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Xcèntric 2019

Kino klub Split: the roots of the Yugoslavian avant-garde movement

The CCCB's cinema


A selection of experimental pieces by the most well-known authors of the Kino klub Split, started up in communist Yugoslavia as a state instrument to promote the socialist realism aesthetic of the fifties but which, ironically, contributed to the surge of avant-garde film in Yugoslavia and the internationally famous Ola Negra trend from the sixties and seventies.

The Kino klub Split formed part of the network of Yugoslavia’s free state schools, with their own laboratories and projection rooms, where any cinema aficionado could sign up to learn how to make films. In those years, amateurism was synonymous with freedom and soon the club became home to local avant-garde movement. Here, its spiritual leader Ivan Martinac, filmmaker, poet, architect and teacher, developed his ideas within this context regarding what he called «intense montage», «filmic cardiogram» y «freshness of image» while seeking purity in frames and a metaphysical sense through film. Martinac and other colleagues from the club’s «Golden age», such as Ranko Kursar and Lordan Zafranović, shot small filmic investigations about cities and their inhabitants, while another influential author in the group, Ante Verzotti, was inspired by the natural environment to find abstract patterns and rhythmic montage movements. 

Mrtvi dan (Day of the Dead), Ivan Martinac, 1965, 8 min; L’Abandon, Vjekoslav Nakić, 1967, 5 min; Bageri prozdiru zemlju (Bulldozers Devouring Dirt), Martin Crvelin, 1967, 5 min; Caffe Manon, Ranko Kursar, 1967, 9 min; Koncert (Concert), Lordan Zafranović, 1965, 16 min; Florescencije (Fluorescences), Ante Verzotti, 1967, 4 min; Tango de la muerte, Branko Karabatić, 1981, 6 min; Zrcalo(Mirror), Luka Bezić, 1987, 8 min; Usta puna vode (A Mouthful of Water), Žarko Batinović, 1989, 12 min; Ovdje smo posve sami (We Are All Alone Here), Petar Fradelić, 1987, 11 min

Digital projection.

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