Tate Modern Film

Vlado Kristl 2: Croatian Avant-Garde

Vlado Kristl Don Kihot / Don Quixote 1961, film still Courtesy Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen Archives

Vlado Kristl General I resni Clovek / The General 1962, film still Courtesy Filmmuseum München

Vlado Kristl General I resni Clovek / The General 1962, film still Courtesy Filmmuseum München

Vlado Kristl Krada dragulja / Juwelenraub / Great Jewel Robbery 1959, film still Courtesy Filmmuseum München

Vladimir Petek Encounters / Sretanja 1963, film still

Ivan Martinac Rondo 1962, film still

Tomislav Gotovac Morning of a Faun 1963, film still

Mihovil Pansini Scusa Signorina 1963, film still

An influential figure in Croatian avant-garde, Vlado Kristl’s work from his ground breaking animations produced at the Zagreb Film animation studio to his first live action film General I resni Clovek / The General, that was banned in 1962, will be shown alongside works by his contemporaries from the active Cine-Club movement in Croatia including Ante Verzotti, Milan Šamec, Mihovil Pansini, Tomislav Gotovac, Vladimir Petek and Ivan Martinac. Kristl began filmmaking after his involvement in the abstract art movement EXAT 51, starting at the famous Zagreb Film studio he produced early films such as Krada dragulja / Great Jewel Robbery 1959 and his iconoclastic Cervantes adaptation Don Kihot 1961, a remarkable animation that radically reduced the source material recasting the Don Quixote and Sancho Panza against an abstract barren landscapes and fighting a rampant military. His first live-action film General I resni Clovek / The General, an absurd drama set in a prison camp see Kristl as the lead inspiring an insurrection. The general of the title, whose appearance is heralded with laugher, bares an uncanny resemblance to President Tito that lead to the instant banning and destruction of the film – but not before a copy was smuggled out of Yugoslavia quickly followed by Kristl’s own departure.

Illustrated talks will explore the legacy of Vlado Kristl, EXAT 51 and the Croatia Cine-Clubs with film historian and persident of the Croatian Film Club Association Hrvoje Turkovic followed by a discussion with curator and researcher Branka Benčić.

Vlado Kristl: Death to the Audience is realised with additional support from the Goethe-Institut London and in collaboration with the Munich Film Museum. 


General I resni Clovek / The General
Vlado Kristl, Yugoslavia 1962, black and white, 10 min

Krada dragulja / Juwelenraub / Great Jewel Robbery
Vlado Kristl, Yugoslavia 1959, colour, 10 min

Encounters / Sretanja
Vladimir Petek, Yugoslavia, 1963, colour / black and white, 8 min

Ivan Martinac, Yugoslavia 1962, 6 min

Don Kihot / Don Quixote
Vlado Kristl, Yugoslavia 1961, colour, 10 min

Ante Verzotti, Yugoslavia 1962, 16mm, black and white, sound, 2 min

Termiti / Termites
Milan Šamec, Yugoslavia 1963, black and white, 1.40 min

Scusa Signorina
Mihovil Pansini, Yugoslavia 1963, 7 min 

K3 or Clear Sky Without Clouds
Mihovil Pansini, Yugoslavia 1963, 2 min

Morning of a Faun
Tomislav Gotovac, 1963, black and white, sound, 8 min

Programme duration: 65 min

Speaker Biographies

Hrvoje Turković (b. November 4 1943 in Zagreb, Croatia). Turković has extensively published film reviews, essays, theoretical papers, encyclopedic entries and books on film, TV and visual art. Turković was the initial president of the Croatian Society of Film Critics (1992-1994), and the current president of the Croatian Film Club Association (from 1998), member of the Advisory Board for Cinema at the Ministry of Culture, Croatia, and is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Croatian Audiovisual Center. He was editor of Studentski list and currently chief editor of the Film Encyclopedic Dictionary. He was curator of Multi-Media Center in Zagreb (1976-1977), and he has worked at the Academy of Drama Art, lecturing mostly on film theory from 1977 to 2009.

Branka Benčić. Independent curator is founder and curator of Cinemaniac/Think Film at Pula Film Festival (Croatia) – exhibition series and research platform for artist film and video est. 2002; and curator of Artists’ Cinema series at the Museum of Contemporary art in Zagreb (since 2012). In the framework of Cinemaniac she has curated exhibitions Invisible MAFAF and alternative film practices in ex Yugoslavia 2010, Architecture and Cinema 2009, Babette Mangolte, films and photography 2008, Cinemaniac X – Contemporary Art and Film 2011, Think Film 2013. As an independent curator she has curated exhibitions and screening programmes including: Damir Ocko Studies on Shivering (KM Halle fur Kunst und Medien, Graz, 2014), Great Undoing – 55th Annale, Poreč 2014; Video Television Anticipation (Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade 2013, with A. Sekulic), Strategies of self-representation in Croatian video art since 1970s (Marseillle 2012), Clueless Geometry of Misunderstanding (Torino 2010). Publishes regularly on contemporary art and media practices in exhibition catalogues, books and journals. Published everything is Connected, the context of cinema clubs – amateur, alternative and experimental film and New Art Practice, a monographic book on 60 years of Split Cine Club 2012.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

8 November 2014 at 16.00–18.00

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