectator depends directly on how much of his inner energy the author managed to pierce into the film tape, project into tin-shots as his personal power charge"...

Interesting thoughts, especially because they pinpoint with almost perfect accuracy the basic characteristics of the work of Lordan Zafarnović, i.e. his entire film conception. First of all, his ties with the land of his origin, the Mediterranean landscape - not just as scenery, icon, but also as a drama, symbol. The extremely expressive environment of this area (blinding white heat and its opposite, the deep shadows; the vast sea and limited ground, etc) become on the screen the basic categories of existence and driving forces (The Entity and Nonentity, Eros and Thanatos, Heavenly and Hellish, Earthly and Cosmic, etc).

All this put together results in luxurious exterior of Lordan1 s film, and at the same time, a puzzling onyric depth. Aesthetically very "concrete", with their beauty and impressive scenery, these films are poetically extremely "abstract", primarily by the secret realms they sank in through vision, sound and motion. The Mediterranean landscape is the common denominator of Zafranović's film work and life creed, whether it appears on the screen as a real existential, symbolically deepened one, or as a mythically universalized model. Thus, the concrete designer subjects, the land and the sea become symbols of the cosmic infinity and scattered planet scraps all over it, while the coast embodies "the border line", "the transit zone", the momentous threshold between the earthly, solid, and the celestial, notional.

The power and importance of on-screen reality in Zatranović's films always lies partially on the values of this basic model. But the immense part of this reality comes from the force of the author's vision, from what Zafranović calls the personal energy that artist engraves in his work, embosses in the structural material.

Ever since the early works (Diary, I 964) or first steps as a professional (Afternoon - Rifle, 1967), medium-length dive in the sizzling exterior (Ave Maria, 1 970) and the eerie interior (The First Waltz 1970), up to the "War trilogy", the pivotal segment of Lordan's work (Occupation in 26 Acts, 1978, Fall of Italy, 1981, Evening Bells, 1986), the specific visual and spiritual energy as a logo runs through alt of his work, as his handwriting. Naturally, this tuning of the extremities (natural elements on the visual plan and symbolic crystallization on the spiritual plan) always tends to escape the strives to form an integral piece.

The result is a thrilling incongruity in most of Lordan 's films, but also magnificent perfection in those rare moments of balance. After all, this is were all the different, often antagonistic reactions come from. Films of Zafranović regularly spark fierce rows with most opposite opinions. But, whatever the reaction to his works, it is always with all our strength; no one stays indifferent or uninvolved. This brings us to the next link of Zafranović's life and work.

Like all truly unique, free-spirited filmmakers of the ex-Yugoslavia, he too would constantly stand out from the production code set by the communist state. His films (much as the films of Makavejev, Aleksandar Petrović, Vatroslav Mimica, Živorad Pavlovic and others) would start endless discussions, disputes, scandals.

With a good reason, as we have said: for these films indeed do not belong to the "official" body of the Yugoslav cinematography, because they jeopardize the "ideological order" and "dogmatic peace". But, as soon as we widen the scope of vision, and see these works as a part of European cinematography, everything perfectly fits. Proof? Yes, let us remind ourselves of the specific chapters of Mediterranean film production (Italian and Yugoslav).