Traversing the Balkans

 
A historical road movie. Made during a road trip from Vienna to Belgrade. Silent movie treasures, newly recomposed at every station and given a live soundtrack by the experimental music duo “Rdeča Raketa”. An Austrian premiere. The program shown is composed of a series of short films that make it possible to fictively traverse the Balkans in the first decades of the twentieth century. The films revolve around the central historical event of this era – the First World War – but without giving it too prominent a position. The non-fictional films – partly fragments – are compiled from amateur films, war newsreels, tourist advertising films, propaganda films and others. Their extraordinary aesthetic sophistication is always sur- prising. “Traversing the Balkans” is an artistic-academic project created in cooperation by “Rdeča Raketa”, the Film Archive Austria, and Southeast European cultural institutions. In the course of a city tour from Vienna all the way to Turkey, silent films dealing with Southeastern Europe or made there are gathered and presented together with contemporary music. The first part of the tour took place in June 2013. Performances took place in Maribor, Kranj, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Vukovar and Belgrade. A different film and music program was put together at each location, which was developed in cooperation between the Film Archive Austria, “Rdeča Raketa” and the local partner organizations. Another important component are texts by authors from Southeastern Europe, which are interwoven with film and music. These are primarily texts from the period when the films were made. Film shots from the Balkans are mostly from production companies from Western Europe. These – partly eurocentric – images are commented on with texts by authors from Southeastern Europe, thus enabling a pluralist view of the events depicted. Now a “Best of” of the first part of this project premieres in Austria at Crossing Europe.

Director's Biography
VERKEHR AN DER STRAßENKREUZUNG OPERNRING IN WIEN (Produktion: Pathé Frères (Paris), FR circa 1911), DER KURORT BLED (BAD VELDES) IN SLOVENIEN (Produktion: Österreichische Staatliche Filmhauptstelle (Wien), AT 1922), AN DIE KÜSTE ISTRIENS (Produktion: Weltkinematograph (Freiburg im Breisgau), DE 1912), PROZESSION IN OSIJEK ZUR ZEIT DER ÖSTERREICHISCH-UNGARISCHEN MONARCHIE (Produktion: Unbekannt, AT 1913), KAISER FRANZ JOSEF IN SARAJEWO, DIE REISE DURCH BOSNIEN UND DIE HERZEGOWINA (Produktion: Unbekannt, AT 1910), DAS ATTENTAT AUF DEN THRONFOLGER ERZHERZOG FRANZ FERDINAND AM 28. JUNI 1914 IN SARAJEVO (Produktion: Sascha-Film (Wien); Eclair Revue (Paris), AT / FR 1914), ÖSTERREICHISCHES MILITÄR-FRAGMENT AUS DEM ERSTEN WELTKRIEG: ABFEUERN EINER MINE, GEFILMT AM BALKAN IN SERBIEN ODER MONTENEGRO (Produktion: Unbekannt, AT circa 1916), MESSTER KRIEGSWOCHENSCHAU NR.20/1916: KRIEGSBILDER VOM BALKAN (Produktion: Messter-Film (Berlin), DE 1916), JEDNA SRPSKA SEOSKA SVADBA (Produktion: Svetozar Botoric (Beograd), RS 1911), DIE WIRTSCHAFTLICHE ERSCHLIEßUNG MONTENEGROS UNTER DER ÖSTERREICHISCH-UNGARISCHEN MILITÄRVERWALTUNG (Produktion: Sascha-Film (Wien), AT 1917), ALBANIEN (Produktion: Sascha-Film (Wien), AT 1914), UNE EXCURSION DANS LA GRÈCE ANTIQUE (Produktion: Pathé Frères (Paris), FR 1913), TÜRKEI - KONSTANTINOPEL. SCHABLONENKOLORIERTE AUFNAHMEN VON ISTANBUL IN PATHÉCOLOR (Produktion: Pathé Frères (Paris), FR 1912)
Specials 2014
Ein Projekt von / A project by Rdeča Raketa (Maja Osojnik, Matija Schellander) und dem / and Filmarchiv Austria (Karl Wratschko) Gefördert vom / Supported by Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur
2014
60 minutes
without dialogue