The film Pictured by Gordana Brzović is a rarity among documentary films made in the country. The rarity is not that it presents an artist, in this case the film or rather multimedia artist Ivan Ladislav Galeta, for this is a standard kind of documentary film. The overwhelming rarity lies in that, having chosen two good samples, two major films from the creative oeuvre of this artist, it gives a fascinating insight into the complex mental process of the preparation and development of the two projects, in the phase of creativity that as a rule is entirely unknown to the audience, or perhaps “those who experience” the work, and is accordingly mysterious. And in addition, it demonstrates this in an area that is the least accessible to the public, into the process of which almost no one has any insight – the area of the experimental film. The kind of insight that Gordana Brzović affords us is enabled by the very useful fact that Galeta has a very conceptually-experimental approach, which clears up the often abstruse preparatory processes, with a very slow procedure, extremely devoted and thoroughgoing, with exhaustive documentation of the process. And then with a high degree of awareness he confronts the problems of execution that his idea has faced him with. Accordingly, he has proved to be an excellent reporter of the whole of the process. In line with this, Gordana Brzović has chosen the most immediate evidentiary approach, conceptually pure and speciously simple, but actually from this apparent simplicity, minimality, provides evidence that is maximally convincing and remarkable; with a calm, direct view (static camera, half close-up) it presents a Galeta who – not only through what he is saying but also by the intonation of his delivery, his gestures and looks… and with self-revelatory animatedness –confessionally reconstructs his preparations, his searches, inspirations, dilemmas, problems.
As Galeta refers to his preparatory materials, which are often very complex, so Brzović presents them to the viewer, illustratively and explicitly, pointing them up. And she does all this with a discreet critical interpretation of intertitles, in which she not only draws out the dominant themes of the given phase of Galeta’s discourse, but draws attention to the outcomes: for example, the surprise of Galeta himself at the unpredictably rich impressions that were provided by his first experiments to be shown, Water Pulu, and the disappointing experiential effect produced by a project that he prepared for twelve years, Piramidas. Thus the film takes on a kind of dramaturgical rounding off, a pointedness: the understanding that results are not obtained easily, and that the outcome, even with the maximum amount of preparation, is not experientially always completely predictable, and is sometimes dubious.
From an article by Hrvoje Turković
direction and screenplay: Gordana Brzović
camera: Krešo Vlahek
produced by: Hrvatski filmski savez