The Respect to First Films selection was made part of the Cinema City festival in order to indicate the importance of first films, which were a turning point for many iconic directors on their way to becoming film stars. This is exactly the reason why Cinema City focused its attention on the authors of first and second films and became an important platform for their promotion. This also allows the audience to be part of the creation of the future stars of world cinema.
Petar Protić, the selector, gave a brief review of this year’s selection:
“This selection is dedicated to first films of some of the directorial greats: from George Miller, who after 35 years dedicated himself to Mad Max once again and confirmed that his vision of the crazy future may still await us, to eternal boy, Pedro Almodóvar in the company of Pepi, Luci, Bom and other screwballs like us who love loud music and fast films. From the Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino from Naples, whose simple stories deconstruct unexplored weaknesses of character, trying to convince us that there is only a handful of those who are happy and fulfilled, and a whole lot more of those winner-takes-all types greedily swooping for another sin, to González Iñárritu who is running and grabbing everything life can give him, and as years go by uses faithful love to invite young Mexicans to bloody roads and returns the lost power of a great illusion to an aging thespian, but only briefly. And then the company gets another visitor, this time from around these parts. Milcho Manchevski, a daring knight under heavy rains, who asks us why we ever decided to replace beauty, splendour, merry company, fast friendships, and good wine for fight, hate, and revenge.”
We have carefully chosen five films to present the Respect to First Films selection.
Amores Perros (Love’s a Bitch) the iconic debut film of the Academy Award-winning director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, was written by the legendary Guillermo Arriaga. The film is a tense story about people’s fates intertwined under unpredictable and dramatic circumstances. This award-winning film won 58 awards at international film festivals, including the BAFTA award for best film, and 19 nominations, including the Academy Award nomination.
Another winner of numerous film recognitions received its place in this selection. L'uomo in più (One Man Up) is the first film of the renowned Italian author Paolo Sorrentino. This is an exciting black comedy about the extraordinary dark side of fame, which will introduce us to two very different men of the same name.
Another comedy from this selection is Pedro Almodóvar’s Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón (Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom) which shows the life in Madrid during the punk era, using unconventional methods to cover controversial topics like use of narcotics, sexual violence, and masochism. It took Almodóvar two years to shoot this cult classic, mostly due to lack of funding, which was eventually provided by a friend of his.
Mad Max, directed by the famous George Miller is another multiple award-winning film. Two rebels are trying to maintain order on desert roads where people are stripped of their humanity. Max is a man of action who takes us through a future that may still await us all. Incidentally, the role of Max fell to Mel Gibson’s lap accidentally, after he accompanied his friend to the audition.
The famous three-part omnibus Пред дождот (Before the Rain), directed by Milcho Manchevski, received over 30 awards all over the world, including the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, and Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film. The version we will screen at Cinema City is the remastered version screened last month in Skopje. This art film with Rade Šerbedžija is Manchevski’s debut feature film, which presents three subtle stories closely linked with motives of aggression and revenge, desire for love, and the need to overcome hate.