Cinema for me is…
Croatia – Betty Stojnić from Europa Cinemas on Vimeo.
Betty in 23 Frames
1. Describe yourself in ten words.
Not a huge fan of following guidelines and regulations
2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
Best quality: Getting obsessively stuck on an idea, project or task.
Worst habit: Getting obsessively stuck on YouTube videos about Game of Thrones lore or how to make an emoji keyboard.
3. Your dream job?
Writing for a film studies publication, contributing to the organization of film festivals or working as a selector, being part of the administration of a film theatre.
4. What do you like most about your country?
Croats are generally very approachable and talkative. Many people hate small talk, but I find it comforting that I can always get to know someone in the most unlikely of situations.
5. Your favorite dish in your country?
It’s actually Turkish, but burek (aka börek). A piece of burek of average size could feed a small family for a fortnight.
6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
Most people who speak Serbo-Croatian would answer with a common swear word, but to keep it PG, let’s say it’s “pun mi je kufer” / “my suitcase is full” (for when you’re sick and tired of something).
7. What European capital have you visited lately?
This year I’ve spent most of my time out of my hometown in Prague and Ljubljana.
8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?
I briefly lived in the Czech Republic and enjoyed it; I wouldn’t mind going back. Outside of the EU, I find Iceland very attractive.
9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
Unification of nations, collective ideals, and joined development.
10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971, US) and other Kubrick classics.
11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
My local film theatre, Art-kino Croatia in Rijeka. It has a lovely atmosphere and a rich, diverse program. They never stop being creative with the activities they offer outside of usual screenings. Art-kino Croatia is a well-rounded cultural hub in Rijeka and I spend an inordinate amount of time there.
12. Who is your movie hero?
Werner Herzog in Les Blank’s short 1980 documentary Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980, US). Herzog literally ate his shoe in front of a crowd after losing a film-related bet. The dedication, creativity and sense of humor involved (especially coming from an otherwise very serious director) is what I truly appreciate about film culture.
13. Which movie director would you like to be?
Obviously Werner Herzog.
14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
La jetée (Chris Marker, 1962, FR).
The entirety of the film consists of still images edited together to follow a narration of the plot, save for one single scene. After a sequence of stills of the unnamed female lead tossing about in her bed, there is a brief close-up shot in motion of her face as she opens her eyes. The impact of the shot is precisely in it being the only instance of filmed movement in the whole movie. She gazes straight into the camera (presumably at the protagonist whose perspective dominates the film), making the scene feel almost uncomfortably intimate.
15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
La pianiste (Michael Haneke, 2001, AT)
A Short Film About Love (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1988, PL)
Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda, 1958, PL)
16. Which film character do you most identify with?
Both Tomek and Magda (the main characters) in Krótki film o milosci (A Short Film About Love).
17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
A classic: Wendy Carlos’ rendition of Henry Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary for A Clockwork Orange.
18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
I’d like to be a gunslinger in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966, IT).
19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
20. Which talent would you most like to have?
Communicating through visual media. I’ve also always wanted to learn how to play the piano.
21. What is your most treasured possession?
My Olympus OM2n analogue camera.
22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Delivering two public lectures on the topics of cinema and critical theory. On a more
personal level, developing a sense of drive and courage in spite of being shy and hesitant in the past.
23. What is your motto?
“Rulers, Statesmen, Nations, are wont to be emphatically commended to the teaching which experience offers in history. But what experience and history teach is this — that peoples and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.” – G. W. F. Hegel (or, in other words, YOLO).