Ekran Untranslated is a blog and the international site of Slovenian bi-monthly film magazine Ekran. The magazine began in 1962 and is the oldest in the region. Collaborations with the French critics from Cahiers du Cinema were established at the very beginning, home Yugoslav film scene was monitored and a strong presence of structuralist thought marked the golden 80’s (Ljubljana film school: Slavoj Žižek, Zdenko Vrdlovec, Silvan Furlan, Stojan Pelko, Marcel Štefančič, jr.) and early 90’s, afterwards the magazine has focused on international festival and home discoveries, with emphasis on third and independent world cinema.
Ekran has always been written in Slovenian language, with one courageous exception: a bilingual, English-Slovenian issue that tackled both the films of Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz and responses to the book Movie Mutations (BFI), edited by Jurij Meden in 2005. Remaining to be in the Slovenian language and devoted to Slovenian public, in the past two years Ekran has been inviting some of the most interesting international young writers and thinkers on cinema (critics, filmmakers, programmers, theoriticians) to contribute insights and ideas from their parts of the world.
Ekran Untranslated is a collection of Ekran‘s articles of writers in their native languages, majority commissioned for the regular Ekran columns like Cinema Postcards and Mirror. Each attempts to follow the guideline of writing about their home cinema spaces, though this can be through the lenses of cinephilia, history, social context, aesthetics, intimate experience, theory, or even business. Besides Postcards and Mirrors the site also includes several other contributions received in foreign languages: reviews, theory essays, interviews, festival reports.
At the beginning, this multilingual site will feature the selection of articles from our international colleagues, however the goal is to also contribute English translated writing from the Slovenian side in the future. The irony of this moment is such, that you can read about Slovenian cinema (OM Productions avant-garde films, presented in Rotterdam 2007) in one single article, written in German by the unbeatable Olaf Möller. (However there is also Olaf’s excellent essay on state of things in the contemporary German film.) The coverage of Slovenian cinema available in literatures published in English or other languages is generally very modest. If I don’t want to say that Slovenian cinema is unworthy of attention, I will end up complaining because Slovenia often seems to slip through the pages when books and articles are being written on Balcan, East or Central or New European cinema, and when it doesn’t, it tends to be represented through a foreign view. It would be great if Ekran could publish an anthology in English language, but maybe it’s worth giving it a start by gathering a list of the most interesting existing publications and longer articles on Slovenian cinema. Coming soon.
Cinema Postcards are short articles contributed by our colleagues, filmmakers, programmers, interesting cinema people from different parts of the world. Thematically writers are given carte blanche (as long as film related) and a more personal tone is preferred. From newsreel to political statement or intimate reverie, it can be a diary entry, a travelogue, or notes on a project … One of the ideas behind this column was to be in touch with the film scenes outside Slovenia, the other is to read how people perceive their countries, cities, landscapes, environments, lives as places of cinema experience.
The Mirror column is a combination of a report, an analysis and essay-like notes on a selected »national« cinema, written by a home or long-lived resident critic of the place discussed. Countries in focus so far: Bosnia, Austria, Romania, South Italy, Catalan, young Chinese cinema, Malaysia, Russia, Germany, Egypt, and Mexico. Some of the articles weren’t written exclusively for Ekran; out of respect for the rights of the other publication, those will not be published on this site.
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